Changing shopping trends are likely to reshape this 2020 holiday season.
71% of Americans claimed in early August that their holiday traditions will change by up to 10 points. This impacts the way consumers will spend, travel, shop, and celebrate this season. And it is this change in the consumer behavior landscape that will pose a challenge for all the brands in the market.
But brands need to understand one thing that while consumer behavior may change going forward, their habit to reach out for support won’t. They would still wish to get access to instant support that helps them arrive at a solid decision. To make instant help possible, you’ll need live chat software to manage support during the holidays on your website besides offering phone and email platforms.
Studies also suggest that 79% of businesses prefer to use live chat at their website instead of email (61%), phone (44%), and social media (48%) platforms to communicate with customers for instant support.
But simply adding live chat to your website won’t be enough.
You will have to come up with strategies that will help your support team manage live chat during the holiday season. And just in case you need a head start in this direction, then we’re here to help you out.
In this blog, we’ll explore how live chat can help your business during the holiday season and seven ways to help you handle live chat support during holidays. In an additional section, we’ll briefly explore how you can use live chat to drive conversions during the holiday season and how to manage post-holiday rush in chat requests.
Let’s get started.
How Can Live Chat Help During the Holidays?
Why is it important to use live chat during the holiday season?
At different stages of the customer lifecycle, live chat turns out to be a saving grace for business owners. Once implemented on the website it helps them manage multiple customers at the same time and offer a solution faster. You can basically optimize your live chat support for the holiday season and make sure no support query goes unanswered.
But when it comes to the holiday season, live chat turns out to be a lucrative option even for sales team as it helps them to:
- Capture market qualified leads in real-time
- Initiate a chat that helps sales and support teams understand customer intent better
- Identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities that can be offered during an ongoing conversation
- Close a sale while having a conversation with the customer
- Encourage customers to visit the business again for future purchases by creating a seamless experience for them in real-time
In a nutshell, you can use live chat tools to increase your holiday AOV (average order value) without compromising on their experience with your brand.
That’s why it is important to use live chat during the holiday season on your business website.
7 Tips to Manage Live Chat During the Holiday Season
Now that we know how crucial live chat can be for businesses, it is time we check out some tips on how to use live chat during the holiday season. These tips for customer support during the holidays will empower your operators on how to manage customers while maintaining the quality of customer support experience at the same time. Let’s explore these tips on how to live chat during the holiday season below.
1. Customize Your Chat Widget
Holiday season vibe shouldn’t be restricted to just your website or customized sales pop ups. If your live chat solution gives you ample options to customize the live chat widget, then do not hesitate to color it with your preferred seasonal colors.
Solutions like ProProfs Chat come with advanced chat widget customization options where you can change the theme through text and window styling. What’s more, it helps you get more creative with advanced CSS customization options.
But why customize your chat widget?
First of all, it helps you announce that you’ve entered the holiday season that gets your visitors all excited for what’s next. And two, it is important for the chat widget to fit the theme that your website is following for the season. The live chat widget may not look like it is a part of the same website if it doesn’t match its current theme.
2. Create & Add Personalized Chat Greetings
You can also handle live chat support during the holiday season by creating and adding personalized chat greetings on your website. It’s an excellent strategy to keep your visitors engaged on the website and identify if they’ve come with a purchase intent or not.
These automated messages won’t just help you to pitch a sales idea but also practice proactive support in real-time for visitors who end up getting stuck on one page for long. You can even set a timer for them to pop up on your website if the visitor has been on the page for more than 10-20 seconds.
This strategy helps your operators to reach out to customers first and resolve their problems before they even surface. At the same time, they can handle live chat requests during the holiday season easily.
3. Announce Latest Discounts & Flash Sales
You can also use features like Announcements to handle live chat support during the holiday season.
But how does it work?
A few live chat solutions like ProProfs Chat offer users the option to create announcements through their software. You can let your visitors know about the upcoming sales and discounts they shouldn’t miss.
The use of such a feature leaves you with two outcomes.
One, you can identify upsell opportunities for your business. Two, you can increase engagement on your website without customers approaching your support team and directly moving towards the bottom of the sales funnel (BOFU). This makes it one of the most effective tips for managing live chat support during the holiday season too.
