8 Best Practices for a Successful Sales Chat Strategy

SnagEngage Chat Strategy

Sales chat technology has the potential to increase conversions and help you scale your brand. Adapting a sales chat strategy to your brand will result in a growing customer base – if you capitalize on what chat can do for you. 

Beyond training the right sales agents, laying down sales objectives, and adopting a chat workflow, you’ll get the most benefit when you take advantage of live chat features and customize them to your brand’s needs.

A successful sales chat strategy is well thought out and develops over time. If you’re wondering whether your sales strategy currently takes full advantage of its live chat component, start by asking yourself the following questions.


#1 – Are you using live chat on all possible channels?

Multi-channel marketing is about consumer choice. Make it easy for customers to choose the channel they want to use no matter where they are in the customer funnel.

Your goal is to create a consistent brand story with a live chat option across as many channels as possible. Make yourself more accessible with an omnichannel reach and you’ll increase touchpoints.

It can take several touchpoints for a visitor to reach out directly for more information — Sales conversions can happen over time and over a variety of channels. 

The more accessible your brand is, the more often customers will be able to reach you. Not only do you get a convenience bonus for this, but you also have more access to all interested visitors at all points of the sales journey. In short, more opportunities for conversion.

Every touchpoint is an opportunity to display your brand in its best light. An omnichannel solution can move a customer more quickly through sales funnels from first contact to conversion, upsells, and cross-sells.


#2 Is your proactive chat stalking your site visitors?

Remember that consumers have different purchasing behaviors — in person and online.

A poorly configured proactive chat has been compared to that annoying sales rep who follows you around the store, asking you if you’re “finding what you’re looking for.” 

Some shoppers may need more hand-holding while others prefer to be left alone to browse without obtrusive interruptions from sales reps — or chat pop-ups.

Brands need to be careful not to overuse proactive chat invitations as they can be off-putting. The timing and placement of proactive messaging should be a well thought out part of your proactive chat strategy

For example, triggering a proactive chat the second a visitor hits your page can hurt you in two ways:  it can turn the visitor off, and it can rob you of the chance to analyze a user’s behavior. 


Run tests to set triggers

Look to set rules-based triggers that engage visitors at the most auspicious time by gathering leading indicators from each visitor first. 

For instance, you can analyze their interest or intent by observing their surfing behaviors before reaching out to them. Over time, you’ll be able to automate different triggers based on this type of data to optimize chat experiences and sales agents’ time.

Run tests with chat and fine-tune the timing of your proactive triggers to generate higher engagement rates. Try setting up different proactive triggers on different pages and play with different prompt times. 

You can use proactive chat analytics to measure success rates and see what works best with your site. 


#3 — Are you extending brand recognition to your sales chat strategy?

All businesses know that brand awareness increases loyalty. A huge piece of the brand loyalty puzzle is, predictably, trust. 

Users today are bombarded with pop-ups everywhere they surf — from ads to cookie acceptance notices. You want your chat box to seamlessly flow from your brand so that it’s easily recognizable. 

To extend brand recognition to your chat strategy, note these two pointers: 

  1. Your live chatbox design should match your brand’s theme.
  2. Your live chat script copy should carry the tone and personality of your brand.

Brand recognition is especially critical in the early stage of sales development. New visitors to your site should be able to recognize you in your chatbox. 

Use your live chat design studio to customize color themes, images, and backgrounds so that your brand is easily recognized.

With the same care that you tailor tone to your brand’s personality in web copy, blog posts, and across emails, don’t skip on the copy for your proactive chat and live chat scripts as well. 

Your chat channel should be an organic extension of your brand in both aesthetics and feeling to raise visitor engagement. 


#4 — Should you be using a pre-chat form — or not?

Take a deep dive into your business needs before using pre-chat forms. They have their pros and cons. What may be a boon to one brand could be a barrier to another.

Pre-chat forms are for collecting data. A typical pre-chat form might be a name and address field in the chatbox that the visitor fills out before chatting. Or it can be customized to ask whatever you want. As such, it can also be a barrier to chat engagement.

You need to decide what is more important depending on your business needs — collecting data or removing barriers to engagement. 

If you are experiencing more chat requests than your sales agents can handle, a pre-chat form may work very well. And when live chat is integrated with your CRM, you can capture a lot of relevant data and pre-qualify leads at the same time, depending on how you customize your form.

On the other hand, younger businesses just beginning to build brand awareness might want fewer barriers to engaging with early adopters. They could decide to engage with visitors first and then offer a post-chat form to ask questions and gather data about their experience.

Deciding whether or not to use a pre-chat form also depends on your brand’s personality and your industry. 

If you bill yourself as a straightforward and friendly brand, a pre-chat form may run against the grain for your customers. But chat users on a health organization’s site may have no issues with a pre-chat form as they already expect to be asked for information.

