What are some best practices for live chatting

Work smarter: live chat best practices

More and more companies are realizing that live chat is the key to effective, timely customer support. Even companies that initially wondered whether online chat was really a useful channel are now trying to get maximum value from it.

When properly set up, online chat is a customer support tool that has a positive effect in the long term. This allows more interactions to be redirected to the chat channel, lower operating costs, increased customer satisfaction, increased agent productivity and, last but not least, a higher conversion rate. But as with any communication channel, there is one good way to offer live chat to customers and one that is less effective.

There are far-reaching benefits to effectively delivering online chat. The first to benefit is your customer service team, then the entire company, and finally, most importantly, your customers. This domino effect does not take place in a vacuum, but is the result of careful planning. Below you can learn more about live chat best practices to get the most out of your chat implementation.

Align chat with company goals

You definitely need to know why you are using online chat. Which corporate goals are promoted thereby? Live chat needs to be fully aligned with your company's business goals, and it needs to be clear how live chat can help achieve those goals. Examples:

  • Fulfill service level agreements (SLAs) for waiting time, time to first response, etc.
  • Proactively addressing customer concerns before they become a problem
  • Reduce abandoned shopping carts

Optimize user experience

Where, when and how you provide live chat on your website has a direct impact on the customer experience when visiting your website. The three pillars of the user experience in live chat are chat placement, access, and timing. To get the most out of chat, it's best to be proactive. Friendly intervention at the right moment can make all the difference in whether the customer completes or abandons the purchase. It is important that chat is perceived as unobtrusive so that potential customers do not run away.

Determine staffing requirements

It is important for companies to understand how many customer service agents are required for live chat before they begin rolling out. Aspects such as the agent experience, chat distribution and whether the agents also support other customer service channels in addition to chat should be considered.

Train customer service agents in live chat

Sounds logical right? Maybe, but it still has to be mentioned here: Customer service agents need to understand the basic idea behind live chat and how live chat differs from other channels. There is nuanced etiquette to online chat, especially proactive live chat - that is something that customer service agents need to be aware of.

Set up chat workflow

Regardless of which customer service platform you use, you need a workflow that ensures a consistent support experience for your customers at all times, a reliable escalation path for tickets, a plan for assigning agents, and channel management and monitoring in real time.

Monitor success and metrics and improve delivery

Once chat is live, you should regularly monitor chat metrics. With data on average wait time, customer satisfaction, agent productivity, and more, you can make changes so customers always get the best possible service.

To get the most out of live chat, create the best possible conditions from the start. Familiarize yourself with online chat best practices - defining your goals, hiring and training the right number of customer service agents, and setting up efficient workflows. So you are on the right track. Once rolled out, you need to keep a close eye on success metrics to take full advantage of Chat's potential.

More live chat best practices can be found here