Making Chat More Appealing

Kevin Payne | October 24, 2014

When it comes to elegant and intelligent design, most people would probably claim that Apple sets the standard. Their products are clearly designed with the user in mind, easy to learn and easy to use. If you think back and compare the early Macintosh computers, they were light years ahead of PCs. Point-and-click? What you see is what you get? It was very exciting, but in today’s world that kind of functionality and user interface is standard.

Except when it comes to chat.

When it comes to elegant design today, most chat systems are stuck in the dark ages. They’re still text-based and far from intelligent. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In a new white paper, Leslie Joseph, [24]’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, discusses how infusing chat with a well-conceived user interface and data-oriented design can lead to higher interaction outcomes and better business results.

For example, adding intelligent sliders not only allows you to push rich interactive web content to a chatting customer, but can also help the customer resolve their queries or make a purchase decision more easily. Sliders transform a text-only chat to a visual interaction, reducing customer effort and making chat interactions more engaging.

Designing chat for a mobile platform is also critical as smart phones are the interface of choice for many consumers. Since you can’t present content the same way on a mobile device, a layered interface design presents the mobile web page or native app screen as the base layer. The chat UX sits atop it, and sliders, if used, sit above the chat UX. Aided by prominent visual cues, this makes it intuitive for a chatting visitor to minimize the slider to get back to the chat, and then to minimize the chat to get back to the web page.

To improve engagement and chat invite acceptance, you can leverage a strong design-of-experiments framework where, for example, you test the visual elements in a contextual chat invitation, including the font, the message, the graphic, the layout schema and the color palette. You can then create several variants of the invitation with different combinations of UX elements. Each of these variants can be exposed to different randomly selected visitors or hot lead groups and the winning variant (which delivers the highest acceptance rate) can be identified to improve chat results.

And elegant design isn’t limited to just the customer. It can be applied to the agent interface as well by re-imagining the agent chat desktop. Make the agent experience easy and intuitive so that they can interact with the customer more effectively.

Utilizing intelligent and elegant design makes chat more effective and drives higher engagement, lowers customer effort, and delivers superior business results for the enterprise. You can download the white paper by clicking here.