Live chat support sometimes is the best way to help customers during online purchases. A few tips below can help you evaluate your service and find room for improvement.
1. Offer your customers to email a copy of a transcript in the end of a live chat session. Some customers regret when they forget to request the chat transcript, so they will be grateful if you prevent it.
2. Use canned messages. Canned messages save your time and help sound professional in any situation. Remember to use them carefully and do not make customers think that they are talking to a machine.
3. Use proactive invitations. Invite visitors to chat to increase conversion on target pages. Some visitors may refuse your invitation, but at least they will be aware that they can receive help online.
4. Transfer a chat when needed. If you are involved in a chat that is outside your level of expertise, you need to transfer the chat to a more experienced agent.
5. Check chat history for returning visitors. Customers will appreciate the fact that they do not have to repeat their previous problems. Also you will save them from repeated advices.
6. Add a chat button to your emails. A chat button in your emails will allow your customers to contact you right away if they have any questions regarding the email.
7. Use upsell and cross-sell. Chat agents can persuade customers to purchase a more advanced product or accessories for it. Always search for opportunities to sell more.
8. Offer a post-chat survey. The post-chat surveys help you evaluate your performance and they show your customers that you care about their experience.
9. Provide online support 24×7. If you trade worldwide, you should be able to provide support 24×7. If you are not able to provide 24×7 support, make sure that you post your chat hours clearly on your website.
Properly organized live chat service can dramatically increase your sales and improve customer satisfaction. Make sure you do not miss anything.
Words are a powerful tool of communication. Using the right phrases can help you resolve any situations with your customers.
Show your customers that you are ready to help them and you are going to do everything possible to fix an issue.
1. I can solve that problem.
2. I can certainly help you. Use the words such as definitely, surely, absolutely, certainly to make customers trust you.
3. I am going to do my very best to help you.
4. I am more than happy to help you.
If you are not sure how you can help, or you need time for a research, be honest with your customers.
5. I don’t know, but I’ll find out. That’s a good question, let me find out that for you.
6. Do you mind waiting 2-3 minutes while I research your request?
Explain them what you are going to do.
7. What I will do for you right away is…
8. What I can do for you right now is…
9. Please log off so that I can help you.
10. I will keep you updated.
11. I would suggest/recommend…
12. Thank you for waiting.
13. We really do appreciate this feedback.
14. Thank you so much for letting us know about this.
15. Thank you do much for your patience.
Be patient with angry customers.
16. I am sorry to hear about this.
17. For special customers like you…
18. I truly understand your concern, but unfortunately we cannot tolerate the kind of language you are using right now.
19. This is our company policy, but let me see if I can work something out for you.
20. Please give me an opportunity to try and resolve this for you. That’s why I’m here.
21. May I ask you a few questions to clarify the situation?
And remember the main rule: never start a sentence with NO. Always try to think of all the words that are negative in nature and replace them with positive ones.
Installing a live chat tool on your website is a small step towards providing good service to your customers. But it can become a real disaster if you forget about the main part of good service – staff training.
CCM Benchmark, a marketing research company, carried out a survey on how live chat was perceived by e-Commerce and customer service decision makers. One of important results was the role that teams play in delivering customer service via live chat. Respondents mentioned importance of the solution adoption by teams and the general process of agents getting used to using the tool. They insisted that if the live chat agents were not involved in the project and trained to use the tool, the project could become counterproductive.
Training is the main step to effective live chat service. But before think of motivation that your chat agents have. Some big companies believe that position of a chat agent should be earned, the agent should really want to get that position to provide great service. For example, Dell agents never start in chat support, even if they had previous chat experience before being hired. Instead, they must first prove themselves as a top performer in traditional phone support, and then “graduate” to earning a spot on the chat support team. The chat agent role is less stressful and therefore more preferable. Zappos, another company recognized for its overall support savvy, also requires agents to “earn” their right to move to chat as a way to motivate its team.
When you are done with motivation make sure that the new agents learn how to use your chat tool. They should be able to easily do the following:
- Read information on real-time traffic monitor and understand where a visitor came from and what he might be looking for.
- Check additional information about the visitor, find previous chat history.
- Initiate a proactive chat.
