All you need to know about live chat

Live chat is like the perfect shop assistant and could be the secret to making your website scream kerching!

But how?

It’s becoming more commonplace among platforms from all sectors, whether it’s a global high-street shopping site or a startup offering B2B web services.

Live chat is essentially a helpful and – hopefully – unobtrusive concierge within a small pop-up box that’s usually located at the bottom right of a website. It offers visitors the chance to communicate directly while saving them from having to scour dozens of web pages, make a phone call or worry that their email will end up in someone’s spam.

Each organisation can find its own use for one to one services, and leading providers such as LiveChat, Zendesk and Talk.to have packages that suit companies of all sizes.

Live chat expert, Szymon Klimczak tells us why…

LiveChat, which is based in Poland and Boston, Massachusetts, has a huge presence around the world, with 21,000 clients – ranging from GoDaddy to SMEs – in more than 150 countries. We spoke to Szymon Klimczak, LiveChat’s chief marketing officer, and asked him five questions as to why businesses of all sizes are increasingly deploying live chat services.

1. What problems does live chat solve for customers?

Szymon: With website chat software available on the website, customers have a simple and free option to contact the business. It has some major advantages over phone and email in simplicity and real-time communication. You don’t need to go away from the computer to pick up the phone and go through the IVR system. Have you ever tried passing a URL address over the phone? That’s usually very painful. On the other hand, live chat will be hard to use for people with very basic typing and computer skills.

In the best chat implementations with responsive support teams, questions could be responded within seconds, and not hours or days like after sending the questions via email. There’s also some space for multitasking – consumers can do other things while chatting, which turns out to be very convenient.

2. How are the one to one services beneficial for website owners?

Szymon: There’s a bunch of them, however, I like to speak about three I found most important for the business that are the most measurable:

i) Happier customers: We have worked with thousands of businesses and the best of them were very conscious about the satisfaction of their customers. These companies are focused on their idea of making the world a better place. They have a genuine need for satisfying all of their customers. They strive to improve their customer satisfaction scores from 90% to 95% or from 95% to 99%. We help them achieve these goals. For example, the Chat Shop was able to get to a 98% customer-satisfaction score.

ii) Improved customer support: In terms of efficiency, agents can easily handle 6-7 concurrent conversations at the same time. This alone makes it 6-7 times more efficient than the phone. We have a long history of adding chat as an additional communication channel for customer support, where after some time these online conversations becomes the main customer service tool, which is what happened at Media Temple.

iii) Increase sales results and conversion: TouchSupport increased their revenue by 30% with LiveChat. Orange Telecom notes double-digit conversion from chat to orders from day one of their LiveChat implementation. The examples are countless. The key is the fact that one on one conversations helps people in the checkout process to actually complete their purchase.

In addition to that, it also serves as a method of verification for some websites – consumers tend to choose providers who offer real-time messaging support on their websites. Those websites are simply perceived as more trustworthy.

3. Sounds great, how difficult are the services to set up?

Szymon: Setting up the software is a very simple process. Creating the account and signing up for an account takes as much as 30 seconds. The implementation on the website is quite easy as well – it’s a copy/paste of the code to the source of the websites. For dedicated implementations with tools such as ecommerce platforms or content management systems LiveChat has dedicated integrations to make the entire process even more simple.

When implementing a livechat on your website, don’t try to be overly salesy, but rather have focus on solving the issue of the customer: answer all questions, be kind and add a bit of sense of humour. Click To Tweet

4. So, who should be doing the chatting?

Szymon: These need to be people who know the company and products/services it offers. They should be dedicated people – live chat support is a full-time job, not a part time job for someone handing customers in the storefront and doing finances.

In terms of character – try to go with happy, open people. Don’t try to be overly salesy, but rather have focus on solving the issue of the customer: answer all questions, be kind and add a bit of sense of humour. You can also use the chat ratings to measure satisfaction for the customers and compare the quality of service provided by different agents.

If you don’t have people to staff your support, there are companies that help with online customer service. They can help staff your chat during night hours – after all, the Internet never sleeps! – or you can use them to entirely outsource the customer service.

Another option is selecting a chat bot platform such as BotEngine, which can be set up in minutes. It no longer requires technical knowledge and the implementation on the website or integration with tools like LiveChat can be done with just a few clicks.

5. What would be your No.1 piece of advice to a company thinking of using an online chat service?

Szymon: Get involved and invest in customer service. It might take time, but the customers will definitely appreciate it. The return will be there. Take your time to understand the chat solution and not only set it up, but also adjust the settings over time.

Pay attention to details of the implementation – the look and feel of the chat matching your website, the agents should know your offer and be able to help in just one contact. They should try to impress the customers – the software might help, but it is only a tool while the attitude and skills of your staff are the more important factors.

Live chat Case Study

“We initially saw it as customer support tool, but it’s become much more than that.”
– Tamara Nasser, Head of Marketing at Xperiology

Xperiology, a live events agency, introduced its website chat service in the middle of 2016 while undergoing an overhaul of its digital platforms. Initially, the addition of chat was considered as a useful customer service tool, but its benefits have also positively affected the company’s bottom line.

“It’s been a revelation for us, and we can directly link sales to the live chat service,” says Tamara Nasser, Xperiology’s head of marketing. “Conversations that began with general questions can lead to us notifying the visitor of a special offer or discount and we have made a sale. We initially saw it as a customer support tool, but it’s become much more than that.

“Sometimes a chat will be instigated by the customer, while an automated pop-up is activated if a page has been open for 60 seconds. Because we have oversight of customers on our site, we can also choose to offer them assistance, for example if they have been on the ticket sales page for some time.”

The service is available on the website as soon as an Xperiology employee signs in. Users must remember to log out when they become unavailable or risk customers being left hanging for a response.

While live chat has been beneficial for Xperiology, its customers have found it to be superior to traditional forms of communication.

“Many of our clients are extremely busy people who maybe don’t want to arrange a call or don’t want to spend too much time on the phone,” Tamara adds. “With live chat they know they will get a quick response.

“We have had very positive feedback. Our customers also like the personal nature of the service. They know us individually and when a box pops up with one of our names on it, they know they are dealing with real people.”

 

Are you thinking about integrating chats into your growth strategy? Let’s have a chat!