Connect better with Customers and Visitors with Live Chat Software

It is no secret today that live chat software is the single most affordable and effective service channel you can use to connect with potential customers, first time website visitors, registered users and existing customers. Let us look at a few ways in which your live chat operators can connect even better as they build bridges with your various customer communities and its diverse segments. Achieving success both on the customer support as well as sales fronts using live chat support is no rocket science as we will soon find out:

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Strive for Zero Wait Times

If you review any customer survey data about phone usage, you will notice that the number one concern customers have about phone service is the unpredictable wait time. The same will be said about customer surveys with respect to live chat support if we do not watch out both individually as well as collectively. Put more operators on the job if you begin to notice a pattern. Consider sending your operators back to the training room for a quick course refresher if you believe that training is indeed the challenge.

Provide relevant Answers to Chat Queries

Although it is tempting to push that magic button and send in that canned message across to the live chat visitor, the message is still pre-scripted and may not satisfy the live chat query 100%. Your operators should not only be able to understand the nature of the query but should be extremely familiar and well-versed with the message being sent through a canned message. Good operators are known to avoid canned messages unless it is a greeting or a salutation, a request for an address or a query about a product which can be addressed by responding with a URL.

gI_0_cobrowsing500x380 Delight your Visitors with Screen Share and Co-browsing

Research has shown that while these features have been a part of most live  chat software solutions for years, many operators do not use them for one  reason or another. These are great features to use not merely to respond to  customer inquiries but also to conduct a little sales on the side by suggesting  products that ideally match the visitor’s requirements or help with a problem  the visitor may be facing.

Do your chat operators use other innovative ways to connect with your customers and visitors, Are some of them more popular than others? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.

Managing the Customer Shift to Online Channels

In any formal business transaction regardless of whether it is conducted online or offline, three entities participate prominently– the buyer also known as the customer, the seller, and the product or service on which the transaction is based. Owing to a variety of factors, there has been a paradigm shift in the behavior of all three over the past decade. The buyer persona is perhaps the entity which has not merely transitioned into a new dimension but literally undergone a reincarnation. According to Jon Ferrara, founder CEO of Nimble CRM, an innovative CRM solution which leverages the power and potential of the social web to initiate communications, connections and conversations between an organization and its customers, gone are the days when you could “bag and tag” your sale simply on the basis of your product’s USP and your selling prowess. Today’s buyer persona is much more sophisticated, knowledgeable and alert.

Customers rely not necessarily on flashy product brochures and glossy ads in the trades although these instruments are also scanned quickly at least as a formality, they turn to Almighty Google to understand the problem they are attempting to solve, seek out reviews for products that meet and match their specifications, and check out PDFs on manufacturers’ websites. Most importantly, they turn to social media. They seek and usually find someone in their Circle on Google+, Friends on Facebook, or Connections on LinkedIn who has an honest and justifiable opinion. It is only after crossing these bridges that customers turn to your company for additional information. They will turn to you because you feature on their short list. Are we at the bottom of the sales funnel? Far from it, we haven’t even begun the journey!

The Winning Strategy

The “shift” we have described above, which is not merely a paradigm shift but also a genuine shift in sensibilities as well as a shift in the choice of service channels, will bring you face-to-face with your customers who are already in a position of strength. Your customers may or may not choose to explore self-service. However, all the available service channels such as phone, email and live chat continue to remain available. Here are a few reasons why we believe your customers will prefer live chat over other existing service channels even after switching channels more than once:

Instant Responses

Only phone and live chat possess the ability to provide instant responses. Live chat has an edge because it protects the visitor’s identity except for an email address. A phone conversation tends to generate tons of data about customers, a situation with which customers may not feel comfortable. Customers often list privacy considerations as an area of paramount concern.

Multiple Response Mechanisms

Customers are gradually becoming aware of the fact that an answer to an inquiry submitted through live chat does not merely result in a return chat message. Responses are also provided through links that are click able once sent through live chat, co-browsing facilities, screen sharing and the transmission of data through file transfer. Such transfers are now beginning to include proprietary content especially developed for customers such as images and videos which organizations are choosing not to post online for fear of competition.

Do you have a customer engagement strategy which you have adopted, implemented and fine-tuned that works for you well? Let us know through the blog comments below.