4. Offer After Hours Support to Meet Expectations
One of the tips for handling live chat support during the holiday season is to offer after hours customer service.
A lot of operators and admins reading this might feel low and may say that “hey, we already know this and we already do this.”
But what if we told you that you don’t necessarily have to sit after hours to meet customer support expectations?
If you’ve been using live chat customer service for holiday rush planning, then you should know that there are certain companies that help you answer customer queries before they even reach you.
Software providers like ProProfs Chat offer integration with a knowledge base platform that helps you answer commonly asked questions faster.
This integration will not only help your operators manage live chat support during the holiday but also enable them to channelize their energy on more pressing issues at hand and improve their productivity. This is also a great way to avoid operator burnout.
5. Use Live Chat Report Data to Map Out this Year Trends
If you’ve been using live chat for quite some time, then you will have access to lots of data collected over the years through its in-depth reports.
This data can be inclusive of:
- Operator’s performance report
- Total number of chats received
- Total number of chats answered
- Average response time
And the list of information may go on depending on the live chat software you’re using.
But with access to this data, you can figure out:
- The tentative timeline that shows an increase in your website traffic and incoming chats
- How long do customers speak with your operators during the holiday season
- Are customers mostly impatient to get a solution or they can wait too
- What time do your customers prefer to approach your brand for support more frequently
Access to such data can help your support team provide more systematized support and boost online sales during the holiday season with live chat.
6. Never Miss Out a Support Chat
Managing live chat customer service during the holidays can be a challenge if there are too many chats to be answered by your operators. This can lead to delays and increased support queues that may ultimately result in missed chat.
That’s the last thing you’d want - missed support opportunities.
It isn’t because you’ll miss out on sales opportunities but you miss out on potential or existing customers. You miss out the opportunity to retain customers when support chats are missed by your team. But we also need to understand that operators can’t manage too many requests (9-12) at the same time. They’ll miss out on quality if they do so.
That’s why, you need to integrate your live chat with a help desk software to capture all the missed support opportunities easily.
Along with a ticketing software, your live chat operators can reach out to those missed support opportunities the moment they get free from their chat queue. Both missed chats and offline messages will convert into a ticket that can be replied by operators later. Even if you’re offline, this strategy will help you never miss out on support opportunities.
7. Introduce Chatbot to Overcome Operator Burnout
Finally, you also give chatbots a try to handle multiple chat requests efficiently.
During the holiday rush, your live chat operators would have a lot at hand. They will be in a conversation with the customers, discussing possible solutions with other teams and finally giving a solution to the customer.
This is where chatbot can streamline support requests for them. With a chatbot in place, you can prioritize requests that would need an operator’s insight or further technical support. Whereas, chat requests that enquire about order status or a frequently asked question can be managed by your chatbot.
This will again help you avoid operator burnout and manage live chat support during the holiday season.
How to Use Live Chat to Drive Conversions During the Holiday Season
While live chat helps you handle live chat support during the holiday season, it also helps you drive conversions at the same time. The tips for managing live chat support during the holiday season help you boost conversions.
However, there is more to the use of live chat to drive conversions during the holiday season. Let’s see how else it can help you to improve conversions.
1. Live Chat Helps You Avoid Cart Abandonment
Live chat helps you avoid cart abandonment and boost conversions as your operator gets to monitor real-time browning patterns of your visitors. They can track the stage where the visitors are and initiate a chat even during the checkout process if the visitor is taking time to complete the process.
2. Manage Multiple Chats Using Canned Responses
You can create holiday live chat canned responses to make sure that none of your visitors have to wait for an answer while the operator is managing others simultaneously.
This will simplify providing live chat support during the holiday season and help your operators improve conversions too. However, do make sure that you aren’t using them in excess. Use them only when you’re greeting the customer or answering a question that’s too frequently asked.
Tools like ProProfs Chat help you create cheerful greeting messages and holiday canned responses that can be saved as templates and used later on with a few tweaks elsewhere too.
3. Connect Instantly with Mobile Shoppers
There is a reason why live chat is seen to be a comprehensive customer support tool in the market. It can also help you manage live chat support requests and boost conversions by enabling your operators to offer support anytime, anywhere to all your mobile shoppers.
