10 January 2009 20:28pm
I'd appreciate a little advice for a project I'm looking at.
I've never used Live Chat before and am keen to understand what success people have had using it to either:
1. Enhance the customer service experience for the user/customer, or take pressure off a call centre.2. Use Live Chat as a tool to increase conversion
Finally who are the current UK market leaders in this technology?
Any experience that you good people out there have would be most appreciated, however brief a reply.
Director of Research and Education at Econsultancy
11 January 2009 10:46am
Econsultancy is currently working on an Online Customer Service Buyers Guide, hopefully to be published next month.
Along with core information about OCS, this guide will also help point you in the right direction of the leading UK Live Chat suppliers.
E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker
13 January 2009 12:27pm
'top of the range' is liveperson who have some great functionality. Chris Humphris was my contact there - he's a good guy. Their system can meet both of your requirements, but depends on the level of traffic you've got, your market & your margins whether it would work overall.
Feel free to post more details or get in touch & I'll add more.
Hope that helps,
Technical Architect at Willis Group Services Ltd
13 January 2009 19:10pm
Founding Partner & CEO at Essence
20 January 2009 11:15am
There is no doubt that Live Chat solutions can enhance a user's experience in both customer service and sales arenas.
From an acquisition perspective, we have found repeatedly across clients such as Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk that offering as many customer response channels as possible significantly improves conversion rates. We've run run tests to prove this where we tracked sales through inbound telesales back to specific marketing channel (e.g. we could see where Google pay per click search drove sales into inbound telesales lines). This drove an approx. 40% uplift in total volume vs. disabling the display of telesales numbers on the site. There was inevitably a cannibalisation effect but the overall uplift more than offset this (the mix was ultimately more like 50:50 online vs. inbound teleesales). Adding LivePerson into this mix would obviously add yet another dimension and I'd expect some cannibalisation of both online and telesales figures but an overall uplift. Sadly I don't have precise figures for that particular configuration.
One word of warning however. A few years back Carphone Warehouse used LivePerson and had some very serious technical performance problems with it which were causing the entire website to hang. This may have been some technical incompatibility between their respective technologies but the impact was obviously disastrous - and far outweighed any potentially positive impact. Andy Harding was Director of Strategic Web Services at CPW at the time - now E-Commerce Director at Ryman - you can find him in the Member Directory here. He may be able to give you some more detail on what the issue was.
Matt0777 553 0719
Open Source ECM Consultant at Squiz
20 January 2009 14:27pm
I have tried to answer your questions below:
"1. Enhance the customer service experience for the user/customer, or take pressure off a call centre."
Through our work as an independent consultancy to the financial services industry we have found that it does take pressure off the call centre, but only when you offer it on a pro-active basis i.e. when you have resource available.
It has also been known to reduce the amount of support emails received
"2. Use Live Chat as a tool to increase conversion"
Again from experience, it does increase conversion rates - but again it won't if it is not available immediately, so only offer it when you have the resource to do so.
"3. Finally who are the current market leaders in this technology?"
Companies that come up in our discussions with clients are:LivepersonInstant Service
Sorry I can't offer any stats, but would certainly believe the stats mentioned by Matt above.
CEO at Econsultancy
21 January 2009 10:11am
Another supplier is TouchCommerce (was called InQ until quite recently).
RL at real estate company
15 December 2009 21:34pm
i was thinking of getting live chat customer service and/or live
chat operators doing customer service for my website but when I
read this article from Ed Kohler I changed my mind!
15 December 2009 21:58pm
Good evening Anonymous!!
Well the example you use is a very bad example as this is more about the policies of the company and their call centre staff rather than the live chat software solution.
Their is no difference betweens someone being on hold for live chat and someone being on hold on a phone call, both users will get annoyed and if you as a company want to offer this as a solution then you should make sure you have the staff to manage it.
We have implement live chat for a large number of call centre centric and sme websites with positive results. Normally you can get a cost saving with live chat compare to standard 'telephones', and offering it as contact option can increase sales as well (or at least customer satisfaction).
Live Chat should not replace a standard phone number but can definetly compliment it as part of your strategy if implemented correctly.
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