How Long You Should Be Available on Chat

5 min read
May 23, 2017
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how long I should be available on chat

Once you set up your LiveChat, besides deciding on a cool picture for your agent’s profile, you probably have some other thoughts crossing your mind.

For example, “how long I should be available on the chat? Is it OK if a chat is running only during the store opening hours? If not, then how long?" And finally, “if I’m not available on chat, how much do I lose when a customer comes to my website?”

These are basic questions you face when you begin your journey with LiveChat. There’s even a chance you ask them long after your 30 days trial ended. We get that, some things take time. Let me help you figure out what hours you should be available on the chat by analyzing your customers behaviour.

Why is it beneficial for you to have a chat available as long as possible?

How can I decide the time I should be available on chat?

There are a few actions you can take to analyze the hours in which customers need you the most:

1. Analyze the numbers of tickets you get from an offline form

Let’s say you own a bowling club and you offer LiveChat on your website. Visitors probably come to you in the evenings; I don’t know many people who go bowling before noon. You, on the other hand, probably open in the afternoon.

How about when people are interested in booking a bowling lane or ask for the prices? They probably want to reach out to you during their working hours, long before the evening. Do they write to you then?

Analyze the tickets you got from visitors when you weren’t on chat. The number of tickets shows you the amount of customers who wanted to talk to you but you weren’t available. If you analyze how many customers wanted to talk to you, then you can focus on exact hours they wanted to reach you.

2. Analyze which hours customers write to you the most

What are the hours customers filled out the offline forms the most? Is it at night when they’re looking for some fun things to do in the town, or around noon when they’re at work, trying to plan their evening?

If you find out that people actually write to you before the afternoon, you might want to reconsider being available on chat a few hours before actual opening.

3. Check out the traffic in your Google Analytics over 24 hour period

You also need to think of those visitors who don't write to you just because you are not available. It’s possible they want to chat with you but decide not to fill out an offline form. “Oh, nobody is gonna respond anyway,” they probably think and leave your website.

Let me be clear, it’s not the end of the world, but chances are those visitors reached out to competition, changed their plans (they don’t go bowling anymore), or just came back to you long after (and they could’ve been your customer a lot earlier).

I know I’m exaggerating, but I need to do this in order to give you the idea and attitude about being available for customers when they need you.

What’s next?

If you already know the times customers come to your website the most, you can widen LiveChat availability hours and see if the number of chats rises. Give it a try, and I bet you won’t come back to the previous hours you were available on chat. You wouldn’t forgive yourself all of these missed opportunities. You have entrepreneur’s blood in your veins, after all!

To make your life easier, you can use Livechat on mobile. It basically allows you to take your office with you. You can respond to customers using your phone, while cooking or doing shopping. It’s like texting your friend, but quicker – you don’t procrastinate with a customer.

Mobile chat is a crucial benefit for you, because you don’t lose any leads. So why have an offline form when you can answer questions no matter where you are?

I can’t be available 24/7

There’s also one inconvenience. Every entrepreneur needs to sleep at some point. If you’re not able to hire anybody to respond on LiveChat at night, we have experts who can chat for you.

Check out a bunch of services that can staff LiveChat on your website, and sleep tight knowing you won’t lose any leads anymore.

Be where your customers need you

It doesn’t matter whether the owner is on the chat, or you have a whole team of support agents – or even outsource it. As long as people provide great customer service on your behalf, it’s all that matters.

So, to answer the question from the very beginning - how long should you be available on chat? Only one answer is correct. As long as your customers need you.

If you're curious to find out more about this topic, listen to the webinars "Heroes Assemble pt. III: Follow me, team!"