A live chat feature on any website can be extremely valuable in respect to business and customer service. As great as it is, it can also be extremely problematic should you not devote enough time and training to administer it.
1. Customers love live chat.
The convenience of chat is why people love it. In a stat quoted by ICMI from Harris Research, “53% of customers would prefer to use online chat before calling a company for support.” This shows how significant live chat is for your business, or how important it could be!
Don’t crumble under the pressure.
Although chat is something that 50% of customers want, it puts the pressure on you to ensure that your live chat representatives are trained and ready to meet your customers’ high expectations.
If you add chat to your website and you have no plan for dealing with chat enquiries, then you may actually lose customers from it. A bad experience on live chat is not an option.
“89% of shoppers have stopped buying from online stores after they’ve experienced poor customer service.” (source: tagove.com)
2. Streamline/reduce the workload of your customer service team.
Reducing your employees’ workloads can be extremely difficult to achieve, especially when you have a tight budget to stick to. However, live chat can be an extremely affordable way of doing so.
Live chat allows you to deal with more than one customer. On the phone, you are limited to helping just the one. But with a live chat option, people who would originally land on your website and then call your number can now use live chat instead of calling your company.
Ensure you have a substantial team covering your live chat.
If your customer service team are dealing with customers on both live chat and the phone, they may be forced to multitask. This is where it can get a little messy. It’s imperative that you have a team to deal with both chats and incoming calls. If you don’t, then your customers’ experience on live chat will become a hindrance and your customer service levels will take a negative dip.
3. Instinctive and rapid customer service.
Live chat presents your customers with an instant solution. Rather than emailing you and waiting a day for a response, or calling up and having to wait on the line or request a call back, they can ask a question on chat and receive an instant response.
Make sure you are swift on chat.
Rapid customer service requires an instant messenger waiting for site visitors to interact with chat. If your representatives are not quick in replying to your customers, then you will suffer with a bad experience for your site visitors – they will not wait for you to respond.
People browsing the internet are busy people. They will not hesitate to move onto another website if you take too long to respond.
4. Live chat builds trust between you and your customer.
Simply having live chat helps to build immediate trust with your site visitors. Potential customers, new customers and even loyal customers know that they can contact you quickly through live chat.
Although many people see the selling prospect of live chat, it is still very much about improving the customer service of your business.
Don’t break their trust.
This is why you need to ensure the service on your customer service is worthwhile. If you have chat but you’re not utilising it, then customers will lose that trust in you.
5. Increase enquiries and leads, and drive sales.
Live chat is brilliant for increasing enquiries and leads. If you have good traffic coming to your website, then live chat is a necessity – you will get site visitors talking to you. And when they do, this allows you to answer their questions and even encourage a follow up chat.
Failing that, you can organise a time to call or meet with them in person – a face to face chat is always a winner, so feel free to organise it through chat.
Allow your human features to come out.
Yes, live chat is great for increasing enquires and leads, but you need to be natural in doing so.
Too many live chats across the internet are very robotic. If you’re human like and thoughtful in your chats with site visitors, the more chance you will convert your chats into real leads.
The way in which you interact is extremely important, so do make it clear to your chat representatives that acting like a human on chat is acceptable!
6. Provides more than just better customer service.
Live chat offers more than another element of customer service.
On most live chat programmes, you can exchange documents and other materials; and because chat works on mobiles, it’s even easier for a site user to take a photo of something on their phone and send it over to you via live chat. This also means that you can send materials over to them too!
Test it out before you start chatting to real customers.
Experiment with this though before you go into a real chat with a site visitor. The last thing you want to do is guarantee that they can send or receive material through chat and an unexpected error occurs and they cannot. It will not bode well for you.
7. Let people know you have live chat.
When your live chatters receive great feedback from genuine customers, spread the word across your social media. This lets your customers know that you, firstly, have live chat on your website, secondly, you’re good at it, and lastly, you’re available to talk and help them right away!
But by letting people know you have live chat, you need to ensure that you are available on chat and that you are bossing it!