- Quickly and correctly search for pre-written replies. Be able to adjust them to current situation.
- Transfer a chat to another agent.
- Run simultaneous chats.
Another part of training is service culture.This includes a wide variety of rules about what is aloud pr not during a chat session.
- Spelling culture and typing speed.
- Using formal and informal speech, jargon and professional terms.
- Area of competence of each agent, cases that require transferring chat to another agent and rules for escalation.
- Scripts for standard cases and possible unique situations.
- Goals for every type of chat requests.
The last but not least is product knowledge. All the above training is useless if an agent does not know the product. Make sure that your agents are always informed about the latest changes, updates, new services or products, that they understand them and can correctly describe or explain them to customers.
Well-trained staff is the key of great customer service, and HelpOnClick live chat software helps to deliver that service to your customers.
Live chat on a website is one of the most popular ways of communication between e-commerce companies and their website visitors. And for business owners it is also a great source of information about customers and their behavior. That is because unlike phone calls, the chat scripts are all saved in the archive and can be reviewed at any time.
Here is what you may learn from your chat archive.
1. The most frequently asked questions.
After you set up canned messages for common questions, you may find out that your website visitors ask different questions. Archive monitoring gives you the chance to keep the scripts updated to the latest customers’ interests.
2. Your customers may want new products or features.
You do not need to take a survey to ask your customers about their interests. The answers are already in your chat archive. Potential customers always ask about the products or features they need, and if you see repeated requests, you might think of having a new offer.
3. The most common difficulties that your customers experience.
If they always ask about the same things, there may be something wrong with your product or services, or information on your website is not full or hard to find. Find and solve the issues that cause those questions to make your customers happier.
4. What your prospect want to know about you.
Chat scripts are a great source of information about your prospects. You can find out the questions they ask before a purchase, and use them for writing promotional texts. You can see which companies they compare you with or between which products they choose.
HelpOnClick live chat software saves all the chats with your website visitors in the archive and keeps them for as long as you use the chat service. If you have not done monitoring before, now it is the right time to start.
When you start live chats with your website visitors, are you sure that you know who you are talking to? Do you know what type of customers they are?
- Do they know what they want?
- Are they looking for something in general?
- Are they looking for a particular product?
- How urgent is it?
Answers to these questions determine the topics you are going to discuss with them.
When they do not know what they want, use probing questions that help them better understand their needs. Get to know how urgent the need is.
When they are choosing between several products, ask which brands they are comparing and what their priorities are. Show how your products satisfy their needs.
When they are asking about a particular product, you should be an expert in it (or pass the chat to someone who is the expert). Try to understand what stops the customer from the purchase right now and resolve the doubts.
Get to know at what point of the AIDA scale they are now. AIDA means Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. If your website has not drawn a visitor’s attention, you cannot ask him «Can I help you?» because this question is not able to draw attention either. This question is appropriate at the Desire stage, when you can ask «May I help you to find the products that fit your size» or some other question offering particular help.
At the Action stage use a close-a-deal script and do not get back to any general discussions that are appropriate at the first stages.
Urgency gives you an aim for a particular chat. If a customer is ready to buy, your aim is to close the deal during that chat session. If you fail to do that, you most probably loose a customer to your competitor. If the customer is just searching for the options, your aim is to find out his needs and get his contact information for further actions.
Remember that you can reach your goals with customers only when you find the right words to convince them. And the right words depend on a customer type.
Internet business is very flexible speaking about working space. In many cases, office location is not very important, if an office is needed at all. Today we’ll take a look at pros and cons home offices for customer service staff.
Pros for employers.
- No need to rent an office or extra office space for the service staff.
- No need to provide employees with a table, PC and other office stuff.
- Remote work allows to hire employees from all over the world, balancing between their experience and qualifications and employers’ expenses.
- For international business it also allows to cover different time zones and provide support around the clock.
Cons for employers.
- The main disadvantage of remote work is limited control.
- It is harder to organize team work when employees never or seldom see each other.
- It can be next to impossible to resolve emergency cases when several employees working in different time zones are involved.
- Office parties, seminars and other office events can be help very seldom or sometimes never. This can affect employees’ motivation and adherence to company’s values.
Pros for employers.
- No commute.
