Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Guest Blog: How Live Chat Can Improve Conversion Rate For Your Business

This week we feature an article by David Olson who shares tips on how to use live chat software correctly. – Shep Hyken

The modern marketplace offers many different ways to make your business and employees more productive. From automation to artificial intelligence, now is an exciting time to explore all the possibilities. One of the most promising methods for improving your conversion rates is through live chat software.

If you have already invested in live chat software, are you maximizing your ROI? Live chat is a powerful tool that can help you reach your customer in a myriad of different ways. But like any good tool, live chat is useless unless employed correctly.

Here are a few tips on how to get the most for your money and improve conversion rates for your business using your help desk software.

Be Selective in Who You Target

Just like you wouldn’t waste your time spending money and sending direct mail messages to people who aren’t interested in your product, why would you be chatting with people who aren’t in your target demo if you have a high traffic site?

Rather than stretching your support staff thin trying to contact every single site user, you may want to segment your audience prior to accessing them. By being savvy about who are the most likely to eventually become conversions, you can ensure that your time is well spent walking them through the buying process and being there for them if they have any questions along the way.

Ease of Use

You need to make the live chat features on your website easy to find and use for even the least tech-savvy users. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than dealing with a piece of technology that is hard to find and even harder to use. We’ve all been there. Make things easy. Hold your customer’s hand a little.

And once they do connect with a customer, agents should be able to figure out the customer’s problems quickly and troubleshoot them with ease. If a customer sees his or her problems being solved in an efficient way, they’re more likely to come back. And repeat customers means repeat sales, which is success you can take to the bank.

Fine Tune Your Approach

It’s important not only to reach out, but to be conscious of when and how you are reaching out too. Are you stampeding on your customer’s experience by reaching out to him or her the second they access your website? Are you waiting too long?

You can use your trusty analytics reports to see which is most effective. Fine-tune your approach to live chat. Like many things in the world of online marketing, live chat can be an incredibly powerful tool indeed, but only if and when it’s done right.

Manage Basket Abandonment

Did you know that e-commerce customers have been shown to abandon their online shopping carts more often than they actually make a purchase?

As a small business owner, you may be confident in your website design and your customer’s experience, but don’t be overly confident and risk losing sales.

Use live chat to connect with customers and mitigate these basket abandonment issues shortly after they occur. Engage with customers early and engage often. Let customers know you are there to solve and issues they may have with the purchase process. This strategy can help recover lost sales and boost your bottom line almost immediately.

Be Proactive

Especially or pages with high bounce rates where customers seem to be leaving in droves, use proactive chat to make a window appear and address any concerns before they leave the page.

In the best case scenario, you may end up closing a sale, but if that doesn’t work out, you may be able to glean some powerful information on why the customer experience isn’t working for that particular corner of your site.

Max Out Your Chats

Remember that the world of live chat is a game of numbers. Statistically speaking, the more chats you have going and initiated, the better chance you have of closing a sale. Remember this when you’re training your customer service staff (or if that staff includes you yourself).

Live chat can increase the productivity of your business by 4 to 5 times as much, so make sure you’re fully taking advantage of this efficiency by using live chat to the best of your ability.


Use custom settings to give your chat bubble, window and icons your site’s own unique flair. This could potentially attract more customers to respond to your chats and in turn, could provoke more sales.

In the world of online retail, you need to take every possible advantage to get ahead, and creating a live chat experience that is unique and accessible to your customer through these types of customizations are one way to potentially do just that.

Track Analytics

This is a must anytime you’re using software to reach out and connect with your customer base. You simply must be using analytics and data reports to monitor your successes and failures and the evolve your course.

If you’re resistant to this sort of measurement, think for a second about your competition. Do you think they’re resistant to using analytics with their live chat software to track progress? Of course not, they’ll be taking every possible advantage they can get, and you should too.

If your live chat software provider doesn’t offer analytics, there are always workarounds that can be done with Google Analytics. Do your homework and make sure this is an integral part of your game plan.

David Olson is a writer and content strategist who works with live chat systems and customer services. He specializes in the latest developments in technology and how they help companies communicate with evolving consumer bases worldwide.

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Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Disrupt Your Competition: Lessons From Uber, Amazon, Walmart And Carvana (Who Is Carvana?)


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