Ever been through the painful experience of searching for support for an issue only to come across a fixed set FAQs not tailored to your problem? Are your customers feeling the same pain? Use this guide to understand how to effectively implement a live chat for customer support.
Why is a live chat so important?
The modern era of fast paced technology, largely due to the presence of smart phones, has meant that our customers have increased expectations. The days of leaving customers on hold with only their thoughts and a violin to be heard have gone. Our customers now expect things to be done instantly. This means providing a personalised and rapid response to each customer in real time. With these changing consumer preferences, live chat can add tremendous value. Here are some key reasons why it is worth introducing into your business:
Customers prefer live chat over other support tools.
According to Moxie Software, 62% of customers expect live chat to be available on mobile devices and if available, 82% would use it. Such consumer trends has led to service leaders anticipating customer chat to grow 87% in the next 12-18 months, says Customer Think. With this said, can you afford to not be available on the channels your customers expect you to be?
The average response time to a support ticket by email is 12 hours.
For social media this drops to around 10 hours.
Through live chat however, customers can get answers on average in two minutes. This has a lasting powerful impact on how your customers will perceive your brand and how they experience your products.
Live chat yields positive ROI.
Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, at 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone according to Econsultancy. This usually translates into greater loyalty and use of word of mouth that has led to 79% of businesses believing it has a positive impact on sales, revenue and customer loyalty, says Kayako. Live chat is extremely cheap and painless to implement with many competitors offering tools to get the job done. It’s a quick win to ensure you’re keeping your customers happy.
Chat is a great way to nurture loyalty
Being available when and how your customers want is a sure fire way to build trust and loyalty – they will understand that you care. Forrester found there is a 10% increase in average order value, a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, and a 40% conversion rate for customers that use live chat prior to making a purchase.
Turn a browsing visitor into a prospect
Interacting with those that may stumble upon your website is a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression that will bring them back. According to Emarketer, 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. In other words, by not having a live chat, you could be ignoring paying customers!
Reduce burden on your email and telephone support teams
Live chat allows you to operate on a wider scale so you can provide your personalised and quality service to more people, quicker. It also acts to reduce the burden upon your email and telephone support teams.
Here’s how to get Live Chat right!
Implementing Live Chat doesn’t just mean you install the chat and you are done! Our feedback from GroHawk clients show that having a live chat, but not being response and effective in it’s use can actually have the reverse effect on your business. It requires a great deal of attention and detail to be effective such as ensuring your employees are well equipped to create the optimal experience for your customers. Here are some tips that might help:
As quick as you may want to get started, you must not implement live chat without a game plan. This means understanding where you will use the live chat exactly, how are you going to track and observe customer engagement and what is the timeline for all these tasks and decisions. As well as that, you must recognise the service you are providing. Meaning if you can’t be sure to have a member of your team available for the live chat to serve its purpose of immediacy then perhaps delay the implementation.
Seek steady progress with careful observation
It’s important to avoid the urge to install right away and move slowly so that you are able to carefully observe, identify and then hopefully resolve any problems during install. Have at least a week or two of testing where your team are sending each other test responses to practice and get used to how Live Chat operates.
Ensure team members are sufficiently equipped
When change is brought within a company, it is essential that your employees have not only accepted and bought into the change but are well prepared to execute the new idea. This would include a staffing schedule based on your capacity, training for your team so they know how to answer customers’ questions as well as clarity around the escalation processes and other key product features.
Set expectations with customers
Your worst nightmare is launching the live chat with so much hype and find that your customers are extremely underwhelmed due to chats going unanswered or technical faults in the system. Therefore, you should be mindful as a company to keep your customers updated. For example, if offering a live chat 24/7 is beyond your given resources, rather than leaving your customers disappointed at the lack of response, perhaps you could close the live chat at certain hours or make it evident to your customers what your live chat hours are.
By giving your customers a warning beforehand, it is easier for them to adjust their expectations. This also takes us back to the idea of seeking steady progress because by introducing the live chat to a small group, you are able to test its quality before distributing it out at a larger scale.
This is an absolutely critical step which many companies will miss out on. You’ve seen the stats we have shared around how effective Live Chat can be, but how do you validate this for yourself. It’s extremely important that after a live agent finishes a chat with a customer, you are asking for feedback around how their experience with the agent was.
Without this feedback loop, it will become impossible for you to validate the ROI and effectiveness that Live Chat is having within your business.This feedback is particularly critical in the early days of your install as customers will have many suggestions around how you can improve the live chat experience to better support their needs.
Setting up a post chat survey with a Net Promoter Score or Customer Effect Score rating is a great way to gather this data. If you find that for whatever reason your company are unable to fulfil Live Chat effectively, it is a prudent move to park this feature until your capacity means you can provide first class live chat.
Delivering a first class Live Chat customer experience.
Here are some top tips for how to deliver an exceptional live chat experience:
Your live chat agents
Your team are the frontline and ultimately the foundation of your support program so their ability to interact and meet the needs of the customers over live chat is so important. Here are some key features your team should have:
Greet every customer
Just saying ‘hi’ can help provide a more pleasant and personalised experience for the customer. Be welcoming and offer to help should they need anything!
Avoid unnecessary questions
Customers simply want their problem solved and preferably as soon as possible, so make an effort to delve into the heart of the problem. This involves gathering the information required from your customers and avoid unnecessarily prolonging the process. Note: the moment your customer is reaching out is a time of distress. They need an answer to their problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Have empathy, understand their problem and deliver a solution as quickly as possible.
Customers may come to you with a complex situation with many issues and your team must be able to break down and comprehend every aspect of the issue in hand. This way each issue is given its own individual focus which makes it easier to overcome the issue as a whole whilst providing clarity for your customers at each step of the process.
Don’t leave your customers without updates
If your team is unable to solve an issue immediately or the process of the solution is slightly delayed, let your customers know. Communicate in a straightforward manner and avoid confusion. For example a simple ‘Give me a few minutes to confirm’ will keep your customer informed.
Post Chat Feedback
At the end of each conversation it’s critical that you ask each customer for feedback on their experience with your live chat agent. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Effort Score (CES) questions are both great ways to gauge the customer’s experience with you.
You can also ask for qualitative feedback on their experience which you can use to enhance your live chat going forward.
If you are after an easy to setup way of measuring post-chat feedback, speak to us today about how GroHawk can help. Regardless of the live chat provider that you are using, you can use GroHawk to measure your NPS and CES scores post a live agent chat.