The number of customers who use live chat as their preferred customer communication channel has increased by 50% since 2012. Live chat is convenient for operators and customers alike. It provides quick responses for visitors wanting to convert.
Despite its growing popularity, chat operators can still make or break the conversation. To help your chat team, we’ve created a printable cheat sheet for your team and listed seven ways for you to help your team succeed.
No. 1: Teach them how to handle multiple chats
Looking at your historical trends, you probably expect an increase in traffic this BFCM.
It’s time to get your team ready to take on multiple chats, whether you’re a team of two or 22. Our top tips to handle several chats at once:
- Communicate clearly. Always introduce yourself, and let your customers know it’ll be a few minutes as you review their accounts. If you’re experiencing a backlog, keep each customer waiting with a regular update.
- Address common questions. Add an FAQ or help document for common questions, and link to them within the chat. This could be product-related, such as how to install batteries, or website-related, such as how to complete a return.
- Be honest. It’s OK if you don’t have the answers, especially for highly technical or complicated questions. Have in place a procedure for operators to escalate the chat, transfer it to a different team or complete a help ticket.
No 2: Evaluate your staffing requirements
Most operators can handle multiple chats at once but keep an eye on the pulse of your team. Evaluate how many chats your operators are handling. Typically, operators can handle between two and three chats at any given time.
For your team, talk to them on a regular basis and evaluate how many chats they are averaging. Are they being stretched too thin during your busy time? Are they already nearing the top of their chat threshold? What resources would be helpful to them to have at their disposal?
The sooner you can do this evaluation, the faster you can train more staff to step in as a chat operator during BFCM. In a pinch, other departments can be trained to help over your busiest days just in case.
Your operators aren’t robots, and you don’t want to burn them out during such a busy period.
Pro tip: Consider your target audience in this discussion and evaluation. If your target audience is older than 55 years old, live chat may not be the ideal communication method according to Software Advice. Younger customers between 18 and 34 years, are the most likely to use live chat many times. If you know your target audience, you can start anticipating your staffing needs and adjust as necessary.
No 3: Prepare canned chat responses
Canned chat responses are a pre-built response or a chat shortcut. Instead of copying and pasting answers, you can set up canned chat responses that your operators can then “speed dial” to add them to their active chat conversation.
For example, if you had translation concerns: Spanish is not my native language. I’ll be using Google Translate to help you the best I can.
If you need some time between multiple chats: Hi! My name is Bob. It’s going to take a moment or two to pull up your account information.
If you’re asked why your company is a better choice than a competitor: While Company Z offers solid products, I can only give you the reasons that our customers have told us for switching to Company Awesome.
Setting it up is easy, and it’s even easier for operators to use.
Canned chat responses are typically used to:
- Answer basic questions
- Share links and answers to popular questions
- Provide personable introductions and signoffs
- Professional response to misdirects and angry customers
- Share videos, webinar replays and upcoming event links
To use canned chat, your operators just need to type a hashtag (#) in an active chat. The list of canned chat options previously created will generate. Once the desired response is selected, the operator can just press TAB to move into the chat conversation.
No 4: Enable auto invites
Instead of manually asking a person to chat, you can use auto invites to ask people to chat when certain criteria are met. For example, you can set up an auto invite to initiate a chat with someone who spends more than two seconds on your pricing page.
You can set it up to trigger once someone visits a specific URL, based on how much time is spent on the website or a specific page or based on behavior tags.
No 5: Encourage real time alerts
Real time alerts play an audible sound, speak a custom message, automatically show a live view of a visitor or show an alert box once a visitor triggers a behavior tag. It’s operator-specific and can help alert operators to opportunities to chat with a customer.
For example, you can show an alert box, which will include the option to live view and ask to chat, of visitors as they add a product to their cart or visit your shipping page.
No. 6: Review chat logs
On a regular basis, make sure you’re reviewing chat logs for opportunities to improve. with BFCM quickly approaching, now is a good opportunity to review your team’s chat logs.
- Look for how quickly chats are answered, how well the operator addresses the questions and how complicated the chats are.
- Don’t just look at the speed of the operator; while you want a timely response, you also want a quality response.
- Take the opportunity to encourage operators and address your chat concerns.
To access the chat logs, go to the Chat tab and click on Chat Logs. From there, you will be able to see the latest chats, read chat logs or email chat logs. You can also enable chat logs to be automatically emailed to specific members in your company or team.
No. 7: Integrate chat logs with your CRM to help your sales and marketing teams
If you use HubSpot’s CRM, the Lucky Orange integration brings session recordings, dynamic heatmaps and chat logs directly into the contact’s timeline.
For sales teams, this integration means you can review a lead’s chat logs to tailor the pitch specifically for that lead.
For marketing teams, it provides a macro-level look at how your traffic uses your website and helps you build lists or segment analytics data to personalize your marketing messages based on a visitor’s activity and chat questions.