A Quick Way To Improve Customer Service – Offer Live Chat

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
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In today’s competitive world, customer service may be just the thing that sets you apart from your competition. Offering a live chat option on your website for customers to communicate directly with a live person from your company can often make the difference between getting a new order and seeing an abandoned shopping cart.

While there are many online shoppers who know exactly what they want and make an immediate online purchase, there are others who need additional information before they are able to complete their purchase. Online shoppers are much savvier and have higher expectations so picking up the phone and email delays are not acceptable when customers want their questions answered and want to buy on the spot. Offering live chat gives customers immediate feedback to their question which not only reinforces a higher level of customer satisfaction, but they feel more confident about the purchase they’ve made. They are then likely to share their positive experience with their friends who in turn drive more business back to your site.

For customers that are confused, live chat enables you to virtually hold their hand from shopping process through completion of the sale. General customer service is also crucial for those with concerns about their account, order status, etc. Live chat service can immediately address their questions without dealing with the delays of being on hold or waiting for an email response. Once again, you’re gaining another satisfied customer who will likely return for additional shopping.

The most important element to consider before diving in and giving live chat a try is whether or not you have people that are knowledgeable enough about your product line to provide value. Your live chat operators become the face of your company to many of your customers. They need to be able to provide value quickly. That means having answers readily available and being able to type quickly. Furthermore, the operators need to be able to multi-task. It’s not uncommon for live chat operators to have 3 or 4 different chats going at one time so the ability to switch gears is crucial.

Some companies that provide a live chat service include LivePerson, WorkFace, Olark, SnapEngage, and Zopim. Most offer a free trial of their service. Some have their own operator interfaces and others rely on AIM or Google Chat. Installing these on your store is often as simple as copying a snippet of code and putting it in the relevant place on the page so don’t be afraid to utilize the free trials that many of these companies offer and then go with the one you like best.

By offering live chat on your website, you are able to provide a higher level of customer service, which will lead to more orders.

Coming from a medical and non-profit management background, Taryn has extensive experience in customer service and marketing. She is a Senior Account Manager for Nexternal and loves working with her clients to develop social media and marketing strategies to improve their online presence. In her spare time, she also runs a successful eCommerce jewelry and essential oils business.