Live Chat Case Study: Statista’s International Support Setup

“When you compare web users from the USA and Germany, the Germans definitely put a higher value on privacy, rejecting any form of intrusiveness. We had to adapt our service setup to these differences.”

I’m talking about live chat with Alexander Proske, IT and product manager at Statista - an international statistics portal with data covering over 80,000 topics from nearly 20,000 sources.

With support teams on both sides of the Atlantic, I’m curious to hear about how these cultural differences are reflected in their setup.

What did your service setup look like before?

Our channels were telephone, fax, and email. On our website we also had an online form. We didn’t offer a live chat channel until the beginning of 2015.

What made you try live chat?

Our main purpose with live chat was to react to questions faster and more directly. For this we implemented the tool on our English and German websites. On our English pages we’ve set up the Chat Widget very prominently, while on the German site it only shows on some pages and more subtle.

Our sales guys from the United States were the first to direct our attention to live chat. It’s a much more common and accepted service channel over there than it is in Germany, which is one of the reasons for the more dominant setup on the English site.

And why did you decide for Userlike?

We wanted to have a provider located in Germany, a company that could offer quick support if we needed it. From the shortlist that came up, Userlike was the most intuitive and modern looking. We could also really appreciate the extended Dashboard Analytics - we're a statistics portal after all.

How smooth or difficult was your start with Userlike?

The configuration and implementation were pretty straightforward. Our sales department requested some changes after the first weeks, concerning the positioning of the chat and the time after which the Chat Window proactively pops up. Here the openness of Userlike’s system was of great help. We could define everything in the code to reach an advanced level of customization.

We were, for example, able to determine how web visitors were approached depending on their location. Our US sales department configured the chat so that the window pops up in the middle of the screen. This “pushes” unregistered web visitors to act. That’s something you wouldn’t want to try with a German web visitor, she would be outraged by such intrusiveness! But in the US it’s accepted and a helpful little trick.

In what ways did Userlike help your company?

Firstly, it reduced the waiting times for our users, making them happier and our service department more efficient. We were able to increase the number of answered support inquiries per day, which is largely due to a decrease in support inquiries via email. Compared to chats emails are a burden - they take much longer to process.

Also, we measured that users who chat stay on our website longer, are more likely to buy, and do so sooner than those that don't chat. I think that seeing that someone is available instantly is a strong trust signal to our users - but this is hard to measure of course.

Besides that, we've noticed that live chat is a powerful tool for upselling. The users that engage in a chat are more likely to end up with the higher-end product. That’s a huge advantage. Via the chat we’re able to quickly outline the specific benefits of a product and connect it to the customers’ needs, making them feel like they’re getting a tailored product.

How has the response been?

Our service agents have frequently praised the direct link to the customer. The customers have given us very positive feedback on the reaction time the chat enables. Everyone has been positive surprised.

Which feature do you like the most and why?

We are really enjoying the chat macros. These help us to dramatically cut down the response time for recurring questions.

Why would you recommend Userlike?

One reason would definitely be the smooth setup. The tool is very intuitive and I’m impressed by the extent to which it can be individualized. We have integrated our own company’s label, for example, which gives the chat window a professional look.

Also, Userlike's structure has made it easy for us to set up for our international support groups. The widget and grouping functions make us very flexible.