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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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December 20, 2023 |

Why Live Chat is a Must for Your Website

Discover how to seamlessly integrate live chat to capture more leads, close more sales, and take your MSP website ROI to the next level.

Live chat in the world of business-to-business communications is generally defined as placing a chat widget on your website that allows visitors to chat or initiate calls with your sales or administrative teams. It is widely accepted as a powerful adjunct to communications modes such as email, text, and/or voice.

That said, a recent ChannelPro review of 50 MSP websites found that less than 10% had live chat deployed.

Eric Long of Teracloud

Eric Long

“That’s absolutely shocking to me,” said Eric Long, head of MSP TeraCloud, “But then what I often see with MSPs is they’ll dip their toes in the water when it comes to marketing and communications, but then they’ll never follow through — and that’s a common problem with people in our industry.”

Indeed, there are numerous platforms available for MSPs to choose from, according to Christina McAllister, senior analyst at Forrester Research.

These include CRM or case/ticket management vendors such as Salesforce, Microsoft, and ServiceNow; CCaaS (contact center as a service) vendors such as NICE, Genesys, and Five9; and UCaaS (unified communications as a service) vendors including Dialpad, Zoom, and 8×8. There are also more specialized digital interaction vendors such as Intercom and Drift, McAllister said.

There are a number of benefits as well as costs involved in implementing live chat, she added. “A well-run live chat program can significantly boost operational efficiency by allowing agents to handle multiple chat sessions simultaneously, resulting in a more favorable agent-to-customer ratio.”

At the same time, she explained, “Companies can also explore innovative entry points for customer engagement, such as using predictive algorithms to offer contextually relevant assistance.”

Of course, user adoption can be a hurdle as it requires shifting away from accustomed communication channels, McAllister said. Implementation of live chat may require addressing problems related to change management, “recognizing that voice and chat interactions require different skill sets, it’s often best practice to have dedicated agents for each channel,” she said.

From a cost perspective, MSPs should carefully evaluate the ROI of deploying live chat, McAllister advised. It isn’t the most efficient method for every scenario, “such as diagnosing complex network configurations or hardware issues that may require more traditional forms of support.”

Chat is a useful tool for immediate communication from website visitors, added Long, “and I don’t know why [an MSP] wouldn’t have some form of this on their website.”

For a an even better customer service experience, implementation of chat should be integrated with other website communications tools such as text and email, Long said.

AI corner

AI-powered chatbots, such as Microsoft’s Power Virtual Agents and ChatGPT, are designed to offer additional layers of functionality to the typical live chat platform.

Chatbots can add efficiency to chat programs in two ways, McAllister said.

First, they excel at facilitating what she describes as “conversational triage,” by “replacing the conventional pre-chat form, which often introduces unnecessary friction to the customer’s experience.”

Rather than forcing customers to adapt their queries to a company’s preset dropdown menu, “Chatbots efficiently capture the customer’s intent, and then direct them to the appropriate agent, promoting natural language interactions and reducing instances of misrouting,” McAllister noted. Further, “The chatbot can automate ticket creation and prioritization, and summarize the customer’s interaction for the agent, ultimately reducing response times.”

Secondly, “Chatbots can fully automate specific intents or conversational journeys,” McAlister said.

“They are very good at simple Q&As, but they can also completely automate transactional queries enabling customers to self-serve,” she said. “For example, an MSP may use a chatbot to streamline tasks, such as creating new email accounts for their clients’ employees.”

Summing up

As managed services providers seek to revolutionize customer engagement and support, integrating live chat services into their websites offers major advantages. By offering immediate, personalized assistance, a customer service or sales team can foster stronger client relationships while providing swift issue resolutions. Although there are challenges to be overcome, it is a cost-effective means of delivering faster and more effective service.


Image: iStock


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