As they say 'Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.'
In first two months of launching ChatMate we on-boarded 20 businesses from all different industries. We and our clients learned quickly that being available on the website open door for leads. Website visitors were getting their queries answered instantly, resulting in them turning into customers straightway, without them looking for other options. Chat proved to be time saver for everyone. It’s like your business is never unattended, and someone is always available to greet the visitors.
Live Chat on website resulted in more business and in turn more work load for business owner. Now they must deal with the new customers who are coming everyday through their website. A good example was one of the lawn mowing business who end up getting at least 100 new leads in first month itself. Mark grew quickly by adding another staff to deal with his new clients.
We are trying to list down and share our top few learning from first 2 months.
#1. Business owners need to get organised to handle spike in leads.
We realised that some of our clients were not able to effectively handle the new leads they were generating. We had one customer who even wanted to discontinue the service, as they were not able to get organised. After all, they changed their business from 9-5 to 24/7 now.
We also realised that some of the admin/reception staff didn’t particularly liked the new way of working, as they were happy to stick to old school phone calls and replying emails. Just human nature of reluctance to change and deal with new technology.
#2. Knowledge transfer need structure and time
After on-boarding our first 5 customers we found out that it is not as easy as installing the Live chat Plugin. We should have a structured handover of business know how.
To ensure our chat agents will be well equipped with answers, we created a structured form and started doing a 30 to 60 minutes Skype or personal meeting with our clients. This gave them confidence and built the trust. We share all chats with our clients and encourage them to give us continued feedback. Besides deploying tools for effective knowledge transfer and access for our agents, our quality processes were adjusted too. We came to the conclusion that it takes on average 2 weeks to get things streamlined.
#3. Humans will always make mistakes, but bots are not the answer always, not yet
We have both humans and Chatbots working together. We found Chatbots good for some use cases in support, but lead generation is where they didn’t do a great job.
We are happy to accept that yes, humans do make mistakes but that’s natural of human behaviour. Humans aren’t a ROBOT. Tools and training do make a difference, but the nature of messaging is that shortcutting some grammar rules comes with it.
Computers are super at computation. They can look up large data sets, crunch numbers, and can go through millions of rows to get the accurate response back in no time. Computers are not yet good at understanding human emotion. I won’t hesitate to say that they are not even close. With advancement in natural language processing, it will change, and we need to embrace the technology.
Humans, on the other hand, aren’t great at computation but are amazing at understanding human emotion. We have empathy. We know how to persuade people to first like and then love something.
We know what it’s like to be frustrated. We know what it’s like to over-deliver in order to make people feel better. We can reason. We can listen. We know when to remain silent, and when to interject. There is no way to deliver effective customer support or marketing, without empathy and emotional intelligence.
Bots will augment conversations between humans. They will help answer simple questions in win-win scenarios. But they won’t replace humans any time soon.
#4. Live chat is a lot more than lead generation
We also recognised that for visitors live chat option on a website is far more than opportunity to ask questions. It is about customer support and the confidence that business is available at the time they need them.
Visitors feeling welcomed and greeted: Website is like a retail shop where visitors walk in and if someone is greeting them well they will feel good and like to ask questions about the product/service and eventually buy something.
Decrease in negative reviews – If a customer has a complaint, and they cannot reach you – then they tend to vent publicly on social media. By offering a channel like live chat, directly on your site; a customer can vent to you directly; saving the public embarrassment of negative reviews.