Selling via live chat is similar to the classic sales process from the initial contact to sealing the deal, including understanding the customer’s needs. However, the process must be adapted to a certain extent when it comes to using Click to Chat. Here are the guidelines livened up with some examples.
How should you approach visitors: let them take the first step or send them an invite to chat?
To answer this question, let’s think about customers entering a shop.
Generally, customers like to discover a shop by themselves and don’t hesitate to ask for help if they need it. However, they may appreciate help in certain situations: when the customer has been looking for a particular product for several minutes, when the customer seems to be hesitating, when the customer is about to pay or when the product requires specific usage advice…
Just like in shops, chat conversations with visitors should be initiated in particular situations: at critical phases of the purchase process, or when for example, visitors are confronted with an error upon confirming their order.
Without starting the conversation, you give your visitor the opportunity to ask for help, by displaying chat and call buttons on specific pages.
This is just like a sales assistant in a shop who can subtly indicate he/she is available to help, without coming right up to the customer.
Establish a relationship which will lead to sales
Reactive engagements (the visitor gets in contact with you)
Once the discussion is established between the visitor and the operator, the first step of the sales process via live Chat is about making sure the visitor is comfortable. As soon as the visitor’s request has been received, it is important to establish a friendly relationship which will give value to the discussion. This is key to creating trust with the visitor. This step is key; visitors don’t need much to close the chat window.
Examples of initial contact:
“Hello, how can I help?”,
“Hello, let me guide you through the site!”
Note that it is possible to send this first message automatically.
Proactive engagements (the visitor answers an invitation)
With discussions having started by a proactive invitation, the reason of the discussion has already been qualified, example “Can I help you with your registration?”
The operator should know what the invitation is about (example: the visitor has been confronted with more than 2 errors on the registration form) and the discussion should therefore move on smoothly from the initial invitation.
Understand the visitor’s expectations
This second step involves clearly identifying the customer’s needs. Listening, showing interest in what the visitor is looking for and encouraging him/her to speak by asking open-ended questions so that you can collect the maximum amount of information regarding the visitor’s expectations or the problem they have encountered. Based on this information, the operator can then reformulate the customer’s needs, key to making sure there has been no misunderstanding. The needs should be confirmed by a few closed-ended questions. This precise understanding of the customer’s needs is necessary for the next step: suggesting a relevant solution to meet the visitor’s needs.
Examples of open-ended questions:
“How can I help?”
“What are you looking for?”
Examples of closed-ended questions:
“Just to confirm, you are looking for …, is that right ?”
Suggest a relevant solution
Once you’ve listened and completely understood the customer’s needs, you can start giving the visitor product advice. This step is the logical consequence of understanding the customer’s needs.
This step requires that the customer has confirmed the reformulations of his/her needs.
Example of a introduction sentence to a sales offer:
“Based on what you have indicated, I suggest this … (product, service)“
“I think the … (product) is exactly what you need.”
Of course, it’s key to make sure the suggested offer matches the customer’s needs.
“What do you think of this offer? Is it what you were looking for?”
This is where the agent can make a big difference by increasing the visitor’s average order value.
We suggest you encourage your agents to offer compatible products (example: an HDMI cable when the visitor buys an LCD television) or convince the visitor to upscale to a higher quality product.
“From what I’ve heard, I think that this product or service is extremely complementary with your purchase…”
However, this is not appropriate in all situation; if so, the agent should move onto the next step, the conclusion.
Seal the deal
This is of course the last step. The customer now has all the information he/she needs. Now is the time to seal the deal; the agent is now in a legitimate situation to get to the point. This is when he/she will be able to qualify the visitor.
Depending on the context; there are 2 possible approaches:
The direct approach:
“How about completing your order straight away?… »
The ‘soft’ approach:
“Would you allow me to transfer you to our subscription page.”
“ I’ll leave the chat window open so you can ask me any question during your subscription…”
Reassure and close the discussion
When the purchase has been completed. The visitor needs to be reassured about his choice and about whether his order has been taken into account.
“Have I made the right choice?”, “Has my order been taken into account?”.
At this point, the agent can reassure the visitor.
“I’m sure you will be satisfied with you your purchase.”
“Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further questions you might have, good bye.”