What Impact has Live Chat had?
Live chat has infiltrated internet usage on a daily basis, becoming popular for user-to-user conversations and as a customer service channel.
Live chat and other new channels such as social media has meant that the term call centres is no longer accurate.
These multi-channel contact centres now have teams dedicated to specific channels as well as multi-channel agents.
E-consultancy reported that live chat has the highest satisfaction rates of all the customer service channels at 77%. It is necessary to respond speedily to live chat in order to satisfy the majority of respondents.
“For organisations keen to communicate with customers effectively, social media and live chat connectivity is not an option, but an absolute necessity… consumers prefer immediate attention and resolution over niceties is indicated by the rapid explosion of users on the social media.” – Sanjay Mehta, Business Standard (2014)
31% of online shoppers from both the US and UK said they would be more likely to purchase after a live chat according to research carried out by BoldChat.
Live chat doesn’t require much effort from the consumer, it usually appears on a screen and they can start typing, they don’t have to go searching for it if a website has it enabled, unlike getting a phone number. Users can also do other things while they are waiting from responses, their full attention is not required.
Opportunity to Impress
There are many aspects of live chat that have the potential to impress customers and improve loyalty and brand advocacy;
- Timely response
- Accurate problem solving
- Friendly customer service
- Seamless customer experience
Any company should approach live chat as an opportunity to enhance the customer experience while ensuring that it’s not intrusive.
Float-in Rather than Pop-up
Even the word pop-up is intrusive: a new window hits you and obscures your view, for many people the reflex action is to kill it, especially if you’re forced to make a choice. A better option is to have box that floats in and can be ignored by the user if they want. If a mouse hovers over the chat box it should expand.
Easy to Accept, Decline and Hide
The user should feel as if they are in control of their navigation through the website. When offering live chat function not being pushy is crucial, give the user three clear options on big buttons; Accept, Decline and Hide.
Generally as a rule of thumb Call-to-Action buttons are in a bold colour that jumps off the page. However the aim is to give users the option to chat so using colours that blend with the website colour theme is fine. Users will see the floating chat option as it will be moving so it’s different to banner blindness.
No More Faceless Customer Service Representatives
You don’t want to be a faceless company - put a face on the name! Having real people represented gives users confidence in a company, the image is also a way to highlight the personality and culture of the company. If you’re business has a laid back persona this should be evident in how your employees look and feel; casual wear, relaxed and friendly expression. A website for a corporate bank with complex information who pride themselves on their professional expertise might be better suited to have their live chatters in sharp business attire with serious expression.
Schuh execute this really well with their live chat professional above, Mark, who looks well kept and is dressed casually in a T-shirt, this is a great representation of the brand; every day wear that looks well. The branded background reinforces the brand image.
Live chat is not defined as purely text based, video chat is becoming more popular. Scorebuddy recently interviewed Carolyn Blunt, voted the UK’s most respected person in the call centre industry by Call Centre Helper readers, and when asked about which digital technologies hold the greatest opportunities for call centres the three that came to the fore were webchat, voice and video. When asked the same question editor of Call Centre Helper, Jonty Pearce, answered “Live web chat, video and web RTC (real-time-communications)”.
Tailor the message to the web users behaviour; “I can see you have been on our website for a few minutes”, “Are you having trouble trying to decide which product you would like, can I help?” The information is there and by using it smartly the customer experience can be enhanced.
The When and Where of Live Chat is the second part of our blog series and also includes how to improve live chat interactions.
Scorebuddy’s quality assurance software is perfect for monitoring live chat in any contact centre. Easily create and build QA forms for monitoring live chat, sign up for a free trial and start scoring today.