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7 Tips for Utilizing Live Chat Services
October 23, 2018
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7 Tips for Utilizing Live Chat Services

Did you know that live chat is the highest-rated engagement channel? Live chat provides an instant response to customer’s questions, opposed to email, in which customers typically receive an automated response and might have to wait days before a representative gets back to them.

Aside from trying to reduce wait-times, utilizing live chat services could help you gain loyal patrons. In fact, according to a report by the Economist, consumers who have their questions answered immediately are likely to remain satisfied customers. In comparison, the report also revealed that patrons cited slow response times as one of their top customer service complaints.

If you still need convincing, read this post to learn about the benefits of utilizing live chat for your business, so you can improve your customer retention rates and grow your business.

How to Use Live Chat Services for Your Small Business

1. Review Pricing Before You Commit

There are many live chat providers that charge a monthly fee for each agent you need. Depending on the number of employees you have, this can be a hefty fee. Due to this, it’s important to ensure that you can afford this expense. To find the best priced chat services that fit your needs, visit sites like FinancesOnline that lists reviews and pricing for the top live chat providers so you can make an informed decision.

In addition, some companies offer free 30-day trials, so that you can try out their services prior to committing. Still, you should ensure that there’s no gap in service if you switch to another provider after the trial ends. Once you start providing live chat services to your customers, it’ll be confusing if it’s unavailable for a few days, so at the very least you should post a warning about the delay until the new chat service is implemented on your site.

2. Ensure You’re Fully Staffed

The purpose of live chat services is so that customers can get their questions answered quickly. If they have to wait 15 minutes for an agent to become available, it defeats the purpose of a quick and easy solution. Therefore, if you want to offer live chat services but don’t have enough employees to meet customers’ demands, you should find a provider that includes chat service attendants for an additional fee.

3. Always Get Contact Info from Users

When interacting with your customers on live chat services, it’s crucial that you ask for contact information from users at the beginning of the conversation in case you get disconnected. This is helpful because if the issue isn’t resolved during the chat, you’ll be able to follow-up with them to provide further assistance.

4. Use Canned Responses

When customers use a chat service, they want to receive answers to their questions as quickly as possible. To make the experience move faster, we suggest using some pre-set responses to frequently asked questions. For example, if a customer mentions operating hour, you can send them an automatic response that details what your business’s hours are. Providing pre-written

responses for basic questions like company address, explaining return policies, or product installations can make it easier to assist customers quickly. The faster the question is answered, the more customers you can help!

5. Send Dynamic Chat Invites

When a user visits your site, use live chat to ask them if they have a question. Just like you wouldn’t ignore a guest if they walked into your physical store, you shouldn’t disregard customers when they enter your site. In fact, research from the Neilson Norman Group found that consumers only stay on a webpage for an average of 10-20 seconds, so it’s important to immediately grab their attention before they move on to another site.

In addition, you should also consider using relevant triggers to launch your chats. For example, if someone has been on your product page for 30 seconds, ask them if they have questions about your products.

6. Keep the Customer Informed

It’s important to keep your customers informed if there’s going to be a lull in the chat. For instance, if you need a couple minutes to lookup their order information, let your customer know that you’ll need a couple minutes and thank them for their patience. Also, if you’re sending a link or file to download, tell your customer ahead of time that you’re sending it. With the influx of viruses and malware on the Internet, your customers will want to know that it’s a safe, legitimate file.

7. Use Headshots of Customer Service Representatives

Since users can’t physically see who they’re chatting with, including a headshot establishes a connection with the customer and lets them know that they’re talking to a real person, not a robot. Aside from establishing credibility, it can also help the interaction feel more personable, which customers will likely appreciate.

Conclusion

In today’s digitally-connected world, consumers want access to customer support 24/7. By offering live chat services, you’re providing an easy experience and showing your customers that you’re committed to helping them with any issues along the way!

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].
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