Adding Live Chat To Your Website – Why and How?



The Correlation Between Live Chat And The Success Of A Business Enterprise


Live chat plays a crucial role in making your business operations a successful endeavor. Let us look at how these two are correlated. Good customer support is one of the key ingredients for the success of any business. Just pick any successful brand today and peek into their business model. Review their operations and the importance they give to customer satisfaction, invariably all of them would be giving prime importance to customer satisfaction. You are required to emulate the top brands in your own industry and others if you want to succeed. Without paying attention to enhancing the rate of customer satisfaction, it is not possible taking your brand to the next level.


What constitutes customer satisfaction?


When you are setting out to improve the rate of customer satisfaction, it is vital that you have a clear understanding on what exactly constitutes customer satisfaction. Without this knowledge, it is not possible for any business to improve their customer satisfaction ratings. Here are the few important factors that decide the customer satisfaction level.

a) Reliability

b) Good communications

c) Ease of accessibility and

d) Faster grievance redressal

When you work on the above factors, your customer satisfaction ratings will automatically go up.


Live chat to help you boost customer satisfaction


It certainly does suffice to just list factors that constitute customer satisfaction, you need to go further to identify strategies and tools those will help you boost the satisfaction level of your customers. Integrating Live Chat in your website will have an immense positive effect on your brand.

You will be able to improve the reliability of your brand when you add this feature in your website. Why do we say this? One of the complaints from the customers that make use of online shopping carts and other online services is that they are missing the human touch and feel of the brick and mortar store. This also contributes to a certain amount of distrust or lack of ability to trust the online stores and services. As fuel to the fire, the scams that are prevalent online make things worse. By integrating the live chat feature in your website, you can double the reliability level of your brand straightaway. When customers come to your website, they will have someone to talk to them through chat. This will simulate the real brick and mortar store experience.

In terms of communications, your customers both before sales and after sales will be able to easily connect with your brand. All that they need to do is to just log on to your website. This improves the quality of the communication cycle. Customers today want to connect with their service providers instantly. Today, almost all website hosting companies have resorted to live chat support to help their customers with all pre-sales, sales and post sales queries. This has worked out to be a very successful customer support model for not only the website hosting industry but also for almost all industries.

Previously this support was offered to customers through telephone with the use of offshore call centers, which had its own challenges including language and accent issues. Most importantly, setting up a call center, manning it and managing it are not only a complex process but it is also a highly expensive process. Not all companies could afford such a luxury especially the mid and small level players. This is where live chat comes as a great boon to the small and medium sized businesses. Interestingly, even the large brands that could afford phone support too have now opted for live chat support. Companies could not only cut costs extensively on their customer support expenses but setting up live chat facility in your website is also very fast and easy. You will be able to set up your live chat support at just a fraction of your call center expense. Live chat helps your customers to connect with you easily without you having to incur a massive expense month after month.

When compared to reaching to their phone or writing an email, contacting you through live chat is lot easier for your customers. They would certainly prefer to connect with you through live chat. You make it easy for your customers to reach you when they are in some kind of need or some quick help. It is not possible to offer totally flawless service regardless of your niche industry. The challenge however is how fast you are able to help your customers in resolving their issues. Therefore, no matter what line of business you are into, invariably your customers are going to run into problems when they are using your services or your website. When they do, are you available to help them out? Adding live chat facility to your website will help you achieve this goal in the easiest way possible.

You will be able to address the grievances of your customers quickly and guide them step by step in resolving the issues through live chat facility. By reducing the time span to address the concerns of your customers you will gradually increase the customer satisfaction level of your customers. Today live chat facility has become an indispensable tool in building a successful business online. The sooner your embrace this tool and integrate this feature in your website, the better it is.

When compared to voice support or telephonic support, live chat support is very economical. You could easily afford this facility for your website. Providing live chat support in your website is just not a fancy thing today but it is more of a necessity. Go ahead and start exploring your options for integrating the live chat feature in your website. There are multiple ways to go about implementing live chat in your business website. Regardless of the approach used, make certain that you do not postpone providing this facility.


How to go about providing live chat facility in your website?


Once you decide to have live chat facility in your website, you need to find the ways and means of implementing it in your website. Initially, you are likely to be faced with more questions than answers. You are also likely to be confused in making the right decisions. Here are few important factors to be taken into account.

Offering live chat support involves two major areas namely the chat support software and the chat agents. Let us focus on these two aspects one by one.


Finding the right software for your live chat facility


Today you have countless options for the live chat software. Most of these software solutions are cloud based whereby you install the script or add a snippet code in your website and the chat window appears in the desired location in your website. When you are selecting your live chat software, you will have to pay close attention to the features of the software. The quality of the chat experience that you give to your website visitors will to a large extent depend on the software used.

