October 21

Web Chat Best Practices

The web chat is a live support widget that allows real-time communication between your brand and customers. It combines real-time interaction with the capacity to share links, gather data, and store an entire transcript for later use.


In contrast to other forms of a business support system like email, the web chat guarantees immediate response for clients and customers – the ideal tool for those who need urgent feedback.


Web chat can contribute significantly to the success of your online brand and reputation marketing efforts. It is easy to set up, but it takes careful logistics and works to make this tool a lasting, valuable component of your strategy for optimum customer support.


This report from ScottHall.co gives more information on why the live web chat is so important, how to include it in your support strategy, and how to provide a top-notch real-time online support experience using web chat best practices for maintaining your reputation score.

Taking the Initiative with Web Chat (Be Proactive)

web chat bot

Being proactive instead of reactive is quite germane for web chat best practices. This is because your customers and clients prefer that their complaints or concerns be sorted immediately and smoothly.


Including a chat prompt in the bottom corner of your website is among the simplest and most reliable ways to accomplish it. Your web chat program should be simple and completely responsive on all platforms. Use it to get in touch with your guests and give assistance or more information.


Engagement guidelines or "nudges" might start a proactive dialogue. Based on these guidelines, the chat should be offered depending on the location of the user on your site or the page they are currently viewing, how frequently the user has accessed the website, how long they spend on it, how many pages they have scrolled down, and whether a specific component is highlighted.


Also, you can make use of preset messages to initiate dialogues. You must use clever targeting to make your preset chat messages seem natural and valuable. There are diverse situations which could include, a hesitant customer, a recurring client, or a client navigating a FAQ, just to name a few. 


This is where your effort and creativity should stand out. Creating nudges for web chat should have the following in mind as best practice:


Personalize it


The automated message you design should come off as warm and engaging rather than like a spam pop-up ad that a consumer could immediately close.


Don't Rush Them


 Avoid contacting the consumer right away when they get on the page and refrain from sending them many chat messages in a row since this may turn them off and ruin their experience.


Acknowledge Them


Send a message to a user browsing a pricing page, saying, "Hey there! I see that you are considering our rates for live chat and emails. I can go over all of its benefits and drawbacks with you.”


Don't Keep Them Waiting


Keeping customers waiting is a “NO” when it comes to being proactive. Prompts like “hold on with us” negatively impact customers' interests. In addition to raising a red signal for customers, they negatively impact how others perceive your brand.


Create A Helpful Environment For Your Customers

helpful chat

All recommended chat best practices state that you should set up a customer's environment to be beneficial. And unlike email, you can accomplish exactly that with a web chat.


A useful feature such as operational hours is included in many tools. It's a simple method of informing your clients of your availability.


The most delicate live chat best practice is effective communication, even though it looks straightforward. Admittedly, the substance of your comments and replies ultimately helps to resolve any problems and maintains the satisfaction of your customers.


Have in mind the following tips to guarantee that your message is unmistakably understood:


  • Carefully review messages from customers
  • Give answers that are precise and straightforward
  • Offer thorough solutions
  • Read over before responding

Train Your Web Chat Team

team training

Answering customer inquiries and complaints is only a small part of a customer service profession. Recent practice has done away with using chatbots that do no better than generic answers.

 

Despite technological advancement, a concerned engagement still dominates in customer support. And given that customers today value an emotional connection with a company, a customer care representative must understand how to forge one and which abilities to develop.


Think again if you believe that being a people person alone will suffice to provide first-rate customer service. Throughout your professional life, you will encounter various temperaments and client needs.


No matter your level of experience, maintaining your composure will be beneficial. To be successful, you must develop strong customer service abilities.


Why don't we talk about the importance of customer service abilities before we get into the specifics?


Whoever you assign to the backend of your web chat for customer support represents your brand and all it stands for. If you want to scale up your online brand, learning and developing fundamental skills in customer service should be an integral part of your workflow.


The people who provide customer service are typically seen as the company's face. When a client contacts them, they set the tone. An expert will facilitate an engaging conversation that fosters loyalty and a perfect brand reputation.


The Skills A Support Team Need

team skills

Getting into the specifics of the skills that your team should be equipped with:


Communication


This cannot be overemphasized, as we briefly discussed in this report's previous sub-heading. What you say to your customers on the web chat and how you say it is crucial to keeping a client, converting leads to actual customers, and sustaining a lasting customer-brand relationship rather than one-offs.


