No longer is face to face or the phone primary forms of communication; now it is mostly done through text. It is only natural, then, for these individuals to want to use a similar form of communication when researching or shopping online. The text-type form of communication is a way for businesses to reach a growing population of consumers, and it is called live chat.
Having live chat on a website greatly increases the likelihood of consumers spending more time on the site and getting to the goal, i.e. making a purchase. The question, then, is how can you implement live chat on a website that is both cost effective and delivers results? The answer is to outsource chat to a partner who is an expert in this unique customer service experience. Below are three reasons to outsource live chat.
Dedicated and Specialized Agents
By using an outsourced partner, businesses can rely on dedication to this function. Unlike call centers where agents may answer phones, respond to emails and other correspondence, outsourced chat teams are usually dedicated to only taking chats. This allows the agent to be an expert in the area of chat. The more chats they take for a business, the more knowledgeable of the products and services they become.
What’s worse than not having live chat on a website? Having live chat, but no one available to answer when a visitor needs assistance. When this occurs, most consumers will simply leave the site and go elsewhere. Outsourcing live chat to a partner will help to ensure that no visitor ever goes unattended. A live chat answering service always has a team available 24×7, with agents able to take multiple chats simultaneously. Did you know that most agents can process about 800 chats per month?
Cost Effectiveness and Immediate Results
The cost of employees is usually one of the highest expenses in an organization. It is not just the cost of the salary, but recruiting, employment cost, office space, equipment and the infrastructure it takes to support them. The chat outsourcing partner focuses on the management piece, allowing the business to focus on results from chat and defining the type of experience you want your visitors to have through chat.
The expense from the outsourced chat team should not be perceived as a cost but as an investment. Chat is something that gives immediate returns, and depending on the profit margin of the product or service, can pay for itself in just a few successful chats or even one successful chat. The ROI on outsourcing chat services is in the hundreds of percent.
Chat Operators Are Not Just Customer Service Reps
Although there will be similarities in these two, a good customer service rep does not necessarily make a good chat operator. In most call centers, software is designed for the agents to do as little typing as possible to reduce average call time. Communication is obviously verbal, so it is easy to understand what the caller is needing and easy to convey a friendly, helpful tone.
In chat, all communication is handled via typing, so the agent MUST type fast, use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling. They must do this while meeting the visitor’s needs, conveying a friendly and helpful tone and do it timely. For chats, most questions are generic and can be predicted. This is where FAQs are important to guide chat teams in helping visitors. The longer agents service a site, the more knowledgeable they become.
The Art and Science of Live Chat
There is so much that goes into implementing a good chat platform on a website. The designs of buttons, placements and how to properly use proactive invites are just a few factors. Believe it or not, it is not the same for every business type. You have to understand the audience you are trying to engage and tailor each and every component of the chat to reach the greatest number of consumers. Font, colors, timing and flow of proactive invites are critical. And we haven’t even began talking about team training and ensuring the chat agents are fluent in the product or service.
A good outsource partner will understand these components, constantly review statistical data for each business and make adjustments to dial in the best results. In conventional customer service, there is no control over someone calling into the call center. But with chat, there are methods to help the visitor to engage in chat. This can be very tricky. It cannot be too aggressive and turn the visitor away, yet it cannot be so passive that few engage in chat.
outsource live chat, without a doubt, is a great means to improve customer service, provide lead generation and improve sales. Outsourcing this service is ideal for small to medium size businesses, with typical returns on investment in the hundreds of percent.