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The modern world thinks fast, reads fast and acts fast. Similarly, it also expects quick solutions to its problems. According to a report, 60% of consumers between the ages of 18 to 34 use live chat on a daily basis. Moreover, about 90% of customers expect an instant response to their inquiry, according to HubSpot. That’s where live chat agents come in. These agents provide customers with instant support and personalized interactions, making them feel valued and heard. They can even help you sell stuff! In this blog, we’re going to discuss further why they are so important for customer support, the skills needed to be a great agent, and how outsourcing live chat agents can be fruitful for any business.
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Who are Live Chat Agents
Look into the lower right corner. See that chat icon? If you start a chat there, you’ll get a reply within a matter of seconds.
Now you might think that there’s a chatbot or it’s some kind of an AI tool. But you’re wrong – that’s not the case.
There’s a trained, expert live chat agent sitting on the other end ready to handle your query in a human manner, which no AI or chatbox can.
Live chat agents are trained professionals who provide real-time customer support through chat interfaces on websites or mobile apps.
Their role in customer support is to assist customers with their queries and concerns, provide relevant information, and resolve any issues they may face.
They also help with sales in eCommerce by being proactive and helping a customer make up their mind about a product.
What is Outsourcing Live Chat Agents
Instead of hiring in-house staff to provide live customer support, you can hire a third party to manage your company’s live chat for you. This is known as outsourced live chat support.
Most likely, it will be a company that offers outsourced live chat agents. These agents work remotely and are trained to provide the same level of support as in-house agents.
Outsourcing live chat agents is a cost-effective solution – it helps eliminate the cost of staffing and training and helps the company focus more on its internal functioning.
Read more on outsourcing: The Ultimate Guide to Customer Support Outsourcing 2023
Benefits of Outsourcing Live Chat Agents
Outsourcing your live customer support to chat agents saves you a large number of resources on staffing and training in-house.
Chat agents working for customer service outsourcing companies are already skilled and trained to handle all kinds of customer queries.
If you still choose to employ an in-house team for customer support, it’ll cost you tons in infrastructure, training, and salaries!
More importantly, live chat agents are also cost-effective as compared to call agents. This is because a chat agent attends to several visitors at once unlike a call center agent.
This means that a few live chat agents can attend to the same amount of customer queries as a large number of call center agents.
Outsourcing firms have a proper training program in place for their agents, They’re evaluated and assessed before they are allowed to handle live queries from customers.
Furthermore, they not only have the knowledge of it, but they also have hands-on experience. Someone who launches a good business most likely won’t be an expert in handling customer support as well.
Outsourcing customer support to a third party helps move that hurdle out of the way from the start.
For example, HiredSupport is handling customer support for WOWCube during their pre-ordering stage!
Outsourced live chat agents help make your business scalable and flexible. In case there is a sudden spike in customer queries or a drop in them, you can scale your customer support accordingly.
If you’ve hired an in-house team, it can be a headache to upsize or downsize it according to the needs of the hour.
Multiple firms offer scalable solutions such as pay-per-agent or pay-per-chat, which makes outsourcing a highly flexible option.
Improved Customer Service
As mentioned above, outsourced chat agents are trained and skilled before they’re allowed to deal with customers. Their skill set combined with their experience makes them a powerhouse in dealing with customer support!
Moreover, customers and live chat representatives can share their screens and co-browse to resolve an issue much faster.
That has a direct impact on improving the customer service of your business. An in-house team that you might hire and train might miss out on small factors that are crucial for a seamless customer experience.
Revenue Boost through Proactive Engagement
Imagine that a potential customer is wandering around your website looking for something. A chat box pops up that says, “looking for something?”. If I was that wanderer I am pretty sure that for a moment I would be glad at how the chat box knew exactly what I was doing – looking for something.
Live chat options offer proactive support. What that means is that a potential customer might be stuck indecisive and confused in the middle of the funnel (ignore my marketing lingo). But with that proactive popup, they might start a live chat and the experienced agent operating on the other side might convince them to buy your service!
