How to Use Live Chat in Your Contact Center

Live Chat Strategies for Contact Center

In the 70s and 80s, call centers were treated as a sales tool by large enterprises where agents would call up the consumer to sell a product. Later on, their toll-free number ‘800’ enabled consumers to get in touch with a business and ask questions related to one of the marketing campaigns they came across.

This trend of call centers for chat support shifted to contact centers for chat support when internet usage became quite popular. Contrary to expectations, businesses had to adjust their process according to the advent of the internet and accommodate emails along with primary call support.

And that’s not the only change businesses had to accommodate while running a contact center for chat support.

As SaaS-based tools gained more popularity for their speed and better management features, businesses had to rethink support strategies. That’s when they brought in tools like live chat for the contact center along with their existing email and phone support. Businesses understood the growing importance of live chat in customer service and how it can help them overcome existing contact center challenges.

Keeping that in mind, we’ll be covering various challenges you may face at the contact center, why you need a live chat, and 11 different live chat strategies for the contact center to help you offer a smooth support experience to customers.

Challenges Faced by Contact Centers

Contact centers had to face a lot of criticism even after their shift from call centers.

That’s because customers faced a lot of challenges while reaching out for support through these centers.

  • They had to wait in queues while listening to that automated message “We appreciate your patience, please stay on hold”.
  • Sometimes customers even came across hassled agents who ended up being a little rude while trying to resolve a complaint about them.
  • They even complained about language barriers when connecting for support during calls.

All these challenges played a pivotal role in lowering a customer’s faith and loyalty in the brand. What’s more, customer retention was becoming even harder for companies who thrived on contact center support.

That’s not all. While customers had to face these challenges when reaching out for support, agents had their own set of problems that needed immediate attention as well. Agents weren’t happy with the working conditions and the management system. They were asked to complete a call quota every day.

Due to these work standards, agents always felt tired and ended up making the customer feel uncared for.

In a nutshell, contact centers were failing at creating a quality customer service experience which otherwise, could have led to more satisfied customers and better retention.

Why Contact Centers Need Live Chat

Why Contact Centers Need Live Chat

For contact centers, it’s like “the need for speed”.

After facing a bad reputation for so long, it is important for contact centers to incorporate the use of a tool that helps them overcome their challenges. And live chat software is one of them.

Here’s how the use of live chat for contact centers can be beneficial.

For Customers

1. They get to connect with a brand faster with the use of live chat for a call centers.

2. They get a faster resolution to their problems in comparison to regular call support.

3. They can multitask while getting support via live chat software for contact centers. In fact, 51% of customers prefer to use live chat support for multitasking purposes.

For Agents

1. They can track customer activity on the website in real-time and even approach them proactively at strategic moments to offer support with live chat in the contact center.

2. They can manage multiple chats at the same time to avoid long support queues.

3. They can interpret common customer challenges and suggest a solution faster by adding chat to your call center.

4. They can reduce response time efficiently with the use of features like canned responses and chat routing.

5. They can avoid the possibility of missing out on support opportunities even when they aren’t sitting at their desks. That’s because many live chat solutions such as ProProfs Chat support mobile applications too.

For Companies

1. You get to increase customer satisfaction with instant live chat support that leads to better retention.

2. You get to cut down support costs as one agent can manage multiple chats at the same time by adding live chat to your contact center.

3. You get to increase your leads and boost conversions for the business by using live chat in strategic moments during a customer’s journey on your website.

11 Strategies to Use Live Chat in Contact Center

With such amazing benefits, it’s all the more clear why contact centers should incorporate the use of live chat for the support process. Now let’s explore different strategies for using live chat in your contact center.

1. Capture Customer Data Before Initiating a Chat

At the contact center, agents are always advised to hear customers out before offering any solution. That’s because it’s the only way for them to understand if the customer is irate, still in the decision-making process, or confused. More than that, you get to understand the customer persona and why they chose your services in the first place by using live chat in your contact center.

Capture customer data using live chat in contact center

But with live chat for the contact center in place, you don’t have to wait to collect data like:

  • How did they come across your services?
  • Which products did they find intriguing?
  • How long did they spend on each page?
  • Did they interact with your brand before this?
  • Where do they belong?

The list of information collected via live chat can go on, but understand that this data helps your agents prepare for the chat with customers even before initiating it. Besides the visitor monitoring window, you also get to capture visitor details via features like pre-chat form before the chat begins.

Pre-chat forms

2. Identify Common Customer Service Challenges

Help your agents at the contact center to identify common customer service challenges with the use of live chat.

But the question is, how do you do that?

Since automation allows many industries to optimize their processes, this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. It’s not just about finding a tool but finding the right one and implementing it in your team. It is for this reason that you need to carefully select features in a live chat tool you choose.

Agents can always check out the chat transcripts and history to track down common challenges faced by customers and improve call center customer satisfaction with live chat. What’s more, if you integrate your live chat with a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Salesforce, it’ll be easier to store them for future references too.