Some of the crucial features to look for in your chat interface include

Active engagement – Your chat interface should allow you to engage the visitors in chat automatically after certain number of seconds after they have visited your website without waiting for them to initiate the chat or without you having to manually engage in them for a chat. This feature will increase the number of live chats that take place in a website and it will also let your support agents free. The software will automatically initiate the chat with preset messages and if the visitor is interested they will respond at which point the chat support agent could takeover for a manual chat.

Canned responses – If you review the questions asked by your website visitors or your customers, you will be able to see that most of the questions are repetitive. If the questions are repetitive then the answers too will be repetitive. This simply means that you could store these answers in advance and feed it to the visitors when they have similar questions. When you can store these templates as answers, it will help your chat agents to respond to the customers fast because each time the same question is asked, they need not have to type the answer. Canned responses or template-based answers increase the productivity of the chat agents and make them handle more number of chat per hour or day.

Multi website support – If you happen to have multiple websites for your business like most business entities have then finding a software with multi website support will be more beneficial. You do not have to get multiple licenses or have multiple agents to support your websites. Your chat agents will be able to handle the chat from multiple websites that you own through a single interface.

User friendliness of the chat interface – It is important to have advanced features but at the same time, the chat interface should be user-friendly. Complicated chat interface will affect the quality of the chat experience as your agents will be struggling to use the interface and the learning curve in mastering the chat interface will also be very large.

Chat history – You should be able to store the history of the chats along with the chat transcripts. Storing chat transcripts is very important because only then you will be able to handle your lead follow up tasks. Every visitor that you have engaged in chat is a prospective customer to a certain extent. It is therefore important to follow up with them to convert the leads to clients.

Visitors Info – When you have the chat interface installed in your website, it is not only to connect with your website visitors but also to understand the nature of the visitors that are coming to your website and their behavior pattern in your website. You should be able to collect certain crucial details such as geographic location of the visitor, nature of the gadget used such as PC, mobile phone, tablet PC, duration spent by the visitors in the website and in each page, keywords that they have searched to come to your website and so on. All these will help you get a better understanding of the nature of the visitors that are coming to your website so that you could meet their requirements in a better way.

These are just some of the key features, which you should focus upon when you are selecting your software for providing live chat in your website.


Chat Agents


Live chat could be either handled in-house or it could be outsourced to a third party service provider. If you are outsourcing your chat needs to a third party service provider, then you need not have to worry about the chat software. All that you need to be concerned about the quality of the chat service and the nature of the reports that you could get from your chat service provider. Number of companies make use of fully supported live chat service whereby you get the software as well as the agents to support your website. This could be perceived as the most hassle free way and the best way to go about providing live chat facility in your website. However, if you look closely into this option you will be able to spot the challenges and the limitations of this approach.

When you have a third party service provider to support your website, they will have access to all your leads. You have no way of control the way that your database will be made use by your service provider even if you are going to sign an NDA with your live chat company. Moreover, there will always be a gap between the actual chat and the time you get the chat update or the chat transcript. This will put a lag in the chat follow up tasks.

You can overcome all these challenges by handling the chat needs in-house. You will have total control over your chat agents. You can pick them and train them according to your needs and requirements criteria. Moreover, you could set up a system to ensure immediate follow up of the leads, which will be lot more effective than delayed follow ups.

Managing such an in-house team of course will have its challenges but the benefits that you could expect will outweigh the challenges in setting up and managing your own internal team.


Setting up of the chat facility


Once you have identified the right chat software, you need to pick experienced chat support agents. The support agents chosen should be first given a complete orientation on your products and services. They should be made to understand fully the nature of the queries that your customers and prospective leads are likely to have so that they know what to expect while handling the chats.

The next step is training the agents in the use of the chat software you have chosen. Here we have already noted the importance of selecting a chat software that is user friendly so that your agents can start using the chat facility without any major glitches.

Once they are trained, you need to setup the response templates. This has to be done in conjunction with the frequently asked questions section in your website but the responses should offer the visitors with more information than what is found in the FAQ page of your website.

Before you put your agents on to the actual field, you need to have several rounds of test chats to make certain that all the features of the chat software are working the way they should and that there are no issues with the interface. You should also check the capabilities of the support agents to respond to the customer’s queries using the response templates as well as on their own. You should not put your agents on real chat before you have tested the capabilities of the chat agents. It is not enough to choose the best software for your live chat needs. The software is just one aspect of the chat facility. Even if you have the best chat software, a badly trained agent could ruin the show thoroughly. Similarly, even if you are going to have the best support agent, you will not be able to offer the best chat support to your visitors if the chat interface is substandard.

When you are setting up your live chat facility in your website, keep all these factors in mind. Do not rush through the setup process. Take your time to screen as many software products as possible and ensure that you are paying the right price for the chat software. Most importantly before paying your subscriptions, make it a point to sign up for the trial version of the software so that you could test the features yourself before going live.