If you are looking for a chat software to integrate into your website and searching it through search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo; you will come across many. And by many I mean a lot. But fortunately this also means there must be a live chat software for your business need that fit perfectly with your business software setup.
It is nowadays imperative to have a website whether your business has a physical store or not. On a physical store you can communicate with your customers face to face but if you have visitors online, on your website, who needs your attention – what about them?
Of course you can call them on their phones or send them emails to answer their queries or solve their issues. But, I want you to follow these Forrester stats for eye-opener:
- 73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing your business can do to provide them with good customer service.
- 51% of customers are more likely to stay or buy again from your business if you offer live chat support.
- And most interestingly if you are going to support your customers only by calling them, forget it now because 75% of survey respondents stated that they would prefer to use live online chat versus speaking with an agent over a phone call.
Customers nowadays want faster responses to their queries and you want to give them the best customer experience in order to make them your buyers. Sure, tools like Google analytics can give you a lot about your customers information it is not in real-time. Customers are very impatient these days and 90% of them want their questions to be answered within 10 minutes or less!
That is why it is now time to add a new channel to communicate with your users and customers and that is live chat. Live chat app will not only adds another dimension in customer experience but also it increases your sales by making your visitors into buyers.
Why selecting best live chat solution is right investment for your business?
Deliver an Omni channel experience:
Your customers can contact you from channels like social media, email, phone, ticketing etc. These are different customer touch points that should be interconnected with your live chat app for the seamless customer experience. Your chat agents recognizes your customers no matter when and how they reaches out for assistance. Omni channel experience reduces your customer’s pain points and omits inconsistencies in your customer support.
Boost your online conversations:
Having the right live chat app gives you an impression that your customers can get help when they need it. It can only not only boost your online conversations with agents but also can make the customers into buyers.
Provide real time customer service when needed the most:
Live chat software is a great tool for your customers to interact with your website in real-time. It is 100x faster than any other channels and 33% of consumers now expect to see live chat service offered on every website. As a result companies from major financial institutions to small eCommerce stores are now integrating right live chat programs on their website for live chat customer service and improve response times.
Engage your customers with collaborative tools like video chat, co-browsing:
If you analyse the latest trend in customer experience you will find out that your customers would like to interact with your website. It gives them a sense of reliability from your business as your live chat agents can assist on behalf of your customers using features like co-browsing, screen-sharing. Additionally your customers can personally engage with your agents in a video chat which fosters a sense of credibility between your agent and your customer.
Top features to look for selecting best live chat tool
What are the features you need in a live chat to meet your business needs? Fortunately, I have mentioned a wide array of functions a live chat system can do for your website. Here are the top features to look for in selecting best live chat tool:
1. Provide an Omni channel live chat experience
Most of business rely on Omni channel engagement to interact with their customers. Having a unified view of your customer communication helps to deliver right contextual support without moving across different tools.
Some of the popular channels are
- Live chat on website
- Facebook Messenger
- Social Media
- Messaging apps such as Viber, Telegram, WhatsApp etc
- In-app support
According to a study from Aberdeen Group, companies can retain 89% of their customers if they provide consistent service quality across multiple channels. On the other hand, retention rate is only 33% for companies who are not able to.
So, your best live chat app must be able to integrate all the other communication channels into the app. And provide a seamless, unified brand experience to the customers. Switching between multiple channels and asking the same question repeatedly to different agents can be frustrating and degrading in quality of customer service.
2. Video and Voice chat
One of the features that gives live chat software advantage over all the other channels is video and voice chat option. With these features customers can speak with your agents and can even see them. It gives your business a more reliable appearance into your customers mind as it is more personally engaging.
For example, if you own an eCommerce store and one of your customers has to pay a large amount of money, hence, he/she wants to talk with your agents over a voice or video chat. It will give them a sense of reliability doing business with you and also it will foster a sense of credibility between your customers and your business.
3. Co-browsing and Screen Sharing
According to Forrester’s Survey, co-browsing results in much higher customer satisfaction (approx. 78%) than phone (74%) or other helps. Co-browsing helps you deliver a more engaging customer experience which is fast, unique and personal. Your best live chat solution should have features like co-browsing in order to increase conversion rates and revenue.
Companies today are always seeking better way to amaze their customers to make sure they gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. Co-browsing solution is one such technology and its benefits are as following:
- Increase revenue – Most of the times customers accept co-browsing from agents while they are purchasing stuffs and got confused. Your live chat agents guide these customers in the buying process and make sure customers buy. It increases your conversion rate as well as your revenue.
- Increase customer satisfaction – Customers are now impatient and they want to have their problems fixed within minutes. A study from LivePerson said that 71% of online customers expect to answer their replies within 5 minutes. Companies can leverage co-browsing feature in order to meet with customers demand and increase customer satisfaction as a result.
- Increase agent productivity – One of co-browsing many benefits is it increases agent productivity by reducing their call-handling time. Live chat agents find it much easier to provide assistance to their customers as he/she can get a real-time look at customers screen.
- Increase repeat business – with the co-browsing feature on in your live chat solution, you can expect better customer experience, hence returning customers. As a result you see improvements in your business performance.
allows your agent to guide customers in real-time within a live chat session. It lets your customers share their screens for agents to provide the support they need. Screen sharing has many benefits. Couple of them are mentioned here:
- Remote support – Your live chat agents can see your customers desktop screen with just matter of a click. This gives your agent a better understanding on the things your customers want attention & it is happening real-time remotely.
- Walk-through your website – Screen sharing ability is vital when your customers need guided walk-through on your website. Your agents can take them on a virtual website tour which can save a lot of time and energy and resolve the matter more efficiently.
