Release notes August 30th: New Developer Docs Page, Google SSO Exclusive Login, Bugfixes

 

Hello Snapengagers,

Here is an update of what the dev team has been up to in the last weeks:

Updates:

 

  • Google SSO: Clients on the Premier and higher plans can now make use of our new Google SSO setting to restrict sign in exclusively to Google accounts. This setting can be found under My Account > Security > Access Rules.

 

  • Visitor Chat Box:
    • We are now validating the input of the email address field, even if it is not set to be required.
    • Added support for custom logo images when using the Great Chinese Firewall setup.

Resolved Issues:

  • Send Button: We fixed the mobile experience so that a user on an iPhone does not have to tap the Send button twice.
  • Info Capture Bot: Fixed an issue where the bot was not automatically placed into a higher in the chat agents settings.
  • Proactive Chat: Fixed an issue where minimizing the proactive chat box was clearing out the proactive chat invite message. Now the proactive chat invite message and assigned agent will remain available for the default two minutes, even when minimized.
  • Hub:
    • Fixed an issue where there were notifications missing for new proactive chat messages.
    • FireFox 59: Fixed an issue where text of unsent message in input box of closed chat moves to open chat.

SnapEngage Ranked on Inc. 5000 2018 List

SnapEngage Ranked on Inc. 5000 2018 List

We’re honored to be recognized on the Inc. 5000 2018 list of fastest-growing private companies in America! We are ranked at #4825 overall and ranked #22 in the Boulder, CO metro area. The 37th annual Inc. 5000 is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment — independent small and midsized businesses. SnapEngage is thrilled to be in the shared company of innovative, successful businesses around the USA and in our home state of Colorado. Started in 1982, this acclaimed list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success.

“Our incredible clients, partners, and employees have propelled SnapEngage to where we are today. We offer a big thank you to everyone who helped make this milestone possible. We couldn’t have achieved this without everyone’s support.”

-Jerome Breche, SnapEngage CEO and Co-Founder

Inc. Magazine selected SnapEngage for the 2018 list based on the company’s impressive three-year percentage revenue growth rate from 2014 – 2017. This growth is driven by an ongoing commitment to our clients and our relentless mission to transform customer engagement with an omnichannel chat solution used by businesses around the globe. Our messaging solution increases CSAT/NPS, increases sales conversion rates, and reduces cost-per-interaction for sales and customer service teams.

The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $206 billion in 2017, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database, can be found here.

“The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive. The founders and CEOs of the Inc. 5000 tell us they think determination, risk taking, and vision were the keys to their success, and I believe them.”

-Eric Schurenberg, Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief

Created from the TechStars program in Boulder, CO in 2008, SnapEngage is proudly self-funded and today holds offices in Boulder, CO and Berlin, Germany. Our growth has been fueled in part by our clients, partners, team, and a truly innovative product. Read about the benefits of our chat solution and view our customer success stories to learn more.

Would you like to join our team and help propel SnapEngage to the next level? We’re on the lookout for talented employees who share our vision. View career openings and apply today!

Exploring the Chatbot Experience

Exploring the Chatbot Experience

Chatbots are quickly becoming a popular feature for business websites. As AI technology progresses, it’s now easier than ever to provide your visitors with a handy chatbot to answer questions and, hopefully, create more leads and sales. While chatbots are certainly very useful, they aren’t perfect and can’t always replace human interaction. Let’s look at how to provide your customers with the best chatbot experience.

Pros and Cons of Chatbots

Pros

Gartner estimates that, by 2020, 25% of customer service operations will use virtual customer assistants or chatbots. Clearly, this technology is rapidly advancing across all industries. There are quite a few advantages to using chatbots.

