What Makes a Great Web Chat Experience? 

In the eCommerce world, web chat is becoming a standard – an integral part of any online store. That’s because it’s a highly cost-effective sales solution that increases productivity and conversions.

But the most important thing about webchat is that customers love it. Making the shopping experience enjoyable for your customers should be the main focus of your sales strategy.

Maybe your company has already implemented webchat and you’re not seeing the results you want. Or maybe you’re just about to add it to your website and you want to do it right. In this article, we’ll share insight into what makes a great web chat experience.

Why Web Chat is Essential for any eCommerce Store

According to a recent study, almost 70% of online shoppers abandon their cart before completing their purchase. That means that 7 in 10 people second-guess their purchasing decision at the last moment. That’s a lot of business to lose.

High cart abandonment rates often mean there’s a gap in the sales funnel. Your buyers aren’t moving fluidly from the consideration stage of their journey into the conversion stage. Instead, they’re dropping out completely.

Webchat can bridge those gaps in the sales funnel by offering customer service at just the right moment.

It can answer questions the customer might be unsure about and add a human touch that would otherwise be missing.

Using live chat the wrong way can actually drive potential customers away. So how do you use it the most effectively? You make it a convenient and enjoyable experience.

5 Factors That Make a Good Webchat Experience

Understanding what makes a good web chat experience requires looking at things from the shopper’s point of view. Think of a time, maybe recently, when you had a negative live chat experience. What was it that frustrated you?

How do you eliminate those frustrating factors and give your customers a good web chat experience? Here are 5 proven tips.

1. Be Available To Your Shopper

As life gets increasingly fast-paced, consumers value their time very highly. Providing convenience to your customers means valuing the small amount of time they have.

79% of respondents to a recent survey said that the reason they use webchat is to get their questions answered immediately.


Instead of calling a customer service helpline where they get placed on hold and re-directed, buyers choose live chat so they can speed up the process.

Your part of this equation is to be there for your buyer at the right time. First response time is the term for the time it takes you to respond to the customer’s initial message. Your goal first response time with live chat should be under a minute. In fact, shoppers expect an agent to jump on the chat within 6 to 15 seconds.

2. Offer a Variety of Options

Every shopper who visits your website will be different, with unique needs and expectations. That’s why it’s important to offer choices when it comes to how and when the customer interacts with you via webchat.

If it’s going to be a longer wait time to talk to an agent than expected, give shoppers the option of leaving a message and having someone get back to them as soon as possible. It might not be convenient for your buyer to have a chat conversation right then and there, so offer the option to schedule a call.

Similarly, every buyer will have their own preferences of how they want to interact. Some might prefer video live chat where they can see a real human on the other end. Others could feel intimidated by that and prefer to have a conversation by text. Offering both options ensures the shopper will feel comfortable.

3. Be Human, Not Robotic

Not surprisingly, consumers prefer to interact with humans rather than robots. 29% of consumers say that automated, scripted webchats do nothing but annoy them.

When the shopper is able to see the human face behind your brand, it builds trust. While automating the webchat process can save your business some resources, you’ll get a significantly higher ROI by having real people available to help.

Certainly, there are situations that can easily be handled with a pre-scripted answer. If your agents receive the same questions on repeat, it’s ok to have a template for them to use. The important thing is for the agents to interact authentically.

4. Use Available Data to Personalize the Chat

Your customers want to be treated like they’re important. And they are. Your customers are the primary reason your online store continues to exist. To make every shopper feel like a VIP, find ways to personalise their web chat experience.

A recent survey showed that 44% of consumers are more inclined to give a company their repeat business if they receive a personalised experience.


But how exactly do you achieve this?

Pre-chat surveys can get the basic details before your agent even gets on the line. This way the conversation can be adjusted to be relevant to who they are and what they need.

It’s important for live chat agents to have access to transcripts from a shopper’s past chats with your company. This way the customer doesn’t need to go over all of the details again with the new agent, saving them a lot of frustration.

Similarly, giving chat agents the capacity to see what’s in a customer’s shopping cart can prepare them to start the conversation on the right foot.

5. Provide a Next Step

Don’t let the chat conversation be the last interaction you have with your potential customer. Continue to nurture the relationship by providing value. Doing so will keep you at the top of the customer’s mind, and build important trust.

Sharing a transcript of the chat with the shopper will help them remember the details of your conversation, and can serve as a reference for their future shopping. You can also provide the shopper with a shortlist of the products they were considering, as well as links that will be helpful to their decision-making.

Delight Your Customers with a Great Webchat Experience

According to a recent study, 70% of the customer’s buying journey is based on how the customer feels they’re being treated.

Giving your customers the opportunity to chat with you through retail live chat will make them feel valued and heard. In doing so, your conversions will skyrocket. 

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