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Live chat effectiveness survey

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday August 22, 2009 )

Does live chat help encourage online sales? Judging by the results of various surveys, indeed it does.

Emarketer has posted some interesting results from a number of surveys carried out over the last year.

One study found that online shoppers who used live chat were more likely to make online purchases at least once a week (40%) than buyers who had never chatted (22%).

63% of respondents to another survey who had used Live Chat features said they were more likely to return to the site, and 62% said they were more likely to purchase from the site in future. 38% of survey respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself.

The biggest challenges facing live chat in my opinion are not so much related to the technology, but to those staffing the applications. Probably more accurate would be the failing of online merchants to pick suitable live chat operators.

I’ve often come across operators who can’t type, can’t spell, generally have troubles communicating via the medium, are forced to engage in multiple chat sessions concurrently, or it becomes abundantly apparent that English is not their first language. Site owners using live chat really need to keep a close eye on conversations between staff and customers – and good live chat services provide offer archiving and monitoring features.

Another strategy employed by some merchants which is a real turn-off is where you’re assaulted practically as soon as you land on the site. Not everyone likes being accosted by sales people as soon as they walk in the door of a bricks and mortar store and the same applies to the online world.

If you’re using live chat in your online store already, you might find my guide to live chat etiquette of value. If you’re considering implementing one of these applications, check out my guide to live chat.


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