4. Faster live chat experience
Before live chat solutions troubleshooting a customer’s issue could take hours even days. Think of a situation where your anxious customers have to call one of your agents to describe their problems. They have to go through various steps to reach to the agent and even then they have to represent the problem in a way so that the agent can understand and take steps.
This was about phone calls and I am not wasting your time explaining how long it takes support through email system.
These are the main reasons business owners nowadays are adopting live chat solutions. Because it has the ability to provide your customers faster, real-time support with just a click of a button. The maximum wait time here is 30 seconds, even less than that if you are really into giving the best customer experience.
5. Customize Live Chat Widget for Branding
One of the features for being called the best live chat system is having customization option. It is a very important brand touch-point for your business as customers would like to talk with their known brands.
You have worked so hard for maintaining your brand consistency with all the channels. You should do the same in terms of your live chat widget as well. It will not only give a better customer experience but also make it more professional among your customers.
6. Auto Triggers to Engage Visitors at Right Time
Auto triggers are smart triggers your want to see in a live chat in order to start a proactive chat with your recurring website visitors. With auto triggers feature you can automatically request your website visitors to initiate a chat by sending them customized messages.
Some example of customized auto-triggers are given below:
- Someone coming from Google searching for certain keywords like best live chat for website.
- The website visitor who is visiting a specific page, in most cases add to cart or payment confirmation page.
- The visitor has spent a certain amount of times, say for example 90 seconds.
- The customers are coming from a referred website.
7. Intelligent Routing
Advanced routing rules help to deliver right customer experience and team performance without compromising on your business KPIs. This is very important because during on-peak hours when the load is typically high they can assist the customers to talk with the right agent to get the appropriate and prompt responses.
You can route the chats to the respective agents by some of following ways
- Broadcast to all agents at same time
- Create departments based on your business and route them to specific teams
- Use time based routing to engage agents which are idle for longer time
8. Manage Your Chats Efficiently with Tags
With your live chat tool you can manage your chats efficiently by creating tags. These tags are words to help you find common questions asked by your customers. Tags also help you to route the customer to the appropriate department.
Suppose, one of your customers types in billing and you have a tag called billing. So you know he want to know about the billing information and you can answer his-her queries accordingly and well-prepared or just reroute him to the billing department.
9. Advanced Visitor Analytics
One of the essential features so you can accumulate crucial data such as visitor details, average time spent on chat sessions, chat histories, conversion tracking etc. Also, analytics integration in the best live chat programs enables you to find out which sales were assisted by chat.
10. Reporting on Your Team or Agent Performance
You want to always look for improved ways to satisfy your customers needs. Live chat solution’s reporting system lets you track your operators activities, collect essential data for determining areas to improve and set effective strategies.
11. Integrate with Your Mobile Apps
According to a report, 62% of customers visit your website on a mobile device. For more than half of your customers you must integrate your live chat solution with mobile apps. One of the benefits of mobile app integration is you can monitor your customers on the go.
12. Customer Satisfaction Ratings
To improve your customer satisfaction you must know if your customers are truly satisfied, hence introduce a rating system. Your customers should be able to rate their conversations with your live chat agents. It will benefit you in a couple of ways:
- From your customers feedback you will know the quality of the support and
- You can identify the areas to be improved to give better customer experience.
13. Offline Messaging Options
Offline message helps your website visitors to learn about your agents availability. You can leverage the situation by writing a great copy as offline message for your customers. And ask for information like name, email, phone number for further communication when your agents are back.
14. Mobile Ready
As we have mentioned earlier that how many of your customers are using mobile devices to access to your website for support (by the way, its 62%). You must be able to support these huge numbers of customers by using a mobile-ready live chat system to cater your users needs across all the available platforms. It is nowadays valuable to having a native app on Android & iOS.
15. Let Your Visitors Know about Waiting Time
Queue time is a feature available in the best chat programs to give your customers a close approximation of the time during high volume of chat requests. That they have to wait before initiating a live chat communication with your agents.
Keeping them on a hold for indefinite amount of time will not only hurt your customer satisfaction level but also you may loss a potential conversion.
16. Manage Agents Performance with Concurrent Chats
Your live chat agents should be well-trained before troubleshooting customers problem. You can set a concurrent chat limit for your agents to deliver quality chat experience and manage agents time effectively and efficiently.
17. Eye Catchers for Special Occasions
You will notice there is a hello bar over a chat widget. That is called eye catcher. Your live chat should have proper customization to greet your customers during special occasions using eye catchers creatively.
Before jumping into live chat bandwagon you must inquire with the vendors. Whether they have active firewall, data backup, infrastructures, privacy policies. Security should be on top of your watch list before purchasing a live chat solution to prevent your data from breached and hacked by cyber attackers.
19. System Performance
One of the important criteria to choose best live chat is its reliability and up-time performance. As a guideline, you should look for live chat solution which at least gives 99.95% up-time and does not deteriorate your system availability
Being a critical business function, if the app is down you will see an decline your customer experience level which will affect your brand and revenue.
20. Cloud or On-premise Deployment
Last but not least, you need to decide whether the live chat software will be cloud hosted or installed on-premise. But before you choose one, you must understand the differences between these two. The cloud hosted software mainly resides on a third party server. The on premise one will be on a dedicated server maintained by your own company’s IT department.
But probably you will prefer the cloud-hosted one as its more user friendly, hassle free, can be accessed from anywhere. And much more flexible as compared to on premise software. It all depends on your business type, for example if you want to keep all our data and information within your own infrastructure then you can opt for on premise solution. So first decide what you actually need.
Before selecting the best live chat solution for your business, you should outline your business objectives. Hence using live chat and the top criteria to judge its performance.
An Omni channel live chat solution gives your a unified view of your customer conversations with actionable insights. Looking for the cheapest or free solution may not be always a best choice for your business and would hamper your customer expectations.