There are three stages through which live chat can increase sales – the presale stage, the closing of the sale, and the post-sale assistance stage. Throughout the cycle, live chat operators assist customers and ultimately lead to a smoother sale process for them.
Let’s back that up through facts – according to a study, live chat increases revenue per chat hour by 48% and conversion rate by up to 40%! Those are huge numbers.
Long story short, outsourced live chat agents help increase your online sales and conversions by providing proactive customer service.
The world’s a global marketplace – any firm with an online presence has potential customers from across the globe. A diverse client base means differing time zones.
For an in-house team, it could be difficult to match the time zones of your international customers. An important lead could be lost, or even a sale!
That’s where outsourced chat agents come in. Most of the companies that offer outsourced customer support representatives have chat agents available throughout the day. As an example, HiredSupport offers 24/7 live chat support as well.
So once you’ve outsourced your live chat support, you can stop regretting any missed opportunities!
There are multiple factors through which outsourcing can boost your company’s efficiency:
- Multitasking: Outsourced live chat agents can handle multiple queries at the same time. This simply increases customer satisfaction by cutting down on response times.
- Improved metrics: Outsourcing companies have the latest analytic tools available at their disposal. They use those tools to provide detailed metrics and reports on chat volume, response times, and customer satisfaction. This allows businesses to monitor their performance in a better way!
- Specialization: Live chat agents have a skillset specific to the needs of their customers. They’re way more trained and skilled than you might think! This results in a higher quality of service and shorter resolution times.
Access to the Latest Technology
Live chat outsourcing companies have access to the latest tools and software. This includes advanced chat software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, knowledge management systems, AI, and chatbots, as well as top-of-the-edge analytic tools.
Outsourcing your live chat to third parties helps you access all these tools and more! This results in a much more personalized experience for your customers.
Sometimes, live chat is just not enough! In case you need to follow up on a lead you gained through live chat, you might have to mail them or contact them through calls. Customer support outsourcing firms offer multichannel support. Not only do they provide live chat support on the website, but they also offer email and phone support.
Multichannel support helps with establishing a brand name, customer loyalty, and long-term customer satisfaction.
Deeper Focus on Internal Functions
Managing customer queries can be a headache. It isn’t as easy as it sounds – there are a lot of factors that come into play while dealing with all kinds of customers! Once you’ve outsourced your customer support to a third party, you are free to focus more on the essential activities of your business.
In conclusion, today’s fast-paced business environment requires providing exceptional customer support to retain customers and grow your business. As discussed above, live chat support is one of the most effective and convenient tools to do that.
The ten benefits of live chat customer support outlined above, including cost-effectiveness, improved customer service, expert agents, increased sales and revenue, and multichannel support, highlight the advantages of using live chat to provide real-time assistance to customers.
Furthermore, by outsourcing live chat agents, businesses can focus on their core operations and gain access to the latest technology and multilingual support. Overall, incorporating live chat customer support into your business improves customer satisfaction, drives sales growth, and enhances your brand’s reputation in the marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The cost of outsourcing live chat agents depends on many factors such as the company to which you’re outsourcing, the number of agents required, and the scope of services covered. There are firms that offer flexible pricing models as well which can help businesses save on cost
Do proper homework before handing your customer support to a third party. Read their case studies, reviews, and testimonials. Ask for information from the company about their years of experience, training, and the proficiency of their chat agents. Many companies also offer free trials, which can be very helpful before you make up your mind.
Keep it simple – set clear goals and expectations, and measure performance regularly. A good customer support outsourcing firm will have a robust training program in place for its chat agents. Provide feedback and make adjustments according to the needs of the business.
Yes, many outsourcing agents offer live chat support in multiple languages, which can be beneficial for businesses with a diverse customer base. It is important to verify the language proficiency of the outsourced agents and ensure that they can effectively communicate with customers in the desired languages.
The loss of control over customer service is a risk in itself, which can be mitigated by hiring a reliable outsourcing company. Further potential risks include language and cultural differences and data security and confidentiality concerns.