Empathy


Putting in the effort required to deliver quality products to your customers may result in them loving your products, but a lack of empathy from your brand's end towards them can be a turn-off for long-term intending customers.


Picture a scenario of yourself speaking with a customer support agent who only seems to project what's not the fault of the brand they represent rather than listening to your complaints. Most likely, this does not result in a good mood. 


When a client disputes something, try to place yourself in their position and refrain from defending your organization or yourself. This is sure to agitate anyone. Step back and consider what you might say to a buddy in this circumstance.


Emotional Intelligence


This soft skill greatly informs how your support team responds to clients. Emotional intelligence is identified as the capacity to read people's emotions and objectively reply to them.


Sometimes the issues brought up by customers are not product-related. Support staff members need this customer service competency.


Good Typing Speed


A web chat operator must type quickly. Fortunately, there are a ton of online activities to improve typing speed. They point out where you made an error, if the spelling is inaccurate, or if a letter was typed too soon.


Don't keep customers waiting due to inefficient operators. Instead, introduce your team to these helpful resources.


Flexibility


If you work as a web chat service agent, you know how challenging it is to manage several chats simultaneously. While a consumer is still speaking, a phone service specialist checks up on some information. You may say that multitasking is needed for these jobs. Anyone can learn how to multitask. Just remember these fundamentals:


  • Delegate simple responsibilities
  • Improve your multitasking skills
  • Know when to stop

Furthermore, when setting up a web chat, it's crucial to pick a design that complements the look and feel of your website. A chat system can be designed with nearly complete functionality. 


To make sure the online chat maintains your identity, we advise you to collaborate and educate your design, brand, and marketing teams to achieve that public image that you want for your brand. 


This makes your website look professional and gently suggests to future customers that your client service channels are well-planned and indeed of top quality.


Be a Human Bot

human bot

AI systems are a good option and the technology is perfect for addressing frequently asked questions. Nevertheless, because each reaction must be separately designed, there are certain clear restrictions.


The traditional customer service representative immediately reclaims the initiative if a consumer asks a challenging question or even a straightforward question in a challenging way.


Human agents may better adapt to the flow and emotions in a particular conversation alongside the obvious language processing benefits and can reply to various concerns and scenarios.


Ultimately, live, genuine conversation enables a degree of involvement that software hasn't yet matched. Business owners can learn a lot about their customers and product offerings through actual discussions.


The AI system is still subject to the stereotype of only predicted challenges that customers can face and lacks the creativity of a natural person on the backend of your web chat.


In essence, your web chat staff can be trained to speak in a manner that projects what your brand represents. For instance, "Club Pros at Dollar Shave Club" projects a sarcastic and irreverent tone.


On the other hand, "Betterment's new client-onboarding chat" makes use of a more civilized and professional language. Your engagement and customer experience will scale up if you invest upfront in training your service staff.


Furthermore, it is expedient to constantly engage your customers on the web chat in the conversation context. Having an algorithm do this for you will not give room for the creativity and fluidity required to adapt to the context of the conversation.


Context is critical, and customers will value a conversation experience demonstrating an organization's proficiency in incorporating context in dialogues.


Based on a study by Kayako, nearly 30% of users regarded scripted replies as the most unpleasant aspect of live chat. You can add prompts that link users with the available web chat agents when they click on different FAQ pages to get around this frustration.


For example, web chat windows should put customers in touch with the returns department rather than sales if they are asking for information about making a return.


Chat agents can reward returning clients for their patronage and extend discounts on future purchases if they have made purchases in the past (We will talk more about this later in this report).


Spike in Traffic? Do Not Hide Your Chat Widget

chat widget

It may be impossible to reply to chat requests immediately if you're handling a considerable volume of requests, particularly amid traffic spikes. The popular opinion recommends hiding the chat app in these situations when all operators are occupied, but this issue can be better handled.


Take a look at it this way. If you were a customer who needed an answer to a query, a missing chat prompt would probably steer you toward an alternative means like email or phone contact.


If your web chat widget is missing on your page, it only shifts the issue to a different area of your contact center. As a result, you will have more contacts to handle and frequently deal with a single consumer across many channels.


A promising approach that can make your customers happy is keeping them in a queue with regular updates. This keeps them engaged and earns you more of their patience.


