10 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Live Chat Provider
While many people know that live chat can cut support costs and boost online conversions, estimates of live chat penetration are still woefully low. Bold Software's research with online shoppers suggests that one in five choose live chat as their preferred method of communication with a retailer. If you’re interested in adding this communication and conversion tool to your site, you’ll be faced with many choices. How can you select the right solution for your needs?
Here are 10 questions that any company evaluating live chat should ask prospective providers:
1. What’s more important, live chat technology or the agent handling the chats? It’s an interesting question to ask a provider trying to sell their technology, but the response is telling. Bold Software's research has confirmed that the success of a live chat session has more to do with the agent than the software. Knowing this, a live chat solution should include functionality that helps drive agent effectiveness.
2. What features does your live chat offering have that others don’t? Many live chat offerings have similar functionality, so be wary of responses that claim technical superiority. Search for those that will help you harvest value.
3. How much control will we have over the live chat solution and how do changes get made? Responding to market dynamics, competitive attacks or internal strategic shifts requires that you be the master of your domain. Depending on your provider to make changes for you will reduce flexibility while increasing vulnerability.
4. Do you offer an uptime guarantee? Avoid companies that offer no uptime assurances. Be equally suspicious of companies that offer unrealistic guarantees of 100 percent uptime.
5. How much does your product cost? What do I get for the money? Cost effective is the name of the game. Get the proper mix.