- No one looks over your shoulder.
- No dress-code.
- If you have someone at home to take care of, home office can be an ideal solution.
Cons for employees.
- Strong self-discipline is a must. Not everyone is able to motivate themselves to work when no one is watching.
- Lack of communication. There are no colleagues at home to discuss current tasks or chat during a tea break.
- There are no coworkers to go to lunch with.
- You cannot take a rest from your office and go home.
- Family members may cause problems if you do not strictly separate working and off-work hours.
Business owners can decide, wether to hire remote workers or not depending on their business structure and on their ability to organize remote work. All pros and cons should be properly weighted. And what is your choice?
Are you creative enough in engaging your website visitors into a live chat with company representatives? There are no «one phrase fits all» solutions here, so you can test multiple options.
Manual invitations do not seem the best idea, because they use a standard invitation text. Standard invitation text does not take into account any specific data such as a visitor’s referral URL or a currently viewed page.
Automatic invitations are more flexible in terms of taking advantage of the available information about website visitors.
Here are a few examples.
1. Separate new and returning visitors.
For new visitors you can use a welcome-to-our-website message, and for returning visitors you may write «Welcome back! Got more questions? Start the chat for assistance» or «We are glad to see you again! If any questions arise, feel free to ask here»
2. Mind a referral.
If you are a web designer, you may have traffic from WordPress and Joomla websites. For those who arrived from the WordPress, you may write «We love designing WordPress websites! Start the chat to get a quote». For the Joomla visitors you just replace the «Wordpress» word with «Joomla» word and you sound more personal than saying «We love designing websites!
3. Mind the currently viewed page.
It is more effective to start a conversation with a question about a particular product rather than with general questions. Imagine that a visitor is reading about a design faculty in your college. You may ask «Do you plan to become a designer? Can I tell you about our design faculty?». It will work better than all purpose «How may I help you?» or «Do you have questions about our college?
4. Use call-to-action phrases.
Say NO to the following words: «We are here to help», «We are online», «We will be glad to answer your questions», etc. Instead of that use calling sentences, such as «Got questions? Click here to contact an assistant», «Start a chat to get a quote», Start a chat for personal assistance».
There are much more ways to invite visitors to chat. Remember that you can be creative in composing invitation texts and you can be tough-minded using the available information about your website visitors. All the described options can be applied to the HelpOnClick’s live chat invitation settings, under the Admin>Customize tabs. Good luck in your experiments!
As the owner of an e-commerce website, you probably already know all about the importance of providing the best possible support to your prospects and customers. Whether you’ve been relying solely on live chat or virtual chat or have been trying to decide between the two, you no longer have to make compromises.
HelpOnClick live chat now includes the virtual chat as a built-in feature, and you have it active from the start of your trial period. No need in additional activation, no need to pay extra. Ten virtual chats per day are included for free in all live chat plans!
Give Customers and Prospects what They Need without Breaking the Bank
Small- and medium-sized e-commerce sites don’t often have the resources that are needed to provide around-the-clock live support to everyone who needs it. By using a program that incorporates virtual support and live support, you can affordably offer prospects and customers a personal level of service without spending exorbitant amounts of money.
What are the Benefits of Support via Chat?
The benefits of offering support via chat are well-known. What’s more is that all of the most important benefits apply just as easily to virtual support as they do to live suppor. By turning to HelpOnClick, you can get the most out of these benefits to ensure that your e-commerce site delivers the most profitability:
Increase Efficiency – Even the most sophisticated live chat program is going to fall short from time to time. Customers are going to be left waiting for assistance, and many of them aren’t going to wait very long. Live chat supplemented by virtual support helps to eliminate this problem.
Eliminate Wait Times – No one likes waiting for assistance. In a brick-and-mortar store, it’s sometimes a necessary evil. Incredibly, you can offer a level of service that’s superior to that of a physical store by using HelpOnClick. At any given moment, visitors can get the support they need instantly.
Increase Sales – People are more likely to make purchases when they’re confident they’re getting what they want. Expecting people to jump through a bunch of hoops to find out what they need to know isn’t practical. They’re far more likely to just go to an entirely different e-commerce site. You can keep that from happening by offering support via chat.