  • They are always available. Most smaller businesses can’t afford to provide live 24/7 customer service. A chatbot is available at all hours to answer questions and guide shopping choices.
  • Provide economical customer service. Once you have a chatbot in place, it’s quite a bit cheaper than paying customer service reps. Even if you only use chatbots to replace live agents part of the time, it can save your business quite a bit of money.
  • Fast and efficient. Chatbots can handle multiple queries at once and provide fast responses.
  • An efficient way to handle common queries. A high percentage of questions that customer service reps answer are quite common and don’t require any real expertise. Chatbots are an efficient way to handle FAQ. Virtual assistants can either answer these questions directly or provide links to your FAQ page. This saves your live agents time and lets them address more complicated questions.
  • They guide shoppers to the most appropriate items. People visiting a website don’t always know how to find what they’re looking for. They may not have the patience to spend time searching. A chatbot can (by answering a few simple questions) quickly guide visitors to the most appropriate products. This can help you increase sales.

Cons

As helpful as they are, chatbots do have certain limitations.

  • They’re only as useful as you program them to be. Today’s chatbots aren’t self-aware robots out of science fiction. They can only respond based on their programming. To get the most out of them, you need to do research and decide what will best serve your customers and visitors. This isn’t necessarily a “con,” unless you have unrealistic expectations for what virtual assistants can do.
  • They can’t handle complex issues. Some issues require human interaction. Customers who have a problem may get frustrated if they can only talk to a chatbot. You can avoid this by making it clear that you also provide personal customer service for such issues.
  • Not everyone likes them. It’s a simple reality of business that you can’t please everyone. Some people don’t like chatbots. However, one study found that 69% of consumers prefer chatbots for answering simple queries. As people get more accustomed to this technology, the percentage of people who embrace it will likely rise.

How to Improve the Chatbot Experience

How do you get the most out of chatbots while minimizing the potential drawbacks? Like any technology, you need to apply it in a strategic way and find an approach that’s customized to your needs. Here are some principles to keep in mind.

Define the Chatbot’s Purpose

Don’t expect your chatbot to be able to handle every issue, problem, or query. Start by defining the areas you want help with. For example, a bot can answer questions about products, encourage visitors to join your mailing list, or perhaps send people to the proper page on your website. You may start with one or two areas and expand the bot’s areas of expertise.

Use Chatbots and Live Agents Together

Since chatbots can’t replace humans, you need to find the right balance. Do your best to integrate chatbots with live chat and other types of customer service to provide customers with an integrated experience.

  • Use chatbots during hours when live customer service agents aren’t available.
  • Even when live agents are available, chatbots can gather preliminary information to improve service. The chatbot can direct the customer to the right agent who already has an idea of what the person needs.
  • Make it easy for customers to find alternatives to the chatbot when necessary. Your chatbot can send people to a live chat agent (if available) or advise people to call or email for complicated queries. You never want customers to feel frustrated that they can’t get the kind of help they need.

Make Your Chatbot User-Friendly

There are several ways to make chatbots more engaging to visitors so they’re more open to interacting with them.

  • Give your chatbot a personality. It helps to give your chatbot a name and personality. This will depend on your branding, of course. Some companies have a more formal image while others are more casual. Program your bot to come across as naturally as possible. As much as possible, you want to give people the illusion that they’re chatting with a person. For example, bots can use contractions (“I’m” instead of “I am”).
  • Show empathy. One of the advantages of live chat agents is that they can provide a sympathetic response when users are frustrated. While chatbots are obviously more limited in this way, they can be programmed to recognize and respond to human emotions based on language. If someone is upset with a product, for example, the chatbot might say “I’m sorry that you’re having this problem. Let’s see what I can do to help.” Emoticons are another way to give your bot some personality. Chatbots are quickly getting more sophisticated in their ability to convey emotions.
  • Encourage people to use the chatbot. As popular as they are, chatbots are still new to many people. They won’t start using yours unless you give them the proper cues. Create a welcome message from the bot that’s easy to see. Give them a box where they can start typing or a button to click on so they know how to get started.
  • Test and improve. Record all chat sessions and track the results. If you’re not getting the results you want, make changes. You can apply A/B testing to your chatbot. You can test elements such as the chatbot’s appearance, where you place the dialog box, the type of language the bot uses, and other factors.

