How to enhance your customer service with Live Chat
What is Live Chat support?
Live chat support is a channel of customer service integrated into web sites or mobile apps that allow customers to communicate with businesses in real time. This real-time communication includes rich media messaging with images, video, and file sharing for highly detailed communication.
Benefits of Live Chat
Customers expect instant support. If you don’t give them instant, easy customer support, they’ll take their business elsewhere. And using Live Chat is the easiest way to address this common business challenge.
Giving customers an engagement channel is critical. And live chat widgets provide the most satisfying way of communicating with businesses for 73% of customers.
In fact, 60% of customers in the 18-34 age bracket regularly use live chats for customer service. This stat dips slightly to 45% across all age groups – but is still significant.
First, customers expect to be able to directly communicate with businesses. Whether it’s for basic service information like working hours, asking for delivery updates, or to lodge a complaint – the simpler you make this for customers, the happier they are. And the higher your CSAT.
Next, happy customers are loyal customers. And since investing in new customers can cost 5 to 25x more than retaining existing ones, it literally pays to keep customers happy.
Other benefits include:
Benefits for support
Customer support agents benefit from having access to conversation histories with both registered customers and unregistered visitors – also called leads.
This allows for fully contextual support no matter the stage of the customer journey. The result is a highly personalized experience for the customer, but also a higher number of faster resolutions for agents.
Both customers and agents also benefit from rich messaging capabilities. Live chat widgets support images, audio, and video among other file types (standard document formats, compressed file archives, etc.)
This is especially helpful from a customer service perspective. Say a customer is having trouble assembling a desk. A customer support agent can send a detailed video assembly guide.
Alternatively, agents can initiate calls and screen sharing from the agent panel for instant troubleshooting.
And especially helpful for speedy, expert assistance is the typing indicator. Agents get a real-time preview of what the customer is typing. This gives agents time to prepare the most appropriate reply.
Benefits for lead generation
Leads are visitors to your site who haven’t created an account with you yet. By default, all leads are able to see and interact with your Live Chat widget.
Live Chat is a fantastic tool for lead generation. In fact, 42% of customers chose using a live chat as their preferred method of giving contact information.
customers who prefer live chat for sharing contact information
Most leads won’t turn into registered accounts with you right away. And some may never even want to register. That’s okay. Live Chat still lets you keep conversation history with leads. This preserves valuable contextual information for customer service down the road.
The big benefit for lead generation is the ability to use a personalization token to personalize each lead chat session. This creates a secret key that keeps user-specific history.
This creates a level of personalized communication with users who may not have a registered account, but get treated like valued customers.
From a customer service perspective, preserving conversational history helps provide highly personalized, proactive customer support throughout the customer’s lifetime.
For user privacy, it’s also possible to configure a session timeout, too, ensuring that data privacy regulations are adhered to.
Benefits for marketing
It all starts with a warm welcome. Thanks to image file support and rich text formatting, you can create a customized greeting to welcome customers and visitors. Use your visual identity and branded tone of voice. Throw in an emoji for fun, too.
Live Chat supports image carousels that allow you to showcase your products across ranges, while videos help you model your products to customers.
Card buttons are another way to help guide customers through their journeys. Increasing conversions can be as simple as adding a “purchase” button.
And when it comes to measuring impact, one of the most helpful features for marketers is the ability to share live chat events to your Google Analytics account.
This provides valuable data on how visitors interacted with the widget and its elements.
Integrating chatbots with Live Chat?
Chatbots enhance customer service and sales by automating most common customer interactions. They can do everything from improving customer service to serving as personal shopping assistants to boost sales.
There are two main types of chatbots:
- Keyword or rule-based chatbots: These are simple chatbots with predefined menus. Users are presented a list of options and interact with the chatbot by replying with the number that corresponds to their needs.
- Conversational AI chatbots: These complex chatbots use natural language processing (NLP), a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), to understand user intents and provide suitable replies.
Live Chat supports both types of chatbot.
But, there are a few things to consider when developing a chatbot for Live Chat:
- Purpose: What is the scope of tasks you have in mind for your chatbot? Define whether it will be used exclusively to provide quick customer service or more advanced conversational assistance.
- Technology: Will a simpler keyword chatbot satisfy the defined purpose, or do you need a conversational AI chatbot for Live Chat.
- Mapping and training: What common customer service queries will your keyword-based customer service chatbot resolve? Or which customer intents do you expect your AI chatbot to be handling over live chat? Map and train your keyword or AI chatbot to be able to handle what you expect it to.
- Testing: Test your chatbot before launching to ensure smooth customer experiences.
- Metrics and refining: Define what matters and measure what matters. Consider your standard KPIs for the roles your chatbot is used in, measure, monitor, and refine.
This basic checklist will help you get started with developing a live chat chatbot that can handle customer service and sales assistance tasks – and everything in between.
What painpoints do customers experience when using live chats and how can you solve them?
Common pain points customers encounter using live chats include:
- Slow response times
- Lack of knowledge
- Slow resolution times
- Lack of information
- Disjointed customer journey and experience
Live Chat from Infobip can address all of the above.
The most common pain point customers encounter when using live chat is slow response times. This is easily addressed with an automated welcome message and pre-programmed reply. This assures customers that an agent will be along shortly to assist them.
Using chat gives agents more time to provide accurate information and avoid showing any lack of knowledge.
Resolution times can be accelerated in a number of ways including keyword chatbot FAQs, lead and customer histories, and full contextual support – which also takes care of any lack of information or disjointed customer journeys.
Human agent takeover
To provide the best possible assistance, businesses can route customers to agents trained for their specific issues. For example, a customer needs help setting up a TV they purchased from an electronics retailer.
When the customer initiates the chat, they’re given an option to choose the department they wish to talk to. In this case, it can be tech support. The customer will be assigned to an agent from that department.
This ensures that customers speak with agents best trained to solve their issue for the fastest resolution.
But sometimes customers have more than one issue that needs to be resolved by two different departments.
Let’s say the customer who bought the TV and is chatting with tech support to setup also bought an HDMI cable that was too short and wants to return or exchange it.
It’s not too convenient to resolve one issue with one department and then go through the same process with another one.
Instead of this, customers can have simultaneous sessions running with multiple departments. This way, the customer from our example can set up their new TV set while talking to customer service about how to exchange the HDMI cable for a longer one.
The customer service agent can even seamlessly transition between live chat and email. This allows them to assist in exchanging the cable from our example, ensuring an unbroken customer journey and experience.
But let’s further assume that setting up the new television is very complex, and the customer is having a difficult time understanding how.
In cases like this, agents can initiate screen sharing and visually guide the customer through the issue to help resolve even highly complex issues.
Best practices for Live Chat
In retail and eCommerce applications, Live Chat can be used to provide real-time customer support during checkout. Customers can ask about and receive immediate information about the status of their loyalty points or other coupons.
After checkout, customers will commonly ask for status updates on their deliveries over Live Chat. Businesses can integrate with delivery companies to provide immediate updates and keep customers informed about last mile deliveries.
In banking and finance, a common use case is during the loan approval process. This usually complex process is made easier over live chat thanks to the screen share feature that lets agents guide applicants.
Document sharing over live chat is also a common use case that helps provide customers with sample applications.
To learn more about how our customers successfully implemented Live Chat in their day-to-day business, check out the following customer stories.