In today’s competitive business world, customer experience has become the new battleground of business. The NOW Customers are choosing to do business with enterprises based on their overall experience with the brand, including the customer support they receive. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that modern communication tools have become the new normal in terms of how companies interact and communicate with their customers. And talking about contemporary customer communication tools, Live chat is one of the fastest-growing customer support technologies in the world, and it has even surpassed outsourcing email support. When planned and implemented intuitively, Live chat can help your business quickly scale leads, sales, and profits.
Unfortunately, multinational companies have been mopping and holding onto qualified live chat customer support professionals, leaving small businesses to compete for limited skills. And that’s where live chat outsourcing services come in.
In this article, we are going to discuss what live chat outsourcing is, the benefits, and how you can hire live chat customer service agents using the outsourcing model.
What Is Live Chat Outsourcing?
Outsourcing live chat operators is a business strategy that entails hiring third-party professional sales and customer service teams to respond to customer inquiries in real-time. These live chat inquiries are usually from customers looking for more information about the products or services listed on a particular website.
As a business owner, there are several compelling reasons why you should consider outsourcing a customer service chat representative or agency. They include:
- When looking to reduce the cost of maintaining an in-house customer service department.
- If you’re having issues in making conversions.
- Finding it hard to run and maintain a big in-house live chat support team.
How to Find an Effective Live Chat Support Team
With so many businesses recognizing the benefits of live chat support and embracing it, it’s no surprise that the role of a live chat virtual assistant is fast-growing for many BPOs, contact centers, and other businesses too. Whilst you may think that remote assistance live chat outsourcing is limited to vetting the typing and customer orientation skills of the individuals, there’s a lot more than goes into it.
Below, we have compiled a list of factors that will help streamline your live chat answering services outsourcing process.
Determine Your Needs
The first step to hiring remote live chat support services is to determine the level of support you need. By doing so, you’re able to better understand what you need to look for when comparing the different service providers. And to successfully do so, you need to try and answer the following questions:
- How many live chat support hours do you need to cover? Some businesses prefer to hire live chat agents to work during typical business hours, while others prefer to outsource live chat 24/7.
- How many live chat support chat tickets do you expect to get?
- Does the agency offer omni-channel support?
- And so on.
Define the Role and Skills Needed
Given the important role played by live chat remote support teams, you need to hire chat agents that are not only skilled in their role but also have a clear understanding of what the job position entails. To figure this out, you need to conduct a comprehensive job tasks analysis to establish the hard and soft skills that the agents need to have to ensure they provide customers with the best live chat experience.
Ideally, the agent should be able to provide qualified personnel with solid writing, typing, and computer navigation skills. They should also be tech-savvy enough to multitask and toggle between screens without difficulties. And of course, they should have customer service skills to help them build strong relationships with the customers.
On top of the core customer service skills, live chat agents should also have other soft skills including:
- Knowledge of your policy and procedures.
- They should care about the privacy of customers.
- Be good problem solvers.
- Keep response times low where possible.
- Possess closing ability.
Although the cost of hiring an inexperienced live chat service provider may seem like a win for your business, hiring an experienced team allows your company the chance to thrive. And in no way does this mean that you should never consider newbies, but you need to invest where you get the most ROI.
Ideally, the service provider should be able to show you their portfolio of past projects. And while at it, you should also consider contacting their previous clients to establish how the experience with the company was.
Running an in-house 24/7 live chat support department can be expensive. This is especially the case for small businesses that are strapped for cash. As such, you need to hire a service provider that’s willing to work within your budget, without compromising on the quality of the customer support services.
If you don’t have the time and resources to hire, maintain, and train an in-house team, you need to consider hiring live chat operators overseas. Salaries in countries like Ukraine, which is one of the best outsourced live chat services destinations are relatively low, meaning you get to save a lot.
Top 10 Questions to Ask a Live Chat Outsourcing Agency
Just like any other service industry out there, the outsource live chat support industry has multiple service providers offering all manner of services. Whilst they appear similar at first glance, not all are created equal. By asking several right questions, however, you can easily separate the wheat from the chauffeur.
Here are the top 10 questions you need to ask when assessing external online chat agents for hire:
- Is the agency specialized in live chat or they’re a generic contact center?
- Do they have knowledge and experience in your industry?
- How do they train their chat operators? And how long does it?
- Does their personnel have sufficient knowledge of my products to ensure they easily solve first-line issues, upsell, and retain uncertain customers?
- What are the agencies’ SLAs? (look for speed of response and customer satisfaction)
- Do the agents have KPIs? And if so, how are they measured?
- Are their services scalable? Does the agency allow you to upscale and downscale depending on your needs?
- Do they provide Service Level Agreements?
- Can their technology integrate with my existing CRM?
- Can you test the services listed on their website?
How Our Company May Assist You in Staffing Your Live Chat Support Team
As earlier indicated, not all live chat agents for hire are created equal. For this reason, you need to hire a live chat agent that understands your needs to ensure you get the most out of your money.
- Presales. Our team of professional agents will provide website chat support to your website visitors to convert them into potential leads and sales conversions. They do this by proactively engaging your customers as they casually browse through your site, ultimately boosting sign-ups, sales, and appointments.
- Product support. Our 24 hour live chat operator will also give instant answers to your customers. Whether it’s simple messages or even complicated customer services inquiries, our agents have the professional background to support product challenges.
- Customer retention. From turning cart abandonment into revisits and cancelations into renewals, our agents will help you retain the existing customers, as well as attract new ones.
- Onboarding. Our agents will ensure that your customers have an easy time setting up and running so you get the highest possible value from your products and services.
- Billing and account management. We are skilled and experienced in resolving everything from customer plans, bills, credits, refunds, and adjustments.
- Cross-selling and upselling. We treat every chat as an opportunity. After resolving customer issues, we introduce any new offers that you may have to the customers, ensuring we deliver up to 200% ROI.
How We Hire Our Live Chat Support Agents
We understand the need for your business to hire the right candidates to manage your live chat support.
Here is how our hiring process works:
- Determine your hiring needs. The very first step in our hiring process begins with partnering with all our clients to establish their hiring needs. By doing so, we are able to get the most fitting candidates to fill the position.
- Select candidates. The next step entails choosing candidates from our network of customer support specialists to establish the ones that meet your needs. After that, we will forward their resumes for your review.
- Conduct interviews. Once you have selected your preferred candidates, we proceed to make interview arrangements. This is done via Skype or video conference. If requested, we can also help choose the right candidate by administering additional tests to the potential candidates.
- Contract and onboarding. After you have selected the right candidates, we will discuss your customer support staff workflow, determine a start date, and sign the service agreement. We will also continuously monitor the onboarding process to ensure everyone remains on the same page in terms of delivering your end goal.