5 Things I Learned Taking Our Team from 0 to 700 Chats per Week

Nate Johnson
4 min read
Sep 28, 2015
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Team Training

Integrating LiveChat with our online printing business was a huge success, but not without it’s own challenges. There were definitely lessons learned and improvements to be made in order to fully optimize the platform for our business.

In this article I will share 5 of those lessons to lessen the learning curve and help you to quickly optimize your own experience.

1. Not Every Employee Is Good At It Without Training

The first thing that became very apparent was that not everyone is cut out for LiveChat. Compared to phone sales running chats was like drinking from a fire hose. Our traditional sales reps didn’t understand that they could get up and walk away from their computer while chat was running…

The result was lots of chats like:

[Automated] “Hi, thanks for checking out our site! How can I help you?”

[Guest] “Hi, I’m looking for product ______, could you help me?

[Guest] “Hello?”

[Guest] “HELLO?”

End of Chat

It wasn’t until I stumbled upon our golden unicorn of an employee that we started getting a huge return on LiveChat. He stayed at his computer, focused on chat, and treated every visitor like they were a long lost friend.

2. Have A Personality

Shortly after finding out that LiveChat was a very viable and profitable avenue for our business it only made sense to start testing different strategies to optimize it. After much testing the ideal set up was popping a chat window (no name or email required) at 20 seconds, and changing the default greeting to:

“Save me from the Angry Birds monotony and let me help you!”

Literally overnight our chats with potential clients went from 100 to 700 per week and it was a very exciting moment for our team. Visitors greeted us with an “lol” and then got to their questions. Having a personality was a huge success.

3. Staff Accordingly

When our chats jumped from 100 to 700 we were immediately drowning in chat requests and had a major issue. To counter this we hired sales reps that could pass a typing test and sent them to shadow our lone LiveChat agent. They watched for a day and then chatted side by side asking questions and transferring chats as necessary.

Since transcripts are emailed with each chat new employees could be effectively coached and rapidly improved. A “greatest hits” compilation of common customer objections and successful techniques for overcoming them were required reading for all new employees.

To set their schedule I looked to Google Analytics for the busiest web traffic times of the day and ended up staggering reps to get the most coverage. At peak times we had 3 reps working with 2 support reps on standby.

4. Consider After Hours Support

Not long after dialing in our daytime chat support it was apparent that there were still many people visiting our website after our business had closed. As an experiment I worked overnight and to my surprise had great conversations with people that simply had different schedules.

To take advantage of this opportunity I turned to Elance and found a company to staff our chat from halfway around the world during the night and over the weekends. The pricing was incredibly affordable (around $1,300 USD / month) and resulted in a noticeable increase in chats, leads, and sales.

To combat the language barrier of having an outsourced team I instructed them to simply take a message for the daytime team who would then get back to them first thing in the morning.

5. Always Escalate The Conversation

The final lesson learned was to always escalate the conversation. Implementing LiveChat undoubtedly will bring in more interactions with potential customers. To make the most of them you need to get their email address and / or phone number to follow up with them.

Getting this information is surprisingly easy and visitors are very forthcoming with it if you are giving them something of value.

Example A:

[GUEST] "Can I get a price on ______?"

[YOU] "Sure, what email can I send the estimate to?"

Example B:

[GUEST] "What’s the difference between ______ and ______?"

[YOU] "I know your time is valuable and my fingers only move so fast… Would it be okay if I gave you a quick call to go over this in more detail?"

Using strategies like these we could follow up and not only offer better customer service, but earn more sales in the process.

Photo Courtesy of Startup Stock Photos