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Conversational Commerce: It’s time to chat

Conversational commerce presents a massive opportunity for the future of marketing and sales. Learn all about it and how easy it can be to get started.

The ways consumers shop online and interact with businesses are changing. With the use of smartphones transforming our world, online users want instant answers, and companies need to streamline their operations to tackle the challenge. It stands to reason why there’s been so much talk around conversational commerce.

 

What is conversational commerce?

 

In 2016, Chris Messina described it in an article as follows:

“Conversational commerce (as I see it) largely pertains to utilising chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context.

In principle, Conversational Commerce consists in the notion of facilitating sales with conversations. The concept has existed for as long as humans buy and sell, because trading has forever involved discussion; whether it’s in meetings with salesmen to discuss products, phoning companies to check stock or asking questions in person to assistants in shops.

For the world of ecommerce, communication has been a little different. Emails dominating the digital dialogue for years has meant that the conversation hasn’t exactly been real-time, but this is now quickly shifting.

With the rise of AI, voice assistants and instant messaging tools; real-time conversation has progressively become a core part of the online shopping experience – and live chat is assuming the protagonist role.

Live chat is the epitome of conversational commerce online. Asking questions is innately human; hence, when given the chance, online consumers jump at the opportunity to engage in chat and ask for help before completing a purchase.

The benefit for businesses is clear; engaging with visitors online is equivalent to assisting potential customers coming into a shop for help – a superb resource for closing a sale.

Live chat has the ability to shorten the sales funnel to a single conversation. Without the need for emails going back and forth, time-consuming Internet search, form submissions or other broken means of communication – a visitor who engages in conversation via live chat can immediately be assisted, qualified as a lead and turned into a customer.

When it comes to closing sales, time is of the essence – and with the power of real-time conversations, you can close deals in minutes. That’s the great opportunity. Live chat is allowing businesses to easily capitalise on instant messaging and increase sales, whilst enhancing support online and boosting customer engagement.

Asking questions is innately human; hence, when given the chance, online consumers jump at the opportunity to engage in chat and ask for help. #BusinessMessaging Click To Tweet

Getting on top of the game

 

Conversational commerce is here for the long haul, re-shaping customer interaction for the future. If you’re not giving your visitors and customers the chance to chat with you online, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

Getting started with live chat is easy and it doesn’t have to cost you much. In fact, with Ibby, you can get started for free!

 

Live chat support: 10 tips for best results

Ready to engage with visitors on live chat? Here’s a list of 10 top tips for communicating effectively and make the most of every opportunity.

Live chat gives you a fine chance for engaging with visitors online, answer questions instantly and turn them into customers. But it’s important to know what works well and what doesn’t, so here’s a guide with our top ten recommendations to help you to maximise results!

 

1. Introduce yourself

 

Start the conversation with a friendly greeting and an introduction with your name. Don’t rely on your avatar or information displayed on the chat window to tell visitors who you are – introducing yourself directly is an important step to start establishing rapport with customers.

Sharing your name will also help humanise the interaction and assure your visitor that a real person is ready to take care of the case.

 

2. Keep it human

 

In spite of all the hype around chatbots, several reports on customer service stats show that people still want to talk to a real person, so do your best to power your live chat support with helpful humans.

 

3. Use the right tone

 

The tone that a customer service agent adopts has the ability to express a range of emotions, which presents both opportunities and risks. Remember this, so that you can strike a conversation with the right tone and provide a positive experience for every interaction.

A relatively informal (but always professional) tone will help you to come across as friendly and approachable.

Also, don’t be shy with the use of emojis, people love them!

 

4. Be quick

 

Your response time is crucial in live chat service. The point of using live chat is to keep the conversation real-time. Consumers expect an instant response, so the optimal response time in live chat is circa 10 seconds, and under 1 minute.

Help yourself with canned responses when appropriate to provide a quick response, and stay alert with notifications to stay on top of all conversations.

 

5. Be proactive – make the most of visitor data

 

The best live chat tools are equipped with live website visitor analytics that give you a real-time view of your visitors online: you can see where your visitors come from, what they are browsing, how much time they spend on your website and more.

The trick is in using this data to your advantage, as it allows you to get really close to prospects and proactively engage with them.  Do you see someone spending a lot of time on your pricing page? Chances are they are struggling or have some questions – offer some help! 

Monitor your data to identify prospects online and start a conversation. A data-driven approach can help to improve conversion rates and sales.

