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Sales Tips

Online chat for business: best practices

March 25, 2020

an animated chat interface

A decade ago all banks had branches but few had live chats. Now it is just the opposite: live chats became the norm in all client-oriented industries. If your business does not have an online chat yet, it’s time to get one.

4 reasons you need an online chat for your business:


1. Faster responses create more leads
The quicker you get back to a new user scrolling around your website with questions, the more likely he will be your customer and not the competitor’s.

2. Saves the business money
If your customers call in with questions, it will cost more for you to run a call-center than to have support agents on the chat.

3. Lets you respond when no one is there
This is done with automated messages that get sent as replies when users ask common questions.

4. Helps you overcome objections
You can overcome objections with a live chat before the user decides to share it on social media. You have the ability to fix the customer’s problem rapidly preventing negative reviews about your product or service.

people holding chat bubble

Now, let’s dive into some of the best practices for setting up your online chat for business:

Make your chat visible, but not annoying

Have you seen those websites where the chat window pops up and takes up a quarter of the page? You don’t want to be like that. Don’t let the chat window cover a big chunk of your website’s content. It’s best to keep the chat window small or minimized unless the user engages with it. Once the user clicks on it, it is okay to expand the chat, so that the user can type comfortably in the box.

The standard location for online chats is in the bottom right corner. Make sure the option to chat is visible and easily accessible on every page.

Preset automated responses to common questions

Automated responses should not be big chunks of text. Instead, these are short replies with links to sections of your website that have more detailed information on the topic. Make sure to ask the user whether their question got answered. When a user says “no”, direct the conversation to a live support agent. In case there is no one on the line, let the user know when you will get back to them with a more detailed reply.

Type conversationally

Smiley faces, short sentences and informal greeting messages are all allowed. However, avoid using internet slang and abbreviations. Keep in mind your customers might come from all age groups and different linguistic backgrounds. Not everyone will quickly grasp what “jk”, “brb” or “ama” stand for.

Break long paragraphs into multiple messages. The big concept to grasp and implement in your online chat for business is sounding like a human. The user should have a seamless conversation on your chat.

paper-crafts-of-chat-bubble

Respond fast & appropriately

An online chat is not a form and not an email. Customers expect rapid responses. As mentioned before, prepare automated responses to common questions. As for more complex questions, set up time standards for replies and work with your support team to ensure they are met.

If your support team is not there or if the customer’s question requires extra investigation time, make sure you let the user know when he or she can expect to get a response. Users hate it when they don’t know how long they have to wait for.

At last, don’t call the user before they are ready to speak to you. Trying to move someone from a chat to a call requires additional effort and commitment from the user. Nowadays, many hesitate when it comes to phone conversations and prefer chatting instead. Calling the user too early might turn the potential customer away. Instead of guessing when the user is ready to speak to you, embrace your online chat and make efforts to build a relationship on it.

Integrate online chat with your CRM

Your online chat for business can provide tons of insights on your customer’s needs, preferences and concerns. Your product and marketing teams will probably find these insights helpful. Ideally, you want to group data into big categories:

  • The products or services your users are inquiring about in: these can help you identify what your users are interested in and compare it to the products they actually purchase. Perhaps, your most wanted products are not readily available for them.
  • Users’ website experience: if you see trends in the inquiries that can suggest necessary website changes, make use of the information.
  • Issues, objections and concerns: an online chat for business can be a place where your most honest feedback gets gathered.
  • Users’ needs: while you know your users are buying certain products, knowing how they utilize them can help you develop better products that respond directly to your customers’ needs.

amoCRM enables you to chat with your potential customers via messengers right in the CRM!
Try it free for 14 days

While you know your users are buying certain products, knowing how they utilize them can help you develop better products that respond directly to your customers’ needs.

With these best practices implemented, an online chat can become your big business friend and your customers’ relief.

Vlad Alexeyenko

Writer @ amoCRM

Business and Data Analyst at the junction of transportation & technology.