3 Ways To Make your Live Chat Program Successful

Live Chat is emerging as a must-have medium for online customer service.

happy-customers-rock

 

Live Chat is emerging as a must-have medium for online customer service.

It’s a convenient way for companies to immediately connect with customers, and it helps significantly to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates once customers have already placed items in their cart. It’s not just good for businesses, though. Customers like it too. How much? According to a bench­mark­ing study by eDig­i­tal­Re­search, 73% of customers who used live chat in the past year were happy with their experience.

Customer opinions can have a dramatic impact on how trends develop, and as more and more customers experience Live Chat – and enjoy the convenience it offers – more companies will adopt the technology.

However, as with any new customer experience platform, it takes more than technology to create happy customers; new methods of interacting with customers require the correct type of training program to ensure an experience that will keep customers coming back, again and again.

When your company decides to embark on a training program for your Live Chat system, make sure you incorporate these three key aspects of Live Chat customer service training.

Live Chat Customer Service Training Tip #1: Understand Your Customer’s Mindset

Before your customer service agents even engage with a “Hello – how can I help you?” Live Chat message, they first need to understand the mindset of customers who choose to interact via Live Chat. Here are a few reasons why customers might choose Live Chat over another customer service platform, such as a phone call or even a message sent to support over social media:

  • Live Chat is speedier – offers an instant response
  • Personalized service – no canned responses
  • No wading through a phone menu system to reach a live person

When you understand why your customers decide to use Live Chat, your customer service reps need to be trained to respond accordingly to customers’ desires for choosing Live Chat. In other words, prepare your agents to respond quickly, be resourceful, and process customer requests efficiently.

Live Chat Customer Service Training Tip #2: Be Customer Centric

Live Chat, much like a phone call, is perceived to be a one-to-one conversation, where the customer gets the full attention of the agent. Even though your agents may be handling multiple chats at one time, the interaction needs to feel entirely personal to the customer – that is to say, the rep needs to have a customer-centric attitude. To accomplish this, the agent should demonstrate the following:

  • Let the customer know time requirements: “Just give me one minute here while I research that request ….”
  • Keep the customer engaged: “I’m checking with our warehouse to see if we have the item in-stock…”
  • Be courteous: “Thanks so much for inquiring about our selection of new software products. We’re so happy to have you as a new customer …”
  • Know the customer’s history: “I see last month you purchased the 2.0 add-on. How has that product worked for you?”

Live Chat Customer Service Training Tip #3: Take Extra Steps to Convey Professionalism

“Lost in translation” can be an unfortunate consequence of the Live Chat medium if agents are not trained properly. This means that quick messages back and forth from the agent can come off as rude or rushed, if special care is not taken to convey a professional and positive tone. The farther the customer gets from face-to-face or voice interaction, the more the tone can be misinterpreted, so as part of Live Chat training, it’s imperative that your customer service agents go above-and-beyond in their ability to convey professionalism. Here are some tips to make sure it happens:

  • Be positive: Use language that is positive, not negative. For example, “You can do this by …” instead of “You aren’t able to do that with …”
  • Be friendly, but still formal: Live Chat is a more casual communication medium, but you don’t want your agents reverting to texting acronyms, such as “TTYL” or “LOL.” Agents need to type out their words, striking the balance between friendly and professional.
  • But not too formal … Live Chat still needs to be approachable, and it can be slightly more casual than language used in corporate communications or email. For example, “Let me look up your reservation,” is perfectly appropriate. “Please hold while I inquire for you,” is a little too formal.

Customers love Live Chat. Will they love interacting with your company through Live Chat?

Research shows that Live Chat has the highest customer satisfaction levels of any medium. In a study, 73% of customers preferred Live Chat over email (61%), and phone communication (44%). However, high satisfaction marks are directly tied to the level and detail of customer service that people receive over Live Chat. Training, in other words, is paramount for Live Chat to work successfully.

How Colleges Can Benefit From Live Chat Software

Looking for innovative new ways to engage your users and deliver the best possible service? Than its about time you check out live chat software. There are a number of ways that colleges can benefit from live chat software, all of which you’ll see just below.

If you reading this I don’t think I need to lecture you on the importance of your website  to the overall health of your university and its prospective students.  I’m sure you also know that the first place prospective students and parents look to get information about an educational institution is from its website.  The importance of having an attractive, easy to navigate, informative website is crucial.

Looking for innovative new ways to engage your users and deliver the best possible service?  Than its about time you check out live chat software.  There are a number of ways that colleges can benefit from live chat software, all of which you’ll see just below.

Higher Application Completion Rate

The college application process  is intimidating for bushy tailed students and concerned parents. With all of the essays, financial documents, transcripts, and application papers needed, navigating through the entire application process question free is just about impossible.

Each and every day a number of students start filling out the application form and quit because they have questions they don’t know the answer too.
As opposed to calling the admissions office and being redirected to someone who may or may not be able to answer their questions, live chat is a quicker method to find help.  Instead of students leaving because they don’t understand a field in the application, keep them in the loop by engaging them with a university representative.

Having live chat software installed on pages where students are filling out the application eases their minds and gives them support when they have questions (which they are sure to have).
Live chat software for colleges is an excellent way to boost application completion rate.

