We have all been here before. Walking up and down aisle 4 at Bunnings Warehouse looking for a new pair of leather gardening gloves and not a sales person in site. Frustration accompanied by an impromptu workout up and down Isle 4 ensues. Where are all the salespeople in this huge warehouse? Should I leave and try another hardware store? Where is the big button to call for assistance? There is none.
The answer is a simple tool called Live Chat and it can help ensure this kind of frustration never happens to your customers, resulting in more sales to your business. Live chat is the big button that customers can press to call for assistance. While the idea is simple, the conjuring of live chat technology is where most business owners waste time and money.
Make sure you've got the time or staff available when someone starts a live chat. Lack of response on the part of the business owner is a certain way to lose customers and damage your reputation. In retail, you may find that customers brows your website after hours or during lunch etc. Google Analytics provides detail by day and hour, indicating when people are most active on your website.
Check that a qualified sales person answers the Live Chat call and addresses the questions about the products and company polices in a knowledgeable coherent fashion. If you're going to use an out-source company to monitor your Live Chat, ensure they have the material necessary answer questions or offer solutions otherwise it will be an expensive waste of time. (A help article is 3 Best Live Chat Welcome Message Examples For Website Conversion)
Why this so important for e-commerce retailers?
In the example above, we have invested time travelling to the shop and seeking personal help, so we are less likely to leave at that moment thinking it will take more time and energy to go to another shop. This is not the case with e-commerce, however, since little or no physical energy is wasted online and the nearest competitor is listed on the same google search page. Unfortunately, your customer can click to another website within seconds never to return to your online shop. Even the slightest level of frustration will see your potential customer disappear in the blight of an eye. Using Live Chat you can engage the customer as they enter your shop.
Before you jump into using Live Chat, ensure the problem is engagement and not other things like download speed or web site design causing frustration for your online customers. How do you know your website has an engagement problem? You will need to check your website Bounce Rate using google analytics.
What is Website Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Most of us know instantly when we have landed on the wrong web-page. We create a recordable bounce when we hit the back browser or enter another site into the navigation bar. Google analytics is an excellent tool that records and reports the bounce rate of a website. It accomplishes this by placing a tag on the web-page that is triggered when someone enters the page. If that person leaves the website without landing on any other web page a bounce is recorded.
You can go deeper into understanding the bounce rate and how it is reported through Google analytics by joining the Co-Marketing project here which helpful tips on how to master using Google Analytics for best results.
The Bounce Rate is reported as a percentage from 1% to 100%, and the higher the percentage the more people land on your website only to leave without exploring any other page. The following general guidelines are used to determine if there is an issue with the website. A bounce rate:
- Between 25% to 40% is excellent, you are ticking all the right boxes and people who are landing on your website are understanding your message and exploring the content of your website. A Live Chat solution is highly recommended in this situation as the Buyer is already engaged.
- Between 41% to 55% is the industry average for most good websites. If you're in that space well done and don't get overly concerned. I would I recommend implementing a live chat solution.
- Between 56% to 70% is a yellow flag, if you're in this range and sales are strong with profits rising then I would recommend you implement a live chat solution. If sales are weak, however, then you need to focus on other aspects like your website designs, wording, web navigating, images etc.
- Between 70% and 99% is disappointing and I would not recommend live chat. You will need to be looking at your whole marketing approach to see what is creating the disconnect.
Last point about Bounce Rate; if website traffic is low or non-existent concentrate on increasing your exposure to the market either investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts or use paid advertising to help drive traffic. A good marketing plan will employ both SEO and paid advertising (ie Adwords, Facebook Ads etc).
Live Chat is a great solution to engage the customer that is looking for your product. Sales and Profits increase when this tool is used correctly. Knowing your bounce rate can tell you how and when to use the tool correctly. Since there is no time like the present.