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Overpowering the holiday rush with the chat widget

Overpowering the holiday customer service rush with live chat

There’s nothing customers appreciate more than fast, efficient service. In fact, nearly 50% of consumers say that having a live person answer their questions while in the middle of their purchase decisions is one of the most important things a brand can offer (source: Forrester). To satisfy your customers’ need for speed, you need to plan ahead for the holiday rush.

Start now, with the chat widget.

The chat widget lets you communicate with customers instantly and on the go. It’s is an integral part of your customer service toolbox and it’s super easy to set up. You can embed it in ANY website, so your customers can initiate a session from any webpage, not just your support center.

There are three steps to using the widget. First, the user clicks on the chat button, which opens a short form. The user enters their name and the question or topic that he or she needs help with. Then, the user proceeds to the chat window to interact with an agent.

1. Three steps of chat widget. Button - From - Chat window

1. Enable chat support

Start by clicking on Channels in the main menu of your Admin screen. Then, in the left navigation panel, click “Chat,” then “Advanced Settings.” Make sure the chat button is turned on (We recommend you turn all the additional options on. You can always change this later.) Tip: When your agents are not available to chat, direct them to your contact form instead of showing an inactive chat button.

2. Chat button enabled

2. Display the chat button

Embedding the chat button consists of copying a piece of code and pasting it where you want the button to render. To find this code, still on the Channels page, click on “Widgets” (under Chat) in the left navigation panel. Then click the “Embed Code” button. Copy the code and paste it where you want the button to show.

Popup or lightbox?

You can display chat in a popup (which opens a brand new window) or a lightbox (which opens an overlay on top of the current website). We recommend using the Popup option for chat so users can continue to interact freely with the content of your website while chatting with you.

To set up the popup option just find the following snippet in the code you just pasted, and change the display mode from one to zero – like this:

displayMode: 1,  //0 for popup, 1 for lightbox

3. Popup widget

3. Customize your chat form

After customers click on the chat button, they receive  a brief form asking for basic information (such as  their names and the topic or issue they need help with). Customizing this form can eliminate repeated chat sessions by presenting your customers with articles from your support center that may include the answer to their questions (see image #3).

You can also add an additional question field to help you assign the case to the right agent or group. Remember, you can report on custom fields and optimize your customer support over time. For example, you may learn you’d like to ask for the model number or the product-type before initiating chat.

4. Adding additional fields to the chat widget.

4. Brand your chat widget

Maintaining a seamless brand experience with chat is super important. Customers don’t differentiate your support channels from your overall business. They will be looking at your chat screen alongside your website (or support center) and expect a consistent visual experience of your brand. Notice that the screenshots included in this article present a simple, clean, consistent look and feel.

5. Branding your chat widget.

And last, but not least, don’t forget about the mobile experience. Today’s customers expect a highly optimized mobile experience. Adapting your chat screens for mobile devices will reinforce your brand integrity overall.

6. Chat widget mobile experience

Enabling chat and embedding the chat button on your website or support center is quick and easy. The importance of the chat experience cannot be understated, as research shows live chat will grow 400% as a preferred customer digital engagement channel from 2015 to 2018 (Source: Gartner). However, making it look like it is part of your brand service and customizing it to satisfy your business goals may require additional effort. Contact or a partner like Themes for Desk, for help with chat widget themes and branding services.

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