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Customer Support Chat: Critical Do’s and Don’ts for Brands

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Dani Apgar, RapportBoost.AI Co-Founder and EVP of Sales & Customer Success presents a TechTalk at Shoptalk 2018 on using live chat for customer acquisition. Titled “Critical Do’s & Don’ts for Brands”, this TechTalk gives crucial insight into boosting customer support chat conversions without sacrificing brand equity.



Hello everyone, thanks for joining me today. My name is Dani Apgar, and I’m the EVP and Co-founder of RapportBoost.AI. “.AI” stands for Augmented Intelligence at RapportBoost. We are the Optimizely of live customer support chat. We are not a bot.

I have been working in technology for almost 20 years now, and I have worked for some of the best companies in the world. What I’ve found working for these companies is that they have said two similar things across the board: (1) I absolutely want more conversions; (2) I do not want more conversions at the sacrifice of my brand equity.

Let’s get into our first “Do”: Do use live customer support chat for customer acquisition. Why? First, chat is millennials’ preferred method of purchase, as it uses short-form communication. Second, optimizing conversations is key to engagement and customer acquisition. Online brands that execute customer support chat well will grow profit and market share. Conversational Commerce is growing fast, and you can’t be omnichannel if you don’t have chat. Last, if you don’t have customer support chat, your competitors will take your customers away from you.

A “Don’t”: Don’t let a chatbot be your brand ambassador. Why? Because they’re unable to sell effectively, they don’t reflect brand identity, and they’re not personalized to adapt to the user.

I have a question for you. Do you think that live chat agents should use more “we” or “I” when having a conversation? The answer is, it depends. For every 1% relative gain in the use of the word “I” for this particular client of ours, there was an increased order size of 2.9%. Now the rationale is that a live chat agent using “I” is owning the interaction e.g. “I will take care of this for you Mr. Smith”.

Another “Do” or “Don’t”: should live chat agents use formal language? Again, the answer is it depends. If you reduce the ratio of contractions to full word usage by 50% for this particular client – every brand is different – that equated to a 23% conversion rate lift and a 19% increase in order size. The rationale there is if you strike the right balance of formality and brand voice, you will get that lift.

Now I’m going to get into a little of the data science. This dark blue curve is a scatter plot indicating this client’s chat conversations. This orange line represents a conversion rate for the different levels of chat agents’ performance on one variable. That one variable being response time. Now the U-shaped curve shows that when an agent responded too quickly the end user felt they were a bot and they were less likely to buy. People don’t like bots. On the other side, when the agent responded too slowly, people felt they weren’t being taken care of, so the customer service wasn’t there.

Just like with any live conversation, there’s an optimal way of doing things. We at RapportBoost reverse-engineer the perfect conversation for your brand. For this particular client, by doing our recommended insights, there was a 10% decrease in response time, which meant an increase in conversion by 2%.

Here are a couple of case studies on our clients – one in the e-commerce retail sector. Three months after implementing our insights, this client had a 7.6% increase in order size, a 7.8% increase in conversion rate, and a .9% increase in customer satisfaction. That goes back to what I said at the beginning of this conversation, in that brands do want more conversions, but do not want to destroy brand equity. This proves that RapportBoost.AI can increase conversions while also increasing your brand equity.

Here’s a health and wellness case study. Just ten days after implementing our insights, they had 100 net new conversions, 85% increase in conversion rates and a 50% increase in operational capacity. For this particular client, the value of a conversion was a couple thousand dollars. The 50% increase in operational capacity meant that it was taking them 15 minutes to close a sale, but after using our insights, they were able to close the sale in just ten minutes.

Learn more about our live chat agent training solutions at RapportBoost.AI.

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Meredith Lackey

About Meredith Lackey

Meredith Lackey is a content producer with expertise in computer networks and systems. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Hampshire College, and her M.F.A in Moving Image from the University of Illinois Chicago. Her output spans long form writing, B2B and B2C content, and branded video content. Meredith has worked with Tony on creative projects and at Boopsie since 2014. She loves gritty travel experiences where she can learn about diverse people and new trends.

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