Masterclass seven – A guide to integrating and communicating with web chat

Summary

Welcome to lesson seven of our omnichannel masterclass. If you missed the last article, you can view it here – omnichannel masterclass part six.

Web chat or live chat, is one of the most essential tools for your business. When it comes to integration, it should be a simple matter of copying in some code to your site, but there are, as with any channel, a few things to consider first.

Considerations

Branding

Can the web chat widget be customised to fit your specific brand guidelines?

Security

Does the provider offer robust security protocols to stop conversations being intercepted?

Context

Does the provider store information on customers and conversations in a centralised profile that teams can access for contextual conversations

Real-time conversations

Are the conversations happening in real-time so you can avoid missing valuable snippets of conversations, or customers all together, because of relying on incremental syncing?

Channel choice and offline access

Can your customers engage in chat with your agents using any channel, including SMS for an offline option?

For an effective web chat solution, the answers to all of these should be yes. But how does web chat help your business?

For you web site

Giving your customers access to live chat on your website makes a big difference. Not only are over three quarters of online shoppers reported as saying the absence of live chat has prevented them from making a sale, but live chat also increases conversions by 40% whilst simultaneously increasing the average value of each transaction. For a large ticket item, this is therefore a solution that could pay for itself with a single sale. The ability to reach out and speak to a member of your team when customers need it most means they can be cross-sold and upsold in the process, whilst gaining answers to customer support queries quickly means the difference between users buying a product or service from you, or your competitor. Users may also be trying to reach out to let you know about a site glitch such as a payment portal being down or a product not displaying correctly that is preventing them from purchasing. Not having chat with real-time functionality puts you at risk of losing thousands of sales whilst you are unaware of these issues.

For your app

We’ll explore more about in-app chat next in the series, but your live chat solution should extend to your app chat so that your customers can carry the context of their conversations on your site, over to your app seamlessly, remaining a known customer.

For your teams

You should be able to set up your live chat so that customers can either talk to you anonymously, authenticate their identity once, or authenticate for each conversation. This means that your teams can have a degree of confidence they are talking to the right user and able to discuss sensitive information appropriately. You chat solution should also store data centrally so that your agents can access it no matter which channel the customer comes in from – or which team, as your solution should also be able to funnel chats for you such as UK or US teams, or support or sales. Finally, your agents should also be able to have chats automatically allocated depending on their availability, but also easily transfer chats if a customer has come into the wrong team by mistake.