Live Web Chat for Success: Insider Tips on How to Manage your Own Live Chat for Small Business
Live Web Chat for Success – our insider tips: Have you wondered if live chat could enhance your business? Make it better?
We manage live chats for all types of businesses big and small including service-based and product-based businesses.
Every day we see how live chat helps them increase sales and reduce back-office costs.
You might not want to take our word for it though (we’re a bit biased after all!) – independent research shows that 24-7 live chat on your website increases website conversions or leads by 3.5 times; improves customer experience; reduces phone calls by 59% and increases basket value for E-commerce sites by an average of 15%.
But if you’re a small business and are going to man your own live chat, beware!
There are a few tricks of the trade we’ve learned along the way, and in this blog we’re going to share our insider tips so you can manage live chat like a boss.
So get ready for our 5 steps to Live Chat success.
Don’t forget number 3 – it’s one of the biggest mistakes people make!
Step 1 – Live web chats for success: Accept the chat promptly
Make sure your live chat is manned at all times, because as you know yourself, customers do not like to be kept waiting.
And in the world today, the difference between an irritated customer and one who rates an excellent experience with your business can be a matter of seconds.
In fact, the whole point of live chat for the customer is that they get immediate answers to their questions, so making them wait more than 20 seconds is way too long.
So make sure your staff are prepared and ready and there are no gaps where your chat is not manned.
This also includes after-hours when your customers also expect you to be available online.
Step 2 – Live web chat for success: Greet your visitor
Whether your live chat is triggered by an event such as adding a product to a shopping cart; or initiated by a customer who is asking for help; you need to greet your website guest the same as you would if you were in a store or at reception in your business.
A standard greeting should be friendly and polite.
“Hello. Is there anything I can help you with today?” or
“Hi, Thanks for visiting [name of business], how may I help you today?”
Step 3 – Live web chat for success: Get their basic details and build rapport
Monty Python had a famous sketch called “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” , and when it comes to live web chat, you need to collect their details without asking their birthdate and bank account number.
Some people want to jump right into their question, and get your answer immediately; however the worst thing you can do is get through a long chat and NOT know their name.
So the next step is to ask something like
“May I start by asking your name?”
If the potential customer seems in a hurry, you want to help them as efficiently as possible; however it is also good to develop rapport; just as you would if you were a sales assistant in the store. Building rapport in chat is just like in real life – finding out more about what they’re looking for and finding common ground.
Depending on the customer you’ll need to judge each chat accordingly and find the balance.
Step 4 – Live web chat for success: Can you help?
When chatting to your potential customer, the main thing to remember is to focus on what they are asking and answer their questions as best you can.
Remember to keep all your responses friendly, positive, empathetic and above all honest.
Never feel pressure to make an answer up if you don’t know what the real answer is.
Sometimes you may be asked a question you just don’t know the answer to, or have the information readily available.
Customer’s don’t always expect you to have all the answers to all their questions immediately – especially if it is out of hours.
There are 2 strategies for this. Either:
Let the customer know you don’t have the immediate answer and that you are checking with your manager or systems and will be back with them as soon as they can; OR
If you are unable to immediately help, take their details and let them know the time-frame you will get back to them; and ask them how they would prefer to be contacted – email; sms or phone call.
Step 5 – Live web chat for success: Closing the chat
Now you have answered the customers questions, or confirmed how you will get back to them, it’s time to end the chat.
While every chat will be slightly different, you want to make sure you leave the chat on a good note.
Make a point of thanking the customer for visiting, and confirm you’ve satisfied their needs.
It is also good practice to ask them if they need any more help with anything.
This reassures them and gives them the opportunity to raise any unresolved issues.
If you have the opportunity and your software allows it, ask the customer to rate your chat and use this as an opportunity to ask them to share your business on facebook or other social media if they had a positive experience.
Do you have any more questions?
Here at 24-7 chat we’re experts at handling live web chats for service or product businesses, big and small.
So if you have any more questions for us, please open the chat in the bottom right of your screen and ask away!
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