For professional service firms, online live chat can be an exceptional addition to improve marketing as well as customer service. But how to choose?
The best online live chat service is the one that best fits your business or practice. There are many options out there, so taking the time to assess your needs can help define which online chat service is the right fit. Here are several points to consider before making your choice.
How important are privacy and security?
Every business with live chat wants to know their service is secure and private. But professional service firms covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 have to reach a higher bar than most. HIPAA has very specific and detailed requirements that must be met to ensure protected health information is in fact kept private and secure. For that reason, any online live chat service used by a HIPAA covered entity must also be in compliance and able to prove it by signing a business associate agreement. Learn more about the importance of HIPAA compliance in live chat in our blog, “Steep Price of Failing to Ensure Your Live Chat is HIPAA Compliant.”
Are human chat hosts mandatory?
Many online live chat services use chatbots which are really great for some purposes, but not so great when trying to build relationships and convert visitors to new clients or patients. And it’s important to note that just because a service uses the words “live chat” does not necessarily mean the hosts are in fact “alive.” There is no replacement for real human interaction. Live chat hosts that are empathetic and understanding can make all the difference when visitors have questions and concerns that they consider deeply personal. Since online live chat is often the first introduction to a business or practice, human live chat hosts can instantly reassure the visitor they are in the right place, their concerns are indeed important and the firm or practice is there to help. Our blog, “The Human Touch: How Empathetic Marketing Helps Plastic Surgeons,” looks at the human connection and its benefits.
Do live online chat hosts need industry training?
Service firms in the legal, medical, senior care, and finance professions are made up of highly educated and skilled people who take their work very seriously. Thus, a live chat service should do the same by providing U.S.-based chat hosts who are college-educated and highly trained in the profession they serve. This level of expertise is key to creating and nurturing a sound relationship with each visitor so they feel well treated from the first interaction and confident the firm or practice will continue to care for them in a professional yet friendly manner. At SiteStaff, we take training and service quality as seriously as you do in your practice or business.
Do you need a tailor-made package of online chat services?
No two professional service firms are alike, so being able to choose exactly the online live chat services that best fit is essential to overall success. When considering everything from hours of operation to appointment setting services to live lead transfer capability, you should be able to make the choices best suited to your business or practice. Equally important is the ability of the live chat provider to explain how each works and to make changes to your service package quickly, as you see fit. Learn more about SiteStaff’s online live chat service options in our Pricing Guide.
Is marketing a big part of your decision to use online live chat?
Live chat is excellent for customer service, but it is also an amazing marketing tool when used right. If your goal is to not only help visitors, but to gain new clients or patients as well, choose an online live chat provider that knows the drill. Look for trained and knowledgeable live chat hosts, but also consider statistics like how quickly live chats are initiated (slow responses mean lost opportunities), ask how tracking and reporting work, and even whether or not the online live chat service can integrate with your CRM and any analytics (like Google) already in place. Combined, all of these components can make online live chat an incredibly effective instrument for expanding your business or practice. Find out more about marketing with live chat in our blog, “Best Practices for Live Chat Leads.”
There are many variables when it comes to choosing the perfect online live chat provider as described in our blog, “Live Chat Options – A Comparison.” Before you make the decision, contact SiteStaff with your questions and let us help!