Bypassing the most common live chat mistakes

Live chat is a powerful tool for modern businesses, able to change the way we interact and engage with customers. Key to achieving its full potential is to ensure that if you are using it, you’re doing it right.

However, many companies deploy live chat without due consideration. Rather than a business-critical project, chat is often treated as a box to check off. While not destroying them completely, this approach diminishes the benefits of chat implementation.

With that in mind, here are five common live chat mistakes often found in a poorly planned deployment.

Burying live chat in support pages

A great strength of live chat is that it’s fast, immediate and allows companies to engage with customers from the moment they arrive on a website. This simply cannot happen unless it is established as the first and preferred point of contact.

Many companies purchase live chat software and view it simply as an alternative to phone or email. As a result, they often bury it on support pages where it’s easily missed. This is the first of the live chat mistakes — the opportunity to engage must be front facing.

It can also be proactive, allowing agents to immediately ask a website visitor if they need help or start a conversation. This helps to fulfil support needs quickly and efficiently, and also opens up opportunities to create sales.

Not having live chat adequately staffed

So, some companies are reluctant to go “all in” with live chat. Perhaps one of the reasons why is that it often involves a change or reshuffle of their employees. This takes time and could involve an initial expense.

There’s little doubt that live chat can save significant money in the medium and long-term. To get off on the right foot, however, it’s vital to have a dedicated team of operators manning live chat requests.

A customer who has to wait to talk to an agent may go elsewhere. This could result in a missed opportunity, unnecessary frustration and ultimately, a waste of a valuable resource.

Not training employees on effective use of the software

Once operators are in place, training is essential. Without proper instruction on all aspects of live chat software, employees will not be able to take advantage of its full breadth of features. As a consequence of this live chat mistake, customer service won’t be anywhere near as efficient as it could be.

As a relatively new form of customer support, training is a vital part of the live chat adoption process. Competent, confident agents make a real difference to customer satisfaction.

Not taking advantage of useful features

An effective live chat solution offers a range of features that go much further than simple dialogue exchange. Tools like canned responses can dramatically increase the speed and accuracy of replies with pre-written solutions to common problems.

Dialogue and document exchange allows important information to be passed to an agent, or between internal departments.

Real-time chat translation crosses language barriers, and visitor analytics may reveal important customer information to improve support and boost sales.

In short, there is a smorgasbord of live chat features that help businesses run their service desks smoothly. Failing to dig deeper than basic conversational back-and-forth is a live chat mistake that will put you at a disadvantage.

Not properly considering requirements

It’s important to shop around to find out exactly what live chat can do for your business. It could be used to solve a specific problem, to enhance support, to stand out from the competition or to deliver vital information on customer behaviour.

Live chat solutions vary, so consider current and future requirements when looking for the right provider. This should be someone who takes the time to discuss specific requirements and can offer a tailor-made package.

They should also offer a level of pre and post sales support to train operators and educate companies on benefits and opportunities of which they may not be aware. An effective live chat provider should not be focused on a quick sale. Rather, they should look to build a strong and long-lasting relationship with a company. And this means offering support and advice when needed.

Avoiding live chat mistakes in your deployment

To bypass these widespread live chat mistakes, don’t treat the channel as a perfunctory requirement. Implementing chat is a major venture, and demands proper planning. If you’re ready to start planning, we’re only a chat away.  

Useful links

Customer contact: cat got your website’s tongue?

Meeting the need for customer service speed

Live chat software: the unsung hero in improving employee morale