Prepare Your Site for the Holidays (With Video Tutorial)

Prepare Your Site for the Holidays (With Video Tutorial)

The 2019 holiday shopping season is in full swing — is your business meeting the needs of online holiday shoppers? USA consumers alone are expected to spend $135.35 billion this holiday season (that’s a 13.2% increase from last year according to an eMarketer report) and another 2018 study found that 77% of consumers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online this season. It’s imperative that businesses catering to holiday shoppers do everything in their power to provide quality consumer experiences during this festive time (and all year long). Don’t forget about the international market, where 58% of global consumers would make international purchases online if they were more familiar with the brand.

One way to prepare your website for the holidays is to add visual interest with holiday themes and seasonal styling on key website elements. Your live chat software is the perfect place to start because it’s one of the first places holiday shoppers will click to further engage with your brand. With a flexible tool at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever to dress up your chatbox elements for the holidays (while adhering to marketing guidelines and remaining on-brand, too!). The tutorial video below will help you get started.

How to make a custom-themed chatbox for your business

It’s easy to make your own winter holiday chatbox theme using the intuitive Design Studio tool in SnapEngage. Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial by designer Jackson Carson. We’ll teach you how to quickly customize your chatbox theme using a custom background image, animated GIF background, and matching colors for the holidays!

Additional tips to prepare for the holiday season

 

  • Make sure that your website can successfully handle an influx of holiday site traffic. The last thing you want consumers to experience is any period of site downtime because your server couldn’t keep up.
  • Connect with international shoppers using Auto-Translate chat. Offer a real-time, seamless translation between site visitors and your chat team, allowing you to connect with more clients than ever.
  • The holiday season is the perfect time to roll out special limited-time-only marketing promotions to entice holiday shoppers. Ensure that your web, marketing, sales, and customer support teams are all aligned on various aspects of current and upcoming promotions (including holiday offers/discounts, messaging, internal processes, and more). This will make the holiday season go more smoothly internally, which also has a positive effect on the external customer experience.
  • With increased online traffic during the holiday season, it’s imperative that businesses provide fast, easy ways for website visitors to engage directly with sales and customer support teams. If you’re not already using chat software, you’re missing out on key opportunities during the holiday season and throughout the year. Live chat software helps businesses drive online sales conversions and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Double-check that your online purchase/checkout pages and “shopping cart” technology are working well and provide an intuitive shopping experience for website visitors. If an online consumer reaches the point of sale just to encounter unexpected “technical issues”, they will become frustrated and are less likely to complete the purchase. Even if all of your systems are in tip-top shape, make sure that your team has a 24/7 action plan ready to go in case any site issues and bugs arise.

Training Your Customer Support Team with Remote Learning Strategies

Training Your Customer Support Team with Remote Learning Strategies

Struggles of modern learners

If you were asked to paint an acrylic of a beach sunset in 60 minutes, could you do it? Most people couldn’t do this task without prior knowledge or access to a how-to video. It’s hard to perform a task well the first time without experience and proper guidance. This is why cohesive training programs and successful employee onboarding programs are so incredibly important for the growth and success of businesses.

The principles of adult learning aren’t so different from the concepts that teachers use to keep youngsters engaged in the classroom. When it comes to adult learning and training new employees, it’s natural that the motivation behind our inspiration to learn will change somewhat as we age.

Apply the foundations of adult learning to your organization

Malcolm Knowles, a leader in the field of adult learning and education, advocated five strategies for helping students acquire new learning. All of these elements can be applied to any employee training program. According to Knowles, adults want:

1. To understand why it’s important to know or do something.

2. The freedom to choose their own way to learn.

3. To learn through experiences.

4. To learn when the time is right.

5. To be part of a positive and encouraging process.

If you’re designing a company training program to help employees complete the steps in a task or process, consider these five key elements of the adult learning experience. Think about ways that you can demonstrate the purpose, reasoning, and importance behind each new training item. Try to get creative and provide different ways of explaining the same concept to cater to varied learning styles.

 

Help employees learn faster and easier

When you train employees to use a new or updated program or a website application, it might work best to break down every new concept or task into manageable chunks. Breaking down training sessions and concepts into manageable pieces makes it easier for employees to process and retain the information.

Another option to automate the process of developing a training guide is to perform the task(s) yourself and use a software solution such as a learning management system (LMS) to record the steps as you go. You can also use an LMS to create customized, pre-built training programs that employees can work through at their own pace. This has been very beneficial for new chat agent hires right here at SnapEngage!

Building knowledge on a remote team

The challenge of providing effective training to a customer support team becomes even greater when the members aren’t working in the same building – or even the same country. Our team has extensive experience in this more challenging aspect of training, with offices located eight hours apart in both Boulder, CO, USA and Berlin, Germany.

