live chat secret weapon_Freshchat

Why live chat for business is a secret weapon for small support teams

Written by on September 25, 2018

There are a lot of myths about customer support, but a big one for small teams is this: the immediate nature of live chat for business makes it impossible for small businesses to offer support on. Customers expect instant responses and that’s a lot of pressure for a small team.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Live chat can give your customers faster answers, can help your support people serve more customers, and will actually optimize your support, even if your company is small. Customers want fast, personal support and live chat for business are uniquely positioned to give them that — yes, even for small support teams.

 

Automate away easy queries

With a small support team, it’s important that time is spent wisely. This means your support agents should ignore the majority of your customers. Yes, really!

For most businesses, the majority of customer complaints are about common topics and problems. These hall of fame FAQs are questions that your support team can answer in a heartbeat, but as the queries pile up, their time gets sucked away. Say it takes a customer support agent an average of four minutes to answer a question about shipment tracking from open to close. If your customer support receives 75 questions a week on your shipment tracking, that adds up.

But let’s say 50 of those questions can be automatically handled by AI on live chat. Now, customers can get the same answers and the same level of support they were before, but your agents don’t have to spend four minutes doing intake, copy and pasting easy information, and closing out a customer. Now, support agents only have to handle 25 queries from customers that have non-standard shipping questions. That time really adds up:

answering only 25 questions saves time_Freshchat

Even if every one of those nonstandard questions takes twice as long as average, you’re still spending less time on support than before. This definitely benefits your agents, who can spend their time on more difficult questions and not with busywork. But it also helps customers, because it can speed up the time it takes for them to get a response from support. If a customer uses live chat on your website and can be quickly directed by AI to the answer to their question, they don’t have to wait for support.

That’s a huge plus for your business when you consider that 77% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a support agent on any channel. So your support agents can focus on their most important work, and your customers can get better help through AI. It’s a win-win!

 

Manage more customers

For a customer service agent, talking on the phone with a customer is unitasking at its finest. Other than pulling up a customer on file, there’s not much else a support agent can do while on a call unless they put a customer on hold.

But with live chat for business, that customer agent can handle more than one customer query at once. They can easily ask a question in one live chat window, and shoot over a response to another in the time it takes the first to respond. There’s a greater potential for customer agents to answer more than one live customer question at a time.

Say it takes your reps an average of six minutes to answer support calls. If it took six minutes per live chat, but each agent could handle two at once, that looks pretty good:

75 questions a week adds up to a lot_Freshchat

 

This is especially true when your business builds a robust canned responses list for your customer support agents. When customers ask a question, agents can easily find the appropriate information and tweak it for the customer’s scenario. In live chat for business, canned responses increase speed, but they feel more natural than they do on live phone support. Rather than feeling totally scripted, they seem informative and straightforward.

With Freshchat, a quick ‘/’ command can pull up anything you program:

canned response short hand_Freshchat

And this all happens right in the support window. No more do agents have to find a response while customers are talking on the line. Let’s say that saves you even a minute per customer on average. Well, that’s going to add up:

minutes saved per customers_Freshchat

Live chat for business helps you optimize the number of customers that your agents can support while still giving customers instant responses. It has the best of email and phone support in one for small support teams.

P.S. If you want a cheat sheet for common canned responses, we’ve got you covered…

 

Personalize support

Personal support is hugely important for consumers. McKinsey reports that a lack of personalization is one of the major roadblocks they see time and again when it comes to companies offering the best support possible. When your support is customer-centric, it has to have a personal touch for everyone who contacts you.

If you are using email support, this is easy to do without a time crunch, as you can use order numbers to pull up information at your leisure. On the phone, it’s more difficult, and it takes time to ask customers to verify their information, type it in and then get started with all the knowledge of their customer profile.

With live chat for business, agents can see purchase history, product details, customer profiles all from within the chat interface. No window switching, no asking people to spell their name on the phone, just pure information.

If you’re using Freshchat, you can even look at a customer’s entire chat history when they contact you. This can help you make customers feel supported and remembered. Instead of asking the same questions over again, you can dive right into the problem.

Pulling all this info up right in the support window means that agents can better draw personal information into support, like order history or prior complaints. And it’s quicker for customers who don’t want to wait.

 

Make live chat your weapon of choice

Small support teams are constantly on the lookout for the best ways to service their customers with the time and the energy they have. Live chat for business is a natural fit that optimizes the time that agents spend on a customer without compromising the quality of service a customer receives. Rather than being something that overwhelms agents, it is actually the best way to give live help with your small support team.

Cover illustration by Karthikeyan Ganesh

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