As technology evolves and chatbots become more sophisticated, they’ll be increasingly helpful for customer service. At the same time, virtual customer assistants will never entirely replace human customer service. The trick is to find the right balance of the two. In this way, chatbots can improve your customer service while making life easier for your live support agents.

Release Notes August 8th: IP throttle setting, Hub fixes, transferring to a maxed out widget, Analytics fix

 

Hello everyone,

here is what our dev team has been working on these last few days:

New Setting

We have added a new setting to enable or disable an IP throttle to limit visitors abusing or spamming the chat. This option is enabled by default but can be disabled in case you are testing, or have a use case where a high number of chats from the same IP address is expected.

Hub Updates:

We have been busy fixing the issues that have been submitted to us with through the feedback form, thank you for continuing to report bugs and helping us improving the tool!

  • We have improved the look & feel of the column dividers and made the resize option more visible.
  • Fixed different issues causing a white screen on transferring the chat or on entering the backslash key.
  • Fixed an issue where the chat could be transferred if the receiving agent was not configured on the transferring widget.
  • Fixed an issue where clicking knowledge base results reloaded hub.
  • Fixed an issue where clicking on the admin dashboard icon redirected you to the home screen.
  • Fixed an issue with the survey from the visitor not displaying straight away after the chat ended.
  • Fixed an issue with the browser tab favicon notification continuing to blink.
  • Fixed an issue where the team chat tab sometimes was not visible in the minimal width setting of the left column.

 

Other Updates:

  • We have fixed an issue where transferring a chat into the queue of a maxed out widget resulted in duplicate cases and the transfer to fail.
  • Fixed an issue in the Analytics Overview Report, where some responded chats were counted as not responded. This was an issue with chats when the visitor started the chat without a message, never said anything and only the agent responded.

Benefits of Chat (and 5 Ways to Increase Engagement)

Benefits of Chat (and 5 Ways to Increase Engagement)

Before you implement a chat platform, it’s worth taking a step back to understand why you want to offer chat in the first place. This may seem like a pointless or even silly concept to ponder. The truth, however, is that you don’t want to encourage chatting for its own sake without a solid strategy in place. Chat is a tool designed for certain goals, such as to increase sales, build brand awareness, or make customer service more efficient.

No matter what kind of engagement you’re measuring, you’re doing so with certain objectives in mind. Think about your email campaigns, for example. You naturally want your subscribers to open and derive value from the content you’re sending. However, your real end goal is to get conversions. It’s the same principle with chat. Companies that implement chat should be intentional about why they’re adding chat with an overarching goal to generate specific results from those interactions.

To begin with, make sure you identify goals related to your chat strategy. This might include increasing brand awareness, getting more opt-ins for your mailing list or selling more products. Whatever your goals are in the beginning, make sure they are clearly defined, specific, and measurable.

Using chat to generate sales

Most B2B and B2C organizations implement chat to drive more sales, and the instantaneous nature of chat fits consumers of today well. Today’s consumers are often strapped for time, multitasking, and maybe even a bit impatient. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, most website visitors will leave in less than a minute if they don’t find what they’re looking for. Of course, keeping potential customers on your site is based on many factors, including your web design, page loading speed, and ease of navigation. Chat can make your site more user-friendly by helping shoppers quickly find what they’re seeking.

By chatting, customers can learn which product is most appropriate for their needs and get answers to commonly asked questions. Chat can increase conversions on e-commerce sites by providing customers with helpful information quickly. Keep your chat agents well-informed and up-to-date with your latest products and offerings. When your agents provide better customer experiences and quality information, your conversions will increase.