 

6. Avoid transfers: chat as a team

 

We’ve all been there – as customers – in the unfortunate event where we get switched from department to department; or asked to send an email or call a number to get the support required. Sadly, this happens in live chat too!

Luckily, with Ibby, you can invite users to a live conversation with a visitor or a customer, to get them the instant help that they need. No need for transfers.

Chatting as a team can not only provide quick assistance, but also delight your visitors with the level of service, as most people don’t expect to talk with more than one person on live chat!

 

7. Keep messages short

 

Keeping your messages short will help you to provide a quicker response. Try to send short messages composed of 1 or 2 sentences; keep them informative and to the point.

 

8. Be patient

 

Sending multiple messages without allowing your visitor the chance to read can give the wrong impression.  Give them a moment to think and get back to you – this will help the dialogue to flow naturally.

 

9. Deliver personalised service

 

Providing a personalised service is key to customer satisfaction. In fact, a research from Accenture found that 73% of consumers prefer to do business with retailers who use personal data for providing a more personalised experience.

Keeping this in mind, make the most of contextual data that can give you all the customer insights you need to provide tailored support. Start by addressing your customer by name!

Live website analytics also provide helpful insights for a more personalised service.

 

10. Set expectations 

 

Managing expectations is vital for customer satisfaction rates. You can choose to display your typical response time to let your visitors know what to expect.

In addition, you can use the welcome message on your chat window to show your support hours if your company doesn’t operate 24/7; or to inform your visitors of certain things like downtime or if you are short staffed on the day

 

Succeeding with live chat is easier than you think – it all starts with choosing the right software. With Ibby, you’ll be ready to deliver a live chat experience that meets demands and delights your customers. Sign up today and get started for free!

Using the power of conversations to scale customer service

Customer satisfaction has become the new Holy Grail of business. There’s no two ways about it – customer satisfaction drives business growth.

Satisfied customers not only buy from you; they come back and buy some more, they talk to others about you, who then also buy, and so on.

It’s no wonder that so many companies speak about obsession with customer service excellence, but are they really meeting consumers’ demands and expectations? And what is the impact of great customer experience?

To help answer these questions, let’s take a look at some stats;

  • Only 1 in 5 companies deliver good or great customer experience (Forrester research)

  • Customers are willing to pay as much as 4.5 time more for an excellent customer experience (Forrester research)

  • 61% of customers globally switched companies due to poor service in 2017. (Accenture research)

  • 77% of customers would recommend a company to friends after positive customer experience (Temkin Group)

  • 73% of companies with “above average” customer experience maturity perform better financially than their competitors (Temkin Group)

 

The challenge is that today’s customers have high expectations, and not much patience. They now expect companies to know more about them, and they want responsive, personalised support that can help them with problem solving and with making better choices.

On the other hand; many service teams don’t have the tools to engage with customers and support them at a granular, personal level.

Companies have to keep a strong focus on personalisation; and acknowledge that catering for each customer personally is paramount to great customer experience.

 

Meeting customers’ needs with real-time conversations

 

Success today calls for the ability to meet customers’ needs and expectations in real time. An effective solution? Eliminating barriers with real-time conversations.

Real-time conversations can humanise the online customer experience and provide the most personable form of interaction for online consumers.

Did you know that over 70% of customer satisfaction has been reported to have come from live chat? As a low-friction point of contact, live chat is the ideal conversational platform that can make all the difference in delivering truly personalised service.

Unlike putting customers in a queue, raising tickets that can take days to resolve or making them interact with multiple levels of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems – a real-time conversation with a helpful human on live chat can provide immediate assistance. It stands to reason why live chat has won a place as the preferred channel for customer contact.

A significant side benefit of implementing a live chat tool is that it can provide analytics for tracking visitors’ activity on websites in real-time. Capturing real-time data of visitors and customers provides agents with valuable insights and context to achieve new levels of personalisation.

Simply put, good service means good business. Increasing customer satisfaction requires empowering teams with effective tools for communication, data gathering and automation – to enable agents to have real-time conversations with customers to deliver more meaningful, personalised service.

 

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Take Customer Service to the next level with Ibby!

 

We, at Ibby, are working on an innovative message-driven solution for business growth; to enable teams to use the power of real-time messaging to increase sales and scale customer support. We would love for you to have a first-hand experience – Sign up to start chatting and delighting customers!

 

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