You’re now live with live chat and you’re ready, willing, and able to handle a steady stream of digital conversations. But what to do if only a few have been trickling in? You purchased live chat because you wanted to provide better customer service to a wider audience, but you can’t accomplish that goal until your customers are actually using it. To help with this, we’ve created this short guide to give you some ideas to increase chat volume and get the most out of your live chat investment.
It’s unlikely that your customers don’t like chatting. Research has shown that people now prefer chat over any other contact channel. So what gives? If you’re offering live chat for the first time, it could be that your customers are just accustomed to using phone, email, or other more traditional contact methods as their primary touchpoint with your business. The key to increasing chat volume is establishing a chat-based relationship with your visitors. In our experience, once users try live chat, they stick with it.
Here are some ideas to get your customers as excited about chatting as you are:
If your visitors aren’t starting chats with you, perhaps the simplest solution is to start chats with them. A visitor may not consider chatting unless they are invited to. Use Comm100’s proactive chat tools to break the digital ice.
Manual Invitations: Invite users to chat with you from inside the agent console. Before requesting to chat with a visitor, you can refer to their identity information, and browsing history to create a personalized invitation message. For example, if you notice that a visitor is stuck on your checkout page, you can send them a message asking if they need help with checkout.
Auto Invitations: You can automatically invite visitors to chat with you based on pre-defined rules. Use triggers like time spent on a certain page or number of visits to your site to have your chat window pop up with a custom invitation message. Experiment with different parameters to find when your visitors are most receptive to chatting.
Try removing your pre-chat survey. While it’s great for gathering information about your visitors, it also might deter some visitors from starting a chat.
Whether we like it or not, looks matter. A bland or poorly designed live chat interface could discourage visitors from chatting or cause them to miss it entirely. Fortunately, with Comm100 you can fully customize the look and feel of live chat, so your visitors won’t be able to help themselves from starting a conversation:
Chat Button Design: Your chat button needs to stand out if it’s going to be an effective conversation starter. Create a button that is both attractive and on-brand by customizing its color, size and placement on your webpage. Consider using an adaptive button, which uses interactive animations, to draw your visitor’s eyes. For a deep-dive on chat button design, check out this blog post.
Agent Information and Avatars: Having your agents’ names, titles, and avatars displayed at the top of the chat window adds an extra layer of intimacy to the live chat experience. Live chat can be perceived as an impersonal communication channel, so letting people know there is in-fact a real person on the other end of the conversation can increase their likelihood to engage in conversation.
Mobile Optimization: Over half of web traffic originates from mobile devices. Using Comm100’s mobile optimization tools you can ensure that your visitors can easily chat with you regardless of the device they are using. Furthermore, with Comm100’s mobile SDK you can integrate Comm100 live chat into your company’s iOS or Android App.
People don’t start chats for the sake of chatting, they chat because they want to solve a problem. To increase chat volume, you’ve got to make chatting worth your customers’ while. Establish your chat window as the go-to place for answers using Comm100’s diverse capability set.
Knowledgebase Integration: Increase the utility of live chat by allowing your visitors to access your knowledgebase from inside the chat window. This gives your customers a quick and easy way to find answers to their questions and bolsters your chat window’s problem solving credibility. If customers can’t find what they are looking for in your knowledgebase, starting a chat is just a click away.
Integrations: With Comm100’s diverse integrations you can make chat do more for your customers. For example, integrate your shopping cart and credit card processing solutions with your chat window to allow for quick checkout, or give your customers the ability to book demos with your team by integrating your meeting solution software.
Chatbot: Chatbots are always ready to talk, so having one means you will never miss a chat with round the clock chat support. They are also great problem solvers. Instead of having to come up with answers on the fly, chatbots can be programmed to provide comprehensive answers to the most complex visitor inquiries. When integrated, bots can do more than just provide information, they allow users to perform actions like resetting their password or paying invoices from inside the chat window.
Like any new service offering, getting the word out about it can be as important to success as the offering itself. If the key to increasing chat volume is getting visitors to have that first chat, then make sure you are letting them know it’s on offer. Here are a couple ideas that could help drive your customers to give live chat a try:
Talk About Live Chat in Other Support Channels: Users of these channels are already reaching out and may prefer the expediency and ease of use of live chat instead. For example, you could inform customers waiting on hold that they can avoid the wait by using live chat instead. You also could have your support agents include a link in their email signature that directs recipients to chat with that agent.
Run an Awareness Campaign: Deliver the compelling message that live chat is faster than phone, more efficient than email, and easier than both. You could mention live chat on your invoices, packaging, and marketing collateral, promote it on social media campaign, or write a blog post that highlights the capabilities of your live chat system. On your contact-us page, make sure it’s listed as the first option for customer contact.
There’s a lot of buzz about live chat. You can read countless articles telling you that customers now expect it and prefer it over other contact methods. But, getting full value from live chat requires careful planning and execution. It might take some testing, tweaking, and time before your chat volume rivals that of your other customer service channels, but once your visitors get used to chatting with you, they’ll be hooked.