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In this day and age, online consumers are used to instant satisfaction when doing their shopping and, when it comes to questions, they expect to receive the answers as quick as they can type them.

That’s where live chat customer support comes in.

Live chat allows businesses to communicate in real time by text with visitors on their Web site. The convenience and speed in which answers can be made for customers provides a better shopping experience for many. This method is also much more preferable than picking up a phone and calling for support or even emailing and awaiting a response.

Features may vary from each live support application but the basic features could include a live chat application which provides real time visitor monitoring, custom chat windows, an invisible traffic analysis and secure administration controls.

For online businesses, or business with an online store, it seems logical to integrate live chat support systems into their Web sites, but it requires an informed decision about what’s out there, what’s available, and what suits a particular industry in the best way.

For example, it’s important to look for a live chat service that is simple to set up and maintain for operators. Simple conveniences such as a built-in spell checker, pre-written chat greetings that can be edited and the ability to transfer live chats to another operator if need be. As well, it is very helpful to offer the choice of emailing a transcript of the chat session to a customer.

The benefits are not restricted to the consumer though. Aside from the increase in customer satisfaction, businesses can collect information about their online customers such as which Web site they came from, what pages they visited while on business’s Web site, what browser they are using, whether they have been on the Web site before or if they are looking up past chats. With this information, online businesses are able to better promote their Web site and cater to the needs of customers. With some software, businesses even have the ability to send customers a survey after their chat, or even place ads in the chat windows.

For those that are worried about online security, there are live chat services which offer Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) secure data transfer abilities which use a cryptographic system that has two keys to encrypt data – one that is public and known to everyone and one that is a privet key which is known only to the recipient of the message. This feature helps the customer feel at ease when chatting about sensitive issues. As well, if at any time there is a visitor on the Web site that is harassing an operator, many services provide a feature which will block an IP address, which then blocks the computer from accessing the live chat server.

The benefits of live chat customer support are extensive. The customer is able to receive the information that they want in a short span of time and business owners can collect valuable data that will, in turn, help them provide better customer service.

Henny van Droven is a specialist in business Internet solutions at SmarttNet (www.smartt.com), a Vancouver company offering comprehensive Internet services including, but not limited to e-marketing, Web development and Web hosting.

Article Source: The Low Down On Live Chat Customer Support Systems


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