Live Chat Services: How To Hire, Manage And Retain A Support Team

Customers want to interact with companies 24/7 in this digital age. Apart from phone calls and video calls, customers now expect other convenient support methods, like email, social media and live chat services. Companies are now turning towards providing live chat support to customers. Live chat support has the ability to share links, collect information and save full transcripts for later use. It is an ideal service tool. Online chat agents should be excellent in communication skills and verifying customer data. Live chat services can boost work productivity and help you to know the customer better.

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What Is Live Chat Support?

Live chat support is a way for customers to get real-time support from the agents. This system helps in back-and-forth conversations with the support agents. Most businesses have live chat services on their websites. Online chat is different from instant messaging, as it is session based. The conversational history vanishes after the exchange is over or the problem is fixed. On the other hand, messaging stores the conversation for future use. Customers can ask questions via live chat support, and a representative will swiftly respond to them in the same window. Customers prefer live chat services as they have to spend less time waiting for a solution.

Benefits Of Live Chat Support

What are the benefits of live chat support?

Improved support experience

Live chat improves customer support experience. The quick response mechanism of live chat support lets the customer get their questions answered in no time. Customers find emailing the support team a bit complex. It Is hard to know which information team needs and also when the customer will get back a response. Customer satisfaction is higher with online chat as it quickly resolves issues.

Customer acquisition and onboarding

Live chat support helps to connect with potential and new customers. It gives them a sense of security for using your product or services. It helps in removing confusion and build trust with the customer.

Build rapport with customers

During online chats, agents can observe the customer’s way of talking and adjust according to them. By matching the tone of the customer, agents can build a rapport with them. A friendly and helpful relationship with the customer can help to convert a conversation into business.

Saves customers from repetition

Customers dislike explaining the same issue again and again. They want agents to know their details, issues, and support history. With live chat services, agents can read the messages as well as have access to all the information of the customer. They can also see notes from previous chats.

Increase in the productivity

A customer support agent can handle only one call at once, but with live chat, they can juggle a few at once. For the simple questions asked by the customers, agents can handle five chats in one go. Choose software that can handle chats, emails, and other supports in one tool. This will allow the agents to remain in one place resulting in increasing their productivity.

Round-the-clock availability

Live chat services can be made available 24/7. It will allow customers to ask questions anytime they want to. With round-the-clock availability, customers will feel taken care of regardless of the time. This will increase customer satisfaction.

Edge over competitors

Live chat support can give you an edge over your competitors. Would the customer pick up the phone and call customer service to get their questions addressed if trying to choose between two items? Or would you be more attracted by the business that is easily accessible on their website? Most customers like to ask questions over chat.

Who To Hire For Customer Support?

Customer support is very crucial for any business. This team consists of employees with different backgrounds, each providing their unique skill set. There are some common characteristics that most customer support employees should have. Let’s have a look at them.  

Problem-solving

The main job of a customer support staff is to solve problems for customers. Employees in this domain need to be very responsive as they have to face new challenges at any time. They should have excellent problem-solving skills. They should know how to research the problem and eventually find a solution. 

Adaptability

Customer support is all about flexibility. A customer support staff should know that even if two customers are facing the same problem, it does not mean that two cases are exactly the same. Every customer has their specific needs. Adaptable support staff can recognise these needs and accordingly change their troubleshooting methods.

Tenacity

Customer support can sometimes be frustrating. When a customer is waiting for an instant reply and the staff is unsure about the answer, it can be very annoying. So, customer support staff need to be firm and determined. They should have a creative bend of mind to find solutions of the issues.

How To Hire A Support Team?

Live chat support can attract new customers and help to grow the business. Live chat also helps in retaining old customers. Live chat support has the highest customer satisfaction rate. Let us see some tips to hire a live chat support team for your business.

1. Determine your needs

The first step is to determine the level of support you need. You should determine how many support hours you need. Is it typical business hours or 24/7? You need to make assumptions about how many tickets you will receive. Determining how many clients your agents will handle which will give you the count of the agents you will need to hire.

2. Skills needed

You should have a clear understanding of the type of issues a live chat agent will handle and the skills necessary to do it.The agents should have great writing, typing, and computer navigation skills. Also, check to see if they require any form of technological skills. Attention to detailed and excellent customer service is necessary for a satisfying experience.

3. Advertise job posts

For hiring live chat support agents, advertise in the right places where people are looking for jobs. Indeed is one of the popular sites. You can also advertise on specific job boards like SuccessJobs, CustomerServiceJobs and CustomerServiceCrosssing. For part-time chat agent roles, you might consider sites like Upwork.

4. Assess applicants

Take an assessment test to determine whether the candidate is a good fit. This can help you to shortlist the right candidate and move forward with them.

5. Live chat simulation assessment

This assessment measures a candidate’s ability to effectively handle many chats at once. In the assessment, applicants are given many support queries and assessed for their ability to provide quality responses on time.  

6. Trial shift and onboarding

Evaluate the final candidates on the basis of a trial shift. See how they work and handle customer queries. Once you have selected the final candidate start the onboarding process. Ensure to well-equip the new agents with the knowledge and training that they need to do their job successfully.

How To Manage And Retain A Customer Support Team? 

A good customer service team is the right mix of quick response, teamwork, achieving goals and targets, and consistency and agility. A customer service manager is responsible for managing and retaining the support team.

Tips to manage the team

Caring for employees:- Managers should get to know their staff through personality assessments and regular one-to-one discussions. This will help them to understand the staff’s thought process and their motivations.

Communicate:- Managers should ensure open communication between the team members. It helps to improve their performance and prevent mistakes. Effective and transparent communication helps to maintain consistency.

Provide training: Customer service managers should ensure that new hires are getting proper training. This helps employees to develop new skills and feel confident. For existing employees, there should be easy-to-navigate procedures and job aids.

Feedback: Managers should give feedback on the work on a regular basis. This establishes a clear expectation of their performances. It helps the employees to understand what and how they need to improve.

Tips to retain the team

Invest in orientation: Give the new hires a comprehensive orientation. Tell them the values of the company that you want them to follow.

Healthy work-life balance: Encourage a healthy work-life balance among employees. This helps employees to perform better and increase productivity. Encourage them to let you know if the workload gets heavier.

Opportunities for advancements: Provide your team members with fair advancement opportunities regularly. If they don’t have career advancement opportunities then they can switch jobs.

Customer assistance may be significantly improved by hiring excellent live chat support staff. Customers value live chat services for their promptness and convenience. You can prepare to hire the ideal individuals by planning to grasp the job of live chat agents. Make sure they succeed by evaluating the candidates’ pertinent skills and competencies. The success of the customer support team can be ensured by offering opportunities for continuous development. A good customer service team aids in attracting new clients and keeping hold of existing ones.

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