How do I automate a response to live chat when we don't have a representative online?
Looking for ways to improve customer service and I think adding a live chat to our site would be a great way to do this. We just don't have the manpower to have an online representative 24/7 or even 100% available during general business hours. How should I automate this? Is there a program you've used before that is successful?
It would really depend on what platform or CMS you're using for your website. If you're using Wordpress, there are dozens of good live chat plugins to choose from. Many of them have either the option to turn them off completely when not online, or leave an automated response.
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I've used uservoice and zopim before, but one that I think is a bit more versatile (as well as free) is https://livehelperchat.com/ - loads of features including proactive chat invitation. You can do this invitation based on several variables, so you can tailor them to each specific page, for example. I don't think anyone has to be online for this to be triggered, but hiring a virtual assistant to answer questions after hours is probably the best approach.
To be honest with you...I think that's a poor business model. Why don't you just tell them you are offline at the moment and give them the option to leave an message? most chat programs have this functionality built right in.
People don't like automatic response. You should avail live chat support service on your website. Which give you 24/7 live caht support service. I recommend you WebGreeter live chat support provided by LiveAdmins.
Striving to give you customers a better service is great. But I think you can't give a better service by making it automated.
I would advice to solve this by opening a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on the site, and filling it with more and more common question and answers.
You can also implement a tool such as UserVoice (https://www.uservoice.com/) which enables site users to view help topics and raise one themselves. in time, you will add more and more content to the FAQ section with user's feedback/questions and your answers.
Since you don't have the manpower to handle a live chat on the site, offer a better email support service. allowing users to send questions by email and get response with in 1 hour (except night hours, for which reply will be send early morning) - and make sure to stand by this promise.
Here are some few tools: http://blog.clientheartbeat.com/customer-feedback-software/
You can also use a user friendly live chat like https://www.zopim.com/ and see how you're handling it...good luck :)
My advice is to not. You would do better to keep a laptop sitting by a receptionist or a sales rep and give them a bonus for handling a certain volume of the traffic. The automated systems I've looked at make things very confusing when they go wrong and can negatively impact your reputation online.
I am not sure this is what you want, but it is the way I would look at the problem.
'Virtual Representatives', automated software programing.. I do not have a name for you to check out, so google away. My friend suggest an English firm, Geckoboard, I am not sure so I think maybe, it won't hoyt to muches.
I came across a site a few days ago that I felt addressed this very challenge pretty well. Based in London, when you click on the Products page on http://www.geckoboard.com, they have a fixed 'Leave a message' button in the bottom right corner of the page with wording reflecting they're not online at the moment, etc. To be honest, I've only remembered to click on it after hours so I don't know what happens when they are online. Looks like they use a third party service called Zopim, though I haven't read any reviews to know how well it's received by its users. Hope this is at least a starting point for you. Cheers!