If the internet is a giant convenience store what are the specific qualities that make it convenient for people to use?
The internet is easy. It is only clicks away, and people can use online services, or buy goods, in the comfort and convenience of their own homes, or when they are on the move.
However, online businesses should constantly challenge themselves and ask if they are convenient enough. Are they giving their customers what they want and making themselves fully available to meet the demands of an increasingly sophisticated online audience?
People look to the internet for answers, and when they’re buying online, they want to ask questions,” explains Russell Mills of Chat Heroes. “Live chat is an ideal way for online businesses to provide this support, but it has to be at a level that works for customers.”
The Reputational Risk of Being Off Duty
“When people shop online they do not expect the store to be closed, because they might decide to shop at any time of the day, or night,” explains Russell.
But who is manning the store? While websites offer instant access to products and services, people often want to ask questions about their prospective purchases before pressing the order button.
“If you use live chat for customer service but you aren’t manning it to meet customer demand, then you risk falling short of your promise to your site visitors”
In other words, the technology might be in place, but if the manpower is not, then the business is not using it to its full potential.
“Worse, you could be risking reputational damage by offering a live chat service which doesn’t deliver,” Russell advises. “If the customer fails to complete the purchase for this reason, they may very well not return.”
Live Chat or Chatbots?
To address the issue of manning live chat 24-7, the temptation may be to eliminate the human element altogether by using chatbots.
This virtual assistant will use FAQs as the basis for answering customer questions, powered by rules which enable it to interact with customers via a chat interface.
As Russell observes, “The chatbot can respond to an unlimited number of chats at any time, but it will only work if customers ask specific questions.”
“While developments using natural language processing, or NLP, mean there are now more responsive intelligent chatbots, this still lacks the essential human touch,” Russell points out.
“Friendliness is crucial to good customer service, as is making some sort of connection with the customer,” he says.
“Customer service shows you care, and it encourages people to buy from you. Live chat also has the very practical advantage of helping ensure that people fulfil the online transactions they begin”
Chat Heroes’ solution for businesses requiring comprehensive live chat is responsible, reliable outsourcing.
“Treat Chat Heroes as a service you bring in as a partnership,” Russell concludes. “That way you ensure coverage without taking on the staffing burden.”
To discover how your website or online business will always be available to visitors and improve sales conversion: