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What is Proactive Chat?

November 30, 2011 Jim Iyoob

Businesses can provide a quality customer engagement experience through proactive chat. Proactive chat involves initiating automated chat invitations to potential customers based on specific pre-defined rules or website visitor behavior metrics. Proactive chat invitations based upon advanced chat intelligence rules can efficiently target the customers, leading to higher customer satisfaction and attaining business goals. Proactive chat invitations can also be initiated by live chat agents while monitoring the live website traffic, better targeting specific customers that show a higher propensity to make a purchase after being assisted. According to a North American Technographics Customer Experience Online Survey conducted in 2009 (Q4), 44% of the U.S. online consumers saw online assistance by a live person during online shopping as an important feature on a website. Apart from its use in providing quality customer service, proactive chat helps to improve conversion rates, shorten the sales cycle, increase revenue per order, and lessen shopping cart abandonment rates.

Provides Instant Live Help

Businesses maintaining an online presence constantly face issues such as shopping cart abandonment, application abandonment, high bounce rates, etc. from website visitors. Moreover, a North American Technographics Customer Experience Online Survey conducted in 2009 (Q4) found that 57 % of U.S. online buyers are likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find an answer to their queries. Inefficient targeting of these customers will result in fewer online sales and revenue earnings. Businesses can lose much of their customer base, to their competitors gain. Providing instant live help during the shopping process will cast a positive impression on consumers’ minds as help is offered to solve their queries. Live assistance through proactive chat has even been found to be immensely beneficial for consumers in the middle of online shopping, resulting in higher conversion rates.

Higher Revenue Earnings

Businesses can witness higher online sales and revenue earnings by providing instant live chat at the right time. Proactive chat improves overall customer satisfaction, resulting in higher average order value and higher conversion rates, combating the incidence of shopping cart abandonment. High shopping cart abandonment rates continue to affect online sales for businesses. According to Forrester Research, the number of website visitors abandoning the shopping cart at the payment stage stands at 88%. Each abandoned shopping cart amounts to revenue leakage. Proactive chat can alleviate the queries of the customers in real-time on a variety of issues regarding purchase, shipping, pricing, and more — all prominent factors in shopping cart abandonment.

Proactive chat also leads to cost reduction for businesses by lowering the number of phone calls made from the website. Better customer engagement will lead to satisfied customers, decreasing the number of phone calls made. Thus, businesses can experience a reduced cost-per-contact as calls from customers are reduced. Using proactive chat, businesses can provide high quality customer service to high-value customers, as well as promote product sales.

In order to establish a successful proactive chat system, businesses need to focus on staffing talented professionals that have the right skills to provide excellent customer service, and formulating chat intelligence rules that match up to the chat goals.