Adding live chat support is a great way to enhance your e-commerce business`s customer service capabilities. In fact, more people expect to be able to chat with live representatives than ever. Many will even go elsewhere if they end up on a site that doesn`t offer it. Making the decision to add live chat is one thing; making it happen is another. Without being aware of the potential challenges that you may run into, you could end up being less than satisfied with the experience.
Choosing the Right Live Chat Software
For many e-commerce businesses, choosing the right live chat software is pretty overwhelming. There are dozens of options out there, and sorting through them all can be very confusing. This is one step that you should get right the first time because going back and switching to something else will be even more complicated. With that being said, the software you use shouldn`t be confusing or complex. In fact, you should be able to set it up and start using it in minutes. You`ll be able to do so with a cloud-based option like HelpOnClick, so don`t waste your time with software that makes you jump through a bunch of hoops to add live chat to your site.
Deciding How Many Reps to Use
With any luck, you already have a fairly good idea about the kind of volume your live reps can expect. You can use this information to figure out how many reps you will need to have available at any given moment. Still, the more reps you need to keep handy, the more you`re going to have to pay. At the same time, having too few reps means that people will have to wait, which defeats the purpose of offering live chat support. Look for a program that offers virtual reps when all of the live ones are busy. This will keep things flowing right along and help you avoid sticker shock.
Budgeting for Your Live Chat Software
Many people decide to add live chat without having a clear figure in mind in terms of a budget. How much are you willing to spend to keep prospective and current customers happy? Don`t be fooled. Many live chat programs are exorbitantly expensive, but that doesn`t mean they are the best. In fact, there are affordable solutions out there that work every bit as well - and even better, in many cases - as much more expensive ones.
Setting Up Live Chat
Do you know what to expect when setting up live chat on your website? As long as you choose the right software, you should be able to plan everything out easily. Ironically, many live chat programs fail miserably when it comes to providing customer support. Make sure that the software you choose is backed up by excellent support so that your setup goes off without a hitch. The last thing you need is for the setup to get in the way of your online business, even if it`s just for a few minutes.
Does the idea of training representatives to offer live chat support fill you with dread? You`re not alone. This is a major concern for any e-commerce business. Fortunately, the best live chat programs are able to soften the blow. This is accomplished through live chat scripts that arm reps with the information they need to provide effective customer support. That`s not to say that you can get away with not training your reps at all. They need to understand your products and/or services. It just means that the support they provide will be more efficient.
Monitoring and Measuring Performance
Once you have live chat set up on your site, you`ll be good to go, right? It`s not quite that simple. Even if you invest in a high-quality live chat program, you should plan to continually monitor and measure its effectiveness to ensure that it is providing value for you. What kinds of issues are handled promptly and effectively? Which ones aren`t? Identify the weak spots of the live chat support you provide and develop ways to eliminate them. This may sometimes be accomplished by arming reps with different information. Other times, you may be able to add additional information to your site. At still other times, changes may need to be made to your products or services.
A Worthwhile Challenge
As overwhelming as it may seem to integrate live chat software into your e-commerce website, the challenges you may face can be easily overcome. By putting in some time and effort now, you will be able to provide impeccable, live customer support to your site`s visitors. This will pay off in a number of ways. Prospective customers will be more likely to place their first orders, and existing customers will be more likely to order again and to tell others about your site. When it comes to running a successful and profitable e-commerce business, live chat is an indispensable tool to have in your arsenal.
Neran Ashkenazi, Founder of HelpOnClick LTD. A global provider of live chat solutions. When he is not working on improving the script, you might find him working on other projects with a main goal to improve customer satisfaction.