Live chat is a great way to interact with online customers who need help and advice. In fact, surveys show that live chat can have the highest customer satisfaction levels for any contact method, with 73 percent satisfaction versus 44 percent for a conventional telephone call. Nonetheless, if you don't manage your live chat service effectively, you may do more harm than good. Review your live chat strategy, and make sure you aren't committing any of the following mistakes.
Bombarding customers with chat invitations
While a customer is browsing your website, he or she does not want to see a barrage of messages offering support via your live chat service. In fact, constant interruptions and pop-ups may even alienate potential customers, so it's important to think about how you can display an invitation to join a web chat.
Prominently display a link on product and support pages, but don't use methods that bombard or interrupt customers. A pop-up box that asks if somebody needs help is arguably too intrusive, especially if this appears as soon as the customer opens one of your web pages. Make your live chat easy to find, but let your customers choose the service at the point when they need it.
Excessive use of scripted responses
Live chat is effective when customers feel that they are talking to a real person. They probably understand that the live chat agent has to deal with more than one person at a time, but excessive use of scripted responses can quickly kill an otherwise fruitful conversation.
Scripted responses work well in certain situations. For example, a standard greeting message isn't a bad start to the conversation if you want to create the same tone with all prospective clients, but scripted messages quickly become less useful as the conversation progresses. Train your agents to consider key phrases, words and standard messages they can build into a response to save a bit of time, but live chat really only works when the agent brings his or her personality into the conversation.
Delays between responses
Don't offer live chat services if you don't have enough people to respond to customer requests. While one agent can normally manage several conversations, it's important to set reasonable limits that you should impose before customers start to suffer. If customers have to wait too long to get the answers they need, they will simply click away.
Don't just set an arbitrary number. Use the available management information from your live chat system to look at average chat times, and check when your peak demand periods occur. You may need to continually review your resource plan to meet demand. If you can't manage the resource demands in-house, it's a good idea to consider outsourcing options. Third-party suppliers can offer cost-effective solutions where you simply pay per live chat without worrying about issues of supply and demand.
Failure to act on feedback
Live chat agents are often party to a wealth of feedback and customer comments that can help you shape your online business, so it's very wasteful to allow this information to go unnoticed. For example, if several customers start a live chat to discuss a payment option you don't offer, it's a great opportunity to see if it's possible to introduce this method in the future.
Live chat systems generally record all conversations, but it's a time-consuming task to wade through thousands of pages of transcripts. Instead, create a process where live agents flag issues to a certain team where they think follow-up action is necessary. What's more, when you introduce any of these changes, make sure you tell your customers via a blog or email, so everyone knows you are listening and acting on feedback.
Live chat is increasingly popular with American customers who use online retailers. Talk to an experienced technology provider for more information and advice about the live chat options available to you. For more information, consider websites like http://www.ssnwhq.com.