The phrase ‘proactive chat’ refers to instigating a conversation with your customers via a live chat facility, instead of anticipating whether they will interact via their own means. By making the first move, the customer is made aware that they can contact you straight away if they have any questions or queries, rather then browsing your site to find the answer they are searching for.

Statistically, visitors who engage in proactive chat are six times more likely to make a purchase than a non-chat web visitor, making proactive chat a fantastic asset to any website. But why do so many websites shy away from it? Well, in some cases, being faced with continuous pop-ups can get really frustrating from a customer’s point of view.

At times, proactive chat invitations can resemble that of a persistent sales assistant bombarding you upon entrance to a store. Although the sales assistant comes across as eager to please, many would prefer to browse a store in peace, and this applies to web browsing too.

So, What Is The Best Way To Approach Proactive Chat?

The honest truth is that there are no rules in terms of how you approach proactive chat. Every website varies. Some websites choose to proactively chat and other websites don’t at all. Best rules to adhere to exist within great training. There may not be strict rules to follow, but here are the 5 top tips for agents who want to use this system to their advantage.

1) Sending Invitations Automatically Or Manually?

There are plus-points to both options, however, whether you choose to send your proactive chat requests automatically or manually solely depends on the number of visitors your website receives. For larger websites with a high number of visitors, sending invitations automatically based on predefined website visitor behavior is ideal. For smaller websites that experience reduced levels of traffic, sending invitations manually can benefit you in several ways – for starters, you can track progress in real-time and react accordingly.

2) Timing Your Invitation

Timing is important when it comes initiating your invitation to chat. The choices you make here should depend on your visitor behavior. Factors you ought to address include the amount of page views your website receives. You’ll also need to consider the page you’re placing the invitation upon – ask yourself vital questions, such as: do visitors tend to spend more time on this page? And if so, why?

3) Don’t Send Multiple Invitations

There is such a thing as ‘over-inviting’ on chat and this is achieved by sending multiple invitations again and again. This can cause frustration amongst customers and lead to them exiting your site. With this in mind, aim to do your own testing and ensure that the timing in-between invitations is adequate. Sending multiple invitations is not necessarily wrong but this is more appropriate for those of you who know your visitors. In conclusion, if you intend to send multiple invitations, do so with caution.

4) Will Your Customers Accept Or Decline Your Invitation To Chat?

Customers love to be in control, which is why opting to accept or decline your invitation of chat ensures that the conversation is on their terms. For this reason, choosing a chat invitation with the option to ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ means your customer needn’t feel obliged to chat if they’re happy browsing without any extra communication.

5) Keep It Simple

The last thing you should want to do when engaging in chat with your web visitors is to interfere in their shopping experience. For this reason, you need to avoid invitations that force your visitors to click away from the page they are browsing, as these can interrupt their shopping experience and cause them to abandon the page. Be sure to keep your chat invitation small in terms of size and simplistic in terms of text.

By taking these tips on board, interaction with your website visitors should appear more enticing and less forced. By easing and encouraging your visitors to engage in conversation via live chat software, we hope you simultaneously achieve more sales and experience a much lower bounce rate. Good luck!