HSS Hire Group is a supplier of tool and equipment hire in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as being a logistical and technical partner to businesses of all sizes. Operating under the banner of HSS Hire, the group has a network of over 2000 employees, 932 fleet vehicles, 132 open branch locations and 116 virtual branches providing phone and email support.
Since 2019, HSS Hire has been using live chat to drive revenue and support their customers; firstly Zendesk and then BoldChat (now Genesys DX). However, while they saw great results from offering live chat, they encountered issues with the vendors’ software.
One of the major problems was the need to code changes to their live chat set up and design, such as updating the chat window color, editing copy, or setting up new pop-up chats. Each of these changes had to be briefed into another department for coding support. As well as being time-consuming and resource-intensive, it prevented them from being able to react to unexpected events that they could use to support their marketing efforts.
Step 1 – Generating revenue with live chat
Unhappy with their current live chat provider, HSS Hire chose to look for an alternative that offered a more intuitive, code-free interface. Starting with a list of six potential vendors and following thorough research and demos, HSS Hire chose Comm100 Live Chat. As Nicola Lomas, HSS Hire’s Live Chat Manager explained:
Before launching Comm100 Live Chat on to HSS Hire’s website, it was set up within the test environment to ensure everything would run smoothly. Comm100’s team also trained Nicola on the platform to ensure she felt prepared for launch and could pass on her knowledge to the team.
“The whole process of setting up Comm100 Live Chat went swimmingly! Communication was great between us despite the time difference – they were always on hand if I was unsure about something or just needed support. Kaye was a star helping to train me up to use the system to the best of its ability.” – Nicola Lomas, Live Chat Manager, HSS Hire
HSS Hire now uses Comm100 Live Chat for two major purposes. Firstly, live chat is offered to support customers with their existing orders, answering common inquiries about delivery, product, and returns. This ensures their customers get immediate and accurate support that’s efficient for both the customer and the team.
“Our customers love using live chat. I run through the post-chat feedback every month within the reporting dashboard and the responses are so positive. Customers comment on how easy and fast it is for them to get their questions answered.”– Nicola Lomas, Live Chat Manager, HSS Hire
Secondly, and most heavily, HSS Hire uses live chat as an additional revenue stream for their website. When potential customers visit their site, live chat agents advise them on what products they need and then either process the order for them or talk them through placing the order for themselves online.
The results are exceptional. Tracking the metrics within Comm100’s reporting dashboard every day, between 27-30% of all live chats convert into a sale.
As well as driving sales, Comm100 Live Chat also offers HSS Hire the opportunity for cross-selling and up-selling. While the agent helps the customer understand what products their project requires, they can also recommend add-ons and upgrades.
Recognizing that chats significantly helped to convert, HSS Hire adopted Comm100’s proactive chat invitations to turn more website visitors into customers. The chat window pops open if a visitor has been on specific pages for over 40 seconds or hasn’t clicked through to the next stage of the funnel, offering them help if they need it.
Step 2 – Optimizing support allocation with chatbot automation
After seeing great success with Comm100 Live Chat and the growing popularity among their customers to engage via chat, HSS Hire built and set up Comm100 Chatbot.
Their chatbot serves two key functions for HSS Hire. Firstly, when agents are offline outside of their business hours, the chatbot is available to answer customers’ common questions, enabling them to provide 24/7 support. Secondly, the bot is also used to support agents when volumes peak and they can’t handle all the queries without suffering from long wait times and lost sales.
“When we have busy periods, our support volumes can rocket up to the point that our agents can’t physically handle the demand. Comm100 Chatbot is vital here as it steps in to answer common questions, taking the pressure off our agents and making sure our customers still get the immediate attention they want. I honestly don’t know how we managed before our chatbot!” – Nicola Lomas, Live Chat Manager, HSS Hire
By managing the simple and common queries, Comm100 Chatbot makes sure that their agents can focus on the higher-value, sales questions that may convert.
“We really want our agents to be dealing with sales and product enquiries that they can convert, rather than spending their time answering basic support questions. With Comm100 Chatbot, we can do this by funneling our low-value queries to the bot, giving our agents more time to focus on our higher-value queries that are more likely to lead to sales.” – Matt Denton, Head of eCommerce, HSS Hire
Step 3 – Introducing omnichannel customer engagement
While the majority of HSS Hire’s enquiries come through live chat, they recognized that many of their customers liked to reach out via their social media channels too. These platforms were managed by an individual who would log in sporadically throughout the day while they juggled other tasks, often leaving customers waiting hours for a response.
To improve this experience, HSS Hire decided to integrate their Twitter and Facebook channels into Comm100’s Omnichannel platform. Now when a post or direct message is sent, it drops directly into a specific agents’ inbox and they can respond to it as instantly as they would a live chat message.
“Our customers like to reach out to us on different channels – most often via live chat, but also on social media. With Comm100’s omnichannel platform, these channels are connected so every message is funneled into one inbox, making sure we never miss a message and we respond instantly.” – Nicola Lomas, Live Chat Manager, HSS Hire