Chat2 Concierge – How To Get Started

 

Chat2 Concierge is a professional team of real chat operators who extend a warm, friendly greeting to your online visitors at the time they visit your website at any hour of the day.  The team are fully trained in aspects of sales, conflict resolution, sympathy, customer mood enhancement, loyalty building and brand values. You can rely on the team to answer chats outside of business hours, when you are unavailable or as a back-up service if you are unable to answer chats within 90 seconds.  We are a team of professional real people who care about your business delivering “on brand” messages consistently and seek to deliver world class customer service exceeding your customer and your own expectations.

To engage our service its very simple – go to chat2.com/concierge-agents and scroll down and click GET STARTED.  This will notify us to contact you and learn what you would like to achieve with Chat2 Concierge.

Firstly, you will need a live chat software installed on your website, it can be Chat2 software or another software.  If you only have a Facebook page, we can link Chat2 software to Facebook, so you will receive more chats as well as accessing the ai features for Facebook.  This means we can quickly and easily access the knowledge base created for your business to respond fast and effectively to your online customers.

To install Chat2 software, this is as simple as going to www.chat2.com and entering your website address for a 30 day free trial.  After completing a simple form to obtain your contact details, you will be presented with a 3 options to install, either “Do It Yourself” where the code will be presented on screen with instructions to install, or get your website manager to copy and paste code or the Chat2 team can do it for you. A short video on how to install is found at chat2.com/learn/easy-site-setup/. If you have a wordpress website a plugin for Chat2 is available at wordpress.org/plugins/chat2/.

To start the Chat2 Concierge service, we need to become familiar with your business.  We achieve this in several ways:

1.  A simple online Concierge form is completed by your business providing some of the key details about your business including what you hope to achieve by using the Chat2 Concierge service.  This information introduces us to your business and is quick and easy to complete online.

2.  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) are created with responses– you are welcome to create FAQ’s or the Chat2 team are highly experienced in reviewing websites and creating the FAQ’s for you, as they know the questions that are likely to be asked.

3.  The FAQ’s are approved by your business and they are uploaded into the live chat software.  This is the knowledge base that is created for your business that all chat operators will draw upon to answer chats. With Chat2 software, the team only have to type a few letters of a possible topic and several responses are suggested to them from the knowledge base.  This feature allows the Chat2 team to be fast, knowledgeable and effective in their replies to online customers.

4.  Live Chat software is set up with automatic prompts to chats, auto responses and operator profiles.  Timings of when a visitor is prompted to chat are entered specific for the industry. If the business is also using their own team, we ensure all operators have an image and the user profile is set up effectively.

5. Ready, Set Go – the Chat2 Concierge team will open the virtual door to your website and encourage online visitors to engage in chat.

Chats are audited for efficiency, effectiveness and quality.  During the initial weeks of the service, the knowledge base is refined and polished.  If there are questions that the team have not been able to answer, the contact details are obtained for the business to contact or the chat can be transferred to the business.  For basic or constant questions that are asked and the answer is not available, the Chat2 team will follow these up with the business confirming appropriate replies and these are added to the knowledge base.

For efficiency and effectiveness, we encourage businesses to integrate their Facebook page with Chat2 software.  So all online messages received by the business are answered on the one platform and answered efficiently and effectively with a consistent approach, style and message.

A login to the chat software is available for the business to have access to all chat content and reports. Data is provided in table and graphical formats displaying quantity of chats, peak chat times, visitor or invitation initiated chats, country of chat, response times, quantity of messages by department or operator, chat ratings and much more.

 

Chats can be exported into a working business file for interpretation and analysis including .csv or excel files.  Customised monthly reports are available for your business analysing the data for you.

If you are seeking a stronger online professional presence that keeps your business ahead in the noisy online space, then Chat2 Concierge is the solution for you.

