One of the findings I found most interesting was the most common reason site visitors would initiate live chat is if they experience an error during the checkout process (76%). Other reasons include asking general questions about products/services/policies, sales specials or inquiring about orders already placed.
Participants were asked to rank communication methods in order of preference for various situations. For problems in checkout, participants ranked chat first, then phone, then email. (Of course, Twitter is also an option!)
It's not surprising that people would rather chat with customer service right away, online rather than pick up the phone, wait on hold or wait indefinitely for an email response.
If you do offer live chat, make sure customers can initiate a chat session from each step in the checkout process. This is especially important if you remove your regular site navigation in checkout as many sites do.
In the report, BoldChat also offers a couple useful tips:
1. Remind customers that live chat is an option if they're waiting on hold for customer service by telephone.
2. Publish average wait times for all communication methods on your Contact Us page.
If you're interested in the entire research, you download the report here.