Keep Calm and Chat On
A 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.
Make sure you and your visitor are on the same page.
The most important first step with any incoming chat is quickly getting to the root of the question or issue. Visitors might use different terms and expressions, especially when dealing with questions of a more technical nature, and starting conversations with misunderstandings can lead you down the wrong path of investigation. Therefore before addressing the question or troubleshooting the issue, always make sure that you have a clear understanding of the inquiry. This can save you precious time when handling multiple chats. Also remember to use every chat interaction as an opportunity to familiarize your visitors with your product or service’s terminology to make future communications even more efficient.
Try to minimize chat durations.
Keeping chats short, while of course addressing your visitors’ questions and issues, not only delivers a better customer experience, but also frees you up to receive more incoming chats. That’s not to say that there’s no time for small talk. In fact, we always recommend using some friendly conversation (and possibly some well-placed emojis) to forge a human connection with your visitors. But it’s important to also be respectful of your visitors’ time and work to address their inquiries as quickly as possible. Once you have completely and adequately addressed the topics at hand, and it’s clear that you’ve both said your goodbyes, go ahead and close the chat manually, rather than waiting for the chat to idle out on its own. Be sure to let your visitors know that you are closing the chat, and feel free to instruct them to start a new chat with any further questions.
Learn your shortcuts.
Shortcuts, or canned messages, are particularly valuable during busy chat times. Every keystroke saved is an opportunity to assist more visitors (and retain your sanity). Familiarizing yourself with your library of shortcuts will help you access them more quickly and balance simultaneous chats more efficiently. And remember, you can always view a complete list of your shortcuts in the Chat Portal by clicking the dots and lines adjacent to your text entry field. Ongoing optimization of shortcuts is highly advised. Brainstorm with your team to flesh out commonly used responses and consider adding short-term, relevant shortcuts to address seasonality, events, product launches, etc. For more tips on effective shortcuts, check out 15 Live Chat Shortcuts Your Team Needs Now.
Adjust agent chat limits (when ready).
SnapEngage settings allow you to set the maximum number of chats each agent can handle at any given time. This can be configured for each agent individually, based on varying proficiency and comfort levels. Seasoned agents can typically handle more concurrent conversations with ease, while newer agents and team members who occasionally help out on chat might set their chat limits lower in order to deliver better customer support. If you are expecting an increase in chat volume and you are well prepared to assist those visitors, let your admin know that you are ready to ramp up the amount of chats that are routed to you.
Stay informed about upcoming events and promotions.
Beyond the world of live chat, it’s important that every organization has the appropriate communication channels in place to ensure that all team members are well informed about upcoming events, releases, special offers, etc. For live chat agents who serve as the front line for incoming inquiries, this is particularly crucial. If you are expecting an increase in website traffic and visitor chats surrounding specific events, be sure to prepare ahead of time with appropriate staffing and chat settings so your team is equipped to optimize engagement and conversion opportunities.
Have reinforcements on standby.
If your dedicated support team is simply not enough to handle a busy rush of incoming chat volume, have trained staff available to jump in when necessary. For increased efficiency, take advantage of SnapEngage’s agent priority tiers which allow you to establish advanced chat routing rules based on agent availability and pre-configured tier levels. (Feature available on Plus Plan and higher.)
More coffee please.
Last but not least, treat yourself to some good coffee (or your other favorite delight) and enjoy your visitor interactions! Never forget that every chat is a human conversation that should be based on mutual respect and a genuine willingness to help each other. We are not all born as super star agents, but we most certainly can become one!