Speaking with one of our clients in the printing industry just before Christmas and his comments on the Chat2 Concierge service were:

“Work is still coming in for our business during the quiet time of the year. Many of our competitors are struggling to get work at the moment.  By being online consistently, the Chat2 Concierge team has given us a competitive edge. Our clients love receiving immediate responses to their questions, even if the question is not completely answered. They appreciate just having someone who is there and who can respond to them with immediacy, sometimes it can be as simple as taking a message.  Chat2 concierge saves my team so much time, as Chat2 easily answer the constant barrage of the same questions we receive over and over again online. When a job is sent through we already know what the client wants, what date they need it by – it’s a strong qualified genuine lead for us. Having the Chat2 Concierge team online to answer these questions gives us peace of mind and allows us to excel in our industry.” Matthew – Printing and Signage

 

4 Easy Steps to Create a Knowledge Base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you recall the last time you had a new person start in your workplace?  Was it something you were dreading? Were you thinking,

 

“Oh my, I have a new person starting…  My whole week is going to be taken up with training.”

 

I know.  I’ve been there many times in the past.  Well I want to show you a system where, not only will your staff be delivering world class online service, it’s a system that will train any new staff quickly and efficiently… as well as removing the dread you may feel when a new person starts.

The system I am referring to is an onboarding process we implement at Chat2 when a new client chooses our Concierge Service.  What we do is create a knowledge base around their business so we can answer the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from their customers.  

 

So why is a knowledge base important?

Firstly, and as mentioned above, a well-constructed, well-researched knowledge base saves you time during the training process.  

 

Secondly.  A quality knowledge base shows consistency of message and brand.  It’s important to ensure that everyone who represents your business is saying the same thing to each and every customer each and every time.

 

Thirdly.  An up-to-date collection of pertinent FAQs ensures your staff are delivering faster, and more efficient, service. They know the answers to the questions and are drivers of world class customer service.

 

Finally, having an ‘en pointe’ knowledge base will identify information gaps that your customers may experience on your website.   If customers are asking questions and there is no answer readily available it needs to be added to the knowledge base. These gaps in knowledge may even identify opportunities for new products and services, or alert your business to provide and promote information more effectively online.

Now most businesses have FAQs already set up on their website… But let’s be honest.  Who actually clicks the FAQs and, really, who reviews them one by one looking for answers?  Not many people is my guess. My experience with live chat has shown me that people want answers fast.  They don’t have time to read pages and pages online, hoping to find the answer they’re looking for.  By setting up a solid knowledge base for your business you’ll be able to help them find quick answers to their questions.

 

So where do you start?

 

  • Let’s brainstorm!  

 

Get your staff together for a 20 – 30 minutes brainstorming session.  Ask them to come prepared with 3 – 5 questions that they’re asked all the time on the phone or by email from your customers.  Even if you already have FAQs somewhere in your business or on your website still do this exercise and start fresh. Write these up on a whiteboard so everyone can see them.  You’ll start to see common threads and themes emerging.

  1. Group the common themes

Now colour code or group them in some way so as to create a common theme. Let’s use the hotel/resort industry as an example as it’s very topical right now.  Hotels and resorts are trying to encourage more direct bookings through their websites rather than through the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) who charge exorbitant fees.  Working with us is providing a great opportunity to attract more direct bookings…. But I’ll talk about that later…

 

So for the hotel industry, the evolving themes could look something like:

  • Bookings
  • Rooms
  • Food & Drink
  • Check in / Check out
  • Hotel Facilities
  • Promotions
  • Transport
  • Groups
  • Families   

 

On a personal level, when I’m travelling with my family and researching hotels, I’ll be asking questions about adjoining rooms, good wifi, restaurants close by,  views from the room… to name a few, and as you can see these specific questions are easily grouped under the above topics.

 

  1. Review.  Combine. Expand.

If you already have a list of FAQs, now’s the time to review them with your team and add any FAQs you may have missed into the burgeoning topics list.  Doing this as a team will initiate even more FAQs as new topics are raised and discussed.

 

  1. Expand some more…

Now’s the time to open your website and discuss each of the menu headings with your team and try to view your website fresh eyes. You’re likely to identify more FAQs.   Don’t forget to add questions like  “What is your phone number?” and “Where are you located?”.  I know they’re in front of the customer on the website, but you’ll be amazed by how many times we‘re asked those questions!

