Web visitors expect a direct line of communication to the customer service department; however the implementation of a live chat on ecommerce websites can be seen as a drain on resources and source of complaints.
Twelve months ago we helped our client, an online clothing retailer, to implement a Hubspot live chat tool which has resulted in:
- 23% higher average order value from customers who have been in touch via live chat.
- A 60% reduction in ticket resolution times using live chat, allowing customers to get their queries solved more quickly.
- Targeted SLAs to monitor and improve agent response times based on Hubspot data.
- Increased average order number from nurtured contacts, resulting in additional average revenue of £144 per contact.
Personalised communication channel allows customer service reps to upsell at the point of purchase
Our client provides bespoke clothing items which can be personalised on the website’s product pages prior to checkout. For potential customers who haven’t been on the site before, or aren’t exactly sure what they want, this can create a barrier to purchasing.
In the past, a customer would need to contact the retailer by email or phone, potentially pulling them away from the product page they were browsing. The time required to get an answer could be the difference between a sale and an abandonment.
Implementing a live chat has provided a way for contacts to get an answer to their questions immediately, while they’re on the product page and looking at the customisable options.
Potential customers benefit from speaking to an expert who knows the bespoke product well. Our retailer’s customer service agent can see specific information about what page and product the customer is looking at in Hubspot (without having to ask). The opportunity to find out more details about what the customer is looking for enables the team to upsell at this stage, which they couldn’t do before.
The result has been that over the last year since the live chat was implemented, the average order value (AOV) for customers who have communicated via live chat with the retailer has consistently outperformed the AOV for those who haven’t been in touch via this communication channel, on average by 20% (in terms of real revenue, this is an AOV of £144 vs £118).
Improving the customer service experience by reducing the time required to solve enquiries
As our online retailer grew in size, both in online revenue and staff members, it became difficult for the team to deal with the number of customer enquiry tickets that they received each day. Staff had more open tickets from multiple customers, which resulted in longer ticket resolution times and a worse experience for customers.
Average email ticket resolution times have peaked at 35 hours. The customer service team were unable to deal with the amount of enquiries, which was further slowed by the back and forth required during email conversations.
This also had an impact on the wider marketing and sales teams, who had to pull back on the number of product launches and campaigns that they could implement at one time because they knew that the Customer Service team would be unable to deal with the level of interest.
Since implementing the live chat, the Customer Service team has been able to introduce a new communication channel where ticket resolution time is just 12.6 hours on average, meaning that customers tend to get their question or query solved within one day. The conversational nature of live chat means that the Customer Service team can gather information and ask questions at once, instead of waiting for email responses.
Reduced ticket resolution times creates happier customers. The customer service team can resolve more tickets on a daily basis and communicate their workload with the marketing team, who can more accurately plan the timing of upcoming product launches.
Custom reporting enables managers to set internal SLAs and improve efficiency
Introducing another communication channel can complicate customer service processes by providing an additional source of enquiries. A live chat tool might lead to customer service reps replying to endless messages all day, rather than dealing with important enquiries in the inbox.
We created a custom Hubspot dashboard to provide insights into this new channel for team managers. This provided the ability to monitor inbox activity and see where agents were spending the most time, as well as set internal SLAs for performance.
Our client can now identify and measure the time taken to respond to enquiries on a monthly basis – just 36 seconds for live chat (compared to 2.8 hours via email) and set target SLAs for their customer service agents across all channels. This data is tracked on the dashboard in order to identify changes for particular agents or channels, allowing action to be taken before the customer experience drops as a whole.
Automated live chat features provide data insights to the marketing team, helping to further nurture contacts
The data which potential customers provide in the live chat tool is valuable for the marketing team, who can create more targeted communications and improve the overall user experience of the website.
Automation features in the live chat ask specific questions which allow our client to segment contacts by persona, based on their product interest and preferences. They are added to the correct branch of marketing automations so that they can be nurtured through automated campaigns.
The number of contacts who answered the automated questions in the live chat regarding their category interest are more likely to purchase from our client, partly due to automated nurture journeys which the marketing team were able to set up using this information. The average number of deals per contact from the live chat has increased from 1.3 to 2.4 per customer over 12 months. This translates to an average increase in revenue per contact of £144.
Additionally, our client uses the live chat to identify areas of improvement for their website, as well as popular products for marketing campaigns. We have created a Hubspot report to show which pages are creating the most live chat conversations. Our client can therefore monitor the number and topic of conversations from specific pages and change the content accordingly; for example, with additional FAQs. The client can also use this data to measure deeper engagement with specific products and sections of the website too.
A single customer view which improves customer service and marketing capabilities
Our client chose to implement the Hubspot live chat tool in order to improve the customer experience on their website. 12 months on, we have achieved that aim and also increased efficiency and efficacy across business functions, including the customer service and marketing teams: by reducing ticket resolution times and introducing reportable SLAs, and improving overall online revenue by increasing average order value and number of orders per contact.