Tips for Inexpensive Live Chat Operator Outsourcing


September 21, 2023

Written by

Stephanie Walker

Customer experience is the central focus of many companies today. Thanks to the accelerated digitalization rate, businesses are opting to increase customer engagement through the various platforms available. To help with this task, they are expanding customer service teams by outsourcing live chat operators.

What Is Live Chat Operator Outsourcing?

Live chat operator outsourcing is a strategic approach where the chat support process is handed or extended to a third-party provider. The service provider then takes over the role of responding to your customers' queries, managing multiple chat conversations, and delivering solutions to your customers. 

Businesses outsource live chat support operators to be able to keep up with customer demand and maintain a round-the-clock service. This allows them to promptly address concerns, generate leads and sales, and broaden the brand influence to achieve goals.

Why Live Chat Operator Services Are Important for Business

The primary objective of outsourced live chat services is to answer queries faster and create a seamless customer support process. Other than these, outsourced live chat support has additional aspects that warrant your attention.

Increases Conversion Potential For Your Company 

The customer conversion rates serve as a measure of the effectiveness of your support efforts

Outsourced live chat operators guarantee higher conversion rates by encouraging desired actions like placing orders or making payments. Live chat support operators boost conversion rates by maintaining a balanced tone and delivering solutions.

24/7 Support Team Operations

Outsourced live chat agents have flexible schedules, allowing you to provide support during non-business hours in your region. They operate in shifting schedules to account for the different time zones, ensuring a seamless transition between team members.

Live chat customer support can provide initial responses and basic assistance for customers to receive an acknowledgment in the shortest possible time.

Improves Customer Satisfaction With Experts In Place

Seasoned members of your outsourced live chat service can assist in addressing product-related situations, product quality concerns, and account management challenges. With a well-versed team in place, there will be notable growth in customer satisfaction and retention.

Define Your Business Needs

Before you outsource live chat support operators, it is essential to gauge the level of support your company needs. Here are ways to determine your business needs when looking to outsourcing live chat support.

  • Estimate the expected number of chat interactions in a specific time frame to allocate an appropriate number of chat operators and handle the workload efficiently.
  • Conduct time trials and historical data reviews to determine the average time a text chat operator addresses an inquiry or request. Evaluating the time taken to address each inquiry establishes a benchmark. It sets performance targets and identifies needed additional training or adjustment.
  • Outsource live chat support agents on rotation to ensure 24/7 support. Shifting schedules allows you to support customers regardless of their location or timezone. It also allows coverage for varying peak hours.
  • If your live chat customer service encompasses social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook Messenger, hire or proficiently train individuals with social media expertise to guarantee support across channels.

Your live chat support outsourcing plan should also involve identifying your outsourced team's tasks and responsibilities. Establish your goals and objectives and key performance indicators (KPI) for metrics like customer satisfaction, increased response time, and chat volume handling. Specify the range of services expected, like resolving issues, managing orders, and technical support.

Defining your business needs and scope of work is essential in delivering effective online chat customer service, optimizing costs, maintaining customer satisfaction, and efficiently allocating resources.

Identify the Right Service Provider 

Choosing a company that offers live chat for customer support requires comprehensive research and a strategic approach. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Look into directories and industry forums for reviews and testimonials.
  • Evaluate a company’s experience and expertise by researching information in the industries they have worked for and the duration of operations.
  • Determine whether their expertise aligns with yours.
  • Consider the user interface, custom options, chatbot integration, mobile support, proactive chat capabilities, and reporting functionalities they use. 
  • Make sure their live chat support system can integrate with existing tools you use, such as CRMs and help desk software.
  • Assess their ability to handle fluctuations in chat volume and how they accommodate business growth.
  • Compare their pricing models and cost structure, including additional charges for customization and other extra features. 
  • Visit the provider’s website to gather information about their services, gain insights into their reputation, and explore client testimonials. You may also directly request references from the company and contact them for first-hand insights about their experience working with the provider. 

Choose the Right Pricing Plan

Understanding the pricing models offered by chat support providers is crucial to selecting a plan that fits your budget while delivering optimal value. Pricing models can vary, including options such as per agent, per chat, and tiered pricing. 

These are the most common pricing models offered:

  • Pay-Per-Service

Pay-per-service pricing means the client only has to pay for the work done. The payment is charged per chat thread as long as the customer remains online. This ensures that the client only pays for relevant customer engagement. The number of support is adjusted based on the volume of chats. 

  • Per Agent Pricing

The number of agents involved determines per-agent pricing, and there may be extra charges for setup, training, or customization. The pricing can adjust as your team expands, scaling up, or offering discounts as the team grows.