You’ve now created the knowledge base for your business. It’s time to put it to work!

There are four main channels customers use to connect with you.  Phone, email, social media and live chat. Your new FAQs will be a resource document for your staff to search and answer questions for the first two channels.  It should be available electronically as the Go-To resource…Now you may be thinking,

 

“But my website already provides all this information.”

Well mostly, but some information may be quite hidden, requiring your visitors to click through several menu items to obtain this information.  Can I just say that today’s online customer is much less likely to do this. We’re all now so time poor and, like you, your customers want a quick response to a question as I’ve outlined in my article “How Fast is Fast Enough”.

Keep in mind that your website only provides some of this information as there are some answers that are just not relevant to place on your website.  So going back to our hotel example, questions like,

 

“How do I get a receipt after my stay?”

“I left my phone charger in the room, can I get that sent to me?”

“I have a 4WD is there any secure undercover parking for a large vehicle?”

 

So more specific questions for more specific instances where your staff still need to know how to answer.  These all form a part of your knowledge base as well.

How does the knowledge base work for the live chat and social media channels?

With Chat2 software, the knowledge base is uploaded into the chat software and because Chat2  integrates with social media, you can answer questions from customers on your website and on your Facebook page from the chat dashboard.

 

So with hotels, one of the most frequent questions we get is,

 

“How do I get to the hotel from the airport?”  

 

It’s as simple as typing the first few letters of the main subject like “airport” or “transport” or “transfer” and the artificial intelligence built into the chat software will suggest the appropriate response direct from your knowledge base.  That’s how easy it is! There is no searching as the chat software does that for you and provides a list of responses that may be suitable.  Your staff choose a response that can be edited prior to being sent in real time to the customer.

Your staff have just excelled in providing a quick, knowledgeable, relevant answer to the customer waiting in real time.  There has been no need to seek out the answer from an alternative resource, they haven’t had to ask a colleague or better yet, haven’t had to come and ask you.  It’s a win/win all round! Your customer has received their instant answer; your staff have found the answer to provide easily and simply; and no one has taken up your time in teaching where, how and what is the answer to this question!

If your new employee can initially spend time on live chat to answer customer questions directly, and online with the artificial intelligence within the Chat2 software, it’s a quick way for them to learn the business as all the answers are presented for them.  They will be able to review the history of chats to learn from what customers have asked previously and how they have been answered. Chat2 software is an incredible training tool for all new starters to your business.

Now as to why our hotel clients believe Chat2 gives them the advantage over those monstrous OTAs who charge horrendous fees and take a large portion of their revenue?  It’s simple really… when a customer checks out the hotel website from the OTA, they are greeted by a warm, friendly helpful service through live chat.  This is a service they don’t receive from an OTA, so the hotel can get the upper hand by extending this professional, warm online customer service and provide the instant answers being sought by their customers. The hotel has the opportunity to promote the hotel through this engagement and, more often than not, obtain the direct booking.

At Chat2, we help businesses stand out in the noisy online space so they can compete against their giant competitors.  

We provide a point of difference.  Particularly for our hotel clients, the Chat2 Concierge Team melds into an extension of the frontline reservations team.  

With our Concierge service we create and set up the knowledge base for you. We do this initially through an online form and the Chat2 team then intensely review the business website creating the FAQs.  We also have the knowledge and experience of knowing what online customers ask for your industry, and ensure all questions are covered. We generally start with 60 – 70 FAQs for a new client and as we progress and answer chats, we discover new FAQs so consistently update the knowledge base for the business.  We ensure that your online customers only receive the latest and most relevant information from your business. We highly value the brand and message of our clients and ensure it is promoted and consistently maintained online. If you would like a knowledge base created for you please come and chat with the team at www.chat2.com.

Or we can assist to get you started.  In our shop we offer templates of FAQ’s for several industries, so just go to www.chat2.com/shop and scroll down to the FAQ’s.  If your industry is not there, we can customise a template for you or specifically generate a knowledge base for your business.