If you’re worried about your visitors getting cold feet when they see required fields, ditch the pre-chat form and train sales chat agents to organically gather additional information during chat conversations.


#5 – Are you integrating live chat with your sales CRM? 

Sales teams rely heavily on CRM tools as they allow them to stay on top of lead generation, development, and conversations.  Your CRM records all the interactions your company has with customers and prospects from various channels.

Integrating chat with your CRM gives you free insight into your customers and allows your sales teams to stay on top of current conversations and negotiations. CRM and chat integration can keep track of customer intent by observing which actions actually drive sales. 

Data pulled in from live chat can include customers’ demographics, product interests, buying history, and any issues they have. This data can be added as tags allowing you to follow up in a personalized manner automatically.

Integrating CRM with chat syncs up customer names, emails, and personal preferences, and identifies where customers are in the sales funnel. Your sales chat agents can easily pick up where they left off.  

Seamless dialogue, regardless of platform or agent,  creates a holistic, ongoing conversation between your customers and your brand.


#6 — Are you using analytics and measuring the right stuff?

Simply put, live chat analytics is a tool that allows you to observe how your customers move through your website to make a purchase.

Track chat ROI and solve data challenges with advanced analytics in the Labels Report. Categorize conversations to perform detailed analysis and increase CSAT (customer satisfaction scores).

Chat can pull in customer details, such as location, keywords in a customer’s inquiry, and preferences that you can use to improve chat deployment.

But chat analytics can also measure agent productivity ratings, customer average wait time, customer satisfaction, bounce rate, shopping cart abandonment rate, sales conversion rate, and many other metrics. 

You can even integrate Google Analytics with chat and your CRM to track live chat events and measure engagement and performance statistics.

For instance, you can drill down on what pages your site visitors hang out on the longest and what pages have the largest bounce rate. This data could help you develop a sales chat strategy designed to guide visitors to more useful content that resonates with what they are looking for.


What are you measuring?

With all of this data available, knowing where to focus is half the battle. You need to set benchmarks to determine what is working for your brand and what needs improvement. 

If you’re just getting started with analytics, choose a few metrics that are most important to your organization, and measure them consistently.

To get ideas for what metrics to measure, ask yourself the right questions when you look at your KPIs. 

For example, instead of asking, “how much did our conversion rate increase last quarter?” a better question might be, “what pushed the increase in our conversion rate last quarter?” 

Analytics and data are only as useful as you make them. Take the time to get to know your analytics integrations and learn how to let them help your brand.

In truth, if you don’t know where you are now — and where you want to get to — you won’t be able to determine whether your sales chat strategy is successful.


#7 – Are you reviewing your chat logs for common questions?

Reviewing chat logs can allow you to audit your sales chat conversations to find room for improvement. You can find out what was said and who ended the chat. And you can formulate the best responses for live sales chat agents to use quickly at their fingertips.

Chat logs also give you valuable insight into your visitors’ most common questions and pain points. 

Analyze chat logs to unearth the most common questions your site visitors have. Then you can free up sales agents’ time by easily resolving the most common questions using an Answer bot.   

Chat logs can help you decide what information to include in simple forms. Pre-chat forms can be built right into chat, which makes it easy for sales agents to gather basic information and qualify a lead. 

Regularly audit chat logs to move towards a more efficient sales chat strategy.


#8 – Are you targeting pages?

You can customize proactive chat and chatbots according to the activity on each website page. 

For example, if analytics is telling you that visitors are bouncing quickly from your product page to your pricing page, it’s giving you information you can use to customize chats on both of these pages. 

On the product page, you might decide to trigger a Guide Bot that asks whether the visitor has any questions about pricing. Guide Bots can qualify sales leads by asking key qualification questions. Depending on your visitor’s answer, you can decide where in the sales funnel the prospect is. Direct hot leads to a sales agent for faster conversions and continue to nurture those in the research phase. 

Pricing pages are examples of high-intent pages. High intent pages are those that a user visits when they are seriously considering a purchase. Sales agents can offer live assistance on high-intent pages or even streamline payments by receiving credit card information in a live conversation and decreasing time to closure.

Targeting pages allows you to trigger the right conversations at the right time. As you get more accustomed to targeting pages, you can branch out to provide customized messaging on blog posts and other pages on your website. 


Experiment, Learn, Deploy — for the most successful sales chat strategy

Chat is an incredibly powerful tool when you take advantage of all its features. If you aren’t seeing an increase in conversion rates, you may not be leveraging everything that live chat can do for your brand. 

Use analytics to measure where you are compared to where you want to be, then take advantage of all of the live chat features that can help get you there. Be open to experimenting with different approaches to tweak your strategy. The best practices for your brand’s sales chat strategy are those that bring you to your goals.

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