Work Smarter: Live Chat Best Practices

Is there a sure-shot formula for your business to skyrocket? Well, no, but yes as well. If not a sure shot hack, it’s definitely a consideration.

Even two decades back, most of the businesses especially in third world countries had monopolistic nature. Today, the world is welcoming an open market. Open market means to match the steps with a competitor.

There is one product but several brands to offer the same product. Sometimes, the quality too doesn’t vary much. Then what is the masterstroke? None other than experience, most importantly, customer experience.

The customer is the king in modern times. There are a plethora of options that one has on their plate.

Out of all of them, it is really the customer’s discretion on which service or brand they choose from. Much of this decision comes from how the customer is treated. People today look for two things precisely: on-demand service and customer satisfaction.

The quality is crucial but it can be given a miss by some if they are promised for a better one when they seek redressal.

According to Esteban Kolsky, Founder, ThinkJar, if a customer is dissatisfied then 13% of them will tell at least 15 people that they are displeased with a company’s service.

Especially if you are a company that is hot off the oven, this is murder. The ideal thing is to build your base keeping in mind the likes of your customers. Be it new or old. New businesses need customer testimonials that are organic over social media for footfalls to increase.

On the other hand, the established businesses need the goodwill to be maintained and talked about all over. They would need the customers to become their brand ambassadors.

Many brands have even considered that as an image positioning vehicle as well. Now technology has come to be a big boon and the best of it is that it has multiple options through which a customer or a potential customer feels at home.

A personalized approach is what many people look for and live chats are proving to be ultimate winners in bridging gaps between businesses and buyers. It is the present and is also the future of the customer experience.

Some tactful practices using live chats can prove to be absolutely useful. Few of the best practices with a live chat that businesses can follow are-

Align live chat with business goals

First thing’s first, you need to ask yourself why your business needs a live chat? Is it a type of business that can leverage from a chat system? If they do, then it has to be an omni channel for your business and customer satisfaction.

It can include KPIs, SLAs, customer issue resolution, and reducing shopping cart abandonment. According to CX Trends Report, businesses embed chat solutions for native customers.

This includes having self- service content in an e-commerce website or an embedded live chat window to provide support.

Optimize user experience

Live chat location, access and timing are the three pillars basis which the user experience can be judged. Potential customers draw the basis of their first impressions on what they see on your website.

The website should have a clear indication of where to address in case of any issues. If they are satisfied with the way they have been catered to, depending on the prompt response, or tone or language used, proactiveness, all of them earn brownie points.

Proper intervention and assistance on the customer support chat are well appreciated among potential customers. The frequently your team can extend support and suggestions, the fewer chances are of abandoned carts.

You got to be unobtrusive so that you don’t drive away your potential customers. For a budding business or a business that sees a lot of competition, driving away customers is the last thing that should happen to you.

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Good user interface

Good user interface

A website that is easy to navigate and has simple language that speaks the customer’s language will always have a benefit of the doubt.

Your website must speak how supreme the customer is for you. Despite having compelling company stories or uber quality products, it will all fall flat if the customer feels that something is off with the environment.

Chatbots and a dedicated team will be wonderful to serve all existing and potential customers and make them feel special and important.

Not just that but you can also embed a pop-up chat box that opens the moment a potential customer lands on your business page.

Staffing requirements

Go for seasoned and experienced agents as they may be well versed with a live chat feature, chat routing, turn of calls, etc.

An agent who holds a better understanding of the process will inherently serve better and bring business. If you hire a novice agent, make sure that their training includes all basics.

Make them familiar with the chat software, language training, how to conduct research on the customer’s chat history, ticket issue, and resolution.

Sometimes there is a mingle between agents and chatbots. Agents pick on from the data and information that is shared by the chatbots.

An agent must inculcate the understanding that repeating the same stream of information will only lead to frustration which will turn off the customer.

Build a chat workflow

A workflow is a masterstroke to ensure that your customer support system is on point.

The process includes ticket escalation path, agent assignment plan, and real-time monitoring, and channel management.

Monitor and improve

There is always a scope of improvement. You must as a business owner have a team in place that will purely look at the live chat analytics and device any improvement plans.

Using this data, average wait times, customer satisfaction, and agent performance can be determined and outlined for the scope of improvement.

Once the live chat is up, it needs a close watch. Before that what’s essential is hiring the right team of agents, establishing the right objectives, training, and workflow creation are the main aspects.