  • Per Chat Pricing

If the pricing is based on the number of chats, there might be limits on the number of chats included in the plan. Any additional chats beyond those limits may incur more costs. Understanding how the chat volume is calculated and whether upgrading to a higher plan is necessary for increased chat activity..

  • Tiered Pricing

Tiered pricing provides options based on specific features, benefits, or services. Find out if there are any thresholds or criteria for each tier and understand how the pricing changes between tiers.  Evaluate the advantages and limitations of each tier to determine which aligns best with your needs.

  • Fixed Pricing

Predetermined chat volumes assigned to the supplier that they have to handle within a given amount of time–normally monthly–in order to maintain service level. 

  • Revenue Share

This pricing model is a partnership between you and the service provider. You don’t provide any salary to the outsourced agents. Rather, you divide the profits received in whatever percentage is agreed upon.

Having a better grasp of the pricing structure of live chat support services helps you budget effectively and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Start by setting a budget and the features you require. Research and compare providers, considering features and costs. Look beyond initial pricing to consider integration customization and future upgrades. Most importantly, choose a provider that meets your needs without straining finances. 

Provide Adequate Training and Support

When you outsource live chat support services, you must familiarize the agents with your business processes. Providing additional training to a skilled team of support agents can significantly improve the chat support experience, increase sales and conversions, and foster better customer engagement.

  • Ensure that your outsourced team support has comprehensive product knowledge by providing a knowledge base they can refer to.
  • Let the outsourced agents brainstorm and share problem-solving experiences with your in-house agents.
  • Give frequent training to improve and update their knowledge of live chat support tools and software.
  • Perform mock chats for preparedness and to give familiarity with frequently asked questions (FAQs) and common issues customers face. 
  • Provide support etiquette and advocacy language training programs incorporating the proper tone and language into customer interactions.
  • Ensure the support team uses appropriate and closing chats.

Monitor and Evaluate Performance

Regularly monitoring and evaluating the performance of your live chat support is integral for developing effective growth strategies and identifying areas that require improvement. Continuous measurement of performance metrics enhances the chat experience for your customers and improves your team's chat support skills. 

To maximize the performance of your chat support team, it is important to assess the following metrics regularly:

  • First Response Time (FRT)

First response time (FRT) measures the duration customers have to wait for the initial support response. To minimize FRT, you can hire well-trained support agents, utilize AI chatbots, employ canned responses, and enable effective routing mechanisms. 

  • Total Volume of Chats

Evaluating the number of chats provides insights into common customer concerns and helps assess agent workload, efficiency, and the need for workforce allocation.

  • Average Resolution Time (ART)

Average handling time (ART) measures the total time spent resolving an issue. A higher ART indicates longer wait times for other customers in the queue.

  • Chat to Conversion Rate

Chat to conversion rate represents the percentage of chat interactions that lead to desired actions, such as purchases or payments. It compares the number of visitors who chatted with a live chat agent to those who converted, providing a measure of conversion effectiveness.

  • Average Wait Time

Measuring average wait time helps determine how long customers wait for chat support. It provides insights into the utilization and efficiency of the chat support system and the actions that need to be taken.

  • Website Visitors to Chats

Websites are a stepping stone in digital marketing. Tracking website visitors who engage in chats helps identify the number of visitors who convert into leads.

  • Missed Chats

Live chat aims to offer round-the-clock support. Missed chats can indicate missed opportunities and insufficient resources to handle chat conversations effectively. It may also suggest that agents are not deployed during appropriate hours.

Turbo-Charge Conversions Through Affordable Outsourced Live Chat Support Services 

Customers prefer live chat support as it offers real-time assistance, reduces disruptions in customer experience, and is more efficient than email or phone support due to the availability of chat histories. 

To deploy cost-efficient live chat support, begin by determining the level of support required by your company and establishing goals and objectives. Conduct thorough research and compare different providers and their pricing plans. Once you have assembled an ideal support team, provide them with training and ongoing support to enhance customer engagement. Continuously monitor and evaluate your team's performance to identify improvement areas. 

For maximum performance and quality output, outsource your chat support service team with New Media Services to ensure affordable and effective ways to provide support and conversions without breaking the bank. 

With our 24/7 live chat operator services, you can ensure around-the-clock support while reducing wait times in different time zones. Allow your customers to express concerns better in the language they are most comfortable with and secure customer loyalty, competitive advantage   , and global market position with our multilingual support.

Boost your leads, enhance chat conversion rates, and connect with your clients personally. Contact us!

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