7 Tips To Prepare Your Live Chat Team For The Holidays

Maximize Your Holiday Sales Potential

Live Chat Holiday PrepThe holidays are upon us, and for some of you, that means crunch time! As the e-commerce frenzy gets underway, shoppers will be looking for speed, convenience and service while they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Live chat provides an opportunity to capture your website visitors at their peak level of interest, and personally guide them through their purchase. But you can’t just slap a chat box on your website and expect it to run itself. A successful live chat strategy requires some attention and planning. Here are some tips to help you achieve record sales this holiday season.

1. Evaluate your staffing needs.

Your live chat software is only as effective as the humans behind it. Plan ahead by looking back. Use analytics from previous holidays to determine high traffic days and times so that you can properly hire and staff your business to handle the holiday rush.

live chat traffic report

But it’s not just a numbers game. If you need to hire reinforcements, be sure to seek out talent whose skills and communication style align with your organization’s needs and culture. Don’t forget to allow plenty of time for proper agent training on all of the features available within the live chat portal.

Add Chat Agents

2. Establish agent priority tier settings.

Agent priority tiers allow you to route incoming chats to a designated group of agents first, and when they reach their maximum chat volume, routing will move down to the next tier of agents and so on. This may be especially helpful if you are bringing in staff members who do not typically handle chats as backup agents during the holidays. (Note: This feature is available on Plus and higher plans.)

If you’re looking to maximize efficiencies with more advanced chat routing capabilities, check out our Routing by Tag Configuration feature. (Note: This feature is only available on Premier Plans, but perhaps a short-term upgrade might make sense for your team?)

3. Audit proactive chat rules and messages.

We never advise taking a set-it-and-forget-it approach to your proactive chat settings and messages. While we recommend ongoing optimization throughout the year, this is especially important leading up to high traffic periods on your website.

Think about creating customized holiday messages around specific product categories or special promotions. Also be sure to set up one (or more) delayed proactive message(s) within your checkout process to help reduce cart abandonment.

4. Prepare holiday-specific shortcuts.

We’ve said it time and time again… In the live chat environment, response time is paramount! One easy way to help reduce agents’ average response time is to configure shortcuts for common responses.

Try to identify frequently asked questions, such as “What are you holiday hours?” or “What is your holiday return policy?” Then create shortcuts to cut down on agents’ typing time. Don’t forget the short holiday greetings (i.e. “Happy Holidays! How may I help you today?”). It may seem insignificant, but every keystroke saved is time that can be spent making more sales.

holiday live chat shortcuts

5. Configure Secure Data Transfer settings.

Help ease the path to purchase by enabling the Secure Data Transfer feature (available on Plus and higher Plans). This feature allows agents to quickly and safely collect credit card information (and other forms of sensitive information) right in the chat window. Beyond purchases, this feature can be especially helpful in resolving billing issues and facilitating returns and exchanges.

credit card transfer live chat

6. Consider adding SMS-to-Chat for the busy season.

Give shoppers yet another touch point to engage with your team. With text messaging quickly becoming the preferred method of communication across all demographics, the SMS-to-Chat feature allows prospects and customers to reach your team by sending a text message from any mobile device. Those SMS messages will then appear in the chat portal for your agents to reply, sending an SMS right back to your visitor’s handheld device.

SnapEngage holiday chat templateSMS-to-Chat can easily be added to your SnapEngage account for $25/month per widget for unlimited text messages. You can also enable your existing business landline for just $10 more per month. (Currently only available in the U.S., Canada and U.K.)

7. Get in the holiday spirit with a custom chat window.

Customize a special edition holiday chat box (or use our pre-formatted winter theme – see image to the right). Combine your creative design with clever proactive chat rules and messaging to engage your audience and allow your agents to lead them down the path to purchase.

Learn more about creating your own unique chat window design.


Need more assistance in preparing for your holiday sales rush? We’re here to help!

Chat With the SnapEngage Team


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.