Brands nowadays can’t just stick to traditional customer support services such as phone support. In order to provide better assistance and accessibility, live chat becomes the next best option, with 18% of the most popular brands integrating the feature into their website.

That said, more and more businesses are looking to offer live chat support, specifically through outsourcing. If you’re one of these brands, then make sure to read this article until the end to find out the pros and cons that you need to expect.

How Does Live Chat Support Work?

Live chat support works by enabling real-time communication between businesses and customers through an online chat interface. Here's a general overview of how live chat support typically functions.

Phase 1: Integration and Availability

Businesses integrate live chat functionality into their website or app. This is typically done by adding a chat widget or button that customers can click to initiate a chat session. The chat feature should be easily visible and accessible to customers.

Phase 2: Chat Initiation

When a customer clicks on the chat widget, a chat window or pop-up appears, prompting the customer to start a conversation. In some cases, proactive chat invitations may be triggered based on predetermined criteria, such as specific website behavior or time spent on certain pages.

Phase 3: Customer Engagement

Once the customer initiates a chat, they are connected with a live chat agent or representative from the business's support team. The chat agent may introduce themselves and greet the customer to establish a friendly and professional tone.

Phase 4: Chat Interaction

The customer can then type their questions, concerns, or issues in the chat window, and the chat agent responds in real-time. The conversation progresses through a back-and-forth exchange of messages between the customer and the chat agent.

Phase 5: Personalized Support

Live chat allows for personalized interactions. Chat agents can address customers by their names, provide tailored responses, and offer specific solutions based on the customer's query or issue. The chat agent may ask for additional details or request clarification to better understand the customer's needs.

Phase 6: Information Sharing and Assistance

During the chat session, both the customer and the chat agent can share information, links, or files to aid in problem-solving or provide relevant resources. This may include screenshots, product details, troubleshooting steps, or documentation.

Phase 7: Multitasking and Efficiency

Live chat support allows customers to multitask while receiving assistance. They can continue browsing the website or performing other tasks without losing the ongoing chat session. Similarly, chat agents can handle multiple chat conversations simultaneously, improving efficiency and reducing response times.

Phase 8: Closure and Follow-Up

Once the customer's query or issue has been addressed to their satisfaction, the chat session is concluded. The chat agent may summarize the conversation, confirm if the customer has any further questions, and express gratitude for the interaction. Depending on the situation, the chat agent may also provide follow-up instructions or next steps if necessary.

How Can Outsourcing Live Chat Drive Business Growth?

Because live chat support offers customers the option to resolve their issues without jumping into a call or being put on hold for a long time. Here are some more ways how this support channel can drive business growth.

Extends Coverage and Availability

By outsourcing live chat support to a dedicated team or a specialized outsourcing provider, businesses can extend their support coverage beyond regular business hours. This will enable them to provide round-the-clock customer service, catering to customers in different locations and time zones. It will also help the business increase customer satisfaction rate by providing fast response times and effective customer resolution.

Allows Better Scalability and Flexibility

Outsourcing live chat allows businesses to scale their customer support operations quickly and efficiently. During peak periods or when experiencing a surge in customer inquiries, the strategy provides access to a larger team of trained chat agents, ensuring prompt responses and minimizing customer wait times. Similarly, businesses can also downsize their operations to reduce costs during off-peak seasons.

Optimizes Operational Costs

Outsourcing live chat support can help businesses optimize their operational costs. Instead of maintaining an in-house team, businesses can leverage the cost advantages of outsourcing, such as lower labor costs in certain regions. This frees up resources to invest in other growth initiatives, such as marketing, product development, or expanding into new markets. There’s also no need to spend additional costs on office space, infrastructure, and equipment.

Allows Multilingual Support

If a business operates in international markets or serves customers from diverse language backgrounds, outsourcing live chat support can provide access to multilingual agents. These agents can assist customers in their native language, resulting in improved customer satisfaction, enhanced communication, and increased sales opportunities in global markets.

Provides Analytics and Insights

Many outsourcing providers offer analytics and reporting capabilities for live chat support. By outsourcing, businesses can gain access to valuable data and insights about customer interactions, including chat volumes, response times, customer satisfaction ratings, and frequently asked questions. These insights can inform decision-making, identify areas for improvement, and drive business growth strategies.

What Are the Negative Impacts of Outsourcing Live Chat on Business Growth?

If you’re fully decided on outsourcing live chat for your business, make sure that you’re also aware of its possible negative impacts. This can happen if you end up with poor service quality or incompetent service providers. Below are some risks that you should look out for.

Issues Brought by Miscommunication

Outsourcing live chat support to a remote team may lead to issues brought about by communication challenges. Language barriers, cultural differences, or time zone misalignments can impact the quality of customer interactions and result in misunderstandings. Poor communication can lead to customer dissatisfaction, lower conversion rates, and hindered business growth. It can also affect your relationship with the outsourcing provider themselves.

Decline in Customer Satisfaction

Outsourced chat agents may have a limited understanding of the business's products, services, or internal processes. Without in-depth knowledge, they may struggle to provide accurate and comprehensive support to customers, directly affecting customer satisfaction. This can lead to longer resolution times, increased customer frustration, and negatively impacted business growth.

Loss of Control Over Customer Interactions

When opting for outsourced live chat support, businesses hand over customer interactions to a third-party team. However, this delegation of control can lead to inconsistent or unsatisfactory customer experiences. In the event that the outsourced team fails to meet the business's standards or deviates from its brand voice, it can negatively impact customer relationships, tarnish the brand's reputation, and impede business expansion.

Data Security and Privacy Concerns

If the outsourced team does not have adequate data security measures or fails to uphold privacy practices, it can result in breaches, data leaks, or privacy violations. These incidents have the potential to significantly erode customer trust, damage the reputation of the business, and hinder its growth.

Lack of Alignment with Business Goals

There’s a possibility that once you outsource live chat support, you will have to deal with issues regarding the gap between the outsourced team's goals and the business's growth objectives. The outsourced team's focus may be solely on handling customer inquiries rather than actively contributing to business growth strategies. This misalignment can hinder proactive sales efforts, upselling/cross-selling opportunities, and overall business growth.

Outsource Scalable Live Chat Support Services to the Philippines

To make the most out of live chat, you have to make sure that you choose a trusted outsourcing provider that can meet the needs and demands of your retail business.

At ManilaPros, we dedicate ourselves to providing full-service and five-star customer care services to retailers. Leave your customer service to the Pros and we’ll take care of everything, from finding the right talent and certifying them for your brand up to managing your CS operations for you.

Book a call with us today to learn more about how our customer care services can help your retail business leverage live chat.