Maximize ROI and Boost Online Conversion Rates with Proactive Chat

July 15, 2013 Jim Iyoob

Proactive Chat enables businesses to provide quality customer engagement experiences, achieve business goals and objectives, and improve customer satisfaction. Traditionally, live chat has been used to provide customer service or technical support to the customers, but Proactive Chat can be used to provide service through engaging high-value customers that show a greater inclination to make purchases if provided with assistance. Even though some businesses are unable to implement Proactive Chat on their website, there are those businesses that can. These businesses are able to do so, after a strong foundation for live chat has been established.

Successfully implementing Proactive Chat Technology can help maximize ROI, improve online conversion rates, increase revenue per order, shorten sales cycle, and reduce abandonment rates.

According to Live Chat Effectiveness – A Survey of Internet Shoppers 2013 report, 64% of Internet Shoppers showed receptiveness to the practice of sending invitations through Proactive Chat.


Figure 17 Source: Live Chat Effectiveness – A Survey of Internet Shoppers 2013 report


Enterprises should to follow several steps of implementation to successfully execute a proactive chat program:


Step 1: Pre-Implementation
Detailed analysis and planning are required before implementing Proactive Chat. Lack of planning can lead to poor performance results, and reduced customer satisfaction. Various aspects like chat volume, chat button placement, customizations/canned message development, and staffing should be considered for analysis and planning.

A company must determine the chat volume they anticipate on a daily basis. Chat button placement on the website should be located on pages that receive high traffic, pages facing high conversions, exit pages, and product pages. In order to make chat buttons and windows attractive to customers, companies must use web-designers to enhance the design.

According to Live Chat Performance Benchmarks: A Statistical Analysis 2012 report, visitors engaging in proactive chats are eight times more likely to buy then regular website visitors.

Step 2: Reactive Chat Implementation
To successfully implement Proactive Chat, companies must ensure that they establish a strong foundation for reactive or live chat. Working with live chat helps agents gain valuable insights and techniques of providing online chat support. This can prove beneficial when advanced to provide customer service through proactive chat.

Step 3: Robust Reporting Mechanism
A comprehensive and robust reporting mechanism needs to be established. This allows the reporting of key performance metrics and operational benchmarks. Reports provide crucial insights into the workings of operations and current state of affairs of the call center. Reporting also helps efficiency, improvement, quality enhancement, and consistent operator performance.

Step 4: Goal Setting
During the goal settings phase, companies should set goals to can be achieved through implementing Proactive Chat. Once they can judge the chat volume, operators become accustomed to live chat, and the reporting mechanism starts working properly. After the following elements have been obtained, you can then set realistic and attainable goals. Examples of goals to be set are: increasing up-sell and cross-sell of products, increasing online conversions, and increasing customer satisfaction metrics. Companies must ensure that they specifically define goals and avoid explaining them in a generic manner.

Step 5: Implementing Proactive Chat Invitation
In this phase, companies must determine where on their website to offer chat invitations. Multiple aspects like landing pages, reference pages, key site pages, and high abandonment rate pages, should be studied in detail to select the right place for Proactive Chat invitations. Invitation messages should be crafted to include specific information as well as have an ample scope to present generic information. Intelligence rules to trigger Proactive Chat invitations should also be set based on total page views, total time on site, and total time on the current invite-target page.
Step 6: Continuous Improvement
Through continuous improvements, companies can optimize their proactive chat program to work in full capacity and deliver superior performance. Businesses have implemented proactive chat programs before estimating chat volume, formulating reporting mechanisms, crafting chat invitation messages and designs, but it is important that these processes receive continuous improvement and optimization. Other variables, like the timing of chat invitations should consistently be worked on to increase chat acceptance rate. As for the placement of Proactive Chat invitation buttons, they should be moved regularly and placed on multiple pages so it ends up in a location that will provide best possible return.

Companies can reap higher ROI, online conversion rates, and customer satisfaction by optimizing web-based customer engagement technology like Proactive Chat.

Source: Live Chat’s New ROI: Return on Invitations report

Jim Iyoob

Jim Iyoob is the Chief Customer Officer for Etech Global Services. Jim has 30 years of experience in inbound, outbound, chat, analytics, AI, and social media. Jim has an impeccable track record of innovation and advanced business intelligence. Based on his level of expertise, Jim has been featured in numerous publications including CIO Review, Contact Center Pipeline, Connections Magazine, and was also listed as one of the ‘Top 20 Influential People to Follow’ on Twitter by “Iwantitnow”. He has co-authored three books on the call center quality monitoring.