Monthly Archives: January 2012

Effectively Using Live Chat

Chat is a powerful tool for keeping in contact with your customers, and we’re proud

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of how Conversion Support strengthens our clients’ bottom line. Whenever we work with a new customer, we remind them of something crucial: More important that the actual tool is how you use it.

A company could employ the sharpest customer-facing live chat interface, but without the sharpest operators using it to communicate the right information to customers, chat’s just not going to work. Chat supports your customer relationships; these best practices support chat.

1. Ask targeted questions.
Outcome-oriented queries keep customer-to-representative chats moving along. Customers and companies love that. Nobody likes wasted time. Your chat operators need to ask the correct questions to gather accurate information, and then use that information to deliver a substantive response.

Auto sales is a terrific example. One of our most prolific

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chat users works in this industry, and they make a practice out of asking five question types that regularly deliver solid leads (and happy customers).

If you’re in a customer-facing industry, what top five questions do your customer service agents regularly ask?

2. Don’t fall back on cliched phrases to pad responses or buy time.
When a phone representative drones through an overused phrase meant to rhetorically soften a request, my cortisol levels palpably rise. Please don’t patronize your customers by saying how happy you are to look up their purchase order for them. Just do it, and deliver your response succinctly, clearly, and correctly. Be friendly without being fake or saccharine.

A successful chat is a human-to-human interaction—that’s the beauty of live chat!—so why revert to machinelike, preset phrases that don’t mean

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anything? That’s subverting the implicit message of live chat. Despite the digital delivery system, you’re still two humans conversing in real-time. So be human.

3. Put experts in charge.
Live answers are useless if they’re wrong. We’ve found that the most successful users of live chat are the companies that put experts front-and-center, facing their customers. Again, if a customer is chatting with you, they’re engaged. They’ll get frustrated if they have to wait too long for the right answers. Dodge that bullet by making sure your live chat operators know their stuff.

4. Make sure chat enhances your customers’ experience.
That means you’ve got to give them something worthwhile: An answer, an insight, a mollified concern, even a friendly, capable personality to embody your brand. Think of live chat as a product for your customers and an investment for you. Live chat gives you sales leads and a stronger connection to your customer base. What, specifically, can live chat give your customers?

A Sneak Peek at Mobile Chat Beta

Here’s the great thing

about live chat: it is the quickest route between the customer and service. There’s no waiting for a return phone call or being placed on hold, no checking through a spam folder for a reply. It’s simple and to the point. Here’s the drawback: there has to be someone on the other side of the screen. That’s where mobile chat comes in.

There’s no question live chat is a great sales tool. It’s the most convenient option for a customer and, in a world weary of clogged inboxes and cold calls, no personal information needs to be given out. Businesses love live chat especially for capturing impulsive or hesitant customers browsing their site.

However, any sales tool is only as good as the person wielding it. If a customer initiates a live chat and has to wait a few minutes for a reply, or worse, receives no response at all, you just lost a customer.

It’s not practical for a business with a limited staff or highly active sales team to have someone man a computer all day. They have to resort to either outsourcing their live chat, restricting it to very limited hours or risking chats go unnoticed.


That’s why we’re enormously excited to be working on a Conversion Support mobile chat application for Android phones. It’s a simple, intuitive app allowing customer-initiated chats from your company website to your smart phone. It brings all the benefits of live chat without the necessity of a salesperson tethered to a desk.

We already have a Beta version in the works. Here are some of the handy features so far:

Automatic notification: Our app will automatically alert you of incoming chats. You won’t be caught off guard. Once alerted, you have 25 seconds to decide whether you want to take the chat.

Set availability: Being able to take chats anytime is great, but for those times you’re indisposed, you can toggle back and forth between available/unavailable status with a quick touch of the screen.

Quick response time: Once you answer a chat, an automatic greeting is sent to the caller, to minimize the wait time. And the chats are fast, we timed it. Once you send a message, the customer will receive it almost
instantly. The app will automatically scroll when your customer responds, to ensure an even faster response time.

Emailed transcripts: When the chat is ended, a complete transcript, dated and time-stamped, will be sent to your email address, giving you an easily archived and searchable record.


The Conversion Support Android app will allow a company to maximize their live chat service. Live chat no longer needs to be limited to a terminal. As technology catches up to our demand for instant communication, we are able to take an already innovative sales tool and bring it to another level. If you’re as excited as we are, and would like to be a tester for the

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upcoming Beta, contact us, and we’ll get you on the list.