We work with customers on a daily basis to help them make the most of their live chat technology. Over time, we see patterns among our most successful customers. The survey findings have reinforced what we experience with our customers and we're now sharing these best practices so that other retailers can reap the benefits, as well.
Wichita, KS (PRWEB) April 2, 2009
After conducting the industry's most comprehensive survey on the effectiveness of live chat technology, Bravestorm, makers of BoldChat, today announced a set of best practices for e-tailers to help enhance live chat effectiveness.
In a recent survey of more than 250 online shoppers, BoldChat was able to confirm a direct correlation between the availability of live chat and a growth in sales for online retailers. A key conclusion of the research was that e-retailers who are currently using live chat technology on their websites can improve results by implementing one or more customer-driven best practices including:
- Make chat available on every page
- Pay close attention to pages with high-value items
- Make offers in combination with proactive chat invitations
- Publish wait times for each communication mechanism
- Remind callers who have phoned #800 numbers that live chat is available as well
- Publish testimonials from live chat users
"We weren't surprised to see some of these best practices emerging from the research, but it is great confirmation from the shopper's perspective," said Bravestorm President and CEO Steve Castro-Miller. "We work with customers on a daily basis to help them make the most of their live chat technology. Over time, we see patterns among our most successful customers. The survey findings have reinforced what we experience with our customers and we're now sharing these best practices so that other retailers can reap the benefits, as well."
One best practice -- paying close attention to pages with high-value items -- is used successfully by FansEdge.com. With March Madness in the final stages, FansEdge.com pays particular attention to pages with higher ticket items and makes sure live chat is available there. Kevin Bates, president of e-Commerce & Retail Divisions for Dreams, Inc., commented on their use of BoldChat. "This was clearly a win-win solution as we provided an improved customer experience, and, at the same time, increased our conversion rate. Making a purchase is often a spur of the moment decision, and if that moment is lost, so is the sale."
Using proactive chat invitations is a strategy that pays off for The Source by Circuit City. "The acceptance rate on our proactive chat invitations is around 20%, which is remarkably high," said Greg Coles, eCommerce Sales and Operations Manager. "We've been using BoldChat for some time now and have found that when we invite people to chat on the right page or sets of pages, our acceptance rate increases significantly."
Another best practice is making live chat available on every page, something that Appliance Zone, the fourth largest online retailer of appliance parts in the U.S. does. "Live chat is the primary means we use to communicate with our shoppers and you'll find it all over our site," says Jim Allen, CEO of ApplianceZone.com. "In fact, we recently took down our 800# and stopped taking calls altogether. Because chat is a more efficient way to help customers, the strategy saves us money which we pass on in the form of lower prices."
At SalesNexus, publishing wait times for each communication mechanism on the website is a best practice they embrace. "We've been using BoldChat for a few years now, and started seeing unbelievable numbers shortly after implementation. We were dropping average response times and customer resolution times significantly. For instance, our response rate was 45 minutes before BoldChat, and 30 seconds afterwards," said Craig Klein, CEO of SalesNexus. "The data was so great that we starting using it as a marketing tool, publishing the details every month on the service section of our website."
About Bravestorm and BoldChat:
Bravestorm, makers of BoldChat, offers live communication software, including live chat, click to call and email management tools which enable businesses to take control over customer interactions and drive sales for businesses conducting sales and support online. Bravestorm's suite of offerings is designed with a flexible breadth of capabilities that allow clients to customize and manipulate the software to meet their specific needs. The company is headquartered in Wichita, KS, with customers around the world. For more information about BoldChat, please visit boldchat.com or call 1-866-753-9933.