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Setting Up Live Chat With a Small Support Team

Setting Up Live Chat With a Small Support Team

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So you've decided to dive headfirst into the world of live chat support – because who needs sleep, right?

But before you start investing in countless cups of coffee to keep your small support team awake 24/7, let's consider a more sustainable approach.

Implementing live chat doesn't have to be a Herculean task that leaves your team burned out.

With a little know-how and some strategic planning, you can provide real-time, personalized customer support that elevates your brand, all without overwhelming your resources.

Intrigued? Let's explore this further.

Key Takeaways

  • Start small and gradually expand chat support as the team grows confident.
  • Create a comprehensive knowledge base for chat agents to equip them with the necessary information.
  • Integrate customer data into the live chat solution for a more personalized support experience.
  • Promote the live chat service and strategically place the chat widget for maximum accessibility to customers.

How to Implement Live Chat With a Small Support Team

If you're looking to implement live chat in your small support team, start by simply adding a chat widget to a page critical to your business, gradually expanding your chat support as your team grows more confident. This way, your customer service agents won't feel overwhelmed, and they'll have time to adapt to the new live chat tools without a sudden change in routine.

Next, create a comprehensive knowledge base with step-by-step instructions for your chat agents. This will help them answer common queries faster and more efficiently. Integrate customer data into your live chat solution, allowing your support agents to personalize the support experience. Remember, the more context your agents have, the better the service they can provide.

Set clear business hours for your live chat support. This helps manage customer expectations and ensures that your team isn't spread too thin. Also, establish escalation paths for complex issues that your small support team mightn't be equipped to handle.

Best Practices for Implementing Live Chat

To effectively implement live chat, consider starting small by adding a chat widget to a key business page, allowing you to assess its impact and effectiveness. This is one of the best practices when dealing with a small support team. Gradually, as your support agents become more comfortable, expand the live chat software to other parts of your website.

Ensure your team is well-prepared for chat conversations. Equip them with knowledge base articles and easy access to customer info. This won't only reduce response time, but also significantly improve the customer experience. Remember, the goal is customer satisfaction.

Manage the chat volume effectively. If you're swamped, don't hesitate to close chat tabs temporarily. It's better to provide excellent service to a few than mediocre service to many. Likewise, strategically place your chat widget for maximum accessibility and impact.

Lastly, promote your live chat service. Let your customers know it's there. An overlooked chat service is a wasted resource. By following these best practices, you'll be well on your way to successfully implementing live chat with your small support team.

Limit Chat Support Initially

Starting with a limited customer base, it's advisable for your team to dip their toes into the world of live chat support. This initial limit on chat support can help your small support team gauge their comfort and effectiveness with this new support channel.

By offering chat support to a subset of your customers initially, your chat team can experiment with the nuances of live chat implementation without being overwhelmed. This controlled approach allows your team to adapt to the unique demands of live chat, providing a better chat experience for your customers.

Controlling chat volume is key when starting with live chat. As your team becomes more comfortable, gradually increase the availability of chat support. This can be done by adjusting the hours of operation or expanding the customer base you offer chat support to.

Plan Ahead with Knowledge Base Articles and Saved Replies

Once you've established a controlled approach to chat support, the next step involves planning ahead with knowledge base articles and saved replies. This is an essential part of how to implement live chat with a small support team.

A well-structured knowledge base can act as a robust tool for your support team. It's vital to create comprehensive knowledge base articles with step-by-step instructions, enriched with visual aids like screenshots or GIFs.

These articles can provide precise explanations during chat conversations, serving as an excellent source of information for your customer support team. Having these resources at hand can drastically improve the quality of your instant messaging service.

Additionally, preparing saved replies for frequently asked questions will save time and allow for quicker resolutions. It's about giving your team the tools they need to deliver efficient and effective customer support.

Integrating customer data into your live chat solution will provide your team with full context during their interactions. Past support conversations can be leveraged to address any previous concerns, ensuring a seamless customer experience.

