Key Writing Tactics for E-commerce Live Chat Excellence

Great customer experience stands at the base of boosted sales and profitability. Considering how much competition exists in the world of e-commerce, managing to maintain conversion rates up and sales flowing can seem difficult. Targeting an improvement in the customer service department has become a priority for e-commerce businesses. Let’s look at this from a different perspective and see the key writing tactics.

With the rise of AI technologies, more sites have implemented advanced features that allow them to maintain engagement at high levels. One solution preferred by e-commerce businesses is live chat. Tackling customer issues and queries via a live chat will allow you to lower bounce rates and maintain a positive reputation in the online environment.

According to Emarketer’s statistics , somewhere around 63% of online shoppers are more likely to return to an e-commerce platform if it has a live chat feature available.

If you’ve decided to implement live chat on your website, your customer service efforts won’t stop here. It’s important to focus on some key writing tactics to actually obtain excellence in this department. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.

Key writing tactics for e-commerce live chat excellence

Create pre-written responses

The reason why online customers like live chat is that it can provide them with a quick response. To maintain a speedy approach, however, you should be making the most out of pre-written responses. Having pre-written answers and greetings ready will prevent your agents form dealing with repetitive typing and will cut down on the time it takes to get into conversations with customers that actually need assistance.

These can be used for general queries, maintaining a consistent approach across all of your chat windows. There are some key writing tactics in areas where you usually can make use of canned messages:

Your agents will no longer lose time with repetitive answers, and customers will get the response they’re waiting for promptly.

Decide on a specific writing style and maintain it

Consistency is an important aspect of seamless customer experience. An invariable writing style could affect your brand’s image in front of your customers. Writing your canned messages in a specific manner, and having your agents use an entirely different writing approach isn’t appropriate here. All of your chat agents should maintain the same conversational style, to not trigger any confusion among users.

Think about your e-commerce business, about your brand and decide which tone and voice would go best. Train agents on that specific writing style and maintain it, regardless of inquiry or answer.

“Writing styles can differentiate one e-commerce platform from another. E-commerce owners should implement a consistent communication approach by writing live chat responses in a similar tone and style, regardless if it’s highly professional or more friendly.”

says Patricia Clay, live chat agent trainer at Education and Huffington Post contributor.

Prepare friendly greetings

The role of a chat box is to help customers find the info or product they are searching for, and should not be used as a distraction or interruption. Greetings are usually the main pre-written response you will incorporate into your platform’s chat feature, so you should prepare some friendly options, which can be inserted in a natural way.

E-commerce owners usually opt for chat activation based on specific triggers. The criteria here can vary from the keyword a customer has used in the search bar to the user’s browsing location on your site.

If the customer is on a product category page, for example, the greeting sent should be created around that inquiry. On the other hand, a “Hi! Do you need any help?” greeting would work best for a FAQ page.

Considering that the greeting is what site visitor sees first, it should be friendly and preferably non-intrusive.

Automate standard incoming queries

Thanks to tech advancements, chat functionality and design features can vary, allowing you to decide on the specifics that work best for your particular e-commerce business’ needs. With so many Artificial Intelligence and chatbot solutions , automation has become a popular approach in the world of e-commerce.

Combining live chat capabilities that involve human chat agents with automated responses is highly advantageous for any e-commerce platform, adding to its efficiency. Asses the most common incoming queries, whether they have to deal with pricing, product specifications or shipping concerns, and automate responses on that list of questions. You can deploy an automation function on some inquiries, while personalising the chat design to still make the user believe there is a real person behind the other end of the chat’s window. A typing indicator, for example, is a smart feature for generating curiosity.

Humanise live chat conversations

Bots clearly support a complex and resourceful chat approach for e-commerce, but it’s important to promote a humanised conversation, even if some responses are automated. Online customers want to see engagement from your brand, and for your business to inspire trust and to make users feel valued, you’ll need to implement the right language. Some businesses add abbreviations, gifs or emojis to humanise live chat conversations. You can use these types of features for your pre-written responses, and encourage you actual human agents to incorporate the same language as well.

Let the user set the conversation pace

Customers who use a platform’s live chat might not always maintain a continuous conversational style, they could be browsing your product categories, checking prices or reading your business description while conversing with your live chat agent at the same time.

You’re recommended to let the customer be the one to set the conversation pace. You can juggle here between automation and actual human involvement.

A solution would be to use an adaptive response timer system. This can measure conversation pace and provide you with the insights you need. The system will prioritise the conversations automatically, based on response time, so your agents can know who they should answer first.

Ensure a personalised approach

As mentioned above, the more humanised the chat is, the higher the odds of customers actually using your platform’s chat feature. An advised trick to resort to here is to personalise each customer experience.

How can you do that? Use the customer’s location, language or name to personalise the overall chat conversation. This works for the users that have created an account on your platform. You can access their purchase history and use the data to ensure a more personal tone.

Instead of using a generic “Hello! How can I help you today?” you can switch to the greeting “Hi Adam Simpson! How can I assist you today?”. Live chat personalisation can go a long way.

Focus on error-free chat content

For both chat agent and bot responses, error-free content is critical. The image of your brand will quickly alter if users notice any grammar or spelling mistakes. These will only male you seem uninterested, so a golden rule for live chat excellence writing is to review sentences for any possible mistakes.

Customers are expecting answers on their inquiries from professionals, and even a misspelled word can make your business seem unprofessional.

“Live chat support should be perfected and that means focusing on the implementation of a correct and informative writing style. Spelling errors are a major sign of unprofessionalism and can affect a users’ customer experience.”

explains Louise W. Walker, customer service specialist at IsAccurate and The Guardian collaborator.

Avoid artificial responses

Regardless of what page the user is, what inquiry they have, what responses you automate and what answers are given by actual agents, avoid artificial answers. Using technical terms that the average shopper wouldn’t understand, for example, will only determine them to abandon the conversation.

Even if you are just trying to present some affiliate offers via your live chat feature to users accessing your platform, these shouldn’t sound promotional and should be incorporated naturally.

Moreover, keep responses as concise as possible — use simple language, approachable and most of all, easy-to-understand copy.

Include alternate media

Keep users engaged, and determine them to ask more questions (which might ultimately lead to a potential sale) by making use of alternate media. How-to videos, explanatory screenshots, and images can foster a more resourceful customer interaction, shortening responses, while providing the information demanded. Get visual and give more context to each live chat conversation.

Concluding the key writing tactics

Climbing the ladder of success with your e-commerce business can be challenging. Multiple factors need to be acknowledged, but effective customer service stands as one of the most important areas to focus on. Chat technologies can support you here, but keep these writing tips in mind to actually ensure optimal live chat engagement.

Originally published at on August 21, 2019.




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