With all of the flexibility that running a business online via an e-commerce site, one challenge stands out as one that can be much more difficult than an in person experience – customer service. While support desks, email and phone are the basic methods of customer support, live chat has emerged as a clear advantage when keeping customers happy. After all, people are all about instant gratification and if you can solve a problem in real-time, the word-of-mouth could go a long way. Of course, the opposite could happen if a potential customer leaves without resolution.

E-commerce Live Chat

1 Why Live Chat

Simply put, no one wants to wait. Consumers aren’t willing anymore to send off an email and hold their breath. Quite a few people shop online because they’d rather not interact with a rep face-to-face, so a phone call may not be preferred. Think of the massive consumer base that would rather send their friend a text than to actually call. These are the reasons that email and phone support just isn’t cutting it anymore.

And while live chat appears to be a customer service function, the truth is that customer service can go a long way in solidifying sales during an e-commerce experience. So an investment into live chat is more than just customer service, it will act as a sales tool, as well that can drive revenue.

2 Who Will Be Handling Inquiries

Many site owners are quick to think along the lines of “cheap outsource worker,” but the truth is that this is a delicate job. Is putting the tipping point of the user experience into the hands of someone on the other side of the globe, who is completely unaware of what you expect the experience to be like, and who is probably getting paid peanuts? Don’t get me wrong, “cheap” and “outsourced” is not to be ruled out, nor are they necessarily negative terms, by any means. But due diligence must be done with these employees. Find a real star performer and let them go.

A good idea might be to take the helm for a period of time yourself. If for no other reason than for being able to support and answer your rep, once they’re in place, you may also be able to build up a nice knowledgebase that will set the tone for how support is to be given to your visitors and customers.

3 Take User Feedback Seriously

Since live chat is an investment into your business that should be a significant step forward, take feedback from your users seriously when they point out anything constructive about the chat experience. From how easy it was to find, to feedback on the actual support provided, the experience needs to be positive for the integration of live chat to be beneficial.