You know that every visitor that drops by your online store is important. If you ran a brick and mortar, you’d greet the customer as they walked in, get to know them a little bit, and show them around. And most importantly, you’d likely help them find exactly what they’re looking for. Well, you can actually offer your online shoppers a similar experience with a real-time communication tool like live chat. It’s been proven that 51% of customers are more likely to buy from an online store that offers live chat. And nearly half of those people say they’re more likely to return to a website with a live chat option.

Chances are if you run a small business, you’re way too busy to staff your channel for more than just a few hours a week. Well, live chat is actually still beneficial to your site even if you can only dedicate a few hours to it weekly. Just be sure to choose those few hours carefully and use them wisely. Here are a few ways to target your efforts for maximization.

live chats

Cover your peak traffic windows

Take a look at your site analytics to determine your hours of highest traffic volume. Google Analytics is a great resource and most e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, actually have their own built-in analytic tools. These tools can give you great insight into what times of day your customers are most likely to visit your site.

Schedule yourself for a 1-2 hour shift during one of your high volume hours. For the first month or so of live chats, pay attention to the number of chats you receive and if they were productive. Basically, were you able to provide the customer with useful information that moved them closer to a sale? After a month or so of collecting data, you’ll narrow in on a window of time that works best for you and your store.

Once you get the hang of things, you can actually partner your live chat sessions with your marketing efforts. For instance, if you’re going to send out a newsletter that you expect to drive a lot of traffic to your site, go ahead and hop on chat right after you hit send. Making yourself available to customers who have already expressed interest in your brand by signing up for your newsletter will definitely be a good use of your time.

control who sees your chatbox

Most live chat tools will allow for you to use targeting capabilities that offer you control over when and how your chatbox is displayed on your website. With a small team, you’ll definitely want to establish targeted settings that can hide or show your chatbox or send an automated greeting message depending on certain criteria. Some of those options include: which page a customer is on, how long they’ve been browsing your site, and their location (based on their IP address). So, make sure you’re using a live chat tool that allows for you to establish these settings to maximize your efforts.

quality over quantity

While it might seem tempting to juggle all of the conversations and accommodate every customer who visits your site during your shift, it’s best to remain focused. Providing one customer with outstanding, focused service will yield far better results than firing off one-word answers to many customers.

To avoid an onslaught of chats all at once, you can configure your software to automatically hide your chatbox when you reach a certain number of simultaneous chats. You can also manually hide your chatbox if need be.

improve your store with feedback

Over time, you may find yourself answering the same kinds of questions. That’s a sure indication that you should update your FAQ page or provide one if you don’t. Are you noticing that your customers are consistently describing your product using different terminology than what you use in your webcopy? Might be time for a refresh.

As you make the changes prompted by your data, you’ll be able to maximize your live chat sessions to provide insightful information that can’t be found on your website.

Ready to launch or refresh your e-commerce store? Let’s chat. We’re Shopify Experts who can help you maximize your e-commerce experience!