The Customer Is The Channel

The customer-centric blog of Linc Global

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How To Choose a Live Chat Vendor


If you’re ready to explore the advantages of intelligent assistant-based live chat, it’s critical to create the right context for success. You can move quickly and enthusiastically, but don’t eschew strategy for speed.

Choose your platform

While many retailers have found early success deploying chatbots on third-party platforms like Facebook Messenger, research from Forrester shows that an increasing number of brands are expanding their website options as well. 60% of those surveyed had a live chat option on their own site or were piloting something similar while only 47% could say the same about  leveraging a third-party platform. We think this points to a growing understanding that customer assistance efforts need to cover the entirety of the customer journey by channel, not just the post-purchase experience.

Deploying live chat on your brand’s own website allows you not only to respond to inquiries from current customers, but to engage digital window shoppers who are in a pre-purchase phase, providing them with the information, product exposure and support they need to make a purchase decision.

Evaluate vendors intelligently

Choosing the right partner to deploy your live chat offering is vital and you should enter any vendor conversation armed with a list of questions that will help you determine the best fit solution for your needs. You’ll want to ask about scalability, cross-channel experiences, integrations, AI training, the product’s road map, etc. 

Start with a limited use case and scale as needed

While the temptation with new technology is often to go from zero to 60, prudent retailers will choose a specific use case for their initial foray into intelligent assistant live chat, and then analyze, learn, refine and expand as the data tells them. Attempting to launch a soup to nuts solution with bells and whistles that haven’t been vetted against your customers’ expectations and needs is a recipe for underwhelming results at best and outright failure at worst. Focus on a few key customer experience challenges you want to solve via live chat, define the metrics for success and map out a plan for growing your live chat offering in tandem with what the customer data you’re collecting tells you.

You can learn more about the enhancing and optimizing the Live Chat customer experience and how automating the shopper experience can engage your customers at every touchpoint by exploring Linc’s platform and solutions pages. Or take a look at how leading brands like Levi's, Carter's, and others are using an omnichannel customer assistance platform as part of their customer experience strategies in their businesses today, in our resources page.

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