A strong, solid knowledge base used in conjunction with live chat can put your business  ahead of the noisy online crowd in your industry. Your staff will have instant access to answers asked in real time by your customers online.  Your new staff are easily trained. Your business is delivering a consistent message on brand over and over again no matter who they speak with… and you can spend less time on training directly and more time on the pertinent issues for the business.

4 Common Reasons Why Business Resists Live Chat

 

Does this sound familiar to you?  Over the past few decades the way we conduct business has changed substantially. Websites, email, social media, mobile sites, instant messaging, B2B marketing, SEO etc etc etc… We’ve all had to embrace these rapid technological shifts and many business tell me it’s one of their biggest challenges is keeping up with technology

So what next?  Right now we are on the cusp of the next BIG tech change in the way we communicate with our prospects and customers.  

On a daily basis I am finding that businesses still hesitate to take that leap and offer live chat to their customers – who are ready, willing AND waiting to talk online!  Why? Let’s explore the top 4 reasons given by companies as to why its not the right time to implement chat.

At Chat2 we have discovered if you wait too long, it’s your competitor who embraces the chat channel and begins to attract all your online sales as well as their own. So it’s better if you can beat them to the post! In this age of technology where greater information power is with the online consumer, business should not wait to provide what online customers are demanding – instant communication!

When offering business this instant line of communication for their online clients – we hear so many reasons as to why it is not the right time to introduce a live chat channel. So we may say:

 

“Hey – we’re offering you the tools and the service to talk with your customers when they are at the door of your business.  They are in your website and you can talk to them while they are there, right in that moment of real time. You can ask them directly, ‘Can I help find you something?’ or  ‘May I ask what you are looking for?’ How does that sound?”

 

The response we receive from the business is commonly:

“Oh no – My customers will phone me, or use the contact form or email”;  or

“I am too busy at the moment to implement live chat”; or

“My website provides enough information to customers, so I don’t need chat; or

“The questions people ask on live chat is on my website – so they just need to read!”; or

“Oh – my website needs to be updated so live chat wouldn’t work for us”.

Can you relate to any of these? If you do then you are certainly not alone, as it is what we hear everyday.  I must admit chat is certainly a change to the way we are use to doing business. We have never had the opportunity before to give our customers the opportunity to engage immediately with us in real time through our website.  This has never been possible before. A website has always just been a billboard for business, with a humongous amount of information for the visitor to trawl through. Though the problem is visitors are not keen to do this anymore, particularly once they have experienced conversing in the live chat channel.  Wouldn’t you be more likely to make the sale if you could talk with them while they are on your website?

Of course, you can choose to keep that online virtual door tightly slammed shut to your online consumers.  Though if your competitor has chat and you don’t – which business (as a consumer) would you prefer to deal with?

Let’s look at the top 4 excuses reasons we hear everyday and how they can be solved so your business won’t miss out on sales.

 

Reason One

“I prefer to get a customer on the phone as it is so much easier to convert.”

The phone and email is certainly the channels most businesses are most comfortable working with, as it has been the main tools available. Though with advances in online technology and more power being given to the consumer in obtaining information so readily, businesses need to move quickly to grow online into the future.  

Tools and technology are now available to meet high customer expectations for speed of information. Business should investigate and trial methods like chat to see the difference to their business. Consumers are becoming weary of being on hold on the phone or waiting hours for an email answer.  Live chat is a huge growth channel and businesses need to be onboard for the ride. According to Gartner – it is expected the chat channel will grow by 400% as a preferred customer digital engagement channel from 2015 – 2018.  With the predicted growth of this channel and the significant benefits it provides to businesses as well as customers, the chat channel should be embraced sooner rather than later!

 

Reason Two

“I am too busy at the moment to implement live chat.”

It’s so easy to implement!  The code takes 10 minutes to paste.  If you don’t have the staff to answer chats, the Chat2 Concierge team are here to get you started. We assist businesses to transition to chat by setting up chat, creating Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ’s), answering chats, transferring chats, providing training to staff and doing anything we can to ensure you are successful in your implementation.  We know what works and what doesn’t. You give up 20 minutes of your time to guide us in the setup and our team at Chat2 do the rest. We are an experienced team of professional chat operators and software developers. In no time you will be seeing more leads and sales coming through your website utilising the Chat2 channel.

