When incorporating live chat into your customer service programme, there are a few best practises to keep in mind.
It’s critical to hire the proper live chat customer care agent to give customers a positive experience.
Best practices in chat support
If your business is making the effort to understand what customer is looking for and to align your services with their expectations it is better to follow live chat best practices. It will have an impact on your business in raising the communication standards across all customer touchpoints.
We have categorized best practices for an online chat for agents and as managers.
Live chat support best practices (for managers)
The customer service managers should emphasize using proactive live chat to map the customer journey.
The live chat window should match your brand messaging. Your web chat system should be easy-to-use and fully responsive across all devices.
Use pre-chat forms wisely as for every form field you add to a pre-chat form, you can reduce web chat traffic by 5-10%.
The use of proactive live chat to map the customer journey should be emphasised by customer service managers.
The brand messaging should be reflected in the live chat window. Your web chat system should be simple to use and responsive on all platforms.
Pre-chat forms should be used cautiously, as each form field added to a pre-chat form can reduce online chat traffic by 5-10%.
Live chat support best practices (for agents)
Prepare canned responses to help with resolution by providing quicker and more accurate responses.
Getting feedback after each interaction can help you figure out how satisfied you are.
To improve response time, set up routing rules to ensure that all discussions are directed to the appropriate team.
Outline the main KPIs and indicators that will aid in the streamlining of client interactions and the growth of agent efficiency.
Effective communication abilities include a live chat etiquette that allows clients to communicate their issues and a positive tone that makes them feel valued.
Delivering speedier live chat assistance necessitates immediate responses, proper product expertise, and agent training.
How to hire chat support?
Before getting into the topic, let us see some of the statistics on live chat, 79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive impact on their sales, revenue, and customer loyalty. 38% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support. It is clear from these statistics that live chat plays a key role in the consumer purchase process.
Live chat is a proven method in retaining your existing customers.51% of consumers say they’re more likely to stick with or buy again from a company that offers live chat.73% of customers opined that live chat has the highest customer satisfaction rate compared to traditional support channels like email and phone.
We know by now that live chat is crucial to any business and doing it the right way fetch you, customers. But doing it right is easy said than done. Now let us check on practical tips and tricks to help you hire the best chat agents for your company.
Tips for hiring live chat agents for your business
1. Determine your needs
Having a clear picture of the level of support you intend to provide to your customers plays an essential role in the hiring process of chat agents. To figure out what your company’s needs are when looking to hire a chat agent, consider and answer the following questions:
How many hours of help do you need to provide? Some businesses want to hire live chat agents who work during regular business hours, while others prefer to provide 24/7 chat assistance or work across time zones.
How many chat tickets do you anticipate receiving? Do you have a continuous customer service wait or do you predict a small number of tickets? Calculate how many hours you presently spend on chat requests to see how much help you require.
Will your representatives exclusively provide support via live chat? Also, how about asynchronous messaging? Both alternatives have advantages and disadvantages, and the greatest fit for you is determined by your company’s demands. Asynchronous messaging acts more like email, however live chat support will demand faster response times.
Will your agents be able to assist one or more clients? This can assist you figure out how many chat agents you’ll need and whether or not they should specialise in a particular industry.
Will you provide live chat on social networking sites? While some businesses only offer live chat on their websites, others provide support via Facebook Messenger and Twitter direct messages.
Incorrectly assessing your customer service requirements might result in dissatisfaction and even revenue loss.
2. Define the role and skills needed
Defining the salient features of the role and the skill set to fulfil the job role should be neatly identified. This can be done by doing job task analysis to understand which hard and soft skills and competencies your agents need to have to provide great chat experiences.
Live chat agents, for example, must be adept at multitasking, problem-solving, and working under pressure in order to excel in their position. These abilities are necessary since chat operators are frequently needed to execute numerous tasks at once (reading, typing, looking for information, etc.).
They should also be able to write, type, and navigate a computer to guarantee they’re tech-savvy enough to use the appropriate technologies, switch between displays, and more in a timely manner. Customer service skills and attentiveness, of course, are critical for giving great experiences and developing strong consumer relationships.
Each of the aforementioned skill sets come into action when interacting with customers to provide top-notch support. Design your job description based on the above-mentioned skill set that will accurately reflect the role.
3. Assess your applicants
Skill sets for chat agents have been defined clearly by now, the next process is to assess them. You can select the right assessment to validate the skill of your candidates. Pre-employment assessments will screen the candidates and filter only the candidates who possess the necessary skill set.
A cognitive ability test, for example, will allow you to measure perceptual quickness and accuracy, which is a predictor of success in vocations that demand information ordering, sorting, and verification. This type of test assesses how well applicants perform under pressure while working on somewhat novel activities. It is extremely pertinent to the function of a live chat agent, which demands quickly resolving a variety of consumer difficulties.
Logical thinking is another cognitive capacity to evaluate, as it can assist predict success in jobs that demand complicated problem-solving and decision-making. The capacity to perceive patterns, draw visual comparisons, spot irregularities, and examine significant information is measured in logical reasoning tests.
You can assess more than cognitive ability while deciding which chat agents to recruit. You can also test a variety of other vital abilities, such as typing, multitasking, and language fluency, that are required for the chat agent profession.
4. Conduct a live chat simulation assessment
Most live chat agents are tested for their ability of “ concurrency” or their ability to handle multiple conversations at a time without compromising on quality. Quality is important because 95% of customers opine that they value high-quality support more than they value speed. An efficient assessment tool to check this ability is live chat simulation assessment, you provide an engaging and interactive candidate experience that helps you determine whether the person in question can handle the pressure of the job.
Candidates’ capacity to handle multiple chat discussions in real time is assessed through live chat simulations. During this type of test, candidates are presented with a variety of actual customer service questions and judged on their ability to respond appropriately and effectively in a timely manner.
Introducing such simulations in real-time to your candidate you are notifying the candidate about your expectations about the live chat agent role at your organization and allows them to verify if they are a good fit, by which the candidate drops or takes up the offer. This will enable your organization to stop employee attrition.
5. Arrange a trial shift
Arranging a trial shift is a great way to evaluate candidates by the organization as well as the candidate themselves. Let your candidate handle a couple of chats and analyse their performance. This will allow candidates to manage their expectations before making the final decision.
If you decide to schedule a trial shift, make sure you agree on the terms ahead of time. Will it be a whole trial day or only a couple of hours, for example? Will you compensate applicants for the trial regardless of whether or not they are hired? If so, how much are you willing to pay? (Paying applicants for their time during a trial shift is usually a good idea!) Before starting a job trial, make these arrangements ahead of time and make sure they’re clear to your prospects.
6. Onboard with care
People become experts with experience, so hiring doesn’t end the road map to success. Effective onboarding is critical for ensuring your chat agents are well-equipped with the knowledge and training they need to do the job successfully.
Regular check-ins on new agents need to be arranged, checking if they have all training materials which are always accessible and they know whom to contact when in a crisis in resolving the customer query ‒‒ it is more relevant if you are boarding them remotely. Build a database of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and the appropriate responses to make it easy for new agents to find what they’re looking for.
Assisting the new chat agents in their first live chat sessions and giving them feedback on their work and tips to help them succeed in the role. For example, if you observe their first live chat sessions and recognize that they’re struggling with finding the right information while also talking to customers, you can share helpful shortcuts that make it easier to work efficiently.