At the beginning of February, I read a great piece in Econsultancy called “Why do online retailers need live chat?” Live chat, combining the ease of e-mails with the immediacy of the phone, is an excellent way of communicating with customers, explained the article.

This is undoubtable. According to BoldChat, 31% of customers in the UK and US say they would be more likely to purchase after a live chat.

Also, a customer service benchmark conducted at eDigital, rated live chat as the best customer service channel at 73% (e-mail was rated at 61% while phone was at the bottom with 44%).

However, I think that just having a constant link to a live chat tool is actually not enough. You need to take it one step further. Optimization, in this, is key.

Live chat works on the premise that you can easily and efficiently connect with customers but it also is a way of communicating with individuals.

You need to connect with people in the same way that a friendly sales assistant would in a shop. This is not your FAQ page: personalize. Here are three quick tips to personalize your live chat:

1. Make live chat feel welcome: trigger it when it’s needed

Adapt your live chat to your user’s journey. By triggering the live chat at specific moments in their experience on your website you can optimize the helpfulness of the tool.

For example, have you noticed that they have been lingering on a specific page for a while? Might this be a sign that they are stuck? Or have they been looking at one of your help or FAQ pages?

Sky are a great example of this. Their live chat box is also non-intrusive as it doesn’t open up on a separate page but rather appears on the page, allowing the customer to view products simultaneously.

2. Abolish gobbledygook and get hyperlocal

Different customers will be coming from different places. By targeting people in their own language, you can communicate with them directly.

If you were selling in a shop in Spain, you wouldn’t ask someone if they needed help in Arabic or English would you? Similarly, live chat can never sleep- it needs to adapt itself for different time zones.

A great example of this is Childrensalon. Through determining the customer’s location the site is able to activate a slider using  the customer’s hometown language.

3. The face that launched a thousand conversions 

The more the customer feels the personality of your brand, the better. Video live chat is a great way of expressing personal warmth and engaging with your customer.

Schuh has a great way of doing this. Their video chat offers you two options: you can choose between text and video.

The customer feels subtly empowered with choice. It is also useful to note that you can see them, they can’t see you. This ensures that the customer feels comfortable, allowing you to shop in your pyjamas!

Live chat is a great tool to speak directly with your customer and get immediate feedback. It can enhance user experience and ensure that clients have your ear.

By personalizing this further, you can target the people that want your help atspecific moments of their journey on your website. Just like a shop assistant in a local shop, you need to allow your customers a space to speak without being intrusive.