Employees need to be able to perform their jobs even when they can’t regularly attend a face-to-face training session. Even if you can organize on-site training, staff will have ongoing learning needs, and getting everyone together won’t always be feasible.

So, you can try sending a training guide over email and then provide online or offline chat support as they try to use it. The SnapEngage team chat functionality is perfect for internal training and communication. You can even walk step by step with new staff through the training manual and answer any questions they may have. However, keep in mind that many tech-savvy employees today often prefer to work through online tutorials, manuals, or training guides independently at first.

Ensure training success for remote employees

When your employees are learning in ways that help them to be more productive, everybody wins! However, you also want to be aware of the fact that working with a co-located customer support team has challenges. For example, you could give all team members a series of ‘angry-customer’ scenarios to work through in a virtual learning management system and have a debriefing meeting to collect their ideas.

This kind of session enables both new and veteran employees to share what they have learned or reflected upon with other team members. They can even bring up different, specific scenarios from work that were similar to the training scenarios. It’s important for the team leader to carefully assess, coach, and expand upon the learning connections that other team members derive from training materials.

Virtual barriers to communication and collaboration for remote teams

Whenever you work with a virtual team, there are barriers to effective collaboration of all members, especially in a learning context. For example, during the group’s communication using technology, there can be many accidental misunderstandings. Dhawan and Chamorro-Premuzic explained this well on HBR.org:

“Remote communication can distort the normal pace of our conversations. The delay between our messages can often postpone or hide emotional reactions to our comments.”

When you follow up with members of the customer support team about a training guide or a customer service debriefing, look for ways to ensure that they have truly processed and understood the new information. Using a video chat or a telephone conversation will provide you with even more in-depth information about their level of understanding.

4 Ways to Keep Remote Teams Connected

Out of sight, out of mind?

Written by Jasmin Rosenboom, SnapEngage Sales
With contributions from Kent Riggs, SnapEngage Sales

The best teams are happy, motivated, and productive. They get there by being connected, consistent, and using clear internal communication. Yet how do we ensure our teams are working cohesively with the unique challenges that remote, modern work environments present? We’ve touched on the importance of autonomy in the workplace and the value of knowing the other teams in your organization. Let’s dive into a challenging dynamic that our team encounters on a daily basis: building a company with two international, remote teams. At first glance this element poses immense difficulties, but ultimately it has infused our company with diversity and strength.

Working with remote teams poses unique challenges – there’s no getting around that. Team SnapEngage is separated by half the globe (with offices in Boulder, CO, USA and Berlin, Germany), in addition to employees often working remotely in other locations while visiting clients. Over the last eight years, we’ve learned how to ensure your co-workers across the pond don’t stray out of mind even though they may be out of sight.

remote-teams1

Continue reading “4 Ways to Keep Remote Teams Connected”

6 Reasons Agent Autonomy is a Game Changer

A little trust can go a long way

autonomyManaging teams is often based on authority where team members are taking orders and following instructions. This more traditional style of management works quite well for factory work, but is usually unfavorable in today’s workplaces where innovation, creativity, and service play a crucial role. As best-selling author Daniel H. Pink puts it: “Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” Autonomy can take many different forms. No matter how you define autonomy, when your team feels they have freedom of action, the results are stunning! Potential benefits include greater employee commitment, better performance, improved productivity, and lower turnover.

Our clients that are new to live chat are often unsure about the right settings for their team. In particular, the question of whether it is better to give agents the autonomy to decide which chat requests to answer, when to answer them and how many requests to handle at once arises. In addition, should these chats be automatically assigned to specific agents to avoid any possibility of agents slacking or choosing chats that are easier to resolve?

Although the answers to those questions depend on the structure of your team, the seniority level of your agents and other factors, we encourage our clients to offer at least some autonomy to their agents. Place trust in the people you hired and they will respond positively!

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider how you manage your team.

Allowing your employees to work at a comfortable pace while monitoring their productivity levels can benefit both their mental well-being and your company efficiency. Stop micromanaging and boost your team’s commitment, performance and productivity with some small enhancements. Don’t be afraid – it’s well worth it. Here are a few things to keep in mind.


Continue reading “6 Reasons Agent Autonomy is a Game Changer”

Tips for Super Busy Chat Days

Keep Calm and Chat On

tips for busy live chat daysA busy chat day should typically be welcomed and celebrated (aside from site outages and other critical issues). Engaging with your website visitors is a great first step towards converting them to valued customers, and more leads entering your funnel means more opportunity to generate revenue.

But when chat volumes approach your team’s capacity limits, anxiety can build as you struggle to deliver a consistent, outstanding customer experience to all visitors.

Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your cool and thriving during busy chat times. Continue reading “Tips for Super Busy Chat Days”