First things first, messaging apps are changing the way customers and businesses converse. Given that we are in a world of multitasking, chatting is preferred ahead of calling up customer support or filling up a form on a website. From a business standpoint, reports suggest that prospects who engaged in a chat before making a purchase have a 15-20% more chance of converting into a customer.
However, selecting the right chat tool can be a challenging task, since requirements can often be as unique as the business itself. At the same time, if you choose the right tool, it can be a game changer for your support teams.
While a large volume of content talks about the chat software available in the market, the information is hardly helpful for someone who is trying to make an informed decision. Therefore, the objective of this post is to share tangible information that can help you select the right chat tool for your organization.
Let’s start with getting rid of a couple misconceptions.
1. It worked for them, so it might work for me as well.
We see this often. Just because a particular chat tool worked for your competitor, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Every organization has their own set of processes and customizes the chat tool differently. So, it’s important to ensure that you are focusing on your needs than being driven by popular opinion.
2. More features means a better product.
More features is not equal to the solution to your problem. While you will have a set of functional requirements, it’s important to clearly know how adaptable the chat tool is to your use case. Evaluating it based on value will make more sense in the long term.
For starters, here’s an easy way to score your existing chat tool – Score your current chat tool for free (no strings attached)
Now, let’s move to the factors to consider while selecting a chat tool.
- The Chat Experience
Always put the experience factor of your customer, ahead of everything you do. We are in 2018 and chat tools are increasingly moving towards becoming a modern messaging app that serve sales, marketing and support functions. So, when you are looking to have a chat software for your business, you need to make sure that the tool you are choosing isn’t gating the chat with forms. Either it has to be a live agent conversing with you as you initiate the chat (or) a bot needs to ask the right questions and assign you to an agent automatically.
Also check if the chat tool you are evaluating offers “canned responses” as a capability so that you can save snippets of text you often use, with a few keystrokes and later use them like speed dial. It helps improve user experience as you can provide accurate answers on scale in lesser time.
- Availability of Channels and Integration Capabilities
Let’s look at this scenario: A customer who tried to place an order on Amazon is facing issues with their billing. When they reach out to customer support using a chat tool, they need to be able to directly connect to a support person from Amazon’s billing department than connecting with an agent by default, then explaining the issue and then be transferred to the billing department. In other words, they need to be able to select the “Billing and Finance” channel directly.
Integration with other applications in your ecosystem is key. Ensure that your chat tool offers the ability to integrate with your CRM, helpdesk and other key applications so that the flow of information across the organization is seamless.
- Bot and Language Support
Today’s business is global. And there’s a good chance that you have customers from different parts of the world. The last thing you want to see is that your chat tool doesn’t support languages other than English. Secondly, your business cannot sleep when you and your support team is offline. Make sure that the messaging software that you choose has a bot that will qualify leads for you and assign them to the right.
- Intelligent Assigning Capabilities
Whether you use the chat tool for sales or marketing or customer support, it’s important to ensure efficient workflow. For instance, you don’t want a chat tool that is efficient on only part of the customer journey. Also, make sure that your chat tool has intelligent assigning capabilities, i.e. the ability to auto-assign conversations to the right team members based on their current workload or skill levels.
- Ability to Get the Context of your Customer and Store Conversation History
To enable meaningful conversations, your chat tool/messaging app should be able to give you contextual information about a customer or website visitor, so that you can enable them at the right touch points. For instance, check if the chat tool can give you insights on what pages of your website did a prospect visit, the white paper they downloaded, or even a product they added to a cart and are about to abandon. You will able to use this contextual information to offer discounts, resolve queries and more.
Also, it helps if your chat tool can store conversational history, so that the context is known to the support agent at all times, thus reducing the dependency on a specific agent for context.
To sum up, evaluating a chat tool or a messaging in itself is a dipstick to your commitment to improving customer experience. We hope that the above pointers help you make a better choice, based on what your business priorities are.