Designing a Live Chat Widget That Converts
Live chat widget made out of folded paper

If you’re looking for a way to increase sales, customer loyalty, and revenue, adding a live chat widget to your site is the way to go. According to Kayako, 79% of businesses found that live chat improved all of these areas

Many chat providers will give you a standard live chat widget to use. However, if you’re making your own or have the option to customize it, here are some things you should consider. From the visual design to the user experience, every aspect contributes to how your customers feel. And how your customers feel influences how (and how often) they buy.


What is Live Chat

Unless you haven’t been on the internet recently, you’ve almost definitely seen or used live chat. A live chat widget is the little bubble that pops up in the corner of a site. It’s where the chat conversation takes place. Typically, adding a widget is as simple as adding a couple lines of code to your site.

The widget design is important because it’s often the starting point for customer interactions on your site. Obviously, you don’t want technical glitches. A frustrated customer is worse than no customer at all.

Additionally, many live chat widgets will start with a simple chatbot flow. This allows you to collect answers to easy questions without using up too much of your time. 


Read more: Three Steps to a Winning Live Chat Experience


Live Chat Widget Design Principles

Let’s start with design. Here are some of the top things you (or your graphic designer) should keep in mind when creating the widget.

  • Put your branding front and center. Including your logo in a prominent place and staying consistent with your brand colors helps make chat more memorable. In addition, it makes the chat widget complement the rest of your website.
  • Make sure it’s ADA compliant. Chat has to be accessible by people who use screen readers and must have enough contrast to be clearly visible by people with impaired color vision, among other ADA considerations.
  • Include agent pictures to be more inviting. Our data show that including photos of the agents increases engagement by over 80%. 
  • Include key design features. Some helpful features can be overlooked if you don’t consider the customer’s point of view. Typing indicators, timestamps, and notification noises should all be considered to provide the optimal experience.
  • Leverage chatbots for the easy parts. A chatbot can quickly and efficiently lead a customer through a form to gather necessary contact information, without having to take up a real human’s time.
  • Triple check that it’s mobile-friendly. Everyone uses their phones for everything these days. Make sure your chat widget is mobile-friendly to avoid any frustrations for your on-the-go customers.

For inspiration, check out these examples of great live chat designs.


Live Chat Widget Placement

Placement is the easy part. The main idea is to make it as easy as possible for customers to chat with you. Some common locations include: 

  • Bottom right corner of every page
  • Top banner or menu 
  • Contact us page

We also find that leveraging a proactive pop-up increases engagement. A proactive pop-up shows web visitors a message inviting them to chat. Naturally, more engagement leads to more conversions.


Tracking Live Chat Conversions

While design is important, it doesn’t mean anything if your chat conversations aren’t leading to sales. A lot goes into converting website visitors into customers. Before you can do that, you need to start by setting goals.

Once you have established your goals and before you launch chat on your site, make sure you are able to track chats easily. Often, our clients will create a lead form to collect chat data. Every month, we generate reports showing key insights and progress on goals. 

Finally, be sure you’re continually updating and checking in on your goals. You may find that over time, you need to add more metrics that you’re tracking or shift your goals based on your organization’s overall strategy.

With careful planning and intentional design, it’s a piece of cake to launch a high converting live chat program.


Read more: Live Chat for Education: The Ultimate Guide

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