Web Chat: Can you afford not to?

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In the last few years many companies have seen the benefit of web chat and started to offer it to their customers alongside their usual contact options such as phone or email. For many companies, web chat is now more popular than all other forms of contact including social media.

There are compelling reasons for offering webchat:

  • According to research by CrazyEgg 38% of customers said they would be more likely to buy from a company that offered web chat.
  • Emarketerfound that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offered web chat.
  • ICMIfound that website visitors that use web chat are worth 4.5 times more than visitors that don’t.
  • Forresternoted that there was a 10% increase in the average order value from customers who engaged in a chat before making a purchase, than those that did not.

From a customer perspective, the appeal of being able to “chat” online to resolve an issue or get a quick answer to a question, is becoming ever more popular. This is especially true where the customer is already online and looking at your website. They are increasingly unwilling to “switch channels” from online and pick up the phone.

So, if the benefits are so clear, what can go wrong?

One of the first mistakes companies make is to simply switch some of their telephony agents to web chat, but that is a risky strategy. The skills required to be a great web chat agent are very different to those required for telephony. Many web chat providers offer training in the technical aspects of using web chat, but not how to handle webchats to build rapport, increase service levels, generate leads and increase sales.

A webchat agent needs to be able to manage up to 6 chats at once. This means that if they spend too long composing a response to one customer, other customers will leave the chat and the probably the site. Agents must be able to manage chats in a very different way and specialist training is a must.

Agents also need to be quick to recognise the customers style of writing and mirror it to build rapport. This includes emojis J.

Grammar and spelling can be very important depending on the demographic of your customers. I have lost count of the number of times an agent has told a customer “Your welcome”. Whilst many people won’t recognise the error, many will and gain a poor impression of your company as a result.

Finally the role of team leaders and coaches is key with web chat as they have a unique opportunity to coach in real time as the agent interacts with agents. Again this opportunity is often missed as the coaches do not have the specialist knowledge to develop the skills of their agents.

In summary, webchat represents a fantastic opportunity to interact with many visitors to your website who are increasingly unlikely to contact you by phone. That opportunity can be squandered if the web chat agent is poorly trained.

The cost of offering web chat is becoming cheaper as more providers enter the market place, so make sure you get the best return by investing in specialist training to ensure that you and your customers reap the benefits.

We offer webchat training to:

  • Increase sales
  • Increase service levels
  • Build rapport
  • Generate new leads
  • Manage multiple chats
  • Match customers styles

For more information look at our full course outline: Web Chat Training Course

We also offer coaching for team leaders:Coaching For Team Leaders

Sylva Jolliffe
Web Chat Specialist

For more information about our webchat training courses, please feel free to browse our website, call us on +44 (0) 1704 889325, email info@salestrainingint.com or feel free to complete our contact form below & a member of our team will be in touch. 


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