Improve ROI – Like any online business owner, you’re always looking for ways to enhance your ROI. HelpOnClick is easy to implement and incredibly affordable. The support it provides is sure to increase customer satisfaction and boost sales, so the return on your investment will be all the greater.
Provide Superior Support – The absolute best aspect of offering support via chat is doing what it takes to provide exceptional customer service. Live chat and virtual chat are practically ubiquitous nowadays. Live chat is widely considered to be superior, but virtual support can pick up the slack and ensure that no one is left waiting around for help. With a reputation for offering unbeatable customer service, your company’s success will know no limits.
“Agent” or “Operator”, “Virtual agent” or “Virtual assistant” – we often name the same things differently and this sometimes can narrow our options. Developers and marketers can describe software features in absolutely different words, and you can even believe that they are talking about different things while in fact they are talking about similar functionality. Looking deeper in what this or that feature does, we can find out that it can be utilized in much more ways than we are used to think.
Let’s take a look at the feature named “multiple departments”. The first thing you can think of is separating sales and support departments. Probably this is the common usage. Larger companies can add marketing or PR, delivery or many other departments. But if we think of division in general, we can find more options for this feature.
You can have multiple service departments in a city or even in several cities. In this case a department can mean location. Your website visitors can choose their city before entering the chat and get to the right person on the first try. Still all the departments are operated within one admin panel, all agents can access same canned messages, and the website owner can review statistics about all agents and departments in one place.
For multi-lingual websites it can be vital to have multi-lingual service. The multiple departments feature comes in useful here. Set up languages as departments and assign them to the corresponding operators. When you website visitors choose a language before entering a chat, they actually choose a specific language department.
If you sell just a few products or some products require special attention, you might want to have a separate person in charge of a specific product. You can add the product name as department along with other departments. For example if you sell cars, you can offer your customers to contact new cars sales department or used cars sales department.
Promoted products require special attention. When you offer your website visitors to contact you regarding special offers, first of all you draw their attention to the subject, and then you help your potential customers to make a decision during a live chat session.
You see how flexible a chat feature can be. Do you use any features in a way that is not very common?
Do you regularly monitor the quality of your customer service? Do you make sure that your online service staff delivers positive experience to your website visitors? Well-structured weekly monitoring will help you uncover the gaps in your chat service and take timely measures before you start losing customers.
We suggest going through two checklists to make sure that your live chat service works effectively.
I. Make sure that the chat is well set up.
The first checklist is about general impression and chat settings. The answers to the below questions will help you understand if your chat settings are correct and effective.
1. Is it easy for your website visitors to spot a chat plugin or a chat button to contact you?
2. Does the chat widget or button design corresponds to your website design?
3. If you use any pop-up settings, do you allow the website visitors to browse the website for a while before the pop-up invitation to chat appears?
4. Do you use advanced settings for automated chat invitations to address your website visitors individually depending on their referral URL, used keywords or a current page?
5. Are your website visitors allowed to leave a message via chat plugin when the chat service is unavailable?
6. Do you collect visitors’ contact details before they enter the chat?
Now check your answers. If you have any NO-answers, you might need to review your chat settings and improve widget’s performance.
II. Make sure, that your chat agents are effective.
The second checklist is about regular monitoring of your chat service. Let’s say, once a week would be good. Here are the questions you need to answer.
1. Do your chat operators know all about your products and services to effectively communicate with your customers? You can check it going through chat scripts archive and making sure, that all the provided answers are correct.
2. Are your chat operators talk in professional and polite manner?
3. If canned messages are used, is there all information up-to-date?
4. Do your operators manage to answer all customers’ questions, or are there unanswered questions?
5. If operators are not able to answer a question, are they able to talk the visitor into leaving contact info to provide answers later?
6. If the visitor is promised to get contacted later regarding unanswered questions, are you sure that the contact will not be lost or forgotten?
7. Is the average pickup time less that 10 seconds? Check that under the Stats tab.
8. Is your operators’ rating higher than four stars? You can also check that under the Stats tab.
9. After you read the chat archive, what impression do you have? Do you think that your website users are satisfied with the service?
Check your answers on the second list. If you heave any negative answers, you’ll see a room to improve your chat service. Good luck!