A few months ago I updated the live chat tool for one of the websites I manage so that it would proactively pop up after a visitor had been on the site for a couple of minutes and had viewed several pages.
The pop-up is pretty intrusive which concerned me from a user experience standpoint, but I thought I would try it out anyway.
Here’s how the chat popup looks – you can’t navigate the site without closing it:
We’ve now been running the proactive for four months, and the increase in the number of online chats it has generated is quite substantial:
|Month||Increase in # of chats|
A 200%+ increase in the number of chats was certainly more than I had expected. Not surprisingly, I was also concerned about the negative impact in might have on other visitors who might find it too intrusive and instead choose to leave the site.
Fortunately, we have not seen any spikes in exit rates that could be attributed to this, nor has our conversion rate gone down. In fact, over the last quarter the site has experienced its highest ever revenue, although this is likely to be due to other activities and campaigns we have underway.
Despite its intrusive nature, we’ll be sticking with the proactive chat popup. If you are running an online chat service on your website – especially if it is an ecommerce site – and do not have it set to proactively pop up, you might want to test whether you can drive more chats this way.