 

Chat2 paid for itself after only one day. I had 3 chats in the first 10 minutes and one was a fabulous sale!”

Brenda – FNQ Apartments

 

Reason Three

“My website provides enough information to customers”

Or

“The answers to the questions people ask on chat are on the website – they just need to read!”

Consumer behaviour is changing rapidly online and gone are the days where a visitor will sit there and read pages on your website searching for information. If it is not clear to them at a quick glance of the first page or two – then they are likely to seek out a competitor.   So you may have a beautiful website with all the right information but customers want information now and easily accessed! Chat provides businesses with the tool to provide the relevant information fast and meet the customer expectations.  I say “Wow with the Now!”

 

Reason Four

“Oh – my website needs to be updated so live chat wouldn’t work for us”

Or

“We are going to implement a new website soon so we’ll put chat on then”

I ask you – “Will your website ever be completely up to date?” Our clients love chat as they know their online customers are receiving correct up-to-date information through chat daily. Visitors are regularly asking for clarification of information on websites and they will even pick up errors and bring those into chat. Hey we are all human – right!  Website visitors are now fine tuning our client’s websites for them. They are giving the business insight into what they want from the website and the information they are seeking. What great knowledge to obtain from your own prospects! Businesses can ensure this information is front and centre on their website.

Recently, we have introduced a new product called Chatsites – which is a one page website – fully interactive! On the Chatsite you have the basic company information about what you do and the chat box.  The chat software can be teamed with our Chat2 concierge service and/or Chatbot. So having an antiquated website is no longer an excuse not to have chat!

Chat2 has also assisted clients transition from an old website to a new website.  One of our clients had massive traffic with over 3000 visitors a day and when the new website went live our Chat2 team were there to virtually hold the hand of each visitor who experienced any sales, login or information issues.  The transition went exceptionally smoothly, it was the busiest month ever in chat and most importantly though no sales were lost and every enquiry was attended to in the Now!

Don’t miss out on those website visitors banging on your website door wanting answers now!

 

Can we help to transition your business into chat?  We are experienced in chatting with online visitors over various industries from online retail, tourism, real estate, hotels through to diving, financial, recruitment and printing businesses.

We do all the set up for you, we can chat for you, provide you with the leads, we can fully customise the look of chat, create chatbots on Facebook and/or for your website, create a chatsite, integrate with google analytics or other software. Just ask our team – visit www.chat2.com and have a chat with the team or get started straight away on the link below with Chat2 Concierge.

If you would like to learn more about our Chat2 Concierge team and what we do – there is a short video here. Who is the Chat2 Concierge Team

 

We have a special offer currently with our Chat2 Concierge service if you are keen to start straight away in August.  We are providing a 100 hour trial (over the peak hours for Chat). This trial covers 2 weeks and its 100 hours of service for only $50! You can’t get better value at 50 cents an hour to make more sales!!

The link below takes you to a couple of  simple online forms and we will have your business up and running with Chat2 in no time. There is no obligation to continue after the trial – you receive a free report on the Chat activity and you decide on the hours from $1/hour if you decide to continue with us.

Our experienced, professional Chat2 team trained in sales, conflict resolution, sympathy, customer mood enhancement, loyalty building and brand values are ready to answer chats for your business with a special ½ price offer of 100 hours service for only $50.  This also includes a free 30 day trial of the software, free chat setup and creation of FAQ’s. Want to know more?

 

Chat with us at www.chat2.com for a free consultation

 

or

 

Let’s get started and click the link below.

 

100 Hours of Chat2 Concierge for only $50

 

How Fast is Fast Enough?

 

Did you know many businesses are not responding fast enough for their customers? Many businesses don’t realise their response rates are not meeting their customer expectations. Client expectations to get a response from a business are becoming demanding and placing significant pressure on business resources.   So what is the response time customers expect from a business by phone, email, social media and chat? What can businesses do to improve response times?

