Serving Your Live Help Customers More Efficiently: the Power of Surveys

Among the myriad ways live help improves your ability to interact with your customer base, here are two very simple features that give you insights into your customer needs and how effectively you are serving them.

Among the myriad ways live help improves your ability to interact with your customer base, here are two very simple features that give you insights into your customer needs and how effectively you are serving them.

Pre-Chat Surveys

The pre-chat survey is a great way to gather important information before a live help session begins. You can ask customers to provide you with basic contact information as well as the questions they are hoping to have answered. Keep it simple though, no more than a handful of questions should do the trick without being overwhelming for you or your customers. You can then use this information to have a more informed conversation and provide the answers they are looking for. Try asking demographics questions, too, like “What types of products or services do you provide?”. Later you can then compile this data into reports that show you what kinds of prospects and/or customers you have. This kind of information can help direct your marketing efforts and guide your product roadmap.

Post-Chat Survey

The post-chat survey enables customers and agents with the ability to provide feedback about the chat. Post-chat survey questions should be focused on the quality of the chat and the chat agent. After the chat is over, customers will often provide valuable input, but if they feel inundated with too many questions they may simply close the window without providing anything at all, so be equally selective about what you are asking.

Agents can use post-chat surveys to keep notes about the conversation and summarize the transcript. And surveys can be referenced at any point in the future, so that information stays handy if customer questions aren’t fully resolved or if the agent just wants to take a peek at previous interactions. As with pre-chat surveys, information collected here can be analyzed later and leveraged to improve services and customer interactions.

How Website Live Chat Helps You Beat the In-Person Shopping Experience

When it comes to your website, live chat gives you an important opportunity to communicate with your customers.

When it comes to your website, live chat gives you an important opportunity to communicate with your customers.

Internet Retailer recently reported results from chain retailers indicating that online sales outpaced in-store sales growth in 2010. No surprise there, right? With growth in online sales (and growth in online competition), retailers are looking to live chat to ensure a successful customer experience. A positive live chat interaction is just as important as greeting customers in a storefront – and can be just as effective.

We have all had those great shopping experiences we remember for years. For example, I remember going to a hardware store – incidentally a chain – 40 miles from my house to purchase a material I’d read about online. When I got there, I was greeted by a friendly, knowledgeable associate who politely discovered my needs and suggested I go in a different direction – to the paint department. Once there, an associate who’d already heard my story greeted me. She quickly got me what I needed and sent me to the lumberyard, where they also knew who I was. They loaded up my car for me and sent me on my way. I drove home in awe and talked about that experience to anyone willing to listen for months (heck, I am even blogging about it six years later).

It can be difficult to build this kind of customer experience online, but live help makes it so much easier. Agents know exactly what customers are after, how many times they have visited their site (or a particular page), what’s in their shopping cart and even have records of previous conversations. Armed with a 360° view, agents can intelligently interact with each and every visitor to your site. Meaning, agents can tailor their conversations with your visitors to such detailed information available within a click or two. Unless it’s staffed by ninjas, a brick-and-mortar store will almost never be able to compete with that level of personalization.

Your customers will thank you for attending to their needs with such a high level of care and skill. And then they will tell other people because somehow their ordinary visit to yet another site on the Internet resulted in a magical customer experience.

They may even blog about it years later…

3 Ways to Improve Online Conversion Rates with Live Chat

With the right mix of tools, live chat is an engine for converting visitors on your site. Following this advice is like adding high-octane fuel to that engine.

A recent study reported by Website Magazine found that up to 40% of online shoppers engaging in live chat converted into a sale or became a lead.

Website Magazine went on further to report that e-tailers with live chat implemented on their sites experience conversion rates up to 15 times higher. Though this data may surprise some, it’s certainly not surprising to live chat software veterans. Here are three ways to make your conversion rates soar with live chat:

Be Proactive: Window shoppers often become identified as buyers the moment they add an item to a shopping cart. And sometimes buyers become viewed as window shoppers because they add an item to their cart and then abandon the site. Capture the attention of visitors by determining abandonment points and inviting them to chat before they wander off. Automatically deliver chat invitations based on a variety of online behaviors, like time spent on a page, empty search results, specific items in a shopping cart or even a failed credit card transaction.

Know Your Visitors: Understanding visitors based on their online behavior and needs will help your agents interact more intelligently. Make sure your agents can access previous chat transcripts and even see exactly which pages were visited during the current session. Using this information during chats will make your visitors feel well attended to, increasing your chances of a sale today and helping to ensure repeat business as well.

Be Clear with Your Messaging: An effective sale starts with the strong, consistent positioning of your company and the products and services that you offer. Make sure your greetings reinforce your brand with pre-made messages that all of your chat agents can draw from during their interactions with visitors. In addition to message consistency, pre-made messages will improve efficiency, enabling your agents to be more responsive and serve more visitors in less time.

With the right mix of tools, live chat is an engine for converting visitors on your site. Following this advice is like adding high-octane fuel to that engine. For help implementing any of these suggestions on your website today, contact us.