For quite awhile now we have offered online chat from our website. A lot of our customers have asked us about our experience with offering chat support. They ask because they are concerened about adding chat to their website. They are worried about how much time it will take and whether or not they will get inundated with chat requests. In this post I’ll tell you about our experience with online chat as well as how we and some of our customers use ScreenSteps Live to improve the chat experience for our customers and support agents.
Is online chat worth it?
Yes! We added chat to our site over a year ago and it has definitely been worth it. I would say that over half of the chat requests we receive are actually pre-sales questions. Often someone just has a question about a feature, an integration or product licensing. By being able to answer their question instantly we have been able to close many sales that would have otherwise been delayed or abandoned. I have spoken with several other users of chat services and they report similar experiences. So, from a strictly monetary standpoint, chat makes a lot of sense.
It is also great as a customer support tool, but this is where you need to be careful. If you don’t have the proper systems and resources in place then online chat can end up taking a lot of time as you try to explain solutions to your customers’ problems. This is where ScreenSteps Live makes a big difference for us. We leverage our ScreenSteps Live documentation site to reduce the time we spend answering support chats.
Using ScreenSteps Live with Online Chat – Basekit
Basekit, one of our customers, has had a lot of success integrating ScreenSteps Live into their online chats. They use their ScreenSteps Live documentation to handle two types of questions, “Does it do this?” (pre-sales questions) and “How do I do this?” (support questions). In the video below Gordon Plant from Basekit explains how ScreenSteps Live is helping them scale their online chat support.
Basekit will even create new documentation in their ScreenSteps Live site during a support chat and send the answer to the user.
How to Leverage ScreenSteps Live in Online Support Chats
Most of the articles in our ScreenSteps Live documentation site answer specific questions such as “How do I configure my desktop software?” or “How do I create a custom template?” When a user asks one of these questions we use the ScreenSteps Live Support Client to find the article that answers their question. The ScreenSteps Live Support Client lets us quickly copy a url that points to the article with the answer the customer needs. Instead of spending a lot of time typing out an answer that is either lengthy and confusing or short and incomplete, we just paste in a url. The user clicks on it and is instantly taken to an article full of detailed pictures that helps them accomplish whatever task they are struggling with.
This works even better with more involved chats. Sometimes we have customers that are trying to accomplish a more complex task. We can point them to the articles they need for each step of the process. Many times I will send multiple articles in a chat and the customer will reference them after the chat session has ended. Once again this saves us and our customers a lot of time and spares us a lot of the confusion that is inherent in text only communications.
The best part is that our customers love it. They will often read a help article that we have sent them, come back to the chat and thank us for providing such clear instructions. Like Gordon said in the video above, it is a great outcome for both of us. The customer is happy and we don’t spend all day typing.