5 Hallmarks of an Exceptional Chat Experience in 2021


Latest study of ~1,500 ecommerce brands reveals what top-performing companies are doing right when it comes to conversational commerce.

Conversations have always been a foundational element of customer experience (CX). Offering connective points for customers to ask questions, get help, and feel confident about spending their money with your brand — this is at the core of what CX is all about. Naturally then, chat has become a critical piece of the CX puzzle, giving customers and potential customers a way to engage with you in the moment.

In its latest report, The State of Conversational Commerce, Simplr set out to see how retail brands are managing online chat for their customers. We hired a third-party firm to mystery shop nearly 1,500 ecommerce brands to see how they handled chat inquiries (if they offered chat at all).

Here’s a preview of what we found:

  • Of the 1,493 shopped brands, only 5.5% earned an “exceptional” chat experience rating.
  • 95% of shoppers interacting with chatbots said that their experience would have been better with human help.

Considering retail is in the midst of 2021’s post-quarantine spending surge, having engaging, responsive, and helpful on-site chat could mean the difference between a closed sale and a neglected customer. See the brands that scored the highest by downloading the report today!

What is conversational commerce?

Conversational commerce leverages the power of conversation to offer a personalized, consultative shopping experience that ultimately drives sales and revenue. Customer service chat is a critical component of conversational commerce in the digital environment.

What makes an exceptional chat experience?

When we set out to do this research, we wanted to uncover what makes for an exceptional chat experience in CX today, whether or not human intervention makes a difference, how customer effort factors customer satisfaction, and what’s separating the conversational commerce winners from the rest of the pack. 

In this report, an “exceptional” CSAT score means that the experience was on par with the best experience the user has ever had — online or offline, regardless of industry. Whether we like it or not, today’s NOW Customer is comparing every online experience with the ones they’re having with world-class brands. No matter the size of your company, you’re going up against the likes of Amazon!

Lucky for you, we’ve identified some common threads between the 70 highest-scoring companies that are winning at conversational commerce today. 

Here are the five hallmarks of exceptional chat experiences that you can put into practice today to elevate your company’s approach to CX:

  1. Chat is activated and ready for customer engagement. 

Surprisingly, nearly half of the companies in our mystery shop study did not have chat enabled on their sites. The first step to winning at conversational commerce may sound pretty obvious, but it’s important: get chat up and running!

  1. Chat includes a smart blend of humans and technology.

It’s a misconception to think that conversational commerce is the job of chatbots only. It’s not “conversational” commerce if the channel is being used to avoid or deflect actual conversations with customers. Adding a human element to chat, especially in the presale stage, can increase satisfaction, reduce effort, and boost repurchase intent.

  1. Chat supports a low-effort customer experience.

NOW Customers won’t accept their time being wasted or their needs being neglected by the brands they engage with online. The top-scoring brands in our mystery shop were able to deliver a low-effort experience through their chat channel. 

  1. Chat is designed to be a revenue-driving CX channel. 

When the chat channel combines concierge-style, human-to-human conversations with a low-effort experience for the customer, positive revenue-related results tend to follow. And what’s better than winning a one-time customer? A loyal fan who comes back time after time.

  1. Chat is a component of a NOW CX approach to customer service. 

If we look at the totality of the findings from our research and the way top-performing brands are delivering experiences through chat, we see strong evidence that a NOW CX approach to customer service pays off (literally). 

Interested in more findings? Download the report today to see how high-performing brands are gaining a competitive edge with an exceptional approach to conversational commerce.

If you aren’t using chat for CX yet, now is the time to get started. And as you expand your usage of chat and dive into conversational commerce, be sure to harness NOW CX to balance the irreplaceable qualities of human interaction with the efficiency boost of technology. When you do, you’ll be setting your CX operations up to give your customers an engaging, low-effort experience while delivering revenue results that prove conversational commerce pays off.