How to Use Real-Time Customer Engagement to Increase Conversions


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There are several factors that can make or break your website’s ability to convert visitors into customers. One study found that nearly a quarter of your visitors will bounce out if your site takes more than four seconds to load. Additional research found that a visually appealing website contributed to conversions in close to 93% of the cases. A Forrester report found that about 44% of consumers view the ability to have a live person answer queries as one of the most important features a website can offer.

What is it exactly about real-time customer engagement that makes it so useful for closing sales? Online shoppers are not too different from people visiting brick and mortar stores. These customers have unique questions about products, shipping options, return policies and a host of other things that they need answers to before they feel comfortable ordering.

The content you publish may help with nurturing and even converting in man cases, but content can’t always give people the help they want with the activity of shopping while they’re doing it.

Just like in a physical store, e-commerce businesses too need to invest in real-time support and engagement in order to help these customers and convert them.

Use Real-Time Chat Widgets

Chat widgets are among the most effective ways to engage with customers in real-time. They are non-intrusive and can connect the customers to sales agents on demand. While live chat options are commonplace in e-commerce websites today, perhaps the best way to increase conversions is by initiating contact using well-timed popups.

When sales agents directly reach out to customers in the process of making purchase decisions, it is possible to help allay any of their concerns and thus improve conversion rates. Or, in the words of a recent blog post from Bontact, a multi-channel customer engagement platform, “The best way to convert an e-commerce visitor to a customer is to provide immediate and personal contact to answer his questions.”

Don’t Stick to One Channel

No two customers are alike, and your buyers have their own preferences in terms of the products they want and the channels through which they prefer to communicate. Sticking to just onsite chat support or phone support could put you in a weak position to communicate with individuals through the mediums they prefer. Are your customers on email and Twitter all day long? Make sure you’re available there to answer their questions quickly.

It is a good idea to provide many channels of real-time communication to your site visitors and let them pick and choose the medium they want. This way, customers have higher satisfaction levels, and this, in turn, directly contributes to higher conversions.

Don’t Follow a Script

Real-time customer engagement is indeed a type of sales job – one which, as noted above, performs best when proactively initiating contact with customers. But that doesn’t mean onsite real-time engagement is the same thing as cold outreach.

Cold calling salespeople often focus on a script that will help them get maximum conversions by pressuring prospects to close on the spot. When it comes to real-time customer engagement, on the other hand, scripts can often hamper conversions. Don’t forget – these are people who are already on your site. The trick to maximizing sales in such instances is to listen to them and understand their specific needs. Being helpful and constructive during their purchasing processes can yield higher conversions than simply pushing your most popular products to these visitors.


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