There are many digital customer service tools for small businesses to choose from, but there’s only one that stands out with real-time, accessible, and cost-effective support – and that’s live chat. Live chat has quickly + Read More
Once you’ve installed a live chat application on your website, you may think you’re ready to start accepting chat requests right away. Well, you can; but slow down a little first and consider a few live chat tips before you get too far ahead of yourself.
Before you will see returns from your investment, though, you’ll want to follow a few tips to maximize the potential of your live chat solution. Continue reading to learn how following a few basic guidelines can help you attract more live chat users and better engage with them.
One of the best and worst things about the Internet is that it is always open – 24 hours a day, every day! On one hand, the Internet allows consumers to research any product or service at any time. On the other hand, this 24-hour availability has caused consumers to have an on-demand attitude towards service and support. Simply put, customers expect online businesses to be available and contactable at hours not normally associated with brick-and-mortar offices or storefronts.
Good live chat software supports mobile apps that allow you to remain available for chats even when you’re on the road or away from your desk. This is an awesome live chat feature and one that lets you remain open for live chat requests well beyond normal business hours. After all, it’s never too late in the evening to close a new client or customer.
Regardless of the hours you are available for live chat, though, ensure that you are open when you say you are. If you post on your website, that live chat is available between certain times, then, by all means, make sure someone is available to answer chat requests during that period. Nothing speaks worse as to your company’s image than not being available during posted support hours.
Visitors expect your website to appear professional and consistent. Therefore, ensure that your live chat buttons and windows match your site design and looks like they “belongs there” rather than quickly added third party plugins.
A great tip to follow when customizing your live chat application is to make your chat buttons and windows blend well with your overall site design (note the best live chat apps always support button and window customization.)
When customizing your live chat application, use custom images and colors that match your logo or brand. The goal with customization is to make the live chat application your own and to make it appear as a natural, integrated part of your website.
One of the most convenient features of better live chat systems is the ability to route chat requests to various departments in an organization. While agents or operators can always route chats manually, a pre-chat survey can help visitors save time by prompting them to select a department before submitting the chat request. The convenience of pre-chat surveys does not end with department routing, though; the surveys also enable you to gather valuable information about your visitors.
If you use your live chat system to provide support, contact information such as names and email addresses are essential to providing good services to customers and clients. Consequently, visitors needing support will usually provide such information. With contact information from pre-chat surveys in hand, agents and operators are able to retrieve client records or follow up much more quickly and efficiently. Read our blog post for more practices of pre-chat survey.
Post-chat surveys, on the other hand, enable you to gather valuable feedback from your visitors after a live chat session ends. Great live chat software allows you do much more than see feedback displayed with “a number of stars;” it also allows you to customize post-chat forms so you can ask important questions or request additional information.
Post-chat surveys can also help you identify your “star agents” and those who may need additional training. The best live chat software platforms offer in-depth reporting for feedback that can help you determine visitor satisfaction quickly and easily. Read our blog post for more practices of post-chat survey.
Even the best live chat application is of little use to your company if it’s hard for your site visitors to find. Therefore, make sure that your live chat button stands out on your website and is easy for visitors to recognize.
By default, most live chat applications place the chat button and window in the lower right corner of the browser window. This is fine in most cases, but you need to make sure that there is sufficient white space in that area so that the chat application stands out.
Great live chat software lets you select the area on your webpages where the chat buttons and windows appear. So, to make sure that visitors can find and use your live chat system easily, experiment with a few different positions to find the best one.
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As mentioned in the previous section, the importance of visitors being able to find your live chat buttons cannot be stressed enough. Remember, that while live chat is definitely Internet users like and look for in a quality vendor, they will not spend time searching for the feature.
To ensure that visitors can find your live chat buttons, add the live chat code to ALL of your webpages. If you have subdomains or other sites, add the code on those as well. The more often visitors see your live chat buttons, the more likely they are to use the application to contact you.
Proactive invitations are surely one of the best features of good live chat applications, as they allow you to reach out to visitors who may be too shy to contact you first or who simply may be unaware that live chat is available on your website (be sure to avoid this one by reading the previous section again.)
You can be proactive with your live chat by sending invitations manually or by defining rules for auto-invites. With all the power that proactive chat provides, though, it’s still important to use invitations wisely, prudently and in a timely manner.
Many live-chat-enabled websites send invitations automatically to visitors who land on them, and this is certainly a good idea. Nevertheless, give your visitor ample time to orient himself on your site before blasting him/her with a chat invitation pop-up window. Give your visitors a minute or two to look around, and then remind them “gently” that you are there to answer any questions they might have.
Have you noticed a theme in this blog post? Well, if you guessed that it’s all about putting your live chat application in the face of your customers and visitors, you’re right! Your live chat solution will only be as effective as the methods you use to promote its use.
To get more visitors to use your live chat application, promote, promote and then promote some more! Tell potential visitors and customers about your live chat application in Facebook posts, Twitter Tweets and any other social platform you use. Also, don’t forget to tell subscribers of newsletters and email campaigns about your live chat application.
Better live chat platforms let you integrate with email and social directly by letting you add buttons to external sites and messages with easy-to-use copy-and-paste code. So, as you can see, there’s no excuse for promoting your live chat application everywhere you engage potential customers.
When inviting visitors to chat, make sure your phrasing is just what they want to see. Our live chat scripts template provides some ready-to-use proactive chat scripts for your referenceDownload Now