Why Furniture Store Websites Need More Than Live Chat to Help Customers

By: Felicia Savage

An online chat feature on a furniture website is only as good as the salesperson handling requests, and live chat appeals more to customers ready to buy. Here’s how to convert furniture customers still in the research phase. Sam Weisblatt, owner of Sam’s Furniture, says his website used to offer online customers a live chat feature so they could talk with a salesperson in real time, but ultimately got rid of it despite the benefits.


“We’ve used it in the past and found it to be a worthwhile tool,” Weisblatt says. “But it does require a different level of personnel to maintain a high level of standards of customer service.”


While live chat provides an engaging, personalized experience for furniture customers, it’s only as good as the salesperson manning the text feature. It’s really geared toward consumers at the bottom of a store’s online sales conversion funnel, meaning they’re more ready to buy than furniture shoppers still doing online research.


Help Online Furniture Customers Do Research

Since so many customers spend hours conducting online research before ever visiting a furniture showroom, it’s imperative your furniture company think beyond online chat and include other interactive website tools that connect with the majority of your online audience that’s still in the research phase.


Create engagement on your furniture store website by including online questionnaires that help furniture shoppers narrow down their choices and drive them to your showroom, such as design style and sofa or mattress assessments.


You’ll build your bottom line by helping customers do their research and offering something different than the competition. Leverage that consumer engagement with your brand to build a solid pipeline of potential customers that you can convert into in-store sales.


Give Website Visitors a Way to Request Information

Once an online shopper has picked out some favorite furniture pieces on your website, it’s a good idea to include a convenient way for online shoppers to request specific information or submit questions.


If live chat is your tool of choice, just be sure to have your best furniture sales team members ready at the keyboard to respond in a timely and friendly manner.


“Some shoppers like to hit the chat button and talk to someone,” says Ed Tashjian, founder of Tashjian Marketing. “But online chat is 100 percent dependent on the quality of the person on the other end. Nothing could be better when they’re great. If the salesperson is a dud, it ruins the relationship forever.”