Where Companies Are Succeeding and Failing with Online Support – Chats

Where Companies Are Succeeding and Failing with Online Support – Chats

Chats are hot right now and there are countless options to integrate a chat into your online support environment. You can use it to support customers thinking about buying a product or after they’ve bought. Chat is nothing new, but it’s becoming easier and easier to have one on a website or within an app and get it up quickly. At this point, they’re an expected part of your support environment.

Lesson 2 – Before Adding a Chat, Understand the Impact and Requirements

We’re seeing people run into the same problems when they don’t understand what the impact of having a chat is and the requirements of having one. The impact of having a chat is that you’re going to have a very easy way for people to ask you things. When they ask you things, they’re going to expect an almost immediate response. They’re also going to expect to be able to communicate with you any time that chat’s available on any day. In addition to getting a response, they’re also going to expect to talk to someone who has an answer to their question. Seems obvious, right?

We’ve spoken to many companies who set up a chat and were overwhelmed with the volume of communication. Some dropped the chat altogether because the impact resulted in worse customer support because the company wasn’t meeting expectations. Some of these chat offerings can also become very expensive. If you’re not doing it well, it’s painful from numerous aspects. However, there are many companies who do chats well. How do they do it? They understand the requirements before they implement the chat or adjust quickly.

The requirements for having a successful chat involve a few components. You need to have people available to man the chats. Not only do they need to be available, but they have to be trained and knowledgeable enough to help people. You also should have the time and expertise to get the most out of the chat tool. This might involve automated messages, messaging based on the page or location, feeding data into other tools or parts of the chat company’s offering, and figure out what to do when you can’t solve someone’s problem in a chat.

You might need to factor in time to do more than just chatting with chats. Besides setting up the tool, you can use them for marketing, analytics, message automation, and other things that may be important to you.

Here are some other things you can do to be successful with the chat part of your support infrastructure:
  • Install chat in places where you want to solve people’s problems with chat. As mentioned in the first blog post, you want people asking the right questions through chat. So install it where they’re trying to answer those questions. A pricing page is a good, common location for a chat.
  • Get the right person to be dedicated to working the chat if you don’t have a full-time team handling this. Not everyone is skilled enough or has the right personality for this.
  • Chat companies want to upsell you like every other company. Focus on what’s important for your chat in the context of your overall support goals and nail that. After you’re rocking with that, you can check out their other, cool-looking add-ons.
  • Plan how you want to route people from a chat to another part of your support environment like your documentation or a support ticket if that’s a better place for them.

In the next couple posts, we’ll share what we’re hearing about companies’ successes and failures in the knowledge base or documentation and support ticket areas.

To learn more about what we’re doing to help, check out this demo.