That means they can always go back to a case and see how it was resolved by another support agent and offer the same solution to the customer during an ongoing chat.

Integrate Knowledge Base to Live Chat

You can even create a knowledge repository for commonly asked questions and integrate it with your live chat solution. Once integrated, your customers will get the option to use the search bar to look for answers themselves. This not only reduces resolution time but also improves your potential at offering first contact resolution with the use of live chat in the contact center.


Read More: Benefits of Live Chat & Knowledge Base Integration


3. Maintain & Store Chat Transcripts

There is another reason for your business to maintain chat transcripts besides identifying common customer challenges. They are a vital source of information that live can help your business understand how customer journey shapes your website and their mindset.

Transcripts can help you identify the reasons that encouraged your customers to initiate a chat with your agent in the first place. You reach the root cause of their problem and work towards providing a solution faster by implementing live chat in the contact center.

You can even use transcripts to train your agents and help them understand how they should interact with customers in different situations.

4. Create a Unified Conversational Experience

To create a unified conversational experience at your contact center, it is important to have a live chat that integrates with multiple platforms at the same time.

live chat integrations

Live chat solutions like ProProfs Chat help you integrate with multiple platforms at the same time. This integration system enables your contact center agents to create a conversational experience for all your customers.

That means you can:

  • Integrate a knowledge base with your chat to display relevant articles in the chat widget
  • Connect a help desk to convert missed chats into tickets that agents can go back to later
  • Integrate a survey maker to capture more details about your qualified leads
  • Integrate a CRM to store captured leads automatically that can later be used for marketing campaigns

In short, if your live chat helps you integrate with multiple platforms, then it is easier for your agents to create a conversational experience for customers.

5. Send Surveys via Chat to Improve the Customer Experience

Live chat also enables you to capture customer feedback once a conversation comes to an end via the post-chat form. That means you can instantly learn whether your agents were able to create a good experience for your customers or not.

Post-chat survey for customer feedback in live chat

Capturing instant feedback can help your agents to improve the experience for customers in upcoming conversations. Besides that, agents and admins at your contact center can easily identify knowledge gaps and those in the customer support process by integrating live chat in the contact center.

A few live chat options even generate detailed operator rating reports that help you spot your star performers and identify agents who would need the training to improve their support skills.


Read More: How to Get Customer Feedback Using Live Chat


6. Route Chats to Right Department & Offer Instant Resolution

No doubt that live chat helps you manage multiple chats at the same time, but you need to make sure that no agent reaches the point of burnout. Live chat solutions like ProProfs Chat help you set up rules and conditions that distribute the chat workload evenly among all agents. You can also set up routing rules based on an agent’s efficiency, which means they’ll receive the number of chats they can handle easily.

Live chat routing

The chat routing feature also helps you direct your customers to the right department. As one of the best live chat strategies for contact centers, it helps customers interact with an agent who specializes in the matter they’d like to have a solution for. And this practice of routing customers to the right department results in faster resolution and customer satisfaction.

7. Improve Engagement with Proactive Chat Support

One of the precedents contact centers need to overcome is failing to offer instant support to customers. Fortunately, live chat is the much-needed solution for this problem.

You can enable your agents to offer instant proactive support to customers and boost brand engagement at the same time using a live chat.

Live chat gives your agents the option to initiate a chat with a website visitor. They can first monitor their browsing patterns on the website and accordingly initiate a chat at strategic moments like before the visitor leaves the website or has been on a page for too long.

proactive live chat window

Proactive chat support helps you:

  • Understand your visitors and their intent for choosing your website
  • Help visitors in case they’ve been stuck on a page for long which results in an unexpected memorable experience
  • Connect with visitors on an emotional level as they see you making an effort to help them before they could approach you for support

8. Offer Alternative Support Option When Chat is Unstaffed

What happens if your chat operators aren’t online yet?

Are you willing to let go of customers who may need immediate assistance?

Well, no business would like to let go of their customers like that and would ensure to come up with an alternative solution when chat is unstaffed.

Your contact center needs to be updated with the right set of tools that help your customers find a solution faster. And while live chat helps you do that efficiently, you need to integrate it with the right support tools that help you harness its power for your business.

You can start by integrating it into knowledge base software.

With knowledge base integration with your live chat, you can attain benefits like:

  • Reduce Chat tickets as visitors will find relevant knowledge base articles in the chat widget
  • To offer support before a visitor initiates a chat with your agents
  • Users can find answers to frequently asked questions 24/7 which means your visitors leave satisfied
  • User can still connect with the operator if you have integrated live chat with a knowledge base

Whereas, if you integrate the live chat with help desk software, you can:

  • Never miss out on potential leads for your business as features like offline messages help you store lead data that can later be approached by your agents
  • Escalate a chat to a ticket in case it may take more time for your backend teams to resolve an issue

In a nutshell, integrating your live chat with another support tool can help you improve support even when your chat is unstaffed.

