A Complete Guide to Using a Live Chat Facility

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

Live methods of chat and interaction can offer online businesses a great deal of pull and sway when it comes to creating a stronger, more dynamic customer service experience.

Of course, like all innovations that are of benefit to a business, it’s not just about having live chat features, but also what you do with that technology that matters most. 

After all, a poor customer service experience spells trouble regardless of the tools you’ve used.

So, how can a forward-thinking company find a way of embracing these advancements while also applying them effectively? And how can success be measured with a live chat tool? 

This guide to using a live chat facility will help businesses to not only understand why they need to make the most of this technology but also what it can offer to their company for the foreseeable future

Why use a live chat facility at all?

In terms of how we communicate and exchange information, the world is moving at a faster rate than ever before.

And if people become accustomed to a certain level of speed for queries and concerns, then anything else will begin to feel outdated and irrelevant. 

In order to reap the benefits of the advancements in modern commerce, a business needs to have an agile and fast-acting method of resolving issues, developing trust, and taking advantage of potential sales opportunities.

Here you can see an example on Sage.com where they are proactively finding out whether users are existing customers or not.

A Complete Guide to Using a Live Chat Facility

Live chat on Sage.com

What are the benefits of using a live chat facility? 

First of all, a study showed that live chats have the highest level of satisfaction of all customer service channels, ranging between 73-81%.

And while customer satisfaction can serve as a defining example of what a business can achieve using a live chat and search facility, below are more of the incredible benefits that can come with embracing a live search tool. 

Reduced reliance on phone support 

Phone support has always been an integral part of ensuring customers are heard and understood. However, it’s difficult to manage it effectively, especially when you have to consider finding agents to deal with a high volume of calls during all hours

Outsourcing Live chat prevents the frustrations customers can experience from busy signals and being kept on hold. It will also help to provide a less complicated alternative due to a live chat facility’s ability to deal with several calls and queries at once. 

Multimedia benefits

Unlike more traditional methods of customer phone support, live chat facilities allow customers and agents to potentially share images, screenshots, and other information to help resolve the situation or query

What are the benefits of using a Live Chat Facility

Image sharing on livehat.com

Instead of long and drawn-out conversations that add more confusion to a situation, agents can either provide information that customers can take with them to digest as they please, or actively show them something via co-browsing interactions. 

Instant response times 

Just like the expectations that modern technology has created for the speed of a website and the speed of delivery, customers worldwide now expect an almost immediate response to their questions.

And if they don’t get what they want quickly enough? They’ll simply go elsewhere. 

Not only can this help to provide a more streamlined process for handling customer concerns and questions, but it also resolves the issue in minutes, all without the need to send multiple emails that can drag the response time out over a matter of weeks. 

More opportunities to drive sales 

The instantaneous nature of live chat also provides you with an opportunity to turn those resolved issues into a quick conversion. Live chat support allows you to help influence and guide a customer when deciding whether to make a purchase

This gives companies a unique ability to keep new customers on the path to conversions while upselling to existing ones as well.

For instance, a complaint or question can be resolved and an agent can suggest a new or existing product as an upgrade that provides a permanent solution. 

Deal with multiple enquiries at once

Unlike talking to someone on the phone, customer service agents can host multiple live chat sessions at once.

Deal with multiple enquiries at once

Multiple chat sessions on Happy Fox

This means productivity is massively improved, as well as being more convenient for the customer. Take, for example, if the user is at work in a busy office, it may be far more convenient to open a live chat session than speak on the phone. 

How can live chat software be implemented effectively? 

Understanding the benefits of live support facilities helps you to know how to best harness those benefits for your business. By integrating these features with a strong customer service team, you’ll be set up for a faster, more efficient service.

However, it’s also important to consider the right features for your live chat tools in order to highlight the above benefits clearly and effectively. 

Below are 5 vital features to look for when choosing a customer-friendly live chat facility. 

  • Chat transcript features

    A chat transcript feature allows agents to access past conversations, details, and any other relevant historical information regarding the customer’s interactions with the chat platform. This helps to provide more background and detail to a situation, which helps the agent to serve the customer better and more efficiently.
  • Customisation features

    While a blank white box may feel uninviting and faceless, customisation features help your business match the themes and colours of your website. Not only does this help to create a less cold appearance for live chat circumstances, but it’s also a great branding opportunity
  • Automatic forwarding features

    Live chat needs to feel like there’s always someone there ready to provide support for your customers. With automatic forwarding software, queries and questions can be automatically sent to other service portals or email addresses during out-of-office hours. 
  • Chatbot features

    It’s important to know if your live chat support facility makes use of chatbots as part of the service. Customers may prefer having artificial intelligence at their disposal or talking to a real person for their needs. Either way, a sound modern business could ideally make use of both.
  • User tracking features

    Profiling new users and being able to target them with specific segments helps your company to provide them with the right information and resources. Tracking features also allow your business to look at the pages they may have previously been on in order to get more information and insight into the customer.

How will i know if the live chat software is bringing in results? 

Measuring the success of your live chat software means understanding where to look for the results.

How will i know if the Live Chat software is bringing in results

Generally speaking, a combination of customer satisfaction and KPIs will provide you with a better idea of how well your business is doing with live chat software.

To gauge future success with live chat features, ask the following questions regarding your business.

Have you trained your agents? 

The real-time nature of live chat means less reliance on a scripted response from your agents.

This means they’ll need comprehensive training in the long list of potential questions they’ll encounter during a customer interaction. After all, a prepared workforce is a successful workforce. 

What is your average live chat wait time? 

Consumers enjoy live chat because they feel like they have an immediate response to their questions or concerns.

But if your business takes half an hour to respond, can you really blame a customer for going elsewhere instead? What if they then decide to send an email after all, as it seems like the live chat is a waste of time?

Your business has now caused them a lot of frustration and actually escalated their problems.

As a general rule, you should aim to respond to any live chat query in under a minute, but the standard response time currently stands at around 90 seconds

Have you considered tracking AHT?

AHT or Average Handle Time refers to the time an agent spends resolving a customer issue through live chat

Tracking this can be tricky, as you never want an agent to feel as if they have to rush to finish a customer interaction for the sake of a KPI. Ideally, an agent will take as much time as needed to properly resolve an issue.

But there are some interesting things you can learn from tracking AHT regardless, including looking for a good average handle time for an agent to try and stay within. 

How are your customer satisfaction scores? 

Customer satisfaction is always going to be a crucial element in gauging how good a live chat facility has been.

And if your post-resolution customer surveys come back with poor scores, you’re not going to see those customers back again, or anyone they feel the need to lambast your business to. 

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high here. If you can reach averages of 85-90% then you’re on the right track. It’s not always easy to hit these percentages, but if you implement all of the above steps and strategies, it’s an achievable goal

Conclusion

And finally, live chat should always serve one ultimate purpose - to connect better with customers and help them to resolve their issues.

If you take the time to set up a good live chat platform and keep the customer experience at the forefront, the above benefits will be a natural outcome, leading you to better customer engagement, brand loyalty, brand awareness, and more sales. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}