Developing a powerful live chat strategy is important if the business is to acquire the best results and a well justification for the incurred costs. Even statistics from few years back indicates the importance of a live chat assistance for the audience.
For instance, in 2013 it was reported that 83% of 5,000 or more customers stated that they regularly require some form of assistance whenever they are online browsing their favorite product, or even for simply acquiring some general information. Further, 71% of the visitors stated that they call for online assistance within 5 minutes, while 48% were willing to close the page or navigate elsewhere if their needs were not acknowledged.
Given the statistics above and the increasing trend to move digital, it is easily evident that a reliable and quick online assistance is the foremost priority for any customer. It’s about formulating a strategy that is quite specific in nature. Strategy creation’s primary focuses on two aspects: reducing response time—encouraging the audience to interact with the live chat agent in less time, and delivering an exceptional customer satisfaction.
After identifying and creating the area of focus, one can now fabricate a potent live chat channel. Furthermore, the customer support department needs to answer the following questions in order to devise the perfect live chat strategy as per your business needs.
1. Will the customer satisfaction rates get better due to the employment of live chat?
Evaluate existing and historical data to identify the satisfaction limits of the whole customer base. If your company has a vast product portfolio, get the satisfaction data for each of the offerings. It is also preferred if you extract the data for different departments as well. All this data mining will help you in locating areas that may report the most positive impact from a live chat tool usage.
2. Will the sales improve after deploying a live chat system at chosen dropout points on the business’s website?
Again, use the current data to figure out points in the customers’ online experience where they lose interest and move away from your website. Are there certain web pages that report the most instances? Or maybe the instance occurs after dragging items in the shopping cart, but before finalizing the purchase. Such critical points will help you see where during the online experience a particular customer requires enhanced assistance.
3. Will sales improve if the agents target specific customer segments?
During the data analysis phase, it becomes clear which customers call for the most attention. The current data will also help you in spotting customer segments that communicate with you through exiting channels, i.e., email, text, phone calls, etc. Will the inclusion of the live chat tool prove to be beneficial in improving the retention rates and elevate sales? Will the live chat agents be able to perform in communicating the company’s offerings more effectively and acquire a larger number of visitors.
4. Which live chat platform will we operate?
Accepting the inclusion of a live chat system in your customer support operations is easily the most important decision made in the strategy development process. The success of the live chat channel rests on the selection of the platform. A poorly performing platform will heavily impact your customer satisfaction ratings as well as the credibility of your company in a destructive manner.
Here are some of the considerations you need to acknowledge when selecting the most appropriate live chat platform:
- Which platform type (company hosted or cloud-based) is the most appropriate one for your business?
- See if a proactive or reactive live-chat platform will prove to be beneficial in catering the needs of your selected customer segments?
- Is there a support for active assist or passive assist?
- What data security tools have been made available for use?
- Will the platform offer various reporting features to store transaction history, metrics, and chat transcripts?
- How will the customer interact through the selected platform?
- Will the customer be able to use encryption, typing notification and the feature to adjust font sizes?
- Will the agents be able to mandate customer satisfaction surveys at the end of a live chat conversation?
The point of acquiring the information from data analysis is to help the management in deciding if the selected platform will comply with the criteria for facilitating a high-end and lucrative customer experience, hence, eventually registering the accomplishment of the channel goals.
5. Will the live chat contribute current self-service options?
A number of websites have the feature that allows the visitor to self-serve against the more traditional approaches of customer support. While working on the live-chat strategy development, the team should equally work to enhance the self-service experience. Data analysis is a powerful tool that helps the team in identifying opportunities such as website dropout instances, sales trigger points, and the instances where the website is flawed. The data acquired is useful for the agents whenever opting to proactively start a live chat talk. The proactive approach must be undertaken quite vigilantly, you do not want to force a conversation too early or right after the visitor navigates to your website, only to make they feel pressurized and troubled when acting to self-serve. The purpose of the live chat system is to promote a self-service experience, rather than replacing it.
6. What metrics are the best to measure the performance of your live chat system?
Whenever a new tool is to be incorporated in a company’s operational procedures, determining metrics to measure its effectiveness and performance is essentially vital. The same rule applies for a web based chat software too! Some of the important metrics you can acknowledge for your business are cost per contact, first contact resolution, shopping contact abandonment rate, customer satisfaction rate, escalation rate, and average order value. Such parameters help companies gauge the effectiveness and performance of its live chat system in contrast to other communication channels.
After carefully answering all 6 questions, customer service teams should be able to create their live chat platform with the aim to precisely answer their customers’ needs and wants. No matter which live chat software you choose, the ultimate purpose is to facilitate a smooth customer interaction, resolve their issues and acquire healthy conversions for the business.