9. Track Agent Efficiency Regularly

You can monitor your chat agent’s performance and help them become better at offering support to customers with in-depth live chat reports.

With access to in-depth live chat reports, you’ll get to understand:

  • How many hours have your agents spent offering support to customers?
  • How many chats have they attended in a day, week, or month?
  • How many chats have they resolved in a day, week, or month?
  • How many chats have they missed?
  • What’s the overall rating of each agent at your contact center?
  • What feedback have your agents received from customers once chat support was completed?

In short, you get to track a lot of metrics and factors that can help you understand the true efficiency of your agents. And on that basis, you can help them improve further by offering them training in support skills and so on.

10. Keep Queues Informed of Wait Times

42% of consumers prefer live chat functions because they don’t have to wait on hold.

But is that true?

The use of live chat helps customers feel that they’ll end up getting a solution soon. But with too many chats, it can be a possibility for your business to have a chat queue as well.

This is where you need to do two things.

One, let the customers know how many customers are there before them to get support from your agents at the contact center. Do offer them the option that they can fill in their details and your agents will contact them soon.

Two, inform customers who’ve come with technical issues and are in conversation with your agents that your team has found the solution to the problem, and an update will be sent for the same soon. If you keep on having a conversation with customers during the troubleshooting process, agents may end up avoiding other customers at the same time.

Understand this, while you inform the customer about the solution, they may presume that you are already working on it or have resolved their problem. So, make sure that you clear the air, inform them about the current status, and give them a tentative timeline when they can expect the solution to be implemented.


Read More: How to Achieve Zero Wait Time in Live Chat


 11. Serve Relevant Offers to Encourage Engagement

Live chat best practices for contact centers are also inclusive of you creating opportunities for your customers to find relevant offers.

A few live chat solutions like ProProfs Chat help you do that with their feature like Announcement. You can use this feature to update customers and site visitors about upcoming offers, flash sales, product upgrades, new webinar dates, and more.

live chat announcements

Such a feature encourages people to know more about what you plan to offer them that ultimately leads to better engagement on the website. Understand that such a strategy not only helps your customers to connect better with your brand but also prompts them to return as well. And that’s exactly what your business needs, more returning customers that result in more sales.

That’s why it is important to work towards creating a good engagement experience for your customers that encourages them to always come back to your brand even when facing troubles.

Improve Support at Contact Center with Live Chat Strategies

Contact centers are a core part of customer service. However, customers still seem wary when approaching them for support. Contact centers were known for making their customers wait for minutes and sometimes even hours on hold that ultimately ruined their experience with the brand.

But with a customer support tool like live chat for the contact center, you can overcome the existing reputation and help your customers find answers to their questions faster. You can use live chat to offer instant, proactive support, identify common customer service challenges, monitor agent performance, and even boost engagement with the brand.

All you have to do is get the right live chat software for your contact center to offer support to customers instantly and at their convenience. And just in case you’ve been searching for the best live chat software for your contact center, then you can give ProProfs Chat a try.

Now that we’ve seen live chat strategies for a successful contact center, let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions below.

What to consider when choosing live chat for the contact center?

A few questions you should consider when choosing a live chat for contact center include:

  • Is your live chat cloud-hosted or self-hosted app?
  • How simple is the onboarding process for the live chat software?
  • Is your live chat a simple tool or actually helps you create an omnichannel support suite?
  • Does it have a seamlessly working mobile support app?
  • How many advanced features does it offer to its users?
  • How feasible is it for you to invest in that particular option?

How to improve call center customer service?

There are eight strategies that can help you improve the call center customer service experience for all your customers. These include:

  • Make sure you personalize every call experience for your customers
  • Consistently train your call center squad for a better conversation experience
  • Understand how every customer is different and may approach you with a different problem
  • Focus on capturing regular customer feedback
  • Include tools that help you improve your first contact resolution
  • Improve your call flow management
  • Work on reducing call hold times
  • Do include the use of interactive voice response

What are the top live chat training tips for your call center to improve CX?

There are multiple live chat training tips for your call center that you need to keep in mind when thinking of improving your CX. These include:

  • Think of catchphrases that’ll help you initiate a conversation with your visitors
  • Always ask for more information to understand the root cause for your customer’s pain point
  • Simply avoid saying “I don’t know” and think of a possible alternative for your customers
  • Come up with more convincing reasons to put your customer’s call on hold
  • Learn how to seamless transfer the chat to another department or operator
  • Take ownership of the troubles and let the customer know the solution is on its way

How to increase conversions using live chat in the contact center?

Live chat in the contact center can help you improve your conversions efficiently. It can:

  • Help you make your agents available 24×7 and address customer’s concerns that’ll enable you to boost conversions
  • Reduce your response time and engage customers more actively
  • Enable your operators to know more about customers faster and personalize the conversation as per the information collected via the support tool
  • Help you target returning customers and trigger a personalized message on their next visit that engages them instantly
  • Help you take follow-ups with that also results in conversions
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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn