The Art of Effective Online Chat – Part II

In this second part of the trilogy, through which we help you master the art of effective online chat, we look at the most important aspect of offering live chat – implementation.

The Art of Effective Online Chat

No matter how much we keep harping on about  innovative practices in live chat, a pleasant live chat experience always emanates out of a good live chat application. An efficient software will create a premise for an excellent conversation between the two people involved in the chat – so choose wisely or simply choose ClickDesk:)

While adoption and picking a live chat software may be a great first step, the most important part is implementation, the baby steps you take in implementing live chat the right way will go a long way in adding to a positive customer experience. Let’s look at some basic but key aspects to consider when you’re implementing live chat.

Sufficient Staffing

Research indicates that 70 percent of visitors who end up on a website offering live chat would like to initiate a conversation. Keep that number in mind when you’re staffing agents, in a worst case scenario you might be ambushed by huge number of chat requests and not be able to cater to them. Such a situation will only make your customers irate, defeating the whole purpose of live chat adoption.

Make chat icon visible

Make sure to keep the chat icon visible on all web pages. The chat box hiding under a small 180*180 banner or text is a strict no no. Don’t let customers search for the chat box, let it find your customer.

Clearly define hours of operation

This is another aspect that upsets customers. If you are not going to be available 24*7, the best practice is to let customers know about the timings you’re available. If you’re offline, clearly display a message and offer the customer the option of sending you an offline message.

Pre-chat form

The pre-chat form is the form that pops up with fields such as name and e-mail that you need to fill before chatting with an agent. Minimize the number of fields in this form as much as possible, because the priority is to help the customer as quickly as possible.

Estimated wait time and queue

Keeping the customer in the loop about their position in the queue and the amount of time before which their concern will be attended to, is a great way to showcase your business ethic.

Typing notifications

Customers are not too chuffed when they are typing away, but see no reciprocation from the agent. It is great to have typing notifications that will let your customer know if the agent is typing or has finished entering text.

High security

It is highly advisable that you use an SSL-enabled live chat that prevents any malicious scripts or intrusions through the chat window.

Post chat survey and rating

For any business to prosper, it has to learn from its customers. Be it good or bad, a customer’s feedback is the focal point around which a product/service can grow. Offer a survey at the end of a chat and clearly define metrics to separate agent and business feedback.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

Chat transcripts

Chat transcripts should be made available to customers right after their interaction. An e-mail sent to them with the name of the agent, time and the duration of the chat is desirable.

Hope we were able to enlighten you about the key aspects of live chat adoption and implementation through this post. Keep an eye out for the third and final post in the series – till then, stay connected, have fun and keep engaging your audience!