If you’ve been tracking the current trend of how major companies and small businesses are reaping the benefits of live chat, you might be tempted to dive right in and give it a try – especially if there is a free trial offered. If you have the option of a free Live Chat trial, resist the urge to treat it as just a fun gimmick. Used correctly, Live Chat is a powerful customer support and sales tool and you should have a clear purpose as to how you will use it for your business. However, before you take the plunge there are a few things you need to know:
What are your goals and objectives?
Are you seeking to increase sales? If so, are you focusing on a general increase in conversion rate or looking to sell a particular product? Are you cross-selling or up-selling? Are you concerned about basket abandonment or another part of your payment procedure? Determining from the start what you are trying to achieve, will inform every subsequent decision from how to train your agents, where to place the live chat window(s) to which analytics you will study to measure your success.
This will, in turn, help you to decide whether to turn a trial into a purchase or to calculate RoI if you are paying for your live chat software or service.
Which live chat package is right for you?
Every live chat service has its strengths and weaknesses and you should use a company which provides everything you need without charging extra for the things you don’t need. Questions to ask before placing an order include: How much are you willing to spend? What level of support do you require? Which features do you need (e.g. mobile access, chat archiving, social media integration, etc.)? Another important factor to consider is the type of licensing they are offering. There is little point in paying extra to license unlimited agents if you are likely to employ just one or two for the foreseeable future.
What are your training needs?
Before opening your live chat option to the world, consider what training your agents might need. If this function will be outsourced to an external company, then you will need to plan for ample time to educate them about your products or services. They will also need to familiarize themselves with the specific Live Chat system they will be using. Your agents should also understand whether they will be playing a purely reactive role (answering customer support queries, providing technical assistance, etc.) or whether you will expect them to engage more pro-actively to help drive sales. You will also need to carefully consider how many agents you will need to recruit in order to be efficient and cost effective.
How will your live chat window integrate into your website?
You will also need to consider carefully how your live chat buttons and windows will integrate into your website. Most Live Chat providers offer at least some degree of choice and customization when it comes to size, shape, appearance and colour scheme, while placement on screen will be completely up to you or your website owner. As a rule, it is best to ensure your chat facility is clearly visible on the relevant page without dominating it.
Once you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to launch your live chat feature and begin to reap the benefits that live chat will bring to your business.