Best practice suggests that setup your chat system with an adaptive dynamic in-queue messaging based on time in queue


Display queue position, e.g., "You are position 6 in the queue." DO NOT display a wait time estimate! Predicted wait times are usually erratic, and your consumers will become even more irate whenever the time inevitably changes. In contrast, the number of people in the wait will always drop.


Offer the customer the chance to convert their backlog messages into an email or call as an additional option. Just state clearly that it can take a while to hear back.


When the queue reaches a specific size, you can hide it. Hide the chat widget, for instance, when you have 50 customers waiting. Although this is appropriate for sales-focused web chat deployments, we wouldn't suggest it for support channels.


Some chat platforms allow you to "broadcast" a message to all open or waiting chats, allowing you to send all waiting clients real-time information at once. This is quite helpful if every chat request is focused on a problem, such as a system outage.


Know Your Limits

quality chat

With chat, customers anticipate a quicker response, therefore, the number isn't always a guarantee of quality in this situation. Even though it's chat, the issue isn't necessarily straightforward.


The amount of time and focus you should provide a particular consumer will depend on their complaint severity. Before adding another client to your current queue, think about that!


Naturally, you want to provide clients with a positive experience by rapidly resolving their problems. However, if you call a customer by the incorrect name or send an unrelated response, they will not understand your intentions.


Set feasible goals for your available hours and make them widely visible. Look through chat transcripts for outstanding connection instances, then present those to your team. You can always raise the hours if you have amazing outcomes, but it's much less enjoyable to be required to decrease hours due to negative experiences.


Establish realistic goals for the hours you have available and make them public. Examine conversation transcripts for standout connections, then share those with your colleagues.


It's always possible to increase hours if you achieve fantastic results, but it's much less pleasurable to be forced to reduce hours due to unfavorable outcomes.


Pay Attention to Your Analytics

analytics and speed

Evaluating the effectiveness of initial web chat systems is essential to make modifications and improvements over time.


For instance, your following line of action from your observations might be to rearrange workers or hire more staff if clients have problems starting chat sessions at particular times.


Low chat satisfaction may indicate that agents are trying to manage too many chats at once or require additional training to understand how to direct inquiries.


Without tracking customer service data, live chat performance cannot be perfect. Measure the effectiveness of your web chat at the general, conversational, and agent levels.


You can learn more about the overall performance of your web chat by using these cumulative measures:


Total Chat Volume


This is the sum of all chats sent to your team in a certain period. It mentions any chat integrations as well as missed and finished chats. More specific metrics will provide a richer narrative, even though total volume is a remarkable statistic to determine the volume of chats your brand gets overall.


You can get information regarding how the metrics add up by reviewing the content of the chats or the kinds of questions that are asked in the talks.


For instance, if you discover that a lot of your chats revolve around a single subject, you could do better to address those issues in documentation or a FAQ.


Chats per Day


The daily chats metric divides the whole volume metric into the number of chat discussions you had during each day of the week. It aids personnel volume management and provides insight into when visitors to your website are most engaged.


Chats Completed


The number of chats that your team concludes is known as completed chats. The term "completion" describes being acknowledged by a web chat agent and flagged as finished either by the agent or the client.


There may be a fault in your web chat strategy if you have a sizable total volume metric but a small percentage of completed chats.


Chats Missed


There are some chat discussions that your web chat team omits or doesn't respond to. This typically indicates that the chat was diverted to another channel because no agent was available to attend to it when it first came through.


However, there might be many causes for missed chats. If you observe that your volume of missed chats is growing, it would be a good idea to assess if it is necessary to hire more employees or restrict the availability of your chat windows.


Your missed chats should ideally be zero. Missed chats represent a missed opportunity to interact with your consumers and may also disappoint those who have contacted you through that channel.


Conversion Rates


Two different measurements can be referred to as conversion rates. The first relates to the number of sales from your web chat responses, and the other is the number of site traffic that become conversations.


Website-Chat Conversion


One of the most acceptable ways for you to generate leads for your support team is through your website. The use of web chat presents a fantastic opportunity to send tailored messages at targeted periods in the customer journey.


For example, active prospecting can be an excellent approach to pull hesitant visitors into your sales funnel or if you notice a client stays on your website longer than you'd expect.


Find the number of visitors that respond to passive engagement via your chat support team or a chatbot to track this metric.


A better brand-customer experience is created when you assist customers in real-time, and it's even better when you can be proactive about contacting customers.


Sales Conversion


You might end up attracting additional prospects and improving your net income if your team can respond quickly to questions about presale inquiries, product concerns, or even price inquiries.


