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Live Chat Software for Customer Service: 5 Red Flags to Watch For

Who doesn’t love instant gratification? It’s not surprising that live chat is one of the most popular ways for customers to connect with companies. In fact, it's the leading digital contact method for online customers, according to JD Power.

Many companies are now delivering this type of instant engagement for live support, but to ensure your customers have the best live chat app experience, it’s critical to use the right live chat software.

If your enterprise is looking to deliver world-class customer care, here are five potential red flags to watch for when selecting a live chat solution.

Beware if...

1. The live chat app is free.

Everyone loves free stuff, so this may seem counter-intuitive. But free live chat apps often present the following limitations that can hinder enterprises from providing a great customer experience:

  • Limits on messaging only a fixed number of customers
  • Only allowing one agent to chat at a time
  • Limited (if any) customization or configuration options
  • Lack of reporting
  • Security and data concerns (if the service is free, is your customers’ data the product?)
  • Lack of support and development

On top of the limitations above, customer service offerings that look “cheap” send a strong message to your customers about how important they are to you – or not.

2. The live chat software is a point solution.

Customers want seamless, omnichannel, modern experiences. You want coherent, cohesive data and streamlined processes. Picking a different point solution each time you add a new channel – whether it’s live chat, SMS, social messaging, or voice assistants – makes consistency and scalability extremely challenging.

It’s better to choose a single CX platform that offers a consistent experience for customers and agents alike, while combining first-party data from all sources into a single hub.

3. The live chat app does not integrate with case management.

When evaluating live chat software, it’s important to consider some of the following questions:

  • How are agents notified of an incoming chat?
  • Is the experience user-friendly for agents?
  • Can they manage multiple customer chats at once?
  • How does the interaction data flow into the case management system?
  • Can case fields be pre-populated based on what is already known about the customer or the chat interaction?

Since agent efficiency and ease-of-use are of the utmost importance for quick, effective service experiences, integration between live chat and case management should be completely seamless. Make sure the tool you choose automates as many data-entry tasks as possible to speed up agents’ work.

4. The live chat software does not make it easy for agents to respond accurately.

In a recent report, Forrester analysts examined what brands are doing when it comes to measuring live chat quality. One of the most important components was response accuracy. When it comes to measuring the quality of live chat experiences, leading customer service organizations are asking:

  • Did the agent answer the customer’s question correctly?
  • Did they answer all the customer’s questions?
  • Did they proactively answer questions that the customer may not have asked but which are common follow-up questions?
  • Did they solve the customer’s problem and get an acknowledgement that the issue was resolved?

To set agents up for success in these areas, look for a solution that supplies agents with up-to-date, accurate answers right within their case screen. This allows them to quickly and confidently answer customer questions via live chat without worrying about providing inaccurate replies.

5. The live chat app does not have automation or chatbot options.

Many brands choose to begin with live chat manned only by their human agents, monitoring conversations to understand the most common customer questions and use cases. Then, they add a chatbot to handle the bulk of common customer queries and escalate to a human agent when needed.

From there, some use this blended approach as a way to adopt and scale new communication channels without adding significantly to agent workload.

When selecting a live chat software solution, consider your future roadmap. If your plans include a chatbot and additional contact channels, make sure the solution is built to make automation and deployment channels easy to add.

At Astute, we work with leading consumer brands to build frictionless, omnichannel CX with a platform of customer engagement solutions, including case management, live chat, chatbots and more. Our team would be happy to help you design your CX roadmap – schedule a demo of our solutions to learn more.

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