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Business Growth

The Business Chat Software Ecosystem: Live Chat, Email, Call Centers, and More

Getting the most out of business chat software demands understanding more than just live chat best practices. Focusing on customer self-service, phone support, live chat, email and web forms is another way on how you can implement a successful customer experience designed with intent.

Having a strategic approach to how all your company’s communication channels create a seamless customer experience, is a great business opportunity to increase customer satisfaction levels, customer retention and loyalty and to continue delivering great customer service.

Using Business Chat Software Effectively

From an industry perspective, eCommerce and customer service (particularly software support) are the most common places where business chat software must be deployed. These two fields have a big stake in making things as convenient for customers (or potential customers) as possible—and while that’s true for any business, nowhere is it more painfully true than in eCommerce and customer support.

In terms of where and when on your site to utilize live chat, look at what pages site visitors seem to be spending a lot of time on, especially if that behavior is followed by exiting your website (this information is easily available through Google Analytics). These are situations in which providing the opportunity to speak with a live chat agent could help clarify whatever confusion the would-be customer may have had.

Additionally, in eCommerce, live chat must be available (and prominently available) on checkout pages. One study from Forrester notes that 45% of consumers will abandon their transaction if they can’t get a quick answer to a question or concern they have.

The Limitations of Business Chat Software

Business chat software can help you hold someone’s hand when they need help, but it can’t help you bring a visitor back to your website. MarketingSherpa, shared a great case study providing insights on how to approach lost opportunities during the shopping experience. While live chat is excellent at salvaging an at-risk transaction, it isn’t mind-control. When an abandoned cart cannot be prevented, it’s time to use another medium to recover that revenue.

Business Chat Software and the Customer Experience Big Picture

The ideal scenario would have you reaching the customer at precisely the right time via precisely the right medium. As an organization dedicated to provide the optimum customer experience, this is certainly your goal. But how to get there?

For starters, consider the mediums you’re using already (e.g. self-service, live chat, phone, email, social media, etc.) – what trends are there in usage, effectiveness and efficiency? Does this vary by type of request or time of day, for instance?

When you introduce a new medium, make sure you communicate that it’s a new thing you’re trying (to give it some press and to minimize dissatisfaction if you end up not continuing to use it)—and make sure it can be well-staffed if it ends up taking off. Again, track and measure how popular it seems to be, conversions and how efficient it is (how long it took to convert). If you can track more granularly such as the type of request or issue, the time of day, it can help inform best practice as well—maybe self-service is better than live chat for password reset requests, email is better than SMS text messages for order confirmations, etc. You won’t know until you start paying attention to the data.

Final thoughts

Once you get a sense for what it is your target market prefers, you can start to impress them with your seemingly supernatural awareness of what’s most convenient for them.

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