You’ve probably heard of live chat, maybe you’ve used it yourself to contact a company, or perhaps you’ve invested in the service for your own business. You’d be right to do so, as it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular customer service interfaces out there thanks to its efficiency and convenience.
According to techjury.net, 75% of people prefer to use live chat over any other channel, so you’d be missing a trick if you limited yourself to just a phone and email service.
For those of you who are unaware of this handy technology, it consists of a chat box that pops up when a new or returning customer visits your website. It is manned by members of your customer service team, or team members of the company you are outsourcing it to such as Cymphony, who are on hand to answer any questions visitors might have and lead them to useful information that can lead to increased business.
In a nutshell, live chat makes it convenient for your website visitors to communicate with you, meaning it becomes a lucrative capability to have for your company.
However, it’s not as easy as simply integrating the technology into your website; you’ve got to use it to its best advantage too. Fortunately for you, we’re here to explain the many ways in which you can make the most of it to boost your business sales, improve your business’s customer service and become the experts in your field.
You can get an in-depth breakdown of what live chat is and how it works by checking out our article ‘What is Live Chat? Everything you Need to Know‘ where we give you an overview of how you can start utilising the benefits of the outsourced communication tool.
If at any point in this article you decide that you’re keen to find out more about how live chat can enable your business to grow, improve sales, and increase customer satisfaction levels, please contact an experienced and regularly trained member of the Cymphony team where we can discuss a bespoke solution for you.
How to Choose a Chat Service
There are a number of different chat services out there, each with their own pros and cons, for business owners to choose from. The main options are an automated service, otherwise known as a chatbot, or a real-time service.
What Is a ChatBot?
We can understand why it is very tempting to choose an automated service, or chatbot, as it requires very little input from your staff; the answers are already written and the question the customer types triggers the most relevant.
However, how many times have you used a chat service like this yourself and felt frustrated by the lack of human interaction?
While an automated chat service might be effective for very basic and easy-to-predict questions such as ‘What are your opening times?’ when it comes to more complex enquiries it may struggle to adequately meet the needs of the user.
It is far more likely that customers are reaching out to speak to your company directly because they have an unusual enquiry, rather than because they have a question they could easily be answered by your website.
Choosing the wrong chat service could do more harm than good when it comes to your customer service ratings, especially when customers are left feeling frustrated that their questions haven’t been answered.
What is Real-Time Live Chat?
On the other hand, being able to speak to a customer service advisor, one to one, in real-time can work wonders when it comes to efficient problem solving.
As I’m sure you know, one of the main priorities for customer service teams is being able to handle as many inquiries as possible in a short space of time.
Thanks to the convenience of live chat this has become much easier to achieve, with the added benefit of ensuring that the service your customers receive is not only fast but also effective.
Why Outsourcing Your Live Chat Service is a Good Idea
As well as choosing the right kind of software, you might want to consider outsourcing your live chat.
Outsourcing to a company like Cymphony ensures that every customer is looked after and every potential sales lead is made the most of as we’ve found out through finance online that 85% of B2B companies use live chat for sales.
Not only because you have top quality customer service advisors responding to queries, but also because every question can be met with an immediate response.
No more waiting on hold!
What Kind of Questions Should Your Chat Agents be Able to Answer?
First things first, it’s a good idea for your chat agents to have an understanding of where certain information can be found on your company website, so that they can quickly direct people to the right page of information, if it already exists. This helps to speed things up.
The kinds of questions that people ask in a live chat box are similar to those they’d ask over the phone or over email, so if you’re outsourcing this service your experienced customer service representatives could guide those who are new to the company. This leads me to a further piece of advice; discussion amongst colleagues can really help in the fast delivery of great answers.
How to Sell Over Live Chat
Of course, the main purpose of the live chat tool is to be a customer service interface, but thanks to the nature of human conversation it’s easy for advisors to create sales opportunities.
For example, they might guide a customer to a web page describing a new offer that you’re promoting, that they might be interested in.
It’s important that live chat operators are aware of these opportunities, but subtlety is key in order to avoid angering those who are just looking for help.
Chat Surveys: What Are They and How do They Help?
Chat surveys can be a really useful feature to include in your live chat service. Starting the conversation with a short survey that asks the user for some initial information, such as their name and the nature of their enquiry, can help the operator make sure they are prepared to answer effectively. Being able to use a customer’s name is always a great way to build rapport too.
You could even include a post-chat survey that asks the user for feedback on their experience when the conversation comes to a close. Don’t be surprised if some people are reluctant to contribute their thoughts; it is supposed to be a quick and convenient communication solution after all, but when they do it can provide you with some really useful insight into how you could improve.
One Last Chat Tip
Always make sure your software is designed to show when your agents are typing; it helps to keep frustration levels low for the customer as they can see that their question is being answered, not ignored.
So, Are You Ready to Make the Most of Live Chat?
You’ve now got an understanding of the best ways you can make the most of your live chat service and, hopefully, have got some ideas of why you might need live chat if you’ve not got it already.
If you do decide to take up live chat for your business from an outsourced provider, please always focus on these important points and ask the right questions from these points to ensure you’re using the provider that is most suited to your business.
- Choose the right service for your business, whether that’s automated or in real-time
- Consider outsourcing so that you can make sure every query is answered and the potential of every lead is realised
- Prepare your operators thoroughly, including training them to recognise possible sales opportunities
- Finally, think about including chat surveys in order to gather valuable information
Of course, what we didn’t cover in this article is how live chat can benefit your business specifically. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of live chat contact an experienced member of Cymphony team to drive results for your business.