Many ecommerce professionals are realizing the benefits of live chat for their online stores. Live chat provides a great way to provide customer service and answer sales questions about product and services instantly.

Customers can inquire about orders, get support, and return unwanted or defective products. Online shoppers get instant answers to their questions about new products and services without having to spend hours of online research or calling someone on the phone.

Live chat for your website provides great customer service and a way to sell your products with low customer acquisition cost. Selling through online chat enables your sales teams to answer questions about your product, make product recommendations, suggest add-ons to sales, and really make a personal connection to your shoppers.

So how do you know if your online chat is a success? Here are some common ways to track and gauge success.

CSAT Score

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score is a representation of, well, customer satisfaction. It’s a simple percentage calculated on the number of customers that were satisfied with their experience at the end of a chat. Was the customer service or sales chat agent helpful? Were they friendly and understanding? And, most importantly, did they solve the issue? All of these things lead to a great customer satisfaction score.

CSAT can be easily acquired by sending a simple survey after someone has used online chat. This is the one and only question:

CSAT Survey

To find out your CSAT score, you count the number of survey results that answered “Somewhat satisfied” and “Extremely Satisfied” and divide that by the total number of people who answered the survey to get a percentage.

Of course, the higher the CSAT score, the more satisfied people are with your service. The closer you get to 100%, the more you can brag about your customer service. Many customer service teams gauge their success on CSAT score and it is a relatively good metric.

CSAT Calculation

There are some dangers with CSAT. Generally, only the extremes take surveys. They either really like the service or they really hated the service. This bipolar effect may taint the true results of CSAT, but it’s still commonly used.

NPS Score

NPS or Netpromoter Score is an easy way to evaluate your effectiveness with customer service and the products/services you sell in general. Like CSAT, it asks a very simple survey question, “How likely would you recommend this product/service to a friend or colleague?” Survey responders would rate on a scale 1-10, 10 being the most likely.

NPS takes a different approach to calculating its score. It takes the 9 and 10 scores (promoters) and subtracts them from the sum of anyone who answered 0-6 (detractors). That’s right, you can get a negative score! I’ve worked with companies who had a negative NPS who desperately needed to improve the overall customer experience.

Those with great NPS scores (60+) like Apple, Costco, and USAA work hard to achieve an overall excellent customer experience, and it shows. Their approach to customer experience encompasses both their products and the services. In the case of online chat, you can use NPS to focus on just the chat experience.

Engagement

Engagement is the number of shoppers and customers that interact with your online chat compared to the number of overall website visitors. This statistic can be important to determine the effectiveness of chat vs phone, web form, email or other forms of customer engagement.

When using engagement for your effectiveness, you can determine if online shoppers actually used online chat. Are they using chat vs other forms of support? Are you getting the right chatters at the rights points of the sales process? Are chatters getting to the right people who can answer their questions? Did the customers get the right answers to their questions in a timely manner?

Engagement leads to other success metrics for online chat, including customer satisfaction and revenue. Be sure to get a tool that measures everything the customer does before and after interacting with online chat to understand how to make it more effective in the sales process.

Conversion Rates

Using chat to sell your products is a great idea and gaining popularity on many ecommerce sites. The next couple of statistics really influence the bottom line of the business. The first is conversion rate. How does a browser move to being a buyer on your website?

Good commerce professionals understand every facet of an online store’s traffic and carefully tracks and monitors where traffic comes from, how shoppers move through the website, and what they ultimately buy. Did they come from a promotion, link or Google search? Did they view a certain product? Did they stay on one product longer than another? Did they put something in the shopping cart and then abandon the cart?

Using chat is a great way to increase your conversation rate and reduce your shopping cart abandonment. Chat can instantly answer shopper’s questions so there is no hesitation or additional product research that needs to be done. Will it fit, is it the right size, or are their better options? Do I need to purchase additional items to make it work?

Getting instant answers to shopper’s questions and interacting with them on a personal level through live chat is a great way to convert online shoppers to customers. Exceptional customer experience that is unique and welcoming and enhances your brand will gain customers for life.

Average Order Value (AOV)

Another way to gauge the success of a chat program, especially one focused on sales, is increasing the average order value or AOV. AOV is a simple way to gauge if the chat was effective by increasing the total dollar value of individual sales.

Websites who use chat well and train their chat agents on engaging sales tactics will see an increase to AOV when the customer ultimately buys the better product or upgrade. If the person gets their questions answered and feels good about the brand, they may consider upgrading their purchase and/or buying more.

Chat also offers ways to increase the number of items in the shopping cart. The original item may need additional add-ons to provide better satisfaction or maybe there are other items that would go well with the original purchase. This “would you like fries with that?” approach is very effective when someone trusts the person behind the chat.

Revenue

This is both an easy and hard statistic to gage when it comes to online chat. Did the shopper ultimately buy after using chat?  Did the revenue of the company increase because someone chatted with an agent before the purchase?

Good chat tools will be able to track and gauge the entire sales process from acquisition to sale. Then, taking this data, determine the incremental (revenue per chat) and the overall impact on revenue. Look for a solution, like Needle, that will keep track of these statistics so you can understand the impact to your bottom line.

What is Success?

Success for online chat really comes down to how it helps the success of the overall brand and drive overall revenue. Did it increase sales, increase customer satisfaction, and did it build your brand into something that customers want to interact with more and more throughout their lifetime?

Success is that you are providing the best experience for online shoppers and ultimately taking down the walls of the faceless corporation. You are engaging your customers in one-to-one personal conversations and providing true customer service.

There are many tools out there. Wouldn’t it be great if you had one that came with chat agents who were excited to talk about your products and services? Needle has a successful formula for matching super-fans, advocates, or third-party experts to your customers online through live sales chat. This has been proven to increase success metrics and provide overall satisfaction of the brand. Not to mention increased revenue.


About The Author

Jason Devlin
Jason Devlin is the fearless leader for sales/marketing here at Needle. His years of experience in working with ecommerce companies gives him a unique and passionate voice to the industry. He is bold in his vision and isn't afraid to tell it how it is. Outside of work he enjoys mountain and road biking, drumming, and hanging with his family.