How to Leverage Live Chat Customer Support

Live chat support solutions keep customers happy, with a reported 73 percent satisfaction rate according to EConsultancy. Live chat has a lot going for it, from convenience to near real-time responses. Before you set up a world-class live chat support line, you need to implement live chat best services within your customer support department. Effective training, proper selection of live chat solutions and the creation of customized upsell recommendations all play a part in effective live chat.

Agent Training

You can't take email or phone agents, immediately move them to live chat without training, and expect them to maintain a consistent customer support experience across all channels. The live chat agent has several key areas to master in order to effectively support your customer base, and these aren't necessarily picked up through other customer support channels.
One key area is understanding how to use the live chat software to communicate with customers. If the live chat support solution ties in with other departments, such as technical support or sales, the agent must know how to transfer a customer to another department.
Your live chat agents not only need to be familiar with your products and services, they also need to know the website navigation and functions thoroughly. Many customers reach out to live chat when frustrated or when they encounter a pain point during the shopping process, so being able to fix the issue without transferring them to tech is essential.
Instant messaging solutions such as live chat often lend themselves to an informal tone. Live chat support agents position themselves as trusted friends wanting to help a customer instead of a customer support agent waiting to get to the next person in line. Create company voice guidelines so your brand's message and voice come through on every channel, but leverage tone adjustments to take advantage of live chat's casual nature.

Working in Upsells

When customers reach out to live chat support during the purchasing process, agents have an opportunity to help with product selection. Live chat solutions with integration into marketing and sales departments have access to key customer information, such as product browsing data and purchases. Based on this information and extensive knowledge of the company's product line, the agent can provide customized product suggestions based on the customer's buyer persona and history. Effective live chat agents can help drive sales and work toward sales and marketing goals.

Measuring Live Chat Effectiveness

Once you have an excellent live chat solution and well-trained agents, it's time to track how effective your live chat is, what areas need improvement and whether your chat solution is meeting your live support needs. You want an idea of how many chats you receive, broken down into chats initiated by the customer and chats initiated by the agent through an automated greeting or triggered contact.
Like phone support, look at the average resolution time for chat support. Don't rate your average chat resolution time based on your phone metrics, however. Customers may multitask chat support with other computer windows, and a chat agent may answer multiple chats at once.
Live chat is more sales heavy than other support options, as the agent has an opportunity for customized product recommendations for upsells. Tracking sales helps you identify which agents are particularly good at handling sales, the type of revenue generated through live chat and other key sales metrics.
Live chat support gives customers a convenient and effective method of assistance, has high customer satisfaction ratings and creates opportunities for increased sales. With an effective training program, live chat does more than take the load off other support channels, it provides you with a valuable sales channel.

 

Sources:

 

https://econsultancy.com/blog/63867-consumers-prefer-live-chat-for-customer-service-stats/
http://subiz.com/blog/7-key-metrics-to-measure-your-live-chat-effectiveness.html
https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2014/04/customer-service-live-chat-gp.html
https://www.forrester.com/Making+Proactive+Chat+Work/fulltext/-/E-RES57054?objectid=RES57054

Michael Buenaventura

September 30, 2015