There are thousands of brands competing with you to attract new customers. If you want to get sales you have to deliver visitors to your website with best in-store experience. This is where live chat is so important for all retail brands online. Though there are a lot of good things said about social media, but web chat is equally favorable medium of communication. It can help you provide real time, customized solutions to the customers negating any waiting time. Live web chat can be a good mode to keep the customers engaged and build rapport. These days, customer experience is the most important thing that all the businesses are after. If a brand can offer good in-store services, the customers will definitely remember it and keep coming back for future purchases. Every happy customer represents enhanced sales and an opportunity for business growth.
Are you ready for Web Chat?
There are many companies that do not offer live chat support, though they know of its role in boosting sales. The reason many companies refrain from web chat is that they are not able to show any direct ROI in the pre-deployment and post deployment stages. This makes them question the efficiency of web chat as a sales mode. What they do not realize is using the web chat is not enough there should be a well thought out strategy in place. Companies who are looking to strategize for their live chat engagements or those that have been unsuccessful in their previous tryst with live chat can improve their online customer experience using the below mentioned steps.
Assess Your Business Requirements
Before introducing web chat in your support mix you should first evaluate how this medium fits into your existing business strategies. There should be a real purpose behind implementing this channel. The brands need to find answers to the following questions:
Will it in any way reduce your customer service costs?
Will it reduce the customer waiting times and abandon shopping carts, thus improving customer satisfaction?
Can sales be improved if the chat is implemented at a specific drop out point in the website?
Can engagement with specific customer segments improve the number of leads?
Before any new initiative is taken the existing channels should be assessed to understand the possibilities with new implementation. The live web chat should be able to optimize your existing efforts. You should start off with a pilot project based on meeting a single business goal. Once it is done the chat strategy can be scaled up to meet many goals.
Select a Worthwhile Chat Program
Once you are sure about the need of live web chat support, the next step is to select platform that is right for your needs. Many chat support processes fail because the internal failures become counter-productive and have a negative impact on customer satisfaction. This is why the outsource contact center and chat support processes should ask the following questions:
Should it be a hosted or a cloud based program?
Should it be a reactive or proactive platform?
Are you looking for passive assist or active assist method to help your customers?
Other factors to scrutinize before reaching a final choice include: chat transcripts, transaction history and other related metrics. The features that customers will experience such as typing notification, encryption, font sizes and page pushes should be analyzed too. The software should have Customer Satisfaction pushing capabilities along with reporting features.
Complement with Self Service Options
Most of the visitors to your website still like to shop on their own. They need no assistance from the live chat agent. Implementation of live chat support should not defeat the self-service facet of a website in any way. The agent should come into the equation only when needed. Successful users of chat support offer chats at intelligent points such as key acquisition, drop out and sales trigger points. They use the chat to not only support the customers but the sales team too and promote cross sell and up sell. Targeting the people comfortable with self-service could lead to irritation, so deal with the execution with caution. The chat platform should be built around proper use of business intelligence so that it works on overcoming the limitations of a website. It should attain objectives such as improved sales and customer satisfaction.
Enhance Customer Experience
Live web chat is known as an informal mode of communication, yet the customers will have certain expectations when communicating with the brand. This is why the agents need to have certain skills. They need to be experienced and empathetic. They should also understand the right tone and timing of words. Apart from this there is a long list of other requirements. This is why when you outsource chat support; it is always a wise decision. Training the internal team will need a lot of time and it might not bear the fruits at the end.
Though web chat is a very effective way of enhancing the customer’s online experience but there should be a well thought out strategy in place to make most of opportunities. Careful planning and execution will help you in attaining sales as well as customer satisfaction.