What is live chat outsourcing?
Chat support is a form of real-time communication where the customer interacts with your customer service team to receive support through an instant messaging tool. It is common to see the "live chat" or "chat with us" option on the company's website popping up in the lower right-hand corner for easy access.
Live chat outsourcing is when you hire customer service representatives through a third party to respond to customer live chat questions. Depending on how live chat is set up, companies may receive a very high volume of questions through the channel, making outsourcing a good option for many companies.
PartnerHero builds teams that feel like an extension of yours. We find candidates who are passionate about what you do and plug them into your systems so you can seamlessly scale your operations. Don’t miss important chats (and sales) - outsource your live chat channel to talk to your customers efficiently.
Learn how live chat outsourcing can help you save money and scale
You spent a lot of energy getting customers to your website, don’t miss their questions once they are there!
According to Comm100, who evaluated 45 million live chats across 14 industries, the average satisfaction rate for chat customer service is on the rise, with 83.1% of customers being satisfied with their live chat experience.
Customers who prefer live chat gave a myriad of reasons for why. The most popular reason (79%) is that they get answers to their questions more quickly. Customers also like that they can multitask while getting live chat support (51%). Some feel they even get better information than if they were to email. (source)
Research done over the past few years points to chat support growing in popularity with consumers. That being said, each customer is unique. The best way to understand what channels you should offer is to ask your customers what they would prefer. Even if some of your customers don’t prefer live chat, there may be good business reasons to offer live chat and if you don’t have experience doing it in-house, outsourcing may be a great option.
If you are an ecommerce company, do your customers ask pre-purchase questions? If you are offering only email or phone support, you may be missing out on sales.
Customers browsing your site may have questions. If they can ask a question and get a response quickly via live chat, that may push them to the finish line. You might even be able to recommend another product to go with what they are looking at or even help them find a product they might prefer. If a customer had to write an email or make a phone call to get their question answered, they might abandon your site. In these cases, live chat makes a lot of sense. Staffing for peaks and valleys of chat volume can be complicated, so outsourcing often makes sense for this channel.
If your customers have very complicated questions that take a lot of research to respond to, then live chat might not be the best option as customers expect a quick response during a live-chat interaction. For that, email outsourcing may be a better option.
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We know you're wondering...
Every business is different, which is why PartnerHero builds custom plans to deliver solutions for your unique needs at a price point that works for you.
Starting at $10 per hour for Flex Support or $1,975 per month for full-time, dedicated live chat support we have a plan for every price point.
On-demand customer service outsourcing
If your customer support chat volume is too low to hire full-time customer service professionals to handle your live chat support, but you need to cover some weird hours, weekends, or simply want to delegate, we got you covered. Our Flex Support offering is based on hours. Learn more about it.
An organic extension of your in-house team
Build a dedicated team for your live chat support that will focus on delivering the exceptional customer experience your customers are used to. Fully integrated with your tools and communication channels, you just became a global Customer Service Director with your scaled-up team. Layer in QA, training, and management as needed.
Scalable operations with in-house quality
Build a highly scalable team with dedicated leadership, established SLAs, and limitless potential. Managed Operations allows you to layer in QA, training, and workforce management as needed. Build or scale your live chat support team.
Meet some more of our heroes or connect with us to learn more about building your team.
As an outsourcing company, we’ve managed dozens of live chat channels for companies in a range of industries. Here are some of the best practices we’ve picked up along the way:
Take a moment to greet the customer: This might seem obvious but a lot of people assume that they are speaking to a robot. By taking a minute to introduce yourself and humanize the conversation, customers will be relieved to know they are talking to a real person who can help them.
No walls of text: Chat is a less formal channel. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be professional but a long paragraph that would work well in an email might not translate to chat. Space concepts and ideas out into digestible chunks so you don’t overwhelm customers.
Share Knowledge Base Articles: To avoid long paragraphs of text it is often a better option to share a link to a knowledge base article.
Follow up regularly: Sometimes agents will need to look up an answer. If you do need to look up an answer while in a chat conversation be sure to continue checking in regularly or the customer might think you disappeared.
Tone: Make sure your tone matches your brand as well as where the customer is at. Some companies like to take the opportunity of this less formal channel to have more personal conversations with customers while others like to keep things very focused and professional. Spend a few minutes thinking about the experience you are trying to create for your customers.
Make sure you’ve answered all their questions: Just like other channels, it's important to make sure you’ve thoroughly answered all the questions a customer has. Before saying goodbye be sure to check in one last time to make sure they are all set.
Less waiting time for your customers: By outsourcing your chat you can be confident that you will be staffed to the correct levels, ensuring your customers can reach your brand and get answers to their questions when they need them (in time to make a purchasing decision!).
Pre-sales and upsells: By engaging with your customers via chat while they are on your website you can quickly answer questions they have and potentially even upsell them. By outsourcing your chat support you can be sure none of these questions are missed.
More efficient than other channels: Outsourced agents can chat with multiple customers at the same time, making it much more efficient than phone and email support.
Avoid the burden of staffing: Because it is a live channel, you need to be sure there are no gaps in coverage. You wouldn’t want someone to chat with your team only to find there was no one there to respond. By outsourcing your live chat channel you can avoid the headache of hiring and staffing and instead focus your time on more valuable initiatives
Offer many time zones: If you have customers all over the world you will want to offer them live chat service at the time that is most convenient for them. By outsourcing your chat support with PartnerHero you don’t have to worry about hiring and training people in different time zones (or managing someone who works a graveyard shift).