Best Practice: Our Favorite Live Chat Automation Tricks

15/09/2014 15:25

live chat tricks

One of the best things about live chat is the fact that you can automatically send messages to visitors based on certain criteria.

Each live chat tool seems to have a different name for them: Greetings (LiveChat), Triggers (Zopim), Targeted Chat (Olark) and Proactive Chat (SnapEngage) to name just a few. But essentially they all have the same purpose: getting the right kind of people to talk to your chat agents, usually in an effort to maximize sales.

For this article, we have asked various live chat providers and other businesses for creative examples of automatic chat behavior.

No bots, please

While it’s great to use a photo for your chat agent, some people may still think that a robot is talking to them.

Travis from Supremacy SEO solves this issue by using the following greeting message:
“Hey I'm Travis (and I'm a real person). Can I help you with anything?”

Why this works:
Web surfers are now constantly confronted with automatic live chat messages. Being a little bit original helps to grab their attention.

Ecommerce Rescue Chats

The Simply Group sends an automatic message whenever customers are having trouble with their payment. We don’t know the exact greeting they are using, but it could be something like this (created in   LiveChat  ):

ecommerce livechat

Another example is what CampusBookRentals does. They target inactive shoppers, apparently with a response rate of 29%. Customers who spend a lot of time on the checkout page without any activity a message are effectively motivated to complete the process.
This is what the greeting could look like:

ecommerce chat inactive

Why this works:

You can target visitors who have attempted to purchase, but after the failed payment become highly likely to drop off if nobody assists them. A lot of online stores send out cart abandonment emails these days, but why not assist them even sooner while they are (trying) to purchase something? Catch them while they’re in the buying mood, and solve the issues that could be holding them back.

We’ve taken these two examples from LiveChat’s Greetings Efficiency Report.

Speak my language!

If you are offering multiple languages on your website, you can customize the messages to fit the language of the visitor. Of course, you should only do that if you have operators who are able to speak the language. And no, Google Translate doesn’t cut it I am afraid.

Here is the greeting message we use on our German pages (it only fires when the visitor is on a URL that contains /de/).

german greeter live chat

Why this works:

Even though your visitors may be able speak English, it’s much more effective to greet them in their own language.

Taking into account how a visitor found your site

Zopim shows an example of how you can flag visitors that come from Adwords, i.e. people you have paid Google to send to your website. Using this tag makes it easier to figure out whether the ads you’re purchasing are effective.

Here’s a trigger you can set up in Zopim:

We found this example in a Zopim blog post about triggers.

Additionally, you can also add the keyword that they clicked to know more about their intentions. This will now only work properly with paid ads as, with organic traffic, the referring keyword is only very rarely disclosed these days.

Another use case could be if you got a mention in a popular blog. Just customize your greeting message to something like: “Welcome [blog xyz] reader, we have a special discount for you today! Use coupon code: 342-sep to get 10% off”

 zopim trigger

Why this works:

Tailored messages will have more relevance to your audience. The only thing you need to be careful with is sounding too robotic.

Streamline your chat requests

Typically, websites in English attract visitors from all around the world. But that doesn’t mean that you are able to sell them your products. You may not be able to ship to their destination, or you already know that your payment gateway won’t work in their particular country.

Here’s a targeted chat setup for Olark:

olark trigger countries

Why this works:

Your chat agents can focus on the most important customers without having to answer questions from visitors that you cannot service anyway.


Marketing automation is something everybody talks about right now. What people usually mean by it is sending out behavior-based email messages, which can work really well!

But what’s often forgotten is that live chat can also be automated, making it even more effective than email marketing. A direct chat is just much more personal. The opportunities are endless as you can also combine all these efforts, e.g. send out a behavior-based email message and then serve the visitor via live chat.
Just have a look at our top-rated live chat tools and their integrations with CRM and email marketing systems.

Can you think of any other ways to make live chat more efficient? If so, please leave a comment!


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