It’s great to have choice when there are a multitude of suppliers for the product/service your business requires, however too much choice can start to complicate the process of deciding on a provider.
Here are 5 steps for consideration when selecting a live chat for web software supplier:
1) Choosing the Software/Provider
When deciding what live chat software to place on your website, the actual function of the live chat solution will be the same across all providers, live chat for web is designed to connect your visitors to your representatives via a chat button in real time.
Additional functionality may differ across providers, but be aware, there may be functionality that are named differently but do the same thing. For example, there is usually a feature to store answers to frequently asked questions. Some providers call these pre-defined replies, others, canned responses. Both provide the same result however some may include enhancements such as short cut keys or auto response.
The look of each solution will vary from one supplier to the next, with navigation and options being different.
How does a business choose?
Your company should identify requirements in terms of functionality and user friendliness, you can then begin to streamline what solutions are applicable. Once you have a list of potential solutions your business can further investigate its needs in a provider. A few things to consider:
- Where is the business based?
- Where is the data stored?
- What support is included in the cost?
- What times does support cover?
These questions should be asked along with any others your business requires. Your company will need to know where the provider is based so you can contact them during the same working hours, especially with support.
The worst scenario is that your organisation has a technical issue whilst experiencing high volumes of visitors, unfortunately due to the locations of both businesses, you will have to wait 5 hours before being able to contact the live chat supplier. Your company should also investigate what support is included in the chosen package; it would be a shock to find out that you have to pay extra for telephone support.
The other main question to ask and one of the most important is where is the data stored? With data protection regulations varying from one country to the next, it is ideal to choose a supplier that is in the same country to ensure both companies are complying with the same rules; alternatively your business should ensure that the country the data is being stored in has adequate protection.
Once a provider and solution has been chosen, your company will need to make other decisions surrounding the live chat:
2) Operator Scalability
Your business will need to decide how many operators will handle chats. The best way to analyse resourcing requirements, is by starting a free trial (offered by the majority of providers). During this time your company can identify the chat uptake, how your operators cope, and judge each individual’s workload limit enabling you to assign enough staff on a daily basis to handle the chats.
Your business also needs to select what hours the operators are going to be available, if you want the chat accessible for 24 hours, you need to consider whether you has the right resourcing to implement this, alternatively you can outsource the chats after hours to a managed service company.
3) Live Chat Goal
What is your motivation for adding live chat to your website? Your company needs to decide what the aim is with live chat and how you are going to achieve that?
For example a business with a goal of increasing sales should have the chat button available on every page; they can also use the proactive invitation functionality on the checkout page to help reduce abandonments.
Organisations that offer multiple types of advice and information on the website can choose to have live chat only available on certain pages. For example a local authority may only want to provide chat on the school admission pages or a healthcare organisation may only use it for the mental health section.
There is a lot of selection when it comes to customising the chat solution; the first question is whether or not your business is going to use a template button and windows, or whether you want to use your own branded ones.
Once that has been decided, you will need to select which colours are going to look good on the website. You can use the corporate colour for the chat to fit seamlessly with the rest of the page or use an alternative which will make the chat stand out from the website but still compliment your corporate branding.
The next decision surrounds the design and placement of the chat buttons and windows. A reputable provider will offer a choice of sticky or embedded buttons and pop up or embedded windows. Both can be used when applying the solution to every page of the website, however pop up windows are recommended if you are implementing on just a few pages.
Once these choices have been made there is one last consideration to take into account. Who is able to do the design work, someone within the organisation, a web developer/designer or the live chat company?
Your company will want to assess whether the sales or support and marketing live chat tools are having a positive effect on business; they will need to know what information they want to gather and whether they can get this easily from the solution they have selected.
Is there someone within the organisation who can analyse the data? By investigating the reports the company can ensure all operators are handling the chats correctly and in the most efficient manner, the analyst can then decide whether representatives requires further training or whether the pre-defined replies or the links in the automatic navigation etc. need reconfiguring to help improve the service that visitors are receiving.
Selecting a new provider and solution can be difficult when there is a lot of choice, the aim of this article was to give your company an idea about what questions should be asked when looking to implement live chat for web software.
If you have any other questions that you think a business should ask when investigating live chat, please leave your comments below.
Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK live chat for web provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.