Live chat is the most effective way to reach out to visitors of your website and also provide real-time support.
Still, the effectiveness of any live chat setup depends on several variables such as ease of use, training and — perhaps most importantly — consistency.
Just as with most things that require human intervention, some live chat agents perform better than others.
While there is nothing you can really do to make all agents perform at the same levels of efficiency or productivity, there are a few things that you do to at least ensure that your services are consistent in terms of procedures followed and expected practices.
Importance of Scripts
The most obvious way to provide consistent live chat support is to ensure that all of your agents are on the same page when it comes to greeting your visitors and addressing their needs.
The easiest way to ensure that your agents use appropriate greetings and language is to create a script.
A script is essentially a well-thought-out way of conveying information to visitors and customers of your website.
For instance, do you want your agents to be more formal when greeting visitors with a message like “Good Afternoon, welcome to our website. How may I assist you today?”? Or, do you want a less formal greeting like “Hi, how can I help you?”?
Scripts are not just for introductions, though, you can use them when pitching upgrades, memberships or purchases on your website.
Creating a script helps ensure that your agents mention the best aspects of your product or service and leave out irrelevant information.
Scripts can take some time to perfect, and may require changes or tweaks often and frequently.
If you’re having trouble producing an effective script, ask your top performing agents to chime and offer some ideas.
Use a script that replicates the success of your top agents to help others improve performance.
Shared Canned Messages and Links
Most live chat applications allow you to create canned messages and links that your agents can use to speed up replies and links sent to visitors on a regular basis.
Canned messages and links are one of the best features of an effective live chat application and can help increase efficiency and productivity considerably.
While canned messages and links can help speed up chat sessions, it’s also important that they convey a consistent tone among all your agents.
Better live chat applications allow you to create private and public canned messages.
Public canned messages are ones that managers or admins create and are accessible by all agents.
Private ones, on the other hand, are the ones that agents create themselves and which are not accessible by other users.
While private canned messages do help individual agents become more productive, public canned messages are much better for creating consistent messaging among your staff members.
For messages containing important details, such as sales pitches, using public canned messages can help ensure that all your agents touch the appropriate talking points during chats.
Training and Mock Support Sessions
Consistency in training is probably more important than anything else when it comes to preparing your agents to present the image you want to convey to your customers and visitors.
Consequently, using the same training materials and documents will go a long way in ensuring performance consistency among your agents.
Besides exposing your agents to the same or similar training methods, another very effective tool is mock support sessions.
Engaging with your agents one on one in mock chats, can help you get a first-hand feel how your staff members respond in certain situations and if they are using canned messages and links properly and according to your guidelines.
Recommended for you: 5 Tips on Training Your Live Chat Agents
Better live chat applications have a feature that makes evaluating your agents quick and simple – real-time monitoring.
With real-time monitoring you can watch any conversation you choose simply by selecting it in the chat console or dashboard (depending on the live chat application you use.)
Real-time monitoring allows you to view all messages sent between visitors and agents, and then late use the conversations in training or for evaluation purpose.
If you’re not using a live chat application that supports real-time monitoring, you definitely should consider switching to one that does.
The best part of real-time monitoring is that it is truly a real-time tool – well, in better live chat systems anyway.
With real-time monitoring, a manager or supervisor can monitor conversations without being noticed by the agent or the visitor.
If he/she notices a problem, he can contact the agent directly via operator-to-operator chat or join the chat directly and chat with both the agent and the visitor.
If you’re not using the post-chat survey feature to record agent ratings for conversations, you’re missing out on an incredibly valuable training and review tool.
Ratings are created by your customers and visitors themselves and allow you to gauge how agents are doing with regard how well they interact with your customers.
Ratings can help you determine who your best agents are as well as those who may need additional training.
Ratings also keep agents on their toes if scores are reviewed frequently by administrators or managers.
Ratings also help you determine which agents are the friendliest or have the best customer-relation skills so that you can reward them or use them as examples for others to follow.