E-Retailers Struggle With Live Chat
The availability of live chat is becoming more commonplace, and its benefits, namely improved customer relations and sales, are attractive to most multichannel merchants. But a recent survey revealed most aren’t using the technology effectively. In particular, most e-retailers have it located in the wrong spot on their sites, the survey found.
Commissioned by inQ, an outsourced chat services company that works with e-retailers, and the e-commerce research firm the e-tailing group, the study polled 31 online businesses on how they use live chat as a selling tool on their Web sites. Here are some of the results.
* 88 percent have live chat on customer service pages while only 42 percent offer it on product pages;
* 15 percent of the companies surveyed use proactive chat;
* 39 seconds is the average response time, a low figure, especially when considering half the sites surveyed connect in three seconds or less;
* live chat agents offer alternative or better products too infrequently, with an average rating of 2.7 out of a possible 5; and
* survey respondents received a 2.7 out of a possible 5 on encouraging customers to buy, often losing the opportunity for potential sales.
For more information, go to www.e-tailing.com .