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Important Practices for a Successful Live Chat Session

September 13, 2013 Amit Kachhawa

The benefits of having an online chat feature on a website seem to just keep growing and growing. With the rapid and continuous growth in technology, more and more consumers prefer to do their online shopping via laptop, tablet, mobile phone etc. When companies implement a live chat service on their website, statistics show an increase in online conversion rates and also a boost in customer experience. Customers are able to receive immediate answers to their questions in real time. Customers’ questions can range from product details to delivery options, and having a live chat agent there to answer these questions leaves the consumers feeling satisfied and confident with their purchase.

Live chat not only proves beneficial in answering typical customer questions, but also shows its value during crucial purchasing points in the customers buying process. Chat agents are able to engage with consumers and really find out what it is the consumers are looking for. Below we will look at some practices that will help companies get the biggest benefit from using chat on their websites.

Answering Customer Inquiries Accurately

It is critical to have a group of chat agents who are skilled in interacting with customers and knowledgeable about your company’s products and website. Having these agents there to assist and guide your customers significantly improves customer satisfaction levels and creates happy loyal customers.

Giving accurate answers to customers leaves them feeling confident in their purchase, eliminating the need for them to have to call in to a customer contact center with follow-up questions. According to a Live Chat Effectiveness Report, ¹ 88% of online shoppers rated product/service knowledge of an agent as an important factor in their online interaction, while 83% of online shoppers feel the speed of an agent’s response is an important factor for a successful chat session.

Having trained agents available who can quickly and accurately answer customer inquiries will result in happy (and repeat!) customers.

Answering Customer Inquiries on a Broad Range of Categories

As mentioned above, having a group of highly-skilled agents to take chats is critical. Companies must provide the appropriate training to agents to ensure they are high quality and are ready to interact with customers. Having this training increases the agents’ confidence and overall skill which allows them to have better and more efficient interactions with customers.

The Live Chat Effectiveness Report states that 63% of online shoppers agree that agents should be able to efficiently answer questions related to “Product Details” through online chat. Shoppers also stated how important it is that agents efficiently answer questions pertaining to specific categories like customer service questions, delivery status, and pricing options. With agents having the ability to answer questions accurately in a broad spectrum of categories, the overall perception of the company amongst its customer base will be a positive one.

Chat Availability

When it comes to chat availability hours, there isn’t much room for flexibility. In our modern world of online shopping, having round-the-clock chat services is important due to the fact that it allows customers to shop and ask questions whenever they feel comfortable to do so. According to the report, 77% of online shoppers feel that 24×7 chat availability was important to them; 84% say that making chat available on weekdays after work hours and on weekend days is important as well. Whether it is Saturday morning at 9 A.M or a Tuesday night at 11:30 P.M, if a customer wants to chat in and make a purchase, an agent needs to be there to assist them.

Live chat is quickly proving to be the “preferred” communication channel for handling customer inquiries. Customers doing their shopping online want their answers quickly and accurately, and Live Chat agents are able to provide that. With the increase and ease of accessibility in technology, more and more customers are turning to the online world for not only shopping but everyday activities such as banking and bill paying as well. Companies must adapt to this trend and meet their customer’s needs, by providing chat availability at all times.