5 Important Things to Know before Adding Live Chat to Your Website

Many online businesses today are suffering from conversion problem. Visitors keep coming to the sites, going over several pages, but finally click away without actually making any deal, leaving the business a record of huge traffic and zero sales. Wondering why? Here’s an answer: your visitors have questions to ask but don’t know how!


This is quite a true answer that has been accepted by a lot of e-commerce companies, and pretty much the reason why the ‘live chat boxes’ have begun to pop-up on those sites all over a night. But does that mean you have to add a piece of live chat software on your site today? Hold on, you may still need a second thought. Below are 5 things that you need to know before officially joining the live chat world.

1. Will Your Customers Be Comfortable with a Live Chat Box?

It is said that ‘there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes’, maybe not one hundred percent accurate but still clear enough to show the situation here: you don’t know if all of your visitors will like a live chat box, and you’ll  just never know.

Live chat can be a great portal to reach to you for a shopper who’s looking for a red T-shirt with size L; also good for one who’s looking for the latest series of Samsung Galaxy, or just someone who’s looking for a new kennel for his grow-up Golden Retriever. In all those cases, it may just take a right recommendation from live chat operator A to turn those visitors into happy customers. However, when it comes to a Manager who’s evaluating a new ERP System, what he’s expecting more may be a representative with the exact name, tel. and email address.

So first thing to figure out before giving a ‘yes’ to your live chat provider: will your customers be comfortable with your live chat box?

2. Are Your Employees Ready for Live Chat?

One of the greatest benefits of live chat is that it provides real-time communication, which enables your employees to reply to your customers a lot more efficient than the usual way – email. However, just as another old saying suggests that ‘every coin has two sides’, when you know that your employees are able to provide faster responses, your customers know too. This can be a good thing, but what makes it not so good is that in most cases, your customers will start to expect an even ‘faster’ response than the already improved one. When they open a live chat window and sit there staring at the screen, it’s no longer the usual “within 1 business day” or “within 12 hours” that they’ll be satisfied with, instead, a lot of them may start complaining after waiting for 2 minutes.

So if you don’t want to ‘see’ queuing customers screaming all over your live chat monitor side, be sure that you have enough employees who are ready to serve the group.

3. What Features are You Looking for in Your Live Chat Module?

Thanks to modern technology, the live chat industry is now developing everyday with more and more features coming on board. Some of the most notable ones are:

  • The ability to chat with visitors in real time;
  • Track your visitors’ location by monitoring IP addresses;
  • Collect more data from your potential clients;
  • Monitor multiple websites through a single login;
  • Chat with other operators securely;
  • Configure online invites for your visitors to join the live chat;
  • See just how many pending chats there are at one time with real time chat queues.

However, the simple fact that those features are created doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need all of them on your site, especially when most of them may be charged with an extra fee.  Over- investing with some premium function that you’ll just never use can be a loss. So here’s the third thing on mind: be sure what exactly you have on your list for your live chat.

4. Have You Studied the ROI?

Yes, the big question of Return-on-Investment (ROI). Every penny you spend should get you something back. This is what business is about. The original and ultimate purpose of adding live chat to your e-commerce site is to increase your profit. Attention here: profit, not sales or income alone, which means while considering how much your sales can be improved with this little module, you also need to pay close attention to how much you are spending on it.

The cost for running a live chat box is usually consists of two parts: fee for the software and fee for the human operator(s). Whether developing a live chat program by yourself or turning your needs to a software provider, there will always be a certain amount of cost. As mentioned above, there’re numerous features in today’s market that are waiting to burn your pocket. So in order to be a wise consumer, be sure you know the ones you pay for are actually going to earn back for you. Compared with the software fee, the budget for the live chat operator(s) is something even more complex. Though it is a known fact that an operator is able to handle several visitors simultaneously, it is still hard to tell how many exactly that ‘several’ is. Different operators can present very different results, which will then make a big deference on your budget.

5. Can Live Chat be integrated with Your Existing Customer Communication System?

For most (if not all) of you who’re currently in the online business world, live chat is not the only channel for your customers to communicate with you. You may have other portals like email support, Q&A pages, call center, forum, etc., which have been used for years and become quite familiar to your customers. In these cases, you’ll have one more thing to think over before opening up a new channel as live chat. That is, how to integrate it with your existing communication system.

Let’s say you have a robust Q&A database that has served customers well on a self-service basis, and now you’re offering live chat option on your homepage. It is very likely that a certain quantity of your customers who would have found answers by themselves on your Q&A page is now flooding into your homepage to queue for a chat. This is definitely not what you’d like. So here’s the thing to remember: don’t let your live chat weaken your other communication portals! Instead, try to find a way to integrate them, for example, in this case, a kind reminding with a link to your Q&A page as part of your pre-chat window would be helpful.

Generally speaking, live chat is a good fix to your conversion problem and a good way to boost your sales. And as technology progresses, we are seeing more and more businesses start to choose improved versions of live chat applets and modules to enhance their websites. Therefore, if you want to keep up with the modern business world and get your customers stay tighter to you, the best option would be to act fast, and check out if live chat is ‘the one’ for your site.

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