Why you should offer live chats outside your office hours
Live chat can give your customer service and sales a big boost, if you use it well. An important part of the success of your live chat channel is making it accessible outside of office hours. Because when most customer service staff go home, your customers do the same. And only then do they have time to do other things, such as shopping, watching television, and contacting the customer service of companies.
We need to start by saying that live chat can be used for different purposes. The most obvious option is probably customer service. But it can also be used by the sales department for lead generation and sales. To offer service to a customer who needs it, but also to turn website visitors into paying customers, and help already-interested customers make their choice. And for all these purposes, this article applies, although the focus is slightly more towards customer service.
Live chat is important in your communication mix
Due to the digital age which we are in in 2017, we are increasingly using social media. Media with which we send short and concise (text) messages. Live chat has the same character, short text messages can be sent. Your customers are already used to this form of communication and are not afraid to communicate with companies in this way.
But not everyone needs to communicate with you on a (public) social medium. This is where live chat comes into play. Live chat should not be the only channel you offer to your customers, but it is an important part of a good customer communication mix. Live chat keeps your customers happy because it meets their needs.
Be available when your client needs you
Almost all your clients have a job or are studying – usually during the day. It is therefore not convenient for them to contact you at that time. They are in class, or are busy changing the world. Or at least their boss’s world. Nowadays you want to be able to reach the customer when it suits them. And also in a way that suits them. So always be accessible through different channels, because everyone has a different preference.
Why you should use live chat outside office hours
The use of live chat has great advantages for both the customer, and you as a company. There’s no doubt that this communication channel would be good to offer your customers. There are a number of simple reasons why it is important to offer live chat outside office hours.
Your customer does not have time during office hours
Most of your customers will not contact you during office hours, this is simply because they do not have time. Sometimes they contact you before work, starting at around 8:00am, and sometimes after work, between 6:00 – 9:00pm. Sometimes even later. It is therefore important to have your chat team ready during these hours, because chat is the most efficient and cheapest way for customer contact.
Chatting takes less time
Chatting with your customers takes much less time because it is communicated in shorter messages that usually don’t veer away from the problem or the question, so the calls simply take less time. In addition, chat operators can handle multiple calls simultaneously. Sometimes up to 5 or 6 calls at the same time. This saves you a huge amount of time. And because chatting takes less time, it automatically costs less money. You need less staff and there is less work to do.
Your customers contact you in a different way
If you can only be reached during office hours via live chat, your customers are forced to email you or contact you in another way. This means that you will spend more time during the day having to get through all the contact requests and, in order to do this, you have to employ more staff and this in turn costs you more money. Something you save on by opening your live chat channel before and after office hours.
With live chat outside of office hours, you meet the customer’s need to contact you after school or work. In addition, it costs you less time and money to chat with your customers. This effect is doubled again by the fact that, through more accessibility via live chat, this option will be chosen instead of using ‘more traditional’ communication. So you double your profit.
Do you have trouble employing your team outside office hours? Then consider outsourcing live chat. It can sometimes yield more than it costs, and is therefore not such a bad idea.