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Humanizing the Live Chat Window -- Making Click-to-Chat Services provide True ROI

by Jeff Mason, Vice President of Marketing, Velaro - March 31, 2014

“Humanizing” the Live Chat Window -- Making Click-to-Chat Services Provide True ROI

While attracting potential and current clients to a website is essential for any online business, the real key to success is what happens next

Jeff Mason, Vice President of Marketing, Velaro

Jeff@verlaro.com

410-963-6763

It goes without saying that driving traffic to your site is the first step in winning over clients, however, businesses whose marketing plans stop here are doing themselves a disservice. Creating thoughtful online experiences for visitors will go a long way to increase sales conversions and attract repeat visits and loyal customers and members.

Today’s online consumers are expecting websites to be nothing short of engaging, interactive, and, most importantly helpful. They want to feel empowered and attended to at the same time and businesses who do not respond to this call will find themselves falling short of meeting targets and goals.

Live chat, better known as click-to-chat services, offers a simple, cost-effective way to humanize the user experience of your website. Customers have access to immediate assistance at the push of a keystroke. Not only does this improve satisfaction levels, but businesses also find significant reductions on call center expenses.

With these benefits, everyone should be putting this technology to use. According to Gartner Group, however, nearly 42 percent of client relationship manager (CRM) related software licenses are never even implemented. The reason is typically due to a lack of training, preparation, and expertise to deploy and use the software effectively, most especially on account of software vendors who care more about moving software licenses than ensuring maximum benefit from their offerings.

Installing the right software and tools and providing some initial training for call center professionals is only marginally effective. A call made to customer service can be a time-consuming process, something many of us have been conditioned to believe. Without a doubt many a potential customer is lost at the point of not even bothering to pick up the phone. Think of it like a take-out window at a fast food restaurant. People use the take-out window is for speed and convenience; they don’t want to spend 15 minutes in line for a simple order. The same goes for your live chat window. Your live chat windows can bring increased profit to a business, much like windows at fast food restaurants. In fact, according to Allurent, 83 percent of online shoppers would make purchases if sites offered increased interactive elements. That equals a lot of money to be gained.

Here’s how. Below is a breakdown of some next-generation features of live chat that can help you convert visitors into customers.

Premade Messages: Premade messages are convenient, easy to use, and ensure that a process or service is consistently explained. These messages can also help to reinforce brand messaging and position. Archived chat transcripts can help give you a sense of the varieties of uses for premade messages.

Remember that while premade messages certainly make it easy for agents to communicate effectively; they should be a complement to a chat rather than dominate the conversation.

Share Transcripts: Our services record all chats and make them easy to share. Transcripts are a great way to let a customer know that you take their satisfaction seriously. Consider emailing customers copies of their online chats with agents. Not only is this helpful for their record keeping, but it also gives them a chance to re-read any vital information.

Proactive Chat Invitations: With chat invitations, online business owners can give their visitors the very best in customer engagement. Below are just a few examples of how this feature can drastically improve your conversion rates while boosting customer service.

o Time on page - If a visitor has been on your site for a long time without taking any action, chances are he/she needs help with something.

o Specific Page - Thanks to visitor monitoring, predicting your visitors’ needs is fairly easy. For example, if a visitor goes to your “contact us” page, it’s safe to say that your visitor isn’t there to check out the graphics. Your visitor is there to engage with you. You can cut them off at the pass with a friendly invitation to chat.

o Referring Page - Track where your visitors are coming from. For example, if a visitor comes from a page on another website where you were promoting a specific product or specific deal, that visitor is most likely already familiar with your services. You can tailor your chat invitation appropriately.

o Failed Search - Imagine that you have the product your visitor was looking for but he/she used the wrong keywords to search for it or maybe even misspelled their terms. Rather than lose this opportunity forever, you can take matters into your own hands and offer to help them via a chat invitation.

o Shopping Cart Woes - Anyone familiar with shopping online understands the frustration of a shopping cart-related issue. Statistically speaking, 76 percent of chatting site visitors will ask for help if they have trouble during the checkout process. With a proactive chat invite, you can rescue your customers from their issue and get them back into the purchase funnel.

o Geographic location - Imagine that your business is offering a free or discounted offer to any customers within a certain geographic region. A customer within that region comes to your site. Why not share the good news with them?

And don’t forget, it’s imperative that your online presence remains personable, professional, and consistent.

Remain professional and polite: Talk to the customers as if you were interacting with them face-to-face. Remember, these chats are an extension of your company and its reputation. Always remain calm, and give your customers the benefit of the doubt.

Avoid acronyms and slang: Be as thorough in your answers as possible (without being condescending). Assume that your visitor is new to what you’re selling, and let the conversation evolve from that starting point.

Address guests by their names: One of the easiest ways to establish a personal connection with a customer is to address him or her by first name. In doing so, you communicate that you care about each customer as a person (and not just a number).

To truly get ROI out of your live chat, you need to go beyond merely offering a window for customer service agents to chat with customers. Your “take-out” window should be fast and convenient for visitors. Careful planning, the right tools and attitude, will quickly turn visitors into customers before your very eyes.

 
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