March 20, 2021
Business Growth
6 min read

Should You Use Proactive Chat?

Reasons to pop up on your visitor's screen.

Ben Bitvinskas
Co-founder, Atlasmic
In the world of e-commerce, you have a short amount of time to turn regular website visitors into paying customers. How do you do that? Well, there are many ways, but one of the more common ones used by e-shops and SaaS businesses around the globe is proactive chat. It's when the chat window pops up on the visitor's screen, offering to help out. But with so many businesses choosing to do it nowadays, maybe it could be best to go in a different direction and avoid proactive communication? Let's look at the available metrics and find out what's what!

Be helpful, not annoying

There are general rules of good customer service. We all know those. But when it comes to proactive communication, some businesses tend to over-do things. Even though they have decent click rates, pop-ups are annoying for web visitors. It's recommended to limit them to no more than once per session.
It's statistically proven that the 2nd pop-up (which could be either your proactive chat window or a CTA pop-up) significantly reduces customer interest. It's sort of the unwritten rule, where one pop-up is cool, while more than one seems to put people off and think that your brand is trying to force things.

Know your stats

Depending on your niche, proactive chat might be more or less efficient. If you look at the chart below, you'll see what we mean.
So, for example, if you're offering Educational, Healthcare, or Travel services, proactive chat won't do you as much good as if it would to someone in Consumer service, Recreation, Technology. Atlasmic team wouldn't recommend using proactive chat with less than a 3.5% acceptance rate. Otherwise, you're risking discouraging potential customers. You might be working in a niche that just doesn't require encouragement or where encouragement to help out seems fake.
We would like to expand a bit with regards to the eCommerce acceptance rate of proactive chat. As seen in the chart, eCommerce customers showed an acceptance rate of 3.8% towards proactive communication. It can vary greatly, depending on the exact type of product or service you're selling. It's advisable to set up the proactive chat feature given the fact that the acceptance rate for eCommerce is still higher than the minimum mark, below which, we don't recommend adding this feature.
Other data, like bounce rate, is also super-important.

Explore the avenue of target-only proactive chatting

Face it, not everyone who visits your site will turn into a customer. Spend all the money you want, create the most dope ads or write the most engaging copy, but there are just general limitations to what you can do.
So, instead, try to focus on areas where you can definitely improve things. By learning and monitoring your website metrics, you can better understand your clientele and web visitors' needs. The infographic below shows why most of your visitors will likely abandon their shopping carts. You can use this information to try and create custom chats for customers who have a high-value basket, for example. The trick is, you have to utilize real-time data in order to make this work. It does require effort, but it also brings noticeable results.
By using proactive chat, you can intuitively suggest, upsell or help the customer pick out between alternative goods.
If you can appropriately target customers, you will be able to reduce the cart abandonment rate and even bump sales conversion up by 30-40%. That's genuinely impressive, considering you don't have to change anything other than implementing adaptable, proactive chat options for different visitors.

Can you target audiences?

This is the question that you have to answer before deciding about live chat use. So, we have to make one or two steps back and consider whether your business can monitor and track data related to your website visitors' demographics and behaviour. It's not as efficient if you use the proactive chat for every visitor that comes through your website. Instead, direct your effort into personalized and quality messages delivered at the exact right time. This will bring much better results. The data relating to demographics can be hard to obtain (unless they register and put it involuntarily). Behaviour stats, on the other hand, are quite easy to track and make use of.
Here's a list of metrics and information that you can use as triggers to prompt proactive chat windows:
  • Session length
    – it's the time that your visitor has spent on your site. Make sure that the pop-up chat window appears after a particular amount of time has passed.
  • URL opening
    – if a visitor comes from a particular link or visits a particular link, you can personalize the chat window to trigger once that URL is opened. Promote exclusive deals, give discounts, offer help, etc. This is usually linked with the opening of the most popular URLs.
  • Location
    – tailor messages to suit audiences and visitors from particular locations.
  • Device-based –
    it is possible to prompt the message only to mobile visitors, desktop visitors, etc.
  • Depending on your working time
    – if your customer support service doesn't work 24/7, turn off proactive prompts during inactive hours.
You can also find many more data points to use, but we gave you a few, which are probably some of the easiest to implement.

Do you know what to say?

There's a good saying – do it well, or don't do it at all. The same applies to proactive communication with customers.
Choose your approach. It should depend on your brand language and marketing strategy, but it's generally recommended to write in a grammatically correct manner, without too many informal expressions. Don't put more than 1 or 2 emojis, and even so, they're a risky bet.
The standard things to say include:
  • Hi, Welcome to .... How may I help you?
  • Hi, my name is .... Can I assist you?
  • Hi, please feel free to ask me any questions about ....
If you have some extra information about the client, make use of it!

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