How to manage live chat

Live chat support can be a useful feature on your website, making it easier for people to get in touch with your business and reducing the number of unanswered emails and phone calls. Also, because it doesn’t require a verbal conversation, it may speed up the response time between both parties and encourage people who aren’t fond of speaking over the phone to get in touch. However, using a live chat support system will only have the desired effect if it’s being managed properly.

Why would you go for a non-voice process?

Businesses in a vast range of industries now use live chat to cater to their customers. There are many different reasons why you may choose to implement a non-voice process such as live chat support on your website. Potential benefits from using live chat include:

Customer convenience –

If the person visiting your website is busy, they may not have enough time to call your company directly to ask questions about your products or services. With live chat, they’re able to get in touch in their own time, opening a tab on their computer or mobile device and replying whenever it’s convenient. The number of websites that operate a live chat service means that many people will use them frequently to get answers to questions they have in a way that suits their lifestyle.

Increased conversions –

As visitors to your website may choose to use the live chat support service to enquire about specific products or services, or the purchase process, the interaction could increase the likelihood that the visitor will complete a purchase. Live chat agents are able to help in any way the visitor requires. For example, this could be through advising over products that they may be interested in or by helping the visitor in accessing their account after being locked out.

Customer loyalty –

Following an especially helpful communication via live chat, visitors may be more inclined to return to the same website in the future. Although this isn’t always applicable, it could be true for specific services, as they might remember the quality and efficiency of the customer experience they had last time.

Cost effectiveness –

As with any electronic messenger platform, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and general text messaging, live chat is instant and it can be done simultaneously with more than one person. Not only does this reduce the time people have to wait for help, but it also cuts costs because it requires fewer customer service agents compared with call centres.

How to get live chat on your website

Often added as a simple plug-in or code in the content management system (CMS) of the website, live chat support software needs to be installed on the website before it can be used. It can then be operated by designated live chat agents or a chatbot.

To manage live chat support in an effective manner, you need to consider a number of factors. An important issue is making sure you reply to people using live chat support quickly and with as much information as they require. To do this in an effective way, you may benefit from categorising queries into sections, prioritising customers by how important or urgent their query is, and using pre-created answers if they sufficiently answer the questions.

If it’s not possible to attend to every person straight away, you could also consider using the waiting time as an opportunity to get information from the person using a pre-chat survey. For prolonged waiting times, you could provide information on how long they might be waiting or give each person in the queue a number to prioritise messages.

What are the best live chat solutions for websites?

Live chat solutions are often split into three separate groups, with each offering a different type of service. From these, the preferred option is likely to be based on the specific website, the service it offers and the sorts of conversations that would benefit its visitors.

The first option is information, where simple queries can be put forward by visitors of the website or they may even already be generated in an interactive FAQ section. With this type of live chat, a chatbot could be used to provide general answers to each pre-constructed query, or a live chat agent can be on hand to answer the query directly.

The second option is sales, where the person replying must be a live chat agent rather than a chatbot, as they will be advising the visitor about goods or services on the website and helping them to choose the product or service that best suits their needs.

The third option is customer service, where the primary intention is to assist visitors with purchases they’re making and other enquiries relating to their account and the website’s terms and conditions. Live chat agents of this kind need to be sufficiently trained in responding to all three types of enquiry.

Gemma Harding
Gemma Harding

As Head of Client Services, Gemma is an expert in the telephone answering services industry. With over 20 years of experience in the call handling process she will guide your organisation to an improved customer service strategy. Hobbies include all thing equestrian.