5 Tips for Using Live Chat for Customer Service on Your Website

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Many companies have started using Live Chat to improve customer service and to get more conversions on their websites. Live chat allows you to interact with website visitors in real time, answering their questions and giving them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.
But just offering Live Chat support doesn’t ensure you’ll get more conversions. There are some tips you need to follow to get the most out of this exciting new feature.
Here are 5 helpful tips to get you started.
1. Is now the time to chat?—Not every page on your website needs the Live Chat feature. On some pages, you need to let the visitor read. On other pages (like your About page), there’s really no reason to start talking to the visitor. Live Chat is best used on landing pages when visitors may have questions or need a slight push toward conversion.
In addition to offering Live Chat on the right pages, it’s important to know if and when you should pop in with the chat. Many companies have time limits they set before sending a message to a visitor (e.g. the visitor has to be idle on the page for 15 seconds before you initiate a chat session).
2. Be warm and personal—I don’t buy into the idea that the web is an impersonal medium. I think it’s a very personal space, and I believe it’s important to take that approach with your online customer support. First, don’t use auto-responders. Second, be warm and friendly to the visitor when you chat with them. Introduce yourself, and be professional but personal during your chat session.
3. Be available as often as possible—What’s the point of offering a chat feature on your website if it’s always disabled? At the very least, you should make your Live Chat support available during your normal business hours, but it’s even better if you can have it available more often. Remember, people shop online at all times, so 24/7 support would be ideal. But for many businesses that’s not realistic, so just have it available as much as you can.
4. Train customer service reps to ensure consistency—I mentioned earlier that you want to be both personal and professional. That can be a difficult balancing act to pull off. That’s why you need to train your online customer service reps. Work with them on a regular basis to ensure they’re interacting with visitors properly to get the very best results.
5. Respond quickly—Your customers aren’t going to wait around for answers. In fact, I’ve seen some case studies that show a failure to respond in 10 to 20 seconds will usually cause the visitor to leave. So, if you’re going to offer Live Chat customer support, you had better make sure someone is manning the controls at all times. Otherwise, you’ll lose visitors, and you could leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths.
Do you use live chat on your website? Why or why not?
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