In our last blog we looked at the what, why and how of live chat in contact centres, this blog delves into the when and where as well giving useful suggestions on how to improve live chat interactions. First however let's take back a step to understand website analytics because they provide primary evidence of user behaviour helping you to understand the customer and tailor the conversation.
Understanding Why Website Analytics are Important
As a customer is browsing through a website, cookies are following them around tracking their activity. This data is no good if there aren’t any insights gathered from it and actions taken. When it comes to reviewing website activity there are 5 stages that companies need to progress through in order for tracking to have any impact on the business.
1. The first step is gathering the data, of which there is an abundance.
2. The next step is running multiple reports.
3. After that analysing the reports is required, all the time condensing the information and making more sense of it.
4. The analysis will provide a number of insights.
5. From the insights gained actions can be proposed and implemented.
Here are some examples of proactively using data gathered to improve the live chat offering.
When.. to Offer
If someone is lingering on a webpage it is a perfect time to offer help via live chat. They are probably thinking about something and trying to make a decision, being able to chat to them puts you in a strong position to influence.
If a user has been on your website for a significant period of time they are likely to be interested in your product. This information is tracked by analytics so using it smartly shows the difference between a company who pre-emptively helps their customers and one that doesn’t put in the effort.
Back and Forth
If a user is flicking back and forth between a few pages they are likely to be trying to find something in particular or trying to make a decision. Again it's clear that this is a good time to intervene and offer assistance from your customer service team.
When… not to Offer
All of the above are based around setting up prompts on a website to offer live chat; which is all great however from the contact centre’s perspective there are other things to consider.
Don’t Offer if You Can’t Give
Live chat shouldn’t be offered if there aren’t customer service representatives available to respond when somebody chats. There’s nothing worse than after accepting an offer of help if you then don’t get it or have to wait a long time to actually get it, it’s a fantastic way to lose customers!
If an agent or advisor is handling 3-4 queries they shouldn’t be offering to take on another. While it’s great to have super agents in the contact centre that handle multiple customers at once the quality of the interactions may suffer as a result. Offering live chat is not a whole lot different to answering the phone to them; an agent needs to solve their problem. Having their attention split a number of different directions gives way to tardiness and confusion, neither of which will be appreciated by your customer.
No More than Twice per Visit
If a user declines twice while on a visit regardless of their activity they shouldn’t be offered live chat again, this kind of prompting will irritate potential customers. There are (hopefully) enough triggers and call to actions throughout your website that they will be guided to navigate around website as you wish them to be.
Review website analytics to determine traffic peaks and dips as well as customer uptake on live chat, this will inform you of when you may need more staff available to answer live chat queries.
Getting timing right is crucial to the customer experience.
There are likely to be certain specific pages that you might feel it is beneficial to talk to a customer on; pricing, technical product descriptions, product comparison pages.
In-page analytics identify hotspots on pages, why not ask a visitor if they would like live chat if they are hovering over a hotspot for more than 8 seconds let’s say. It doesn't necessarily have to be a popular piece on a webpage, if it is a place that from the point of view of the business, indicates interest in purchase, offering help may improve chances of conversion.
Every website will have pages that if a user is on them they will know they are very interested in the company. Tag key pages to offer live chat.
How to Improve Live Chat: Monitor Quality of Interactions
After reading all of the above and our other blog on the what, why and how of live chat you are equipped with tools to make your live chat attractive to website visitors and improve uptake. However these are not enough to ensure the success of your live chat, the interaction itself needs to be of a high standard.
Boost Live Chat Performance
It’s impossible to maintain a high standard of quality if there isn’t continuous monitoring. Monitoring allows a contact centre
Customer service representatives need to trained properly to solve customer queries but they should also be trained in the difference between live chat and calls and act appropriately.
As all the communication is written an agent must have excellent grammar, spelling and punctuation. They must be fluent in the language they are interacting through. Fully understanding a customer’s problem is paramount to solving it.
Having a few standard formats is suggested for conducting live chat, each format should be suited to the complexity of the interaction. This will guide the agent in how each interaction develops. Common threads in formats should include: identify problem, comply with policy, gather necessary information and ask if there’s anything else you can help with.
Asking probing questions should be encouraged, these will help the advisor build an understanding of the problem and will get the customer to think logically about what it is they need, this will result in the customer solving their own problems.
Focus on Efficiency
Much of the reason for choosing live chat is due to its convenience and fast response, advisors need to focus on helping the customer as quickly as possible so as not to delay them. People won’t wait around for a response, they will bounce off the site annoyed that they spent a certain amount of time trying to resolve a problem but ending the process due to frustration or impatience.
Transparency in Performance Evaluation
In evaluating staff performance the process should be entirely transparent to gain the customer service representatives’ trust. They will respond better to evaluation if they can see it for themselves. When they are experienced enough and trained properly they should be able to self-evaluate accurately, this will increase autonomy and engagement.
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