 

The three main channels for communicating with clients are email, phone and social media, though the use of chat software has seen significant growth of 8.3% internationally in 2017 (smallbiztrends.com).  Chat as a channel is providing instant feedback to businesses if they are not performing to meet customer expectations.  

 

How – you may ask?

In those first couple of weeks of using chat software, a business may be bombarded with questions like:

“I emailed you yesterday and I have not heard back from you?”

“Did you receive my order – I placed it 2 hours ago?”

“I left a message on Facebook and no one has responded – it has been 3 hours?”

“I tried to phone you and was on hold for 5 minutes and no one answered my call?”

 

Does this sound familiar?  Sometimes you are not even aware of this tension that exists within your customer group. Many of our business clients who experience this are surprised to see these initial comments coming through chat, highlighting an issue they were not aware of. It is easy to rectify this situation quickly.

 

So why are customers demanding more instant responses?  It is a trend being seen worldwide. Customers are demanding more immediacy for a response. Information is so easily accessible over the internet, customers are now expecting demanding that businesses should reply to enquiries just as quickly – this is putting significant pressure on business resources.

 

So Why is Speed so Important in Customer Service?

 

When you receive a fast response – doesn’t it make you feel like the business cares about your needs and they make you feel important?

 

Many businesses can respond faster than ever before with the new technology available, so speed is becoming an issue of competitiveness between businesses. For example, a customer exploring the purchase of a new car online may ask two suppliers about the delivery of the car.  The first car yard responds in 30 minutes, engages the customer, organises a test drive and while a price is being negotiated, the second car yard responds 24 hours later. From our experience, the supplier who responds in a friendly, prompt and professional manner is more likely to make the sale, than the company that replies in 24 hours to a few days  – which is still very commonplace.

 

In a study conducted by the CMO Council in 2017 – it was found that 47% of U.S. and European consumers surveyed said they will abandon a brand if it repeatedly provides “poor, impersonal or frustrating” customer experiences. Companies need to be prioritising excellence in customer service.  If companies provide easy access and fast responses to questions, then this will result in happy satisfied customers upon which will nurture business growth.

 

More than 52% of consumers stated that an exceptional customer experience included a fast response time to problems and suggestions, with 47% stating a great customer experience includes instant access to knowledgeable sales staff 24/7 (CMO Council Study).

 

The CMO study revealed that even though loyal consumers will leave a brand if they’re not treated well, it also highlighlighted that consumers are seeking connection, not perfection and may be forgiving as long as they feel heard and valued. So as long as they are responded to quickly and effectively – customers will easily be retained and will continue doing business with you.

 

Many businesses don’t realise customers are quickly abandoning them for the next business that acts quickly and responds with immediacy to client questions.  Is this happening to you? Is your response rate meeting your customer expectations?

 

“The customer is smarter than ever when it comes to customer service. They don’t just compare you to your competitor, but to any company that delivers an excellent customer service experience. The bar has been raised, and companies must work harder to meet and exceed their customer’s expectations.”

 

Shep Hyken

Customer Service Expert & New York Times Bestselling Author

 

Attracting, serving and keeping customers happy are the key to survival for any business.  If customers are not happy it is unlikely the business will survive. But are customers placing unrealistic expectations on businesses?  How can businesses survive in this demanding customer driven environment? What are the response times customers are demanding?

 

Let’s consider what current studies are showing us.  What are the benchmarks for response times in the four main communication channels – email, phone, social media and chat.

Email Response Time

When do customers expect a response from a business after they have sent an email?

 

In a survey of 1200 consumers undertaken in April 2018, it was recommended that businesses should aim to respond to customers within 1 hour or if wanting to achieve a world class standard, within 15 minutes.

 

“That is crazy” or “That is unrealistic”- you may be thinking!

 

Yes – it is a huge ask of businesses, though it is achievable.  

 

The results from the survey showed that 43% expected businesses to reply in a 1 day to an email.

