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4 Must-Have Live Chat Features

Posted on 2.14.2016

With higher-than-average customer satisfaction levels and decreased cart abandonment rates, a live chat solution should be atop every retailer's technology list as those who engage with chat specialists report being happier with the results and are less likely to leave without buying.

Not all live chat solutions are created equal, of course, so Website Magazine put together a few must-have features to consider when retailers decide it's time to launch live chat support on their website.

1. Employee Motivation

End-users may not see how chat specialists are motivated by the live chat solution in use, but they will receive better service when employees are engaged and are incentivized to do better. Examples of employee motivation that live chat solutions provide are gamification elements such as leaderboards, points (to redeem for prizes) and badges. These motivators incentivize team members to log more hours, answer more chats, close more sales, compete with colleagues and the list goes on. Badges, points and top leaderboard spots should be redeemed for early access to a schedule, products, etc. LiveAgent, for example, offers a leaderboard for those who have collected the most badges, such as the "Cleaner" badge for resolving the most tickets.

2. Retailer-Agent Communication

Depending on the solution, some live chat agents are not actual employees of the retailers they represent. This means the live chat solution will need to have capabilities for the products provider to communicate with the agents such as a dashboard where updates (e.g., current promotions or problems) are addressed. Live chat agents always need access to the most current information about a retailer as they may be the first interaction a customer has with a brand.

3. Authentic Voice

Live chat works when the agent is authentic and informed. A live chat solution needs to provide training material for both retailers and customer support to encourage real-life conversations, not canned responses. That said, a list of FAQs should be available to the chat specialists, but perhaps points can be deducted for those agents using canned responses for a large percentage of their chats. Crocs, for example, uses Moxie Live Chat and the person responding was upbeat and authentic even when thrown a chat curveball.

4. Timing Tests

Just because live chat support is available doesn't mean every visitor wants to engage. A retailer should be able to test the timing of their chats to see what level of engagement and when is most effective. For instance, should live chat be deployed when a person starts to close the browser? Or should live chat be deployed only when a person clicks on it? These are the types of tests that the retailer should be empowered to run.

Chat On

There are plenty of studies to prove the effectiveness of offering live chat on a retail website, particularly those which are offering complex or luxury products. When a retailer is ready to take the jump, they should check out Website Magazine's "Big List of Live Chat Solutions."

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