A few live chat solutions such as ProProfs Chat give you the option to manage customer support requests coming in from any platform at any time. That’s because they come with their own mobile app. With the ProProfs Chat mobile app, your operators would get more liberty to manage incoming requests from customers using either web or mobile applications. They can even initiate a chat with the customers using the app and encourage them to complete a sale.
How to Handle Post-holidays Rush in Chat Requests
Your responsibility as a brand never ends, even when you successfully complete the holiday season. The actual challenge starts once you’re done with holiday sales and customers approach you with new doubts. It means you’ll get to witness a rush in post-holidays chat requests that’ll also keep you busy just like the holiday season.
However, to get past that phase we’ve listed a few measures below that you can take to handle post-holiday rush in chat requests efficiently.
1. Reduce Customer Service Response Time Using Live Chat
With live chat, you can help your operators reduce response time for all the post-holidays chat requests. It’ll help you route the chat to the right department/operator that’ll help the customer find an instant solution.
Live chat can also integrate with a knowledge base and help you reduce the incoming chat requests for frequently asked questions. Another way in which it can help you reduce response time is through canned messages. They will help your operators offer prompt responses for common dialogues and avoid typing errors easily.
2. Keep Your Experienced Operators on Standby
A lot of new customers, that you would have successfully acquired for your business, would need immediate support and attention from your brand to maneuver through your products or services successfully. And some of these customers might end up approaching your brand at odd hours.
That means you would need your best chat operators on standby to get through such product and service related requests easily. Get your experienced staff onboard for this phase as they’ll be able to offer a solution or ways to get started with the product faster.
3. Compile Training Material for Customer Onboarding
To help your chat operators get through the post-holidays chat requests successfully, make sure you have some product training and process documentation in place. This will help you reduce the chat duration and offer a solution to the customer right away.
Simple process documentations can also help you complete the onboarding process and make sure that the customer has gathered a good amount of information about your product or service works.
4. Prepare Post-Chat Forms to Capture Detailed Customer Feedback
Customize and add more customer satisfaction questions to your post-chat form to capture detailed feedback efficiently. A detailed customer feedback via live chat can help your support teams and chat operators in general to come up with more strategies that can improve the post-sales support process further.
Handle Live Chat Support Seamlessly During the Holiday Season
With the use of live chat software, your business can manage multiple customers and at the same time improve conversions easily. It can help you predict holiday season trends for the upcoming year through the data collected via in-depth reports, help you create announcements, meet customer service expectations, offer proactive support, and a lot more.
A good live chat software will also help you avert any support chaos and help your operators build a seamless experience for all your customers. But to attain such results and manage live chat support during the holiday season, you need the best live chat software for your online business.
In case, you’ve just started looking for a chat tool for your website, then do give ProProfs Chat a try. It can help you handle live chat requests during the holiday season easily and even during the rest of the year.
Now that we've understood how to handle live chat requests during and post-holiday season, let's take a look at some of the frequently asked questions below.
How to make the most of increased holiday traffic with live chat?
Live chat helps you monitor visitor behavior. And that’s exactly what your operators should do if they want to understand your potential customers. After monitoring the visitors, the operators can initiate a chat to engage them with your brand and encourage them to make a purchase from your website. You can also use announcements and attract the increased holiday traffic on sales and limited time period offers.
What would post-holidays chat requests consist of and how to prepare your customer service team for this?
Post-holidays chat requests can consist of multiple issues that your customers may face after getting onboard with your brand or purchasing your products. They may have usability related issues or may ask for a complete demo on how to implement the use of product or service purchased from you. Besides that, some may not be satisfied and might try to return the product or cancel their subscription soon.
This is where your customer service team should be prepared with:
- Training materials that are illustrative and explain how the service or product should be implemented by the customer
- Directions on how to manage returns or cancellations and an idea about which scenarios would be suitable for exchange and returns
How to manage the worst live chat service interaction during the holiday season?
Not all live chat conversations can turn out to be perfect. But that doesn’t mean there is no way you can’t work to improve the same mistake in future. Use live chat transcripts to train your operators and if necessary even use them for role-play to put your operator’s activeness and preparedness to manage the chat.
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