Ensure Easy Access to Customer Information

Incorporating customer data into your chat solution is a crucial step in providing personalized and effective support. Your support team needs to have easy access to customer information to address concerns efficiently and enhance customer engagement.

As a part of your live chat strategy, integrate key customer data into your help desk system. This will give your support team full context during live chat conversations and allow them to tailor their support according to the customer's needs.

When you offer live chat, remember to make the chat window user-friendly and easy to navigate, so the live chat customer feels comfortable and valued.

Leverage the power of support history. Knowing past support conversations can help your team address recurring concerns and anticipate potential issues. This proactive approach won't only improve your support team's performance but will also boost your customer's trust in your service.

Offer Chat Support When Available

You should consider offering chat support on your business-critical pages to provide immediate assistance to your customers. By implementing live chat, your small support team can handle customer inquiries promptly and efficiently. This not only improves your customer service but also provides personalized interactions that customers appreciate.

Decide on the best placement for your chat widget on your website or app. This can be based on your business goals and how your customers behave on your platform. You might want to start by offering chat support to a subset of customers initially. This approach allows you to gauge the impact and effectiveness of live chat support without overwhelming your team.

As your support team becomes more adept at managing live chats, you can gradually expand this service. Remember, you control the volume of chat support. You can open or close chat taps based on your team's availability and the demand from customers. This way, you can effectively integrate live chat into your support processes without overtaxing your team. By doing so, you make the most of your limited resources while providing superior customer support.

Promote Live Chat as the Preferred Support Channel

To make live chat the go-to support channel for your customers, start by highlighting its benefits like instant support, minimal wait times, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Your small support team can effectively implement live chat by promoting it as the fastest way to get support.

Your team members should be trained to encourage customers to use live chat instead of traditional support channels like phone or email. Consider removing phone numbers from pages with the chat widget and advertise live chat as the speediest way to get help. This tactic can help shift customer behavior towards preferring live chat as their main support channel.

As your service team grows more comfortable offering live chat support, gradually increase its availability. Keep a close eye on chat volume and adjust your team's capacity accordingly. Remember, promoting live chat isn't just about advertising its benefits. It's also about ensuring your team can handle the increase in chat conversations.

Seize the benefits of live chat and promote it as the preferred support channel. Your customers will appreciate the instant support and your team will benefit from the efficiency live chat offers.

Scheduling Your Team for Live Chat Support

Properly scheduling your team for live chat support often starts with a trial run, offering chat services to a small group of customers as your team adjusts to the new platform. This approach helps your small support team to become comfortable with the live chat system before you fully implement live chat as a customer service strategy.

As your support team gains confidence, gradually expand your live chat support. Control the volume by opening or closing chat taps based on workload and customer demand. Remember, it's vital to ensure that your chat agents aren't overwhelmed.

Set clear business hours for live chat support. This should be based on the times when you have the highest customer volume to optimize your team's availability. Allocating agents to chat during peak customer online times ensures efficient support coverage.

Scheduling your team for live chat support is a dynamic process and will likely require continuous adjustments. By following these steps, you'll be able to provide effective customer support while managing your team's workload efficiently.

Determine Coverage for Live Chat

Determining the right coverage for live chat involves assessing your small support team's capacity and availability, taking into account customer volume and peak hours. This will help you to accurately implement live chat in a way that meets customer expectations for instant support.

Your chat offers must align with the times when your customers are most active. For example, if your pricing page gets the most traffic during business hours, ensure your team is ready to provide live chat support during these times. This way, you can effectively handle queries and boost customer happiness.

Keep monitoring chat wait times and the number of abandoned chats. If these numbers are high, it's a sign you need to adjust your live chat coverage. Maybe you need more hands on deck during peak hours or your team needs to be more efficient in handling conversations.

Create a Standby Team for Busy Queues

When chat queues start to pile up during peak hours, it's crucial that you have a standby team ready to step in and handle the overflow. This means identifying peak times and allocating a team who can provide additional live support during those high volume periods.

Your standby team should be well-trained, able to integrate seamlessly with your main support team. Providing them with resources to handle common inquiries and escalations effectively is key. Customer service is fast-paced, so ensure your standby team has access to a knowledge base and prepared responses to keep the service efficient.

