How to use live chat to increase your website sales

Today’s how to use live chat post comes from the team at Olark Live Chat — powerful, user-friendly live chat software that helps new and growing businesses sell more online.

Selling online can be tricky. You may invest weeks’ worth of time and a marketing budget in bringing potential customers you to your website, only to have most of those visitors bounce without purchasing — whether because:

• they’re missing crucial information,
• they can’t find the exact option they’re looking for, or
• they aren’t totally convinced that your product or service is right for them.

But you don’t have to write those visitors off anymore. Using live chat:

• you can talk to them as soon as they arrive,
• learn more about what they’re looking for, and
• help them understand how your product or service can meet their needs.

Here are five (5) tips to get you more sales using live chat:

Send an automated greeting

Your live chat software should allow you to send automated messages to visitors based on certain conditions, such as how long the visitor has been on your site or which pages they’ve visited. Start and set up several of these automated messages to greet visitors and invite them to ask questions and engage about your offerings.

Customize each automated message based on the conditions that trigger it — for example:

● If a visitor has browsed several pages without taking action —
“Hi there! Can we help you find what you’re looking for?”

● If a visitor has lingered for a few minutes on a particular product page —
“Any questions about [product] I can help with?”

Sending a big marketing email, or launching a new social media campaign?

Use live chat to synchronize sales and marketing to ensure that the traffic from your marketing efforts converts into sales.

First, set up a custom automated greeting to send to visitors referred from the marketing campaign. For example, if you posted a discount offer on Facebook, send a message to visitors who were referred from a URL that includes “facebook” — maybe something like “Hi, friend! Remember to use code MYFB for 20% off!”

Next, get ready to talk to your visitors. Have extra hands standing by to staff chat when the email sends or the campaign launches, so you can reply quickly and speed folks toward making a purchase. You might even want to route the first few visitors referred from the campaign to your top sales reps, to increase your chances of closing those sales.

Use canned responses

When thinking on how to use live chat optimally, canned responses are messages that you save in your live chat system and recall during a chat with a simple shortcut — for example, typing the shortcut “hi” might populate the chatbox with the message “Hi there! What can I help with today?”

Use canned responses for any information that you’ll need to communicate frequently when chatting with prospective customers. That might be a quick summary of how your pricing works, for example, or an explanation of how your product compares to your competitors’. Doing so saves time, but more importantly, ensures that your messaging is consistent and every visitor receives an accurate answer.

Capture leads and follow up

Some visitors to your website just won’t be ready to purchase right away, especially if you’re selling a more expensive, longer-consideration product.  If you sense that your visitor needs more time to consider, focus on collecting their information so you can follow up, rather than pressing for an immediate sale.

Here’s how:

● Collect your visitor’s name and email address during every chat. Most live chat products allow you to ask visitors to complete a short pre-chat survey, but you can also just get in the habit of requesting name and email shortly after a chat begins.

● Integrate your live chat software with a CRM (such as vTiger, Salesforce, or Hubspot).  Send chat transcripts to your CRM through the integration to create new lead files, and work with your CRM manager to automate followup to leads coming in through chat.

Gather insights from live chat transcripts

One of the most powerful benefits of live chat is the ability to analyze past conversations with your website visitors. Make a point of reviewing your chat transcripts once a month to look for:

● Common requests — is there something many visitors are asking for (free shipping, more color options, etc.) that could help you close more sales?
● Positive feedback — what do visitors say they love about your product? Make sure you’re playing up your strengths in your marketing messaging!


When thinking of when and how to use live chat in your business, Olark provides a free trial to set everything up and not miss your next visitor's engagement.

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