Placing a chat button on your website expands your company’s communication channels to your online visitors. Your business representatives will be the first port of call to their enquiries. Here’s how your operators can handle the 5 main types of chat.
1) The One Your Company Wants
The ones who have genuine chats… These are the type of visitors that your company can turn into leads and customers.
Identifiable traits in a genuine chatter are that they ask all the right questions and give contact details willingly in a lead generation environment.
Operators should be trained to answer questions about the products and services the company offers, along with gathering contact information during the chat.
They can use chat tools including file transfer and auto navigate to aid the conversation and provide information from other sources, whether a page on the website or a pdf brochure.
2) The One that Needs a Little Bit of Help
Some companies will offer support for the product and services they sell or will provide an advisory service to help people in need.
In support chats the visitor will have an open conversation, sharing the information required for the operator to provide the type of assistance they need.
Operators need to be knowledgeable in the area they are giving support advice on, especially for advisory services as they can be dealing with vulnerable individuals.
3) The One Who Disappears
No this isn’t a magic trick or an “I’ll make them disappear” (in a dodgy mafia voice) type scenario, genuine visitors in chat can “go silent” or leave a chat mid-conversation.
Those still in the chat that haven’t replied in a while, should be prompted:
- “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
- “Do you require any further information on this?”
- “Are you still there?
They will either: not respond to multiple prompts, in which case, your operator is safe to close the chat after an agreed time frame. Or they will respond 10 minutes later apologising that they had to take a call or the fire alarm went off!
For those who suddenly left the chat, there are 3 outcomes:
- They will come back straight away in a new chat if their internet connection dropped.
- Your operator can see if the visitor is still on the website and send across a manual proactive invitation to continue the chat. (“As you left the chat quickly, I just wanted to ensure you received all the information you require? Accept below to continue our chat…”)
- If they have left the website, they may return at another time.
4) The One Who Is a Bit Lost
If an individual needs a hammer and nails they wouldn’t walk into a shop that has dresses displayed in the window.
Sometimes these people can stumble upon your website; therefore it is important to have the correct “signposts”, your company home page and landing pages need to be informative about the product/services your business provides.
When these visitors start a chat, operators will need to be patient and able to educate them, by breaking the information into digestible chunks.
The quickest way to explain is to use a pre-defined reply
, a response that has been previously saved within the chat software, and can be accessed during the chat.
- Try a predefined reply that explains what the company does and that the operator won’t be able to help with the enquiry.
If they re-ask their question in a different way:
- Try to find out which company they wish to speak with, and explain that you’re Company X you have no dealings with Company Y, and they will need to speak with Company Y directly.
Last resort, if they are adamant that your company can help them:
- Your operator can find the website they are after (if it is not your competitor) and send the website URL to the visitor, telling them they need to further their enquiry on that website.
5) The One Who Has a Tell-Tale Story
For whatever reason; boredom or being “egged on” by mates in an IT class, occasionally, people will find your website and “prank chat” your company. And yes, pranking has adapted to digital means of communication!
Tom or Jerry will come along and explain how they managed to get their hand stuck in a printer or that they need help with their pet shark.
Operators can only reduce the time they spend on this type of chat. They can ignore them; this can work however there is the risk that the operator will be bombarded with messages until the visitor gets bored and leaves.
The operator can send a pre-defined reply that explains that their details are recorded and can be passed onto the relevant authorities. This is a scare tactic that works to ensure they won’t start another chat again and usually doesn’t go any further than the operator, though Click4Assistance did have one individual handwrite a sorry note after they were caught by their school!
The One Who Can Handle All These Chats
Your operator should be able to identify each of these chats and handle them in the most efficient and professional way. Ensure they are prepared and armed with the correct tools in chat to handle any scenario.
Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK web chat software provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.