The rest will be on keeping the objectives that were laid out in place.

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Outsource Support

Why Live Chat Support is extremely significant in eCommerce business?

Nowadays, a large proportion of the urban population shops online. So, in eCommerce business spheres it is not just about getting the right customer but also about keeping them interested in your shop. The trend of online shopping leaves a vast variety of options to the customers and a single slip-up can result in these customers migrating to the competitors.

Quality customer service plays a very crucial role in online businesses and It is the customers who spread the word about you and helps build a good customer base. Customer service is the answer to creating a comfortable shopping environment for your shoppers so that they feel comfortable with your services. This may include, phone support, email, as well as emerging communication channels like live chat support.

Live chat support offers the shoppers a comfortable and convenient platform where they can chat with a “shopping assistant” or customer support executive, while being logged on to your site/store. Recent market studies show that, online businesses that feature live chat as part of customer communication are seen to enjoy better results – essentially cost reduction, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction – than those that do not. Another study shows that 56% of the urban population (aged 18 to 34 years) prefer live chat to telephonic conversations compared to the remaining 27% (aged 35 years and above). Besides all of this a survey of American online consumers shows that, 68% engage in live chat and 63% prefer getting back to a website with live chat for repeat purchase.

There are two types of consumers who use live chat for help. The first group are your potential buyers and the most common questions they pose are:

  • Want to know more about product specifications
  • cannot find specific item(s) on a given website
  • Want to compare products

These scenarios extremely influence purchase decisions. Actually, more than 38% of online customers took their purchase decision due to live chat session. Live chat agents play a very important role in this regard and if they are well trained then they can help generate much more sales.

The second group are your existing customers and their points of enquiry are:

  • Want to know the status of their order
  • Want to ask about “Return policies“
  • Reporting bugs or suggesting improvements in your service etc.

Some of the significances of Live Chat Support for eCommerce businesses are discussed below:

Livechat Infographics
  1. Time Convenience to Customers

Online shopping is a convenient experience, but if a customer has a query, he or she would usually prefer to have it resolved in the shortest time possible. It takes time for a customer to find out your toll-free (customer support) number and dial it. This becomes a drawn-out process, as they have to wait until the voice executive comes to handle the query. Email support takes a much longer time and social media requires browsing thoroughly. Thus, live chat is the perfect alternative, capable of instantly solving any concerns. It also allows the customer to multi-task, while waiting, although their wait is not for long.

Studies also show that within the online channel, live chat has become the leading contact source, as 42% of full-service customers prefer using a live online chat feature vs. Email (23%) or other social media forum (16%). Moreover, online satisfaction is maximum among customers who use the chat feature.

2. Saves money and increases Efficiency

There are three main reasons why Live Chat Support can cut costs:

  • It increases efficiency by allowing chat agents to handle multiple chats simultaneously, thus eliminates the need for hiring more agents, thereby saving money. Intelligent live chat software such as LiveAgent allows multiple options for chat distribution and utilization.
  • It increases the average order value since customers get real-time advice and answers to any queries they might have. It saves product return expenses as a chat agent can help your customers pick the right product or service, which suits them best, thus he or she will be satisfied with it and hence they won’t need to return it back.
  • Chat Support reduces overall helpdesk center costs by lowering the average interaction cost, waiting queue time when compared to a call center.

Thus, we can see that live chat support can cut costs around every corner and can also give a boost to your online business portal.

3. Boosts Sales

Much like the way in which a salesperson in a physical store walks a confused customer through all the available products along with every detail about them, a chat support executive not only makes it easier for a customer to make a detailed decision about making a purchase but also in many cases, this help turn the customer into making a prompt purchase. This feature obviously boosts sales for the business. However, well-trained staff is required for this.

4. Builds long-term relations with your Customers

Builds long-term relations with your Customers

The more satisfied your customers are the more profit you will make and conversations are the best way to do that because this way you can learn about and retain them. Furthermore, if your customers are satisfied with your services, they will refer you to their friends and family. This is always a good way to expand your market. With Live chat support, you can also promote these long-term relations with your customers by assuring them that you value their inputs and happiness. Studies show that 63% of the customers who‘ve used live chat tend to come back rather than the ones who haven’t.  Thus, Live Chat is always helpful to build a satisfying long-term client-customer relationship.

The faster the communication higher is the purchases and thus, the profit. So, including a live chat support feature in the e-commerce business can also prove to be an important tactic.

Technology with a touch of personalization can never go wrong!