Live chat might be the ideal customer service feature, especially for shoppers who don’t like talking on the phone.
The popularity of live chat is undeniable: two-thirds of brands have adopted the feature. However, brands are split on whether to place it on the homepage (44%) or at checkout (43%). The financial services sector is a tale of two extremes. Although live chat is not visible on any homepages, half of analyzed brands make it visible at checkout, a trend that’s mirrored in the luxury hotel industry. By placing emphasis on live chat at checkout, these brands reduce friction and offer help only when the customer is far along the path to purchase.
Gartner L2’s Customer Service report finds that almost three-quarters of brands collect customer information before chatting, signaling an emphasis on personalizing live chat experiences. However, less than a third state their live chat availability, and just over a third provide users with an estimated wait time.
Beauty brand NARS Cosmetics demonstrates live chat best practices by putting live chat front and center on its homepage, placing it in a persistent box that remains in place as the customer browses the site. The beauty brand splits its live chat into two types: one for product questions and another for customer fulfillment questions. Instead of having an all-in-one live chat, NARS ensures that customers will be able to get their questions answered.
To ensure a smooth customer experience, adopting live chat establishes a clear link between a brand and its phone-averse yet information-hungry customers.