live chat

By Sophia Anderson

Live chats have become an essential feature when it comes to e-commerce websites. Statistics show that 79 percent of customers prefer a live chat than any other method of communication. Furthermore, live chat implementation provides 2.4 times greater annual up-sale and 2.6 times lesser customer care costs. Overall, live chat helps entrepreneurs establish a faster, more reliable communication with their customers, build trust, and gain competitive advantage, which results in higher revenue and improved user experience.

Essentially, live chats are add-ons that you can get for free or buy for a certain amount of money. Every live chat offers its own set of features so it’s very important to decide which solution works best for you and your customers. This article will give you a hint on some of the most important features a live chat should offer.

1. Live chat compatibility and integration options

As a business owner, you have to make sure there are no barriers between your customers and your enterprise. Make sure that your live chat is compatible with every possible OS and device type. Before you launch a live chat test it for compatibility issues. The more operating systems and devices your live chat supports, the more leverage you will have over your competitors.

2. Ticket creation and management

This feature allows your customers to contact support during the off-hours. The customer can fill out a form and the ticket would go to your support agent via email. The best live chat solutions offer auto follow-up message so that customers would know their request is being processed.

3. Support and agent ratings

Allowing your customers to rate the quality of your support service allows you to improve your customer care and identify which areas need improvement. It’s also a good source of motivation for support agents to give their best when addressing the clients.

4. Proactive chats

This feature enables agents to initiate a chat with customers via short invitation text message or a popup chat window. Some studies show that 44 percent of customers need real-time help while shopping, so engaging them in communication can be of extreme benefit for both parties.

5. Chat transfer

It’s a good practice to set different customer support departments so each agent knows their job. However, customers won’t always address their issue with the right department. Chat transfer feature allows agents to transfer the chat to another department without having the customers repeat themselves each time they get transferred to another agent.

6. Chat tags and keywords

This feature directly influences user experience improvement. It allows you to group and categorize your chat content, which enables you to understand your customers and their concerns.

“The process is rather simple, you set a tag or keyword for a certain topic (i.e. bugs, complaints, etc.) and tag each chat or ticket accordingly. In the long run, you will be able to identify common issues or questions so you could improve your product or service,” says Tim Jones, a technical manager at EduGeeksClub.

7. Real-time typing view

How quickly your customer support addresses an issue is of paramount importance for your customers. Clients don’t want to spend too much time chatting and waiting for a response, so having a quick solution delivered to them can make all the difference. With real-time typing view feature, your support agents are able to see what clients are typing even before they hit “send”. This enables them to prepare an answer and deliver it just after the client sends the message. It also allows the agent to be more efficient and serve more clients in less time.

8. Screen capture and file sharing

More often than not, clients will have trouble explaining their exact issue. Not everyone is able to identify exactly what their issue is and this is why it’s important to have screen capture and file sharing feature. It enables your agents to receive a screenshot or a different type of a file that could enable them to identify the client’s issue and provide assistance.

9. Knowledgebase

This feature saves agents time they would otherwise spend typing repetitive answers. It allows you to create a set of answers for common issues that agents could send to clients. Combined with Real-time typing view it allows agents to solve client’s issue all but instantly.

10. Visitors intelligence

You could learn a lot from your customers and this feature allows you just that. It keeps track of clients’ behavior, which portions of the site they visited, where they spend the most of their time, but also provides their location, previous concerns, etc.

11. Multi-language support

This feature allows you to overcome the language barrier, something that phone customer service can hardly compete with. As an online business, you should think international and support those clients that can’t speak or write English.

12. Customization

Live chat should look just the way you want it and follow the design of your website. This feature allows you to move things around, change themes, chat backgrounds, add company logo, agent profile, social media buttons, etc. The more customization options, the better.

The list of features we presented here is not carved in stone. Depending on the type of your business some of these features could hold more value than others. What is important is that you identify which features work best for your website and the needs of your customers.

Sophia Anderson is a professional content writer and a marketing blogger who is keen on exploring new trends in digital and content marketing and putting them into practice. When out of hours she is looking for her voice as a novelist and completing an online course on e-commerce. Feel free to get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Live chat stock photo by wutzkohphoto/Shutterstock