  So if your business responded to customer emails within 1 hour, it would stand out from the crowd and exceed the expectations of 89% of consumers! Of course if you responded in 15 minutes – well that is world class, as you would meet or exceed consumer expectations with 100%.

In another 2018 survey, Superoffice.com surveyed 1000 companies by email asking two questions:

  • Where is the pricing information on the website?
  • What was their phone number.

An incredible 62% of companies did not even respond and only 20% answered the questions in the first reply.  

The gap between the response time consumers expect and what businesses do –  is seriously damaging. You have the opportunity to stand out from 62% of companies by just responding to the email in the first instance!  This is easily done through implementing email autoresponders backed up by a solid CRM. Even by acknowledging that you have received the customers’ question / issue / complaint goes a long way towards keeping your customers happy.

So is there any difference for social media response times?

 

Social Media Response Time

 

So what about social media? Are expectations higher? Do customers expect faster response times in this channel and if so, how much faster?

 

The Social Habit research company explored this issue with its audience and discovered 32% expected a response within 30 minutes and 42% expected a response within 60 minutes. So if you responded to social media enquiries within 30 minutes you will be meeting or exceeding 74% of your customer expectations!  Sounds easy right! But can your company respond to enquiries in under 30 minutes? Responding to an email in under 1 hour is tough, though responding to a social media enquiry within 30 minutes is pushing the capability for many businesses.

 

But…… there are many companies meeting this expectation easily with the available technology.  Responding to customers in under 30 minutes is a big ask for many businesses, though serious consideration is needed by businesses to connect with customers in social media.  New practices/tools need to be adopted to meet customer expectations, otherwise you will have disillusioned customers looking to other businesses for service that meets their expectations.

 

We are now working in a global environment where consumers can access products and services from anywhere, at anytime.  It is technology that is giving consumers the power to demand more immediate responses. So is the expectation growing that no matter what time of the day, night or weekend it is – consumers are expecting an answer?

 

It appears they are!

 

The findings from the Social Habit Research Company found that 57% of survey participants expected the same response time at night or on weekends as during normal business hours. It’s getting crazy!

 

So is it any different for phone response times?

 

Phone Response Time

 

Phoning a business should result in a fairly quick response, though many businesses still think its ok to have their prospects/customers on hold for a few minutes listening to recorded messages or music before they are answered.  No one likes being placed on hold on the phone, though previously, customers felt they had no choice. Businesses will lose customers rapidly if they don’t adapt to consumer demand for rapid replies, it is fast becoming unacceptable to keep a customer waiting on the phone.  So how long is a customer willing to wait on a phone?

 

A 2017 survey of 1500 Consumers in the U.S. found that nearly two thirds were only willing to wait 2 minutes or less before hanging up and 13% stated that no hold time was acceptable.  This is a stark contrast to a similar survey in 2014 where customers were willing to hold for 13 minutes! Consumer expectations are changing and businesses are slow in adapting to this change.

 

So how big is this gap in the speed of response by companies to what the customer expects, in the three big communication channels?  It is a huge, yawning chasm and to remain competitive businesses need to act now!

So What About Live Chat Software?

 

Chat software is a relatively new technology available to businesses and a different way to connect with customers. Some businesses are hesitant to try chat as they see it as a high pressure channel, where consumers expect answers immediately and rarely wait around for an answer. Though this technology gives the business the ability to respond quickly to enquiries and that is what customers are demanding. Chat is worthy of serious consideration as it gives the power to businesses to alleviate the pressure on all communication channels and at the same time exceeding customer expectations for a response time. Let me explain how.

 

Offering chat on a website can reduce phone calls and emails for a business, even boosting sales by attracting clients that would not normally reach out.  So in the first instance it will alleviate the pressure on the two big incoming channels, phone and email for customer enquiries. More and more consumers are gravitating towards instant messaging channels like chat, so they are becoming more likely to choose chat for a faster response and generally it is the platform they are already on reviewing the business – so the choice for reaching out is easy.

 

So how fast is the response time in chat?

