6 Tips to Maximize Live Chat ROI

Use these tips to lay the foundation
for a successful live chat program.

It’s no secret that today’s business landscape is saturated with competition. Rival companies struggle to differentiate themselves as they vie for the fleeting attention (and precious dollars) of prospects around the globe. Many companies across a diverse set of industries have turned to live chat software to push themselves above the competition by creating more efficient and meaningful interactions with their prospects and clients.

However, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of how to make live chat truly work for – aka generate profit – for your company. Keep these six tips in mind to ensure live chat success.

Tip #1: Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is a critical first step that every company must take before embarking on any new live chat endeavor. Are you going to use live chat to find and attract new clients, support and nurture existing clients, or both?

2-18-2016_proactiveFor Sales-minded individuals, live chat proves time and time again to be an excellent tool for boosting lead generation. A smart live chat program can provide that extra touchpoint needed to nudge qualified prospects into your funnel. For example, a strategically-placed chat button or proactive chat invitation on your website will attract prospective clients and provides an instant, direct line of communication to your Sales team. Be sure to steer clear of slower, alternate communication methods which could deter prospects during their moment of peak interest.

For steadfast troops of customer support heroes, live chat provides an easy way to more actively and productively engage with valued clients. When a client is experiencing a problem, they need the answer now (or let’s be honest, five minutes ago). Live chat allows knowledgeable support staff to swoop in and proactively assist with potentially sticky situations before they escalate and result in lost business. As a bonus, the entire interaction bears a refreshingly human touch. Wait, you mean I’m going to be helped immediately by a living, breathing human who will not only fix my issue but also joke with me and ask me how my day is going, too?! You bet!

Tip #2: Always Keep Customer Experience Top of Mind

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In an age where customer experience means everything, the speed and convenience of connecting with prospects and clients via live chat cannot be overlooked as businesses strive to stand out and keep up. Saturated industries result in highly similar offerings/products from competing companies, so it’s only natural that consumers will begin to seek out additional factors by which to evaluate these offerings. Sure, your company’s Turbo Blaster 5000 is just as shiny as your rival’s, but how does your customer support stack up to theirs? Thankfully for consumers everywhere, the bar for customer service standards is at an all-time high.

A successful live chat program will cut down on resolution times, increase CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores, boost employee productivity, and ensure that your business is making the cut.

Tip #3: Strive for Quality and Efficient Interactions

Do you shudder when you think back to the times when, in the face of a pressing issue, you’ve been confronted with a completely mindless, robotic phone tree that wastes countless minutes (or hours) of your time without resolution in sight? We do too. Or perhaps you received pleasant and quality customer service, but the entire interaction took much longer than it should have and still left a bad taste in your mouth.

It may be cliche, but it bears repeating: Time is money, and the more you can streamline processes and communications, the better positioned you’ll be to keep existing clients happy while taking on additional clients and focusing on growth efforts. Sales and support teams can chat with multiple prospects and/or clients simultaneously, while immediately resolving simple support issues. These time saving measures ultimately contribute to your bottom line, and will leave clients and prospects impressed with how quickly they were able to have their inquiry answered or issue resolved.

Tip #4: Take Advantage of Integrations

Every successful business relies on a combination of systems and processes, and the interaction of these tools is the ultimate influence upon a team’s efficiency and effectiveness. Live chat is another tool in your setup and is most effective when connected and adapted to your other processes.

To fully reap the benefits of live chat, it’s important to evaluate how it integrates with your workflows. Chat data can be automatically sent to any number of CRMs (Customer Relationship Management), Help Desks, Marketing Automation Systems, and can even be connected to social media outlets. Many live chat providers offer robust integrations with these platforms, creating seamless data transfer to your preferred platform and allowing you to close the loop on your marketing, sales, and support functions.

Tip #5: Initiate Conversations with Proactive Chat

Live chat is a great tool, but it’s worthless if your visitors aren’t interacting with you. Proactive chat allows you to target and send rules-based invitations to your most qualified prospects with advanced triggers such as time on page, page URL, geolocation, language, JavaScript variables, and more. Advanced programming allows you to automate the entire process behind the scenes in order to maximize sales efforts, while providing a personalized experience for your website visitors.

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Proactive chat is especially effective in cases where visitors must complete a marketing/sales process within your website such as completing a purchase, filling out a form/questionnaire, or signing up for a trial. We conducted a proactive chat experiment on the SnapEngage website, and discovered that a simple proactive trigger for lingering visitors increased trial signups by 67%!

Tip #6: Optimize Your Efforts

Don’t fall into the trap of setting up your live chat program once and assuming that the configuration which works for you today will work for you next month. Quality live chat software offers a host of advanced reporting metrics and analytics so administrators can make informed decisions about what’s working and what’s not.

2-18-16_analytics2This type of data is critical when evaluating the ROI of your live chat program and gives admins the necessary knowledge to optimize efforts. Perhaps a certain proactive rule has a low engagement rate and the wording needs to be tweaked, or a new chat agent is struggling and requires additional training. All of this and so much more will become apparent once you dig into the numbers and trends that emerge. These findings will result in actionable steps you can take to further improve your ROI.