Compare the total number of visitors who turned into customers vs the number of conversations you had within the same period to determine your sales conversion rates.


Even if sales representatives aren't currently being rewarded for driving sales, this can continue to be a helpful baseline statistic to comprehend.


For example, you may monitor conversion for other company objectives like newsletter or blog subscriber signups.


In addition, the performance of your staff when asked to execute a specific action during each interaction, such as promoting a product or making another call to action, may be tracked using this measure very effectively.


Offer Incentives

good chatbot

Customer incentives are rewards given to consumers to get them to take the required action or even as a response to their prior actions. The form will vary depending on the goods or services you provide.


 Customers may receive a present in exchange for reviews of your services, or you may employ consumer incentives to advance participants through the levels of customer reward schemes.


For instance, offering free upgrades to customers who use your program consistently for a year may be a helpful incentive. Customers perceive incentives as a bonus, not a sales ploy, when you offer them.


Customer reward programs consequently help people feel valued. They are willing to make additional purchases and stick with your products and services for a long time for ongoing benefits in return.


In addition to retaining customers, brand ambassadors are created by loyal customers. Customers are likely more motivated to recommend your business to others, give great reviews, and invite them.


A successful loyalty program will attract new customers. Consider that your website features a section promoting your customer incentive program.


It clearly states that visitors would receive rewards after becoming customers and achieving certain customer incentive goals. If they find your offer attractive, that can be the push for their first purchase with you.


Typically, customer reward program participants must provide their email addresses, names, and other necessary contact information. With the help of this information, you can contact leads at other times besides only rewarding customers.


Contact details can later be used to upsell items, advertise new arrivals, invite people to follow you on social platforms, etc. Personal information is also necessary to study your target group and use the results of your research in subsequent ads.


Although there are many different consumer reward programs, they all use the same techniques. Look at the best customer incentives list and decide which ones your business should use.


Depending on your business marketing and sales objectives, you can utilize any of these or combine incentives:


  • Bonus points
  • Gift incentives
  • Store credits
  • Sales VIP access
  • Cashback
  • Free delivery
  • Promotional items


Discounts and buy one get one free deal are all examples of additional benefits.

Free upgrades to products or services, Gift cards for cooperating companies, among others, can also be used as incentives.


Ask For Feedback and Ratings

offer incentives for reviews

Configure your chat program so clients can rate their interactions as the final step before ending the ongoing chat session.


Generally speaking, there is nothing sophisticated about this. It is as simple as making three options available, "Great," "Average," and "Poor," along with emojis, and a customer clicks an option.


For a customer, such a review will take just a second, but for you, it will be a goldmine of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of your support staff. Most tools have a chat review system in-built.


You can turn on or off the chat rating function on many customer support platforms as needed. We advise you to take advantage of this chance to gain another perspective on your company's health.


Asking for feedback is not anything to be afraid of. Because of people, and FOR people, your company exists. Feedbacks thus are the best place to observe the image your brand projects to the public.


So create a habit of gathering feedback at various touchpoints or after each chat. The success of your business can benefit from everything your audience feels and says—both positive and negative—about your brand. Believe me, you can locate that golden route and gradually change the consumer experience.


Here are some tested techniques for getting client feedback:


Surveys


You may ask your clients many questions via surveys. Create your custom questionnaire or make use of third-party services. For instance, for one-question surveys, “Qualaroo” excels, whereas “SurveyKing” or “Qualtrics” excel at long-form surveys.


Success Stories


Ask clients about their opinion of your company and offer to have them create a case study regarding their experience. In this manner, you can learn some fascinating things and increase your level of trust.


Social Media


While not exactly a best practice for web chat, it can nevertheless be helpful. Be accessible online, use tags and mentions, and strive to resolve their problems immediately.


Screen Sharing And Co-Browsing On Live Chat

screensharing

Even when live chat employees do their best to explain something, sometimes clients don't get it. The most fantastic choice in this situation is screen sharing.


Agents can simply view the content on customers' devices and walk them through tasks through screen sharing. Giving demos or sharing data becomes much more straightforward.


This recent innovation hands in certain benefits such as users finding quick solutions to issues in real-time enabled sharing of several screens across multiple monitors, both a "view" and "show" mode are present.


Here are some recommendations to aid you if you're uncertain about screen sharing, especially if this is the first time some or all of your chat team members are working from the backend of a customer support system.


