Bridging the Cross-Channel Gap With Live Chat
Congrats online retailers, you're having the best and busiest holiday shopping season ever. Ever. It starts on Cyber Monday and doesn't let up until December is over. And consumers aren't just buying, they're coming to you for answers, too.
Companies like Bonobos were ready for the rush. In the waning hours of Cyber Monday, Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn tweeted, "Cyber Monday absolutely cranking this year @bonobos Story of this year is how big chat is." Sure enough, a Bonobos customer followed up Dunn's tweet an hour later: "@dunn - A very happy Cyber Monday customer checking in. Yes, the clothes are great, but your Ninjas stole the show tonight." Bonobos calls its customer service representatives who handle chat operations ninjas.
That blows me away. On the busiest online shopping day of the year, it wasn't the deals or the ads that were the focal point, it was live chat. So why chat? Why now?
The changing expectations of online shoppers have a lot to do with it. Ryan Vesler, co-founder of Homage, an omnichannel retailer of vintage T-shirts, suggests, "Today's online shopper craves instant gratification. A brand that is able to provide quick and easy solutions to customer questions via tools like social media and live chat is delivering on what is expected in today's e-commerce world."
Successful online retailers use chat to meet those expectations instead of trying to deflect shoppers to phone or email support. Those retailers understand that every online conversation is a potential sale, and we've found that they get results — up to a 48 percent increase in cart size and three times better retention.
Assume every chat is a potential sale and you'll understand that, unlike phone or email, the magic of chat is answering customers immediately. Even a quick "Hello" to begin the conversation can keep a customer engaged and interested in buying, especially if you treat your online customers with the same care you show in your brick-and-mortar locations. And through chat, your operators can handle multiple conversations, making your team even more effective and increasing the likelihood of a sale.