September 29, 2005, 12:00 AM

Click-to-call-back works better than text chat for boosting sales

For online retailers looking to increase conversions, click-to-call-back services are more effective than the typical text live chat service, says Ian Halpern, director of marketing for eStara Inc.

For online retailers looking to increase conversions, click-to-call-back services are more effective than the typical text live chat service, says Ian Halpern, director of marketing for eStara Inc., which offers both text-chat and click-to-callback services.

“What we have found through the analysis of our client experience is that when it comes to actual transaction conversion, there is a benefit to offering a click-to-call functionality to actually close the sale,” he says.

So effective is click-to-call back that eStara customer J. Crew dropped text chat service in favor of click-to-call, Halpern says. “Their goals were online transaction completion and online customer satisfaction,” he says.

J. Crew found that 75% of click-to-call contact is sales and order-related, eStara says. In addition, 84% of customers using the service said it greatly or significantly improved their online shopping experience.

Continental Airlines has had similar results, Halpern says. Once Continental implemented click to call, it experienced a conversion rate of 35%, double its traditional inbound telephone sales conversion rate, eStara says. It also had a 25% drop in web site abandonment from strategic areas of its site.

However, text chat does have a place in retailers’ customer service programs, Halpern says. “It’s particularly good for when there’s a lot of technical information that can be preloaded and sent as kind of a canned response,” he says.

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