Using chat for customer support

Customer support is another useful way to use chat. There are several advantages to offering chat on your website for customer support (such as increased CSAT, reduced response times, lower cost-per-interaction, and more). Here are a few recommendations:

  • Make sure your chat agents are well versed in chat etiquette. They are a reflection on your brand so they must always be polite and courteous even when customers aren’t.
  • When chat agents can’t answer a question, they should make it easy for customers to connect with the right person or set up clear internal processes for transferring chats among teams.
  • Connect chat with other useful resources. In some cases, the customer’s question is already answered on an FAQ page, a training video, or on another page of your website. Rather than having your rep repeat these answers over and over, have them provide the appropriate links or redirect the visitor to the correct page. This frees up space for other customers to chat.

Chat can help you build your brand

One of the best reasons to use chat on your website is to increase brand recognition. Your website is your digital calling card and reflects your brand. When you introduce a chat feature to your website, this gives your website a real-time voice and personality. Visitors are no longer just passively browsing your site; they can now actively engage with it. It’s important, therefore, to make sure your chatbot reflects the brand voice that you want.

When training your agents, consider your buyer persona. Brick and mortar businesses (whether retail stores, restaurants, spas, or medical offices), consider their customers when they hire staff and instruct staff on how to interact appropriately with customers. The same training should apply when it comes to your digital representatives. Consider your overall brand image and the way your customers prefer to be treated. For example, some businesses have a more formal image while others are more casual or humorous. This should be reflected consistently in chat sessions. One way for chat agents to engage with customers is by using emojis during chat sessions.

Chat can reduce email and call volume

While chat can never completely replace other forms of customer support, chat sessions can address many common questions and issues. With live chat agents helping to sell products and deal with customer support issues, your business will have fewer calls and emails. This lets you improve efficiency as you and your employees can focus on other tasks while your customers get the answers they need via chat.

Where do chatbots fit in?

While live chat agents provide more comprehensive support than chatbots, there are also advantages to having a chatbot on your website. For one thing, bots are available 24/7. For most businesses, it’s not practical to have staff on hand at all hours. Chatbots can provide helpful information about frequently asked questions and capture important visitor information like email address.

A common misconception is that most consumers don’t like chatbots and would prefer to talk to a human. The 2018 State of Chatbots Report found that 69% of consumers prefer chatbots for simple questions. Of course, people still want to talk to knowledgeable technicians and consultative sales reps for more complicated questions. However, it’s clear that consumers are increasingly witnessing the value of chatbots.

Five tips to increase chat engagement

If you want more customers to engage via chat, you have to understand that chat is only a single element within your entire website. It’s essential to integrate chat with your website design so it feels natural for visitors to engage. Here are some guidelines to increase customer engagement for your chat function:

  • Chat button and window placement is key. Site visitors simply can’t initiate a chat session if they don’t know it’s available and can’t find your chat widget. At the same time, you don’t want it to obstruct the view of your main content. UsabilityGeek recommends placing chat buttons in the lower right corner of website pages for optimal UX.
  • Give visitors a chance to get settled. Rather than having the chat window open immediately upon page load (which honestly feels rather abrupt in most cases), give visitors at least 15-30 seconds to look around.
  • Unless you have a specific reason for hiding the chat button on certain URLs of your website (which is entirely possible), it’s generally a good idea to make the chat button and window visible on all of your web pages.
  • Make sure you have a clearly marked button for initiating chats. Many companies have started experimenting with using less-than-obvious icons for their chat buttons, leaving visitors second-guessing their true purpose. It’s best to stick with a chat button that’s designed with an obvious chat/chat bubble/etc icon, text, or both.
  • Track analytics for chat sessions. Whether you use in-app reporting tools (SnapEngage offers a full suite of reports), Google Analytics, or other reporting methods, it’s critical to measure chat platform analytics related to agent performance, visitor and audience information, chat activity data, and more.

A well-defined chat strategy can help you build your brand, get more sales, and provide better customer support. Getting people to actually take advantage of your chat function requires you to become clear on your objectives, pay close attention to how chat fits in with your website’s overall UX, and carefully track your results to see what might need tweaking. If you don’t currently have the kind of engagement you want, don’t get discouraged. Take a close look and see what you can do to make people appreciate the many benefits of chat.