How to do live chat support?
The main live chat advantage over other support channels is that you grab your customers while hot. This becomes crucial for any business that sells its products online, since people feel greater confidence in their decision if they have the opportunity to bury you under all their questions right away.

Chat support tools
Standalone chat support tools usually integrate with the help desk and other apps you already use. They differ by pricing and features. If you don't fancy wandering around internet and reading thousand of articles on this, you can choose the tool suitable for your business from this shortlist (these are most popular):

If you want to have more functionality than a simple live chat (email support, phone support or else), you can turn to help desks that include live chat option:

Set-up tips
If you don't have enough enthusiasts to provide a 24/7 live chat support, you have to set your customers' expectations with listed operating hours and estimated reply time.

With time and practice you will develop lots of "canned responses" - premade answers to most popular questions that your agents can shoot at generic inquiries.

Major rules for a successful live chat:
  • Keep your response time low in operational hours.
  • Show great product / service knowledge.
  • Express kind and personal approach to customers.

If you cannot give a solution right away, you need to put the customer on hold and later follow up your conversation. If finding the solution seems a quick task, you can ask your customer to hold. But if you are going to need more time to prepare, you might wish to ask him for an email address, and send your answer there.

Improvement opportunities
With time you can see opportunities for improvement. Things you might wish to dig into:
  • Daily / weekly summary – information on the number of your chats, missed opportunities, suggestions, complaints, etc.
  • Information about customers – most live chat tools provide some sort of statistics. Often these tools try to gather all possible info about your clients: what page they are currently viewing, where do they come from, and such. This might help your chat agents understand the inquiry better.
  • Active chat - instead of waiting for a question your chat service can send automated greetings tailored to each specific case.

Moreover, your support reps may go beyond your product and try to help with irregular issues:
  • Give advice on matters not involving your products.
  • Show customers how they can improve their business with your product.
  • Ask successful customers how they achieved their goal using your product or service, and create case studies ready for sharing.

Of all your support agents you might choose one or several people who can organize schedules and training for new people and be responsible for feedback, suggestions, bugs and reports delivered to the production team.
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