MarketLinc Blog | April 6, 2018

By Paul LaRochelle

Part 4: Keys to Effective Engagement with Live Chat

In this series, we’re on a mission to help you optimize your live chat function. In part one, we explored the warning signs of an unoptimized approach to live chat. In part two, we laid out three steps to help you prioritize the best chat opportunities through targeting. And in part three, we showed you why testing is a critical component of the chat optimization puzzle.

Today, we’ll explore the fundamentals of successful chat engagement to help you gain more value from your live chat with less headache.

The problem: so many opportunities, so little time

You’ve adopted live chat on your website, trained a dedicated team of sales agents , and now, it’s time for the moment of truth — the engagement. Live chat can be an incredible opportunity to drive revenue and strengthen customer relationships, but so many internal teams are facing a misalignment between staff and chat volumes, and their engagement is suffering as a result.

One study found that one in every five live chat requests go totally unanswered, and wait times average 2 minutes and 40 seconds. While these numbers vary across industries, it’s clear that businesses are struggling to embrace the real-time expectation of live chat. Customers expect immediate answers, and if they’re not getting the support they need, you’re likely losing out on incremental revenue opportunities.

Wasted time and resources don’t have to be the norm. Whether you’re dealing with an overwhelmed staff (too many chats, too little time) or an unproductive staff (the wrong chats, the wrong time), there is a way to eliminate missed opportunities.

The solution: intelligent, optimized  engagement

How can your team maximize the customer experience while striking the delicate balance between internal resources and chat volumes? Is there a way to structure your live chat sales  team in a way that eliminates latency? An intelligent, optimized approach to live chat is the answer.

Live engagement is the most personalized form of engagement, but many are missing the mark. Personalized engagement in live chat is all about tailoring your message to the needs of the particular person you’re chatting with. To do this successfully, your reps need to be armed with as much background information as possible about incoming web visitors to deliver the right message to the right visitor at the right time.

Here are just a few things you’ll need to personally engage your web visitors in real-time:

  • Smart Forecasting: The only way to align chat automation with live staff is through accurate forecasting. For example, it’s important to find a way to gain visibility into the average chat volumes associated with certain days and time of day to maximize your efforts and eliminate wasted resources over time.
  • Consistent Measurement: Successful engagement rests on the ability to accurately measure the customer journey and its failure points, potential latency issues and its impact, and avoidable sales obstacles. Personalization is impossible without a deep understanding of your web visitors and how they prefer to engage with your chat function.
  • Dynamic Data: To deliver an optimized chat experience, you’ll need a way to collect and utilize the insights you gain from chats to fuel future business, sales, and website decisions. This requires a way to quantify the qualitative data live chat provides.
  • Flexible Engagement: As mentioned above, the ability to optimize agent scheduling with visitor traffic is a critical component of running a successful live chat function. In practice, this involves linking chat invitations to trigger based on agent availability. This will eliminate the dreaded “no agent available” notification when your web visitors accept chats. To improve the customer experience and sales performance, be ready to allow your visitors to switch from chat to phone per their request.

With the right mindset and tools, it’s possible to deliver a highly personalized, real-time live chat experience for your web visitors. Want to learn more about the possibilities of personalized engagement? Get in touch with one of our experts today or stay tuned for part-five of this series where we’ll take a deep dive into optimizing your program measurement.