Double Your Results: How to Leverage Both Proactive Live Chat and Reactive Chat

Written by guest author John Maxwell, SnapEngage Client Success Manager

Combine the power of proactive and reactive chat to boost the power of your chat strategy. SnapEngage Client Success Manager, Mary, dives deeper into boosting customer engagement by using both types of chat. Get to know the options and start chatting with 30% more site visitors.


What are Reactive and Proactive Chats?  

Just like many conversations, there are two types of chats, reactive chat and proactive chat. Utilizing both proactive and reactive chat allows for twice the power to reach site visitors more effectively than before.

What is reactive chat?

Reactive chats are chats initiated by your website visitor, and responded to by an online agent. The trick to success is making sure those inbound chats are responded to within seconds. Visitors can be turned off quickly when their inquiries aren’t reciprocated. To help facilitate rapid response, reactive chat distribution can be set up two different ways.

  1. Notify all online agents at once of each incoming chat (limited to a maximum number of 5 agents). 
  2. Automatically rotate each incoming chat to a specific agent.

Using SnapEngage in the second scenario, chats are assigned to agents with the least number of current chats. If all agents have an equal number of ongoing chats, then the system will randomly assign the chat to an agent. 


What is Proactive Chat?

Proactive chats are initiated by the SnapEngage system and will appear to the website visitor like a direct message to them from an agent. As a best practice, we recommend setting up proactive messages to populate at different times and on different pages for site visitors. For example, setting a proactive chat trigger after a site visitor has been browsing the same page for 1 minute serves as a reminder that your team is there to help with any questions.

You can create page-specific proactive chats for products or pages you’d like to highlight. The chat is hyper-personalized to create a seamless customer experience. These chats are first assigned to agents with the least number of chats when a visitor is on your site and meets the criteria you’ve selected in your Admin Dashboard under Proactive Chat. All things being equal, proactive chat assignment is random.

You can use reactive chat and proactive chat in conjunction. Proactive chat can be especially helpful for sales teams looking to increase visitor engagement. For example, sales team in the past had the option of connection with clients through email and phone only. Flash forward to present day. Chat opens doors of collaboration to transform the sales process and makes it easier than ever to communicate with prospects throughout the entire sales process.

The American Marketing Association found that B2B companies who used live chat see, on average, a 20% increase in conversions. Proactive chat also works to transform your customer engagement. Not only is live chat is a cost-effective customer support channel, but on average, companies using live chat save up to 50% or more on support costs versus other support channels. We have found that live chat increases the productivity of client support agents because one person can handle up to 10 simultaneous chats at once, depending on the complexity of the issues at hand.

Capitalize on SnapEngage’s routing capabilities

The two main ways to route chats to specific agents are routing by tag or skill, and routing by widget or department.

In some organizations, there are chat agents with different skill sets and expertise. Our routing by tag feature allows you to capitalize on these different skill sets by assigning the chat agent specific “tags” to coincide with their expertise. For example, a “Spanish” tag would imply that the chat agent speaks Spanish, while a “Construction” tag implies that the chat agent has extensive knowledge in the construction field. Website visitors can seamlessly chat with those agents assigned the correct “tag” or expertise according to their needs.

To use routing by tag, you would assign the visitor “tags”, like “Spanish” or “construction”, via the JavaScript API. When your website visitor starts a chat with you, they will have already been assigned tags based on the logic you/your developers build.

You can assign tags to your agents in the Admin Dashboard. SnapEngage will then know which agents to direct the chat to, as the tags will have already been passed to the system.

You may find your chat agent team expanding, in which case you can use routing by widget. Widgets enable different configurations for different sites, products or departments. For example, a “Sales widget” and a “Support widget” act as a clarification between the two teams. Now that the teams are separate, you can easily and quickly allow your website visitors to be connected with the correct department by using the “widget selector”. The widget selector tool allows visitors to choose the nature of their inquiry-based on pre-populated selections you have provided prior to starting a chat. Now, chats can route seamlessly to the correct department without any unnecessary transfers.

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