3 ways to improve live chat conversion rates

Live chat conversion rates are dependent on a number of factors, and there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re converting more website visitors into leads.

Live chat can help your business capture up to 40% more leads from your website. But to achieve that kind of conversion rate improvement, it’s important to take steps to optimize your website live chat. If your business is neglecting this engagement channel it may not meet its full potential. However, it doesn’t take too much time or capital investment to ensure your live chat operation is meeting expectations. With just a few simple steps and policies you can make sure your website’s live chat is converting more website visitors into leads.

Asking the right question at the right time

How quickly do your business representatives ask website visitors for their contact information? Website visitors might leave a chat for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with your business. After all, messaging is an on-the-go communication channel. That’s typically a huge advantage. However, at times distractions can derail a positive conversation. Business representatives should request contact information early in the conversation.

Seeking contact information is something you should be sure to work into your representatives’ scripts. Business information can come later in the script – it isn’t as important as first capturing contact information. That way, you can add the individual to your CRM and reach out later on.

Keeping first-reply times around 30 seconds or less will help you improve your conversion rate.
Keeping first-reply times around 30 seconds or less will help you improve your conversion rate.

Replying in 30 seconds

Your website visitors may consider your customer service unsatisfactory if chat agents take too long to respond.  Zendesk noted its average first reply time is 1 minute and 36 seconds.  However, that may not be fast enough. Live Chat Inc. pegged the industry standard around 1 minute. But even that may be too slow. If your business representatives aren’t responding in less-than-60 seconds, you’re probably missing out on valuable leads. Your business’ target first-reply time should be around 30 seconds.

If website visitors are forced to wait even a few minutes for an answer, they may come away with the idea that your business doesn’t care enough. A quick response is the ideal first impression for your business. It shows visitors that you’re excited to begin building relationships with them.

Keeping response times below one minute can be difficult. Especially if your employees are taking chats. They probably have responsibilities outside of handling inbound chats. Ultimately, that leads to a lose-lose situation: Either your employees are distracted from their core responsibilities or they’re frequently late to respond to inbound chats. There’s no need to choose the lesser of two evils in this situation. There’s another option – find a fully managed third party chat provider. That way your employees can focus on their jobs, while you can keep your chat response times here they should be: 30 seconds.

Branding your website chat

Website design is extremely important. Visitors are likely to leave a website quickly if they’re not engaged by its appearance. An ugly and out-of-place chat invitation is exactly the kind of thing you should avoid. However, an invitation – as well as a chat window – that is customized to match your brand will enhance your website design. A branded invitation can also make your company seem larger by deemphasizing your third-party provider’s presence.

A website that doesn’t look good just leaves a bad taste in visitors’ mouths. And it’s a bad look for your business. A chat invitation that doesn’t tie into your business’ branding can look unprofessional and leave a bad impression on visitors. Make sure your chat provider allows you to customize invitations and windows to match your brand identity.

Improving website live chat conversion rates isn’t difficult. By enacting best practices such as faster replies your business can capture more leads from your website. After you’ve optimized your conversion rate the next step will be to increase traffic to your website to capture even more leads.