Get Students and Parents Engaged

Web browsers visiting your website are often visiting with the intention of getting a specific question answered. Help users find that information by “co-browsing” with them. Find out what your users are looking for and point them in the right direction. In some cases chat operators can message the user a direct link to the page that contains the information they’re looking for.

Chat allows students and parents to bypass the boring phone calls and lengthy email threads to and from the admissions office all together.  With live chat they can speak directly to an admissions officer and get direct answers in real time.

For Hearing Impaired Students/Parents/Alumni

Integrating online web chat allows your institutions representatives to reach out to hearing impaired students, parents, and alumni. Hearing impaired web browsers face the same challenges finding answers as other users, without the ability to call in for support.

Live chat software empowers your representatives to reach out and communicate with hearing impaired users as they would anyone else.  Talk about awesome online customer service.

Appeal to the Younger Crowd

Its no secret that younger people generally prefer to turn to the web for answers as opposed to picking up the phone or emailing a trusted source. Why? Because they want answers immediately, waiting for a call back or a return email just takes too long.

Interact with your students the way in which they want to be interacted with.  Having their questions answered right away leaves a positive impression and gives your institution a competitive edge.

Add a Layer of Personality to Your Site

Don’t ya just love when you’re watching your favorite TV show or movie and the actors break the fourth wall, speaking directly to you (any House of Cards Fans!?).  It gives the show that extra layer of personality and depth you just can’t help but love.

This is just another way colleges can benefit from live chat software.  Break through the static HTML wall and make a lasting positive impression with live chat.  Even if the user doesn’t necessarily need any help, just having someone reach out to them leaves an excellent impression of service – genuine interest which goes a long way in the application process.

Reduce Customer Service Cost

Phone representatives typically answer the same few questions over and over again throughout the day. Live chat frees up your support employees to tackle bigger problems, decreasing the time and effort they spend answering the same handful of basic questions.

Live chat accelerates the entire customer service process and is another excellent benefit universities and education institutions can take advantage of.

Is Your Live Help/Live Chat Software Secure

Almost every business has some online component, and the best online businesses provide some type of live help to assist web visitors in real-time. We know from multiple studies that live help or live chat software is a preferred online communication vehicle for the majority of website visitors and that this mode of communication has a high customer satisfaction rating.

Almost every business has some online component, and the best online businesses provide some type of live help to assist web visitors in real-time. We know from multiple studies that live help or live chat software is a preferred online communication vehicle for the majority of website visitors and that this mode of communication has a high customer satisfaction rating.

But here’s the problem, consumers are increasingly concerned about the personal information that they share digitally. In fact, a study done by GfKfound that 60% of US Internet users were more concerned today about the protection of their personal data than they had been a year earlier. My bet is that this trend continues, which means that businesses need to think very carefully about how they interact with online visitors and the capabilities of the applications they select to facilitate such communication. You know what I’m getting at right? Is your live chat or live help software secure and private?

Consider that a poll performed by Radius Global Market Research found that more than 75% of internet users at least “somewhat agreed” that they would stop using a service, company or product if they felt that their privacy was – or could be violated. It’s interesting to note that on the other hand, 78% of Internet users said that they would only do business with those that they trust.

So, if you are concerned about growing your business, retaining customers, and building a valuable and respect brand, then you must be concerned about security. And, this means more than just ensuring that your online credit card transactions are secure. It also means that your live chat software needs to be one that takes security and data privacy very seriously.

From a live help security and privacy standpoint, here are some of the things that Velaro does:

Intrusion Prevention, Gateway Anti-Virus & Firewall

By relying on Intrusion Prevention Systems, Gateway Anti-Virus and firewall solutions, Velaro provides extensive inspection of all traffic entering and leaving the Velaro system. Velaro’s secure system configurations are hardened and regularly audited using published system benchmarks from the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Internal and external vulnerability assessments of our system are conducted regularly. Our Network Operations Center Team (NOC) monitors all system components for security, availability and performance; any issues are automatically reported to the Velaro NOC team for immediate assessment.

Live Chat Communication Privacy

Velaro’s live chat software is based on standard HTTP and HTTPS protocol and ports. Velaro relies on Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to protect your information using server authentication and data encryption. Only authorized, registered users have access to data and our application security model ensures that your user identity accompanies every request to the Velaro server.

Interactions between visitors and agents are never directly communicated over the Internet, but instead through secure, off-site servers. As information is processed, it’s monitored by enterprise grade firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and application content filters to ensure maximum security.

Chat Agent Security

Velaro’s agent consoles exceed industry standard security practices. Specific roles can be designated to different users associated with your account. Depending on the role, each user has different access and control capabilities. Agents can also choose to enforce secure HTTPS (SSL) protocol so that any communication can be encrypted with 256 bit SSL.

Privacy

Velaro implements a password policy that can be customized to match your corporate policy. Password history, length, expiration and complexity can be configured for maximum password privacy.

All personal and confidential information is stored on secured servers and transmission is protected through SSL encryption.

The above is just a few of the live chat security and privacy technology and processes Velaro has in place. If you are concerned about the security of your live chat solution or would just like to learn more about Velaro’s live help security practices then let us know. We can help.