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The Chat Shop

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Schuh Live Chat – Guest Post

4/2/2013

As we’re passionate about chat, we love to hear about companies that are leading their industry in chat adoption.

Schuh is a leading UK retailer of mens and womens footwear. Their website, shuch.co.uk offers live chat in both text and video based formats.

Stuart McMillan is the Deputy Head of eCommerce for Schuh and has put together this fantastic guest post, especially for us.

So without further ado:

Schuh Live Chat

If you only take one thing away from this post, it’s this: customers love live chat and it can be great for your business.

We introduced live chat to Schuh just over a year ago and have steadily expanded its use in that time.

At Schuh we have a firm commitment to customer service; customers can email us, phone, tweet, FB message, text chat and video chat. We introduced the text & video chat as supplementary contact methods, we feel that customer service is about the customer and we should be happy to communicate with them in whatever way they prefer; we’d never seek to cannibalise one channel for another, for example. I think this commitment to channel-agnostic communication has really allowed live chat to flourish and reach its true potential: sales.

…we feel that customer service is about the customer and we should be happy to communicate with them in whatever way they prefer

We actually find that most of our live chat engagements are video and most of them are pre-sales calls. I think customers like the personal touch of video, the proof that it is a real person at the other end, although we still do get people asking the operators to wave just to make sure! As I say, the vast majority are also pre-sales calls, where customers are looking for further advice on their purchase; they need some help tracking down a hard to find pair or some other sales-related query. The customers who interact with the live chat are many times more likely to convert than customers who haven’t interacted with it; they also tend to spend more per order.

The customers who interact with the live chat are many times more likely to convert than customers who haven’t interacted with it; they also tend to spend more per order

We also ‘nudge’ the customer, with a auto-slide out tab appearing once they have been on the site for a certain amount of time, which is many times more effective than the user-initiated live chat. We’ve spent a lot of time working out the most effective strategy for engaging customers.

It’s also worth keeping the different devices in mind, it is currently only on our desktop site, although it will be on the tablet specific site soon and we’re still trying to work out what to do about mobile.

For us, the video live chat experience really helps bring that high-quality, personal, offline experience to the web; it’s as close to being in the shop as current technologies allow. We’ve trained all our operators in the shops for a number of weeks, this has been vital when it comes to selling, and should not be forgotten.

Try the live chat experience on the Schuh website, all our operators would love to talk more about it. You may even be persuaded to buy some shoes!

- Stuart

Schuh’s experience in the live chat and video chat market is far ahead of most eCommerce offerings who are yet to implement a text based live chat tool.

I’d highly recommend trying Schuh’s service as it is an excellent example of great customer service. I must confess to being a Schuh customer and having used their service a number of times!

The idea of allowing a customer to choose their preferred channel is so key, and Stuart really hit the nail on the head for me. So much so, here is the quote again:

…we feel that customer service is about the customer and we should be happy to communicate with them in whatever way they prefer

It’s something that is too often forgotten. If you’re looking to delight customers, don’t just make it easy to contact you but offer the channels they prefer and then deliver fantastic service across them all. The modern customer wants a consistent experience across their chosen channels, not to be filtered to the channels that are your personal preference. Chat is very much here to stay, and Schuh is one of the best UK examples of how embracing chat, and making it a core channel offering can reap many and varied benefits.

Connect with Stuart on LinkedIn here

Check out Schuh’s website here

Stuart – thanks again for a great insight into Schuh’s chat experiences.

By Jonny Everett

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  • hamza

    hi

  • hamza

    does any1 know which is the newest blackberry