 

The 2018 Live Chat Benchmark Report prepared by Comm100 reviewed 40 million chats from companies all over the world representing 13 industries and found that the average response time using chat software is 37 seconds!  This is 8 seconds faster than their finding of 45 seconds in 2016.

 

With the shift for communication moving away from phone and email, towards instant response platforms like chat, business can respond to enquiries much faster than the current response times in phone and email.  As chat integrates with social media it also provides the ability to respond to social media enquiries, well within the customer expectation of 30 minutes.

“So we’re no longer measuring response time in days and hours but seconds.”

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

 

With effective implementation of chat, a company can meet or even exceed the response rate in all channels, as 37 seconds is well above customer expectations for phone and email.  This is world class customer service

 

How to Implement Chat Effectively

 

What is meant by effective implementation of Chat?

Effective implementation of live chat is the key to attain this exceptional level of response time and requires adequate resourcing, streamlining chat into everyday work processes, training of staff and a commitment by management to chat.  If a customer’s experience of chat is that it is fast, with quick relevant responses, then this will become the channel of choice to connect with a business. The business is likely to see more returning customers due to this world class service experience.

 

One of the challenges to implement chat is having knowledgeable, trained staff on hand to instantly answer chats, particularly in the peak demand periods.  When Chat2 was launched in 2015, we saw first hand businesses struggling with integrating chat into their daily work processes. Their staff were already busy, so transitioning into providing a chat service was challenging.

 

Chat2 launched its Concierge Service in 2016 to overcome this challenge and to assist businesses transitioning into offering chat as a service. The Chat2 Concierge Service offers businesses a team of experienced, professional, highly trained chat agents that answer chats 24/7.  Each industry is allocated a specialised team so the members of the team are knowledgeable on the issues and questions received by customers in that industry. With the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) built into the Chat2 software, agents can easily and quickly respond to client requests for businesses.

 

Once consumer behaviour changes and consumers embrace chat over other communication channels, businesses discover there is less pressure on the other channels of phone, email and social media. In some instances they embrace the channel and train their own staff in chat to answer transferred chats from the concierge team or answer chats directly from clients.

 

One of the first questions we are asked when a business enquires about the Chat2 Concierge Service is:

 

“How will your chat agents know what to say to my clients – you don’t know my business?”

 

So true – which is why we request new clients to complete a simple online form, so the team can find out more about the business and what the business would like to achieve using the concierge service.  We create answers to likely questions we are expecting from customers in that industry, as we are already familiar with the questions that are being asked. These questions and answers are entered into the chat software for the business or concierge team, so we are all saying the same thing to clients.  A great knowledge base is created, that can also be utilised when you need to train new staff. As a part of the Chat2 Concierge Service, this knowledge base is updated continuously. If there is a question the team can’t answer, we seek the answer from the business, to upload answer for next time.

 

The Chat2 Concierge team employ highly successful techniques to engage new visitors to your business and welcome returning visitors.  Our chat agents provide prompt, polite and personalised customer service which is paramount to representing your brand. We monitor and report on our performance by the second, which means our chat agents are some of the most responsive in the business. The concierge team have an average response rate of 18 seconds, with generally most chats answered in under 30 seconds.

 

“Chat is providing a huge opportunity for businesses to provide world class service. At Chat2, we are answering chats for businesses within 30 seconds, with an average response time of 18 seconds”

Karen Lloyd-Collins – CEO Chat2

 

Our clients are attaining world class response rates and alleviating the pressure on other communication channels.  They are standing out from their competition as they are now exceeding the response times customers are demanding. Chat2 Concierge can provide the resources for those periods of peak demands with an incredible return on investment. Many of our clients who have trialled the concierge service are still using the service since our launch, as the conversion rates on chat are improving all the time as the team works in partnership with our business clients.

 

We invite you to view a short 2 minute video on the Chat2 concierge service and how the team are converting 80 – 90% of chats for business internationally!

 

We welcome any questions through chat about our services, including chat integration, customisation, staff training, chatbots, FAQ creation and more.  Our Chat2 Concierge Service is also offered to businesses committed to other chat software. Visit us at www.chat2.com

May 2018