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2016 study: Dutch websites are becoming increasingly available via live chat

Dec 12, 2017 by Anthony Carter Tags: availability, study

Last month, we conducted a study among 135 Dutch websites concerning the availability of live chat. This is the third year that this study was conducted. These websites, varying from webshops and online travel agencies to company websites in a variety of sectors, all offered their visitors live chat in that period. This study revealed that of 27 percent of these websites, live chat was offline during the day, while the live-chat functionality was offered on the site. Last year, this percentage was still at 37 percent; the year before, 42 percent.
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Digital customer contact: outsource it or manage it yourself?

Live chat can be outsourced to a specialised company. This has the most advantages by far, making it the right choice for most companies. But, there are a number of points to be made for keeping live chat in house; control, for example. When should you manage your own live chat and for whom is it more advantageous to outsource? Let’s take a look.  If you have a (large) team of people working for your customer service and live chat is only a part of that, you can train a small group of your existing team to become chat operators, or hire new people to perform this role. For some (large) companies, it can be very important to maintain control over all channels of communication, and to maintain contact with customers themselves. It’s a good idea for them to keep digital customer contact in house. To do this, they should consider the following points:
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Live chat or WhatsApp?

That an increasing number of people are chatting is a given, but which medium is the best? WhatsApp continues to grow, but providing live chat on their websites is starting to pay off for an increasing number companies. So, if you have to make the choice, is it better to opt for live chat or WhatsApp? To make this choice easier for you, we have compared the two media on several important points: the capacity to proactively approach customers, cost, lead generation, conversation history, waiting times, mobile versus desktop (and switching between them), sending automated messages and data collection.  WhatsApp and live chat are both in real time, which means customers talk directly to an employee. This means both are fast and can be used to immediately assist people with their specific problems. And you don’t have to search for customers via these channels; they come to you. This means both communication modes save you time. Despite their similarity in this regard, there are differences between the two options, and it is up to your company to decide which features are the most desirable.
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The do’s and don’ts of implementing live chat

Nov 14, 2017 by Anthony Carter

You would like to start using live chat for your company. Perhaps for your customer service, to generate more leads, or both. There are always a number of essential steps that you must take to successfully implement live chat in your communication strategy. And there are also several essential things that you should avoid. We have listed the dos and don’ts of live chat for you. 
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The power of live chat

Live chat is still relatively new in the digital communication mix, and not all companies are using it yet. However, the number of companies using it is growing, and various large companies have successfully shown that it works. Thus, it is becoming increasingly clear that live chat works, but where exactly lies the power of live chat? Live chat has many advantages and very few disadvantages. We have listed the benefits for both the customer and your company below.  We can summarise the power of live chat briefly: it is fast, direct, personal and non-binding. And the group of people that prefers using online media to contact companies is continuing to grow as more young people enter the customer pool. All this will ensure that live chat will become an unmissable part of the communication mix companies employ within a relatively short space of time. But, let’s slow it down a little. Below, we will go through the advantages point by point.
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Live chat benefit: collect data

Live chat has many benefits, such as offering a faster service or generating higher sales numbers. But, something that not many companies immediately think of is that live chat provides the option of collecting a lot of different types of data, and this data can be used to structurally improve your website and service.  So, which data can be collected? Glad you asked. Although there are differences between the types of data you can collect depending on the live chat software you are using, general speaking, you can count on the following information:
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Successfully train new chat operators in 4 steps

If your company is just getting started with live chat, you can choose to create your own team of operators. But, if your company is growing, and, with that, the number of calls, you can choose to stop outsourcing live chat and manage it yourself instead. It might be a clever choice to tackle chat yourself, but you will need well-trained personnel. Chat operators aren’t ordinary customer-service employees. Chatting with customers demands skills that call-centre employees don’t need and that differ from those required for email-based customer contact. Generating these skills also requires a different form of training. Educating new chat operators is not difficult; you can make sure that your new employees develop into the best chat operators in just four steps.
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Webcare: the new call centre

Oct 24, 2017 by Anthony Carter Tags: webcare

Social media has changed how customers find companies in recent years, but the phenomenon of customer-service organisations also using “social” for their helpdesk is still relatively new. Offering customer service via social media has the potential to open many doors, but it is important that it is tackled properly. An increasing number of companies have become aware of the opportunities of recent developments; in today’s world more than 35% of all customer interactions are handled digitally. IT company Dimension Data states that, should this growth continue, there will be more digital interactions than via telephone in two years. This trend forces companies to look at social media differently. There are many benefits to offering customer service via social media, and the developments are following each other at a rapid pace.
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Launch of Webcare Pro

Oct 17, 2017 by Anthony Carter Tags: webcare

A theme in my conversations with potential and new customers in the last year has been the topic “webcare”. Sometimes people would ask me: “In addition to live chat, can we also outsource webcare to you?”. Webcare is providing an online customer helpdesk. In theory, this includes live chat, but in practice, webcare consists of offering an online customer helpdesk via social media, and since recently, also WhatsApp. Inspired by this customer question, I launched a new company activity under the name Webcare Pro. From now on, customers can also outsource their webcare to us. Amongst other channels, Webcare Pro provides webcare through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. You will find all the information you need and the prices for this service type at www.webcarepro.nl.
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How do you choose a live chat outsourcing company?

So you have decided to outsource live chat and have started your search for a live chat outsourcing partner to support your business. I am writing this article to help you understand the differences between the various outsourcing partners and how to choose the best one for your company. But Anthony, don’t you work for a company that provides this type of live chat services? Why should I listen to your biased opinion? Good question, dear reader. Yes, we offer managed live chat. Are we the right party for every company? No. We want to work with companies that are suitable for us, so if reading this article helps you decide what partner you need and we turn out not to be that partner, that is fine! Live chat is truly great and I would like to see every site use it and have it operated by the right people – whether that is us, a competitor, or an in-house team. Promise. Now, let’s continue! Outsourcing can be a scary decision. At this moment, you are trying your best to ensure you find the right partner for your company. If you have never used live chat before or even outsourced […]
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