Successfully implement live chat: a summary
Having a plan is useful if you want to implement live chat, because there are a number of things to take into consideration; personnel, software, time, the website – you name it. We have created a summary of everything that you need to take into account, so that you know exactly what you’re in for should you decide to implement live chat.
Create a plan
Firstly, you need to have a plan. This does not need to be an extensive, ten-step plan, but it is important to know what you would like to achieve with live chat. Set clear goals; preferably, SMART. Live chat can be implemented as a form of customer service, but is also a very effective tool to generate leads. Would you like to do both? That’s certainly possible, but only if you have well-trained personnel. We’ll get to that in a moment, but you should already have an idea of how many chat operators you will be needing. Another important thing is to determine your budget in advance.
Outsourcing versus managing it yourself
Once you know what you would like to achieve with live chat, you can determine whether you would like to manage it yourself or outsource it. There are many advantages to outsourcing, but it is not the right approach for every company. It will save you a lot of time and effort, and often also money. A specialised company can assist you with the technical side of things, so that you don’t have to spend time on this.
You’re also freed from the responsibility of organising personnel, because the live-chat provider has a team at the ready to assist your company. This also often entails a straightforward expansion of the hours during which you’re available. They will also assist you with the technical aspect.
If you decide to outsource, your provider will assess your plan and adapt it where necessary. The provider has a lot of experience and more insight into various aspects involved with the implementation of live chat, which allows the provider to provide good advice. Outsourcing can make a considerable difference, making it important to consider outsourcing live chat.
We’ve now gotten to the technical side. Firstly, chat software will need to be purchased. It is important to select the right software that fits your plan and is suitable for the number of chat operators you would like to use. If you plan to utilise a large team of employees, you should purchase software that makes this possible. At the same time, your software should not be too extensive if you plan to only start with a team of five members. The more extensive your software, the more expensive it will be. It is also important to adapt the software to your website’s appearance, so that all aspects appear as one unified whole.
Once you have created and mapped out a plan with clear goals, you can start hiring people. It is important to only take this step after you’ve selected the software you will be using. In this way, you are sure the two align. You can never exactly predict how many people you will be needing, which is why it is important to conduct many periodical measurements to determine whether you have too many or too few operators for the number of chats you are receiving. By continuing to measure and analyse, you can make necessary adjustments in a timely manner.
Don’t forget to train your personnel. This will ensure that your personnel knows everything they need to know about your products and services, as well as how to deal with certain situations. It is advisable to give new personnel both a chat training and a product training. It is also recommendable to regularly keep your chat operators up to date with particular situations.
Therefore, create a type of knowledge database in which chats can be incorporated. This will allow your chat operators to see how they should act if they’re at a loss. Make sure they know what they shouldn’t say, and provide good alternatives. It is also important that your employees know when and how to say no to customers.
Promote your chat service
Once you have everything set up, it is also important to let your customers know that they can chat with your customer service. Therefore, promote it on your other communication channels; mention it in an automated message that customers receive when they’re in the waiting line for your call centre, mention it next to your email and address details and include it in a mailing to all your loyal customers. Even posting a Facebook message could be a good idea.
Continue to improve
As previously mentioned, continue to measure and analyse. This also applies to the technical side of things. Evaluate whether the chat button or chat window are in the right place and whether they attract enough attention with the colours you’ve selected. Will you be chatting proactively or only on certain pages of your website? Determine whether you’re not opening a chat too quickly or whether it might be better to have a chat button on all your pages.
Using this list, the implementation of live chat on your website will be a guaranteed success. Still not sure whether you’d like to outsource live chat or manage it yourself. With LiveChat Pro, we can look at your specific situation and provide non-binding advice. Did you know that you can also use live chat to collect information that allows you to continuously improve your products and services?