Online engagement: you must do better than ‘contact us’

In an age of ecommerce and internet retail, online engagement is gold. Unfortunately, it’s also fleeting. Our digital attention spans are short, and we can easily hop from site to site in seconds. For brands to boost conversions and reduce cart abandonment, then, they must capture our attention and keep us engaged online.

A great way to keep online engagement is through customer contact. Yet many companies still fall short when it comes to attractive contact options. Simply put, having a ‘contact us’ page alone doesn’t cut it anymore.

Online engagement is boosted when contact is proactive, instant and warm. A ‘contact us’ page offers none of these things. But a live chat session does. Here, we explain how a live chat channel can help you achieve higher online engagement from your customers.

 

Proactive is better than reactive

Think about engagement in a brick and mortar store. Some customers will approach a team member and ask for help, prolonging their engagement. Others won’t speak up if they can’t find what they’re looking for – they’ll simply leave.

For most, retaining and prolonging engagement relies on an employee recognising when the customer is confused, and proactively offering help before they disengage. Similarly, proactive support is better than being reactive when it comes to online engagement.

Online, relying on a ‘contact us’ page is akin to waiting for customers to make the first move and approach that team member. It’s distant and disinterested.

With a live chat channel, however, you can reach out to customers first — just like the employee in the bricks and mortar store. You can catch customers just before they disengage, or capture a fleeting moment of interest and turn it into an active conversation.

Key takeaway:
Taking the initiative by using proactive chat invitations will increase the online engagement of customers who would otherwise slip through the net.

 

Now is better than later

Imagine walking into a physical shop and asking a question at the customer service desk. You’d get your answer quickly and would then continue to engage with the products and services in the store. You aren’t left waiting for an answer for several hours, days, weeks or months.

This is a different experience online. With a ‘contact us’ form, customers are left sending their query out into the void. They have no proof that they sent it, and no indication of when they’ll get a response. This scarcely makes for an engaging experience.

A live chat session, on the other hand, is instantly gratifying. We are used to instant feedback and real-time responses, particularly when it comes to online engagement. In fact, 44% of people say that having a live person answer questions during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. People remain engaged when they can interact and see the results of their efforts quickly.

Where ‘contact us’ is remote and unclear on resolution times, live chat is immediately accessible and comes with real-time support.

Key takeaway:
Interactivity in real-time is essential for keeping online engagement up.

 

Warm is better than cold

No matter how you swing it, a ‘contact us’ page is cold. There’s no human connection or emotional engagement. They’re impersonal, and they can feel unresponsive and one-sided to customers that try to reach out. By the time a conversation happens, the customer’s interest will have cooled.

This lack of emotional engagement is partially due to the lack of interactivity. While contact forms do ensure that agents receive all the information they need to effectively support the customer, this could just as easily be achieved by a short conversation.

The problem is, contact forms are far too uniform. They don’t allow for the customer to express themselves the way they want, and they’re often forced to provide seemingly unnecessary information. Forms feel laborious compared to a fluid live chat. All these factors can mean customers bounce, rather than continue their journey and let you keep their online engagement.

Key takeaway:
Conversation is better for online engagement than filling in boxes.

 

Online engagement: better with live chat

When we’re online, we tend to have short attention spans. And they’re getting shorter still. Having consistently good online engagement means catering to the need for feedback, interactivity, and warm service.

Live chat software is an essential feather in your cap when it comes to strong online engagement. Why not try live chat for yourself, with a free trial of WhosOn?

 

Useful links

To chat, or not to chat? Best practice tips for proactive chat invitations.

Chatbots vs webforms

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