One of the big advantages of live chat is that it can send messages triggered by the actions of a website visitor, messages that anticipate the visitor’s next move. This type of messaging is called proactive chat, distinguishing it from reactive chat, which only reaches out to customers when they make an inquiry. It is the most refined form of customer care messaging, analyzing and predicting customer behavior and optimizing site data to improve service and increase conversions. The various actions of the customer that cause a message to be sent are known as triggers.
As around 70% of people who place items on a shopping cart abandon it and leave without buying anything, there is clearly great potential for engaging with hesitating customers and moving them to a sale through proactive support. The trick is to read their thoughts from the pattern of their activity on the site and offer them the solutions they need through triggered messages.
Knowing what chat triggers are effective
There is a wide range of factors that trigger proactive engagement with customers, factors which are not just used in isolation but can also be combined in various ways to maximize conversions and minimize cart abandonment. Proactive live chat software detects various attributes of customer behavior to send the appropriate customer service greeting or chat invitation. These include the customer’s location, the time of year they visit, whether they’re a new or repeat customer, what kind of device they’re using, what site they have been referred from, intention to leave the site without purchasing anything (a good time to suggest help), length of time they’ve spent on the page, and which pages they’ve visited. These all give clues to the customer’s intentions or potential problems, making the most of any opportunity to guide them to a purchase.
For instance, the site that linked to yours is a good indication of what kind of live chat greeting would be most appropriate, and will narrow down the possibilities of what they are seeking on your site. If a person comes from a site about cars, a proactive chat greeting informing them of special offers on automotive goods could be triggered. A previous site visited can also supply demographic clues about the visitor, e.g. a TikTok user might require a different style of chat greeting from someone who followed a link from the New York Times obituaries page.
Whether a person is using a laptop, tablet or smartphone is another clue as to their background and possible intentions. People who consistently use laptops are likely to be older than those using a smartphone, and are more likely to be at home when they’re browsing your site. If the customer is on a mobile device, they can be told they can chat on WhatsApp too, if they choose to switch. People may switch from one device to another in the course of a transaction, sometimes preferring to use
laptops for the payment stage, which is why Omnichannel live chat software is essential to keeping an uninterrupted dialog with your customer.
Site malfunction trigger
To prevent customer dissatisfaction, it’s also important to have chat greetings triggered by any site malfunction that prevents them from doing what they need in order to buy your product. Much revenue is lost by companies who fail to address the problems of error messages and other such temporary defects.. A polite apology and an offer of help will greatly ease the problems caused by these bugs or glitches and prevent loss of customers. Similarly, any unexpected slowdown in service should be made known to the customer as soon as possible. Customer dissatisfaction is greatly reduced when the company is honest and apologetic about any problems.
Pages with complex or potentially confusing content
In general, any page that contains complex, difficult or potentially confusing information needs a website welcome message to reassure people that their difficulties with this material are normal and offer assistance in dealing with it. This type of material can include complex instructions for products or conditions of purchase that customers may not have the time to study in detail. A good greeting will anticipate the most likely questions they will want to ask.
Some proactive live chat greeting examples
A chat greeting needs to be short and precise, serving some specific function, whether it’s giving a website welcome message or offering advice or information. A good chat function will welcome visitors with a range of greetings that match as many problems or scenarios as possible.
First of all, customers need to know what service is available right now. Probably the most important message is to tell them your office hours, when they can talk not just to a chatbot but a live agent if they need one.
- Hi, our offices are closed right now, but our agents are on call 8.00-18.00 to help you every day. Please leave your email address and we’ll get back to you as soon as we’re online.
It is also vital to have a chat greeting to deal with any problems or malfunctions that may arise with the site. An error message or 404 page should trigger a welcome message to apologize for the problem and offer a solution.
- Oops! This page is temporarily out of action. But maybe I can give you the info you need?
Similarly, it’s best to be as upfront as possible about any interruptions to the normal service, and include a website welcome message to explain to customers any delays that may occur.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are slight delays in processing orders. We thank you for your patience in these difficult times.
When a customer visits the Contact Us page it’s an obvious cue for a chat greeting that offers an instant response that will bypass the slower email process.
- Hi, if you have a query, maybe I can help you right now?
Any web page with a high bounce rate needs to have a website welcome message that reduces customer exits. The same applies to any page that contains a lot of information that’s hard to assimilate or digest. It requires a chat greeting that offers to explain or clarify the content to anyone who may be confused or too busy to read it in its entirety.
- Hey, we know these instructions are a bit complicated! Just let us know if there’s anything you have a problem with and we’ll help to make it clearer.
It’s also a good idea to have a chat greeting and thank-you message to let a customer know their purchase has been completed successfully.
- Thanks! Your payment has been successful. You will receive an email with all the information on your order.
Finally, when things get too complex for automated messaging, the transfer to a live agent should be handled without delay.
- I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to this problem. I’ll hand you over to John, he’s right here.
In general, the bigger the repertoire of live chat scripts, the better the system will perform. The more sophisticated the tracking of customer activity becomes, the more the chat invitations will be closely matched to the customer’s exact problem.