How B2C companies are using live chat to drive sales and offer a personalized customer experience

For online businesses, customer experience is king. It can be pretty simple if you listen to what your customers want, which usually boils down to a personalized, quick and low friction experience.

Channels like live chat and self-service are highly preferred when it comes to customers getting answers to their questions. Crucially, enabling these channels can be just as much a vehicle for sales as it is for customer service. The stats speak for themselves:

  • On average, website visitors are 82% more likely to convert to customers if they’ve chatted with you first.
  • Website visitors who chat pay 13% more than those who don’t, according to our data.
  • Just one reply can increase the likelihood of conversion by 50%; one more reply makes that visitor 100% more likely to convert.

That’s why many consumer businesses are turning to Intercom to help build more personal relationships with their customers to drive sustainable growth.

Elegant Themes is using Visitor Auto Messages to convert 3x more paid subscriptions

elegantthemes use intercom

Mitch Skolnik is the Operations Director at Elegant Themes, best known for Divi the most widely used WordPress theme in the world. He manages the sales, support and QA teams and is in charge of all customer-facing tools that Elegant Themes uses. Divi is a volume based product with a fairly low average subscription price, so Mitch hypothesized that live chat could be used to accelerate interested buyers toward a faster purchase decision.

“We actually didn’t have a sales team until we started with Intercom,” he says. “We were looking to integrate live chat into our website to open up a new channel for interested buyers to engage with us and close new subscriptions quickly at scale. We’ve been able to grow our sales team around how Intercom functions and have been able to scale our team to 10 reps who handle 16,000 sales conversations a month, with a 2 minute average first response time.”

“We’re now converting 25% of leads that come through live chat to paid subscriptions”

The team at Elegant Themes use Visitor Auto Messages to proactively encourage potential buyers to speak with their sales reps. One of their most successful messages offers a discount code to people who have shown purchase intent by visiting their site multiple times. That message alone has fired over 175,000 times and has a conversion rate of 19% to a paid plan.

Using Intercom, the teams at Elegant Themes can properly attribute which marketing campaigns and sales reps are driving the most conversions through live chat. Each rep might average 10 unique sales in a single day, so they are passing UTM parameters from their campaign URLs to properly assess the true effectiveness of their marketing and sales initiatives.

“What differentiates Intercom is how engaging the the Visitor Auto Messages are. Our welcome message alone prompts valuable conversations we might not have had without the Messenger. We’re now converting 25% of leads to paid subscriptions that come through live chat and 30% of paid signups can be attributed to Intercom.”

Fireclay Tile drives 20% of interested buyers through live chat

Intercom Messenger on Fireclay website

As a certified B-corp and one of the only tile companies using sustainable manufacturing practices and recycled materials, Fireclay Tile prides itself on doing things authentically, like making each one of their tiles by hand. For Lauren Ritchie, Senior Design Consultant, that also meant treating their customer experience in the same way.

Before using Intercom, if somebody wanted to get in touch with Fireclay’s residential sales team they would have to call or email first and wait for a response. The experience wasn’t ideal, and was compounded by the fact that Fireclay is a direct-to-consumer business with only one physical showroom.

“We’ve opened up a completely new channel for sales with chat”

For a high consideration purchase like tiling, the showroom experience can help alleviate concerns by allowing potential buyers to see and feel the product in person. But when it comes to selling a handmade product like Fireclay’s tiles online, that process of discovery needs to be able to happen just as seamlessly as it would in-store. That’s why the company looked to gain a competitive advantage by offering quicker, more personal customer service through live chat.

“Fireclay is kind of unique in that we sell directly to customers,” Lauren explains. “A lot of other tile companies have showrooms, or they work with distributors nationally. So I found that Intercom is great because we can bridge the gap. Even though we can’t be there physically with people, they can chat and we can still build relationships in a personal, authentic way.”

The Intercom messenger sits on their website and allows potential customers to easily ask questions as they arise. Fireclay has also set up some Visitor Auto Messages to proactively engage potential customers on specific, high-intent pages of their site. All of this work allows Fireclay to capitalize on their customer’s intent to learn more, exactly at the right moment.

Through live chat, Fireclay can answer any initial questions their prospective customers have and encourage them to choose some products to sample. From there, the team can progress to more in-depth pricing conversations through email.

Opening up a completely new channel for sales has been pivotal for the Fireclay sales team. Lauren says, “Before we were fielding inbound requests just using email and phone, but with chat we’ve opened up a completely new channel for sales. Now around 20% of interested buyers come directly from using live chat through Intercom!”

LetsGetChecked uses Intercom’s self-service knowledge base to reduce support costs and have higher quality conversations


LetsGetChecked enables customers to purchase health tests to take in the comfort of their own home and order, manage, and track results online. For an important purchase like this, customers tend to have a lot of questions, such as which test they need to purchase, how to administer it themselves or how to interpret their results.

With live chat support both pre and post-sale, as well as a convenient self-service experience that handles simple customer questions, LetsGetChecked is using Intercom to provide a seamless support experience. Ronan Ryan, COO, knew that creating a world-class customer experience was crucial to establishing trust in their products.

“Intercom has helped cut costs, improve our support efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and scale with the growth of our business”

Self-service was especially important to LetsGetChecked because their website traffic and sales were rapidly increasing. Using Articles, Intercom’s knowledge base product, allowed their conversation volume to remain the same even as they were quickly growing because customers could help themselves for common questions. To further improve the self-serve experience, LetsGetChecked has enabled Article Suggestions and Article Search Messenger app, which has been invaluable during off-hours.

“Intercom has allowed us to create a delightful self-service experience for our customers. The Article Search Messenger app reduces friction and makes it simple to search for help directly in the Messenger while automation features like smart suggestions allow bots to answer common questions our customers have,” Ronan says.

“Intercom also provides analytics behind searches that aren’t producing results and article ratings so that we have that feedback loop to continually improve our self-service experience. As a result, we’ve seen our customer satisfaction scores increase from 8.8 to 9.6 since implementing Intercom.”

Furthermore, since rolling out Intercom, the time to first response has decreased by 60% for the LetsGetChecked team. Most importantly for Ronan, all of this change has happened without adding anyone new to the support team.

“Intercom has helped cut costs, improved our support efficiency, increased customer satisfaction and scaled with the growth of our business,” Ronan explains.

“Not only that, the quality of conversations we are having is now higher because our customers can quickly find answers to common questions themselves. This enables our support team to tackle higher priority issues like answering questions from potential customers who are ready to buy. Assisting customers at this crucial time has increased sales conversion and helped double our revenue.”