The following is an excerpt from The Shopify Merchant’s Guide to Holiday Engagement, a free eBook featuring 10 incredible Shopify experts. In this post, Oleg Potrykus, Head of Customer Service at Tidio Chat, shares some common misconceptions and best practices for providing live customer support, plus his actionable tips to help you boost your sales this holiday season.

Why It Matters

Customer support can be the difference between making a sale and not making a sale. When you’re just starting out and you don’t have much traffic yet, every visit to your website is critical. It’s very important to engage these customers, communicate with them, and let them know there’s a real person there who can help them choose the right product. Plus, there’s nothing like talking directly with customers to learn their preference—this can help you select or develop products that sell better.

With Tidio Chat, merchants can actively engage shoppers and also be there to answer their questions. We encourage our clients to automate certain events—when a person visits the site for the first time, when there’s a promotion to tell them about, when they abandon their cart. You can trigger an automatic email or send a message from the live chat panel.

At the same, customers are going to have a lot of questions for you. Do you have the right size? How long does delivery take? Is delivery free? Some of this information people want to double-check and ask follow-up questions about. Live chat is a very valuable feature in that it gives customers a chance to connect with you in real-time, and vice versa.

Common Misconceptions

“I need to hire a dedicated customer service rep.”

Many online merchants think that offering live chat means you need to hire someone to manage it. With mobile solutions like Tidio Chat, you can reply and send automatic responses no matter where you are. You can even reply to online customers while managing your physical store. Of course, as you grow, it makes sense to hire someone who will be there full-time for your customers. But early on, you can be on your own and manage the chat.

“Live chat solutions exist only for enterprise businesses.”

It’s true that many live chat services are very expensive. They’ve been designed and developed for larger businesses with very enterprise-specific features—analytics, the ability to measure the quality of the chat, etc. With Tidio, we skipped all that and just made sure the integration process is simple and fits the needs of Shopify merchants. It’s affordable, and we will always have a free version that offers the ability to manage your live chat on mobile.

Best Practices

Be there for your customers.

We have over 2,800 conversations with our customers each month, so we know that the most important thing is just to be there for your customers. Be online. Even if your reply comes from a mobile device, even if it’s brief, it’s critically important to be there for your customers.

Be proactive and automate as much as possible.

There are so many ways you can automate the messages you send your visitors. They only take a few clicks to set up and can save you a lot of time. Let them know you’re there if they have a question. Let them know there’s a promotion coming. Let them know that you’re open tomorrow even though it’s a holiday. All of these small actions can make a big difference.

Offer a chat widget on mobile devices.

Mobile browsing has become such a big part of the ecommerce experience, whether it’s people commuting to work or just waiting for something, so it’s super important to offer a point of contact on mobile devices as well. Many chat services offer this option, but too many of them redirect the customer to a different tab, basically disconnecting from the store. We keep a very light version of the chat widget on top of the existing page, so that when the conversation is finished, the customer is still on the product page, ready to buy.

Action Items

Configure your welcome message to say something relevant.

By this I don’t mean automation, but rather the message a customer sees in your chat widget. Use this space to say something related to one of your current offerings. Whether it’s a new collection or a special discount offer, make it appear in your chat widget.

Customize your chat widget to fit your store.

You can use hex colour codes to perfectly match the chat widget to the design of your store. This will keep your branding consistent and make for a more cohesive customer experience.

Manage all of your communication channels in one place.

Tidio Chat keeps your live chats, emails, and Messenger conversations in one place, so you don’t have to switch between windows. Installing the app automatically places a chat widget on your website for easy contact with your customers. Tidio Chat also allows you to send emails and even reply to customers on Messenger for even faster communication.

Make It Happen

The holidays are the busiest time of year for merchants and shoppers alike. With little time to spare when it comes to making purchasing decisions, live chat gives you a chance to answer your customers’ questions in real time and facilitate sales. Tidio Chat is a highly rated Shopify app that lets you easily integrate live chat and communicate with your customers on desktop and mobile. Start with the free plan, which supports up to three conversations at a time.

Read more in our free eBook!

The Shopify Merchant's Guide to Holiday Engagement

For more lessons on how to engage holiday shoppers and boost traffic and sales, be sure to check out The Shopify Merchant’s Guide to Holiday Engagement. It’s free to download—no email address required. Consider it our gift to you this holiday season!

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