How To Successfully Onboard New Live Chat Agents

How To Create Superstar Agents

Your live chat software can have the fanciest bells and whistles – and trust us, there are some pretty darn cool chat features – but if you don’t have agents who can effectively communicate and use the tools at their fingertips, you’ll never harness the true power of live chat. live chat agent onboardingAs your most intimate connection to your customers, your chat agents (i.e. sales and support teams) are your most valuable conversion and retention assets. But as you grow your team, it’s not just about finding the right people to interact with your customers. Just like your website visitors, your live chat agents need nurturing and the right support system to bring positive results to your organization.

As a late stage startup entering a new growth phase (check out The Evolution of a Startup’s Employee Handbook), we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming several new team members recently. And just like many of our clients who are new to live chat, most of our new hires have no direct live chat operator experience. Here are some methods that our onboarding team employs to make sure our new sales and support team members get started on the path to success.

Tools Overview

It may sound obvious, but it’s important that you familiarize your chat agents with all of the Hub features and settings. A good starting point is to have them review SnapEngage’s Introduction to the Hub. But beyond this general overview, it’s more critical to demonstrate how your team uses each of the tools, as it pertains to your operations. For instance, be sure to review your list of shortcuts, or canned responses, with respect to each of the widgets that your new agent will be chatting in. Other particular use cases to consider reviewing include: how your team handles chat transfers, when to use guided browsing, secure data transfer procedures, and any other features that are pertinent to your chat team’s operations.

Review Chat Transcripts

We all know how time-intensive employee onboarding can be, especially when carried out concurrently with ongoing responsibilities. One way we keep our new live chat agents moving forward in the training process, even when we need to step away for a few, is to have them spend time reviewing chat transcripts. In addition to getting a feel for communication styles, these conversations give them a glimpse into the types of inquiries and issues that they can expect to be fielding.

Shadow Other Team Members

The best way to get new chat operators started with real visitor chats is to pair them up with an experienced chat agent. You can start by having them observe a live chat session, and when ready, send them a visitor chat to handle with instructional guidance from your chat agent right alongside them. We also recommend rotating your new agent around to shadow different team members so they can get a feel for different communication styles and begin to develop their own.

Start Small

One of the notable benefits of live chat communications is being able to help multiple customers simultaneously. The flip-side is that concurrent conversations (especially when of the technical variety) can quickly become overwhelming. We always advise that new agents begin by configuring their settings to only accept 1-2 chats at a time. This will not only build their comfort level with live chat, but will ensure that your visitors are receiving the attention they need.

max chats per agent

Stay Connected

As a chat-focused company (of course), our team relies on team chat as our primary method of communication. Team chat is especially helpful for new chat agents because it provides a direct lifeline to their team for assistance on topics that they may not yet be up-to-speed. You can even consider setting up specific team chat channels for relevant groups to limit the noise across team chats that may not be relevant to your new agent’s training.

For more tips on getting started with your SnapEngage agent account, check out our article How to Become a Super Star Agent.