Try Out The Screen Sharing Function With A Co-Worker First


There will be a significant percentage of staff working as support reps and new to it, which implies a large number of individuals are also using video calls and screen sharing applications for the first time.


The last thing you want is for an actual call to be your first time using the software, and thus are unfamiliar with the location of the control buttons. This is much more crucial if you're giving a demo to prospective clients.


Practice screen sharing with a friend or coworker before you enter into your call and need to utilize it in real-time, especially if you've never tried out the tool before or your employer has recently moved to a new video chatting application.


Practice Screen Sharing Ahead Of Time


Don't share your screen, then struggle to open the files and webpages you need to display. Instead, you ought to be well-organized and have everything set and open. This applies primarily if your response requires you to put the customer through whatever issues they might have.


Also, ensure you have all your talking points ready if you share results or statistics with visitors, this will come in handy if you desire to win them over.


Clear Unnecessary Desktop Files


If there's a chance you'll occasionally display your desktop when switching between files or launching new applications, be sure there aren't any private or embarrassing files or folders there.


You may not want certain items to be displayed during screen sharing. For instance, if you have scouted for potential new jobs, looked into rival clients, or just saved some unique content.


Ask If The Customer Can See Your Screen


Make sure to conduct any necessary audience troubleshooting before beginning your chat. Ask the customer whether they can see your screen. If not, make sure you're sharing it correctly or ask them to hang up and re-dial the call.


When screen sharing, it can be frustrating to repeatedly ask, "Can you see my screen?" but it's necessary to avoid starting your conversation and having your client miss out on your response. This can be counter-productive.


When co-browsing and web chat are combined, a clear, direct communication route is created. Operators can access clients' online browser windows and highlight and annotate various aspects on the customer's page to assist them as needed.


While watching their computer screens, customer care representatives can keep web chatting with customers. Co-browsing with web chat shortens response times and gives your customers access to support on the spot.


Leverage Web Chat and CRM Integration

crm integration

What happens if your representative is distracted from a live conversation by happenings beyond their control? If the consumer chooses to leave and return later, they will have to re-explain their issue and provide all of their information.


When used with live chat, CRM software helps you manage the data of the customers you've been speaking with on your website. A CRM program enables you to save all the customer data in one location.


When you integrate web chat with CRM, you can be sure to track all of your leads, sales, support requests, and other customer-related issues once they discuss them with you.


You may want to maximize the efficiency of every tool you use as a business owner to increase sales, such as your CRM, but you have to be aware of the advantages. Let's first examine the operation of the CRM web chat integration.


The web chat CRM link will gather all the information about a website visitor while your chat representative converses with them, saving it in your CRM program.


The CRM will automatically save all the information, including the chat's date, time, IP address, name, email address, phone number, social network profiles, and a conversation transcript.


As a result, recognize recurring consumers and create a customer profile for them, give the agents access to conversation history to make their job more accessible, and automate the information-gathering procedure to save time.


Also, by bringing new sales leads from web chat into the CRM and converting them, you can aid your team in selling more.


The first step in making the invisible visible is to set goals. You must first understand the likelihood of closing a contract at a specific time to close one. The CRM software allows you to trace the entire customer lifecycle and see where a specific lead is in the sales funnel.


You can effortlessly close more deals by quickly recognizing hot leads with an integrated web chat CRM. We cannot emphasize enough how much information Web Chat CRM provides about a specific website visitor, making it practically easy for your staff to offer them the required service.


With all of the conversations you've had with customers preserved in the CRM, it's simple to understand their needs, and relying on existing social preferences (which your CRM has already collected for you), you can provide them precisely what they want at the instant they need it.


Use These Web Chat Best Practices For Great Customer Experiences

good chatbot experience

Web chat is an integral part of e-commerce and online marketing for businesses and brands in this contemporary. You might be a solo entrepreneur with an online store or a business owner with a team of operators. 


Understanding how the web chat works and the best practices in maximizing the pros it has to offer your brand can bring about a new phase and pace to your brand. This report has discussed some of the best practices to master and integrate into your business strategy where the use of web chat is concerned.


Training your team of operators, if you have one, is crucial and to your benefit. An unprofessional support rep can severely impact your brand, and we do not want this. Equip them with the essential skill they need to be flawless on your backend.


Furthermore, pay attention to your analytics, metrics, and conversion rates. This will help you keep track of your brand’s progress and improve on inefficient strategies.