Implement a clear signal or trigger system to activate your standby team when chat queues become busy. This helps maintain a successful live chat service without overstretching your main team.

Your standby team of agents is there to help handle the surge and ease the pressure on your primary team, ensuring a smooth customer experience.

Regularly assess the effectiveness and efficiency of this team's support during peak periods. It's a dynamic process that requires regular fine-tuning, but with a well-prepared standby team, your small support team can handle even the busiest of queues.

Avoid Overly Long Chat Shifts

While having a standby team is crucial for busy queues, it's equally important to avoid scheduling your agents for overly long chat shifts to maintain their productivity and prevent burnout. When adding live chat to your customer service arsenal, remember that quality of support is paramount. Overly long shifts can diminish the effectiveness of live chat as part of your customer support strategy.

Consider this: being on live chat for eight straight hours is demanding. It can lead to exhaustion, reduced productivity, and a drop in the quality of support provided. To ensure exceptional customer service, consider shorter shifts with regular breaks to keep agents fresh and engaged. This approach caters to the chat needs of your customers better, significantly reducing wait times and enhancing overall customer experience.

Moreover, incorporating flexibility into shift schedules allows agents to switch between channels, thereby ensuring continuous and high-quality support to customers via different platforms. Be sure to set guidelines for breaks and ending shifts to prevent agents from getting trapped in overly long chat shifts. This way, you'll maintain a healthy, productive team that delivers exceptional customer service.

Maintain a Consistent Schedule

To ensure smooth operations, it's essential that you establish a consistent chat support schedule, reducing both time spent on planning and mental overhead. This consistency is key to maintaining a great live chat service quality on your website, ensuring that customers always find assistance when they need it.

The chat schedule should be predictable and reliable, allowing your customers to know when they can expect help. It's also important to make sure your agents have their preferred balance of chat shifts. This not only boosts morale but also ensures your agents are fresh and ready to provide excellent service.

Take the time to roll out chat to more customers gradually as the team becomes more comfortable. This helps to prevent overwhelming your team while also guaranteeing that customers receive the high-quality service they expect.

Keep an eye on your schedule and adjust it as necessary. Coordinate lunch or break times to maintain a consistent schedule. Periodically evaluate the schedule, collect feedback from your agents, and make changes to improve employee satisfaction. These adjustments are vital to ensure your agents need to stay motivated and your customers continue to experience top-tier support.

Evaluate and Improve Your Schedule

Let's dive into how you can evaluate and improve your current chat support schedule.

Customers expect to connect to your platform in less than an hour, so you need to make sure your schedule aligns with their needs. Implementing live chat with a small support team can seem daunting, but a well-structured schedule will help you provide instant responses, which is what your customers crave. Don't fear; live chat allows you to become a power user of your time.

Start by reviewing your current schedule. Identify the peak hours when your customers need you the most. You might need to adjust your team's work hours to these times, ensuring you're available when your customers are most active.

Next, measure customer satisfaction. This will give you valuable data to evaluate and improve your schedule. If customer satisfaction is high during certain shifts, it's a clear sign those shifts are working well.

Get Started with Live Chat

Diving into the world of live chat, you should first focus on incorporating a chat widget on a crucial business page. This initial step allows customers to start engaging in real-time customer conversations, enhancing the user experience on your company's website.

Setting up a live chat system might seem daunting, especially if you're working with a small support team. But don't worry, you can successfully implement live chat by starting small. Experiment with offering chat support to a select group of customers initially. This way, your team can get a feel for managing the volume of chats without becoming overwhelmed.

As your team becomes more comfortable, gradually expand the chat support. This gives your team the ability to provide personalized experiences to a growing number of customers. Remember to control the volume by opening up or closing chat taps as needed.

Getting started with live chat doesn't have to be a complex process. With careful planning and a strategic approach, even a small support team can offer top-notch live chat service, enhancing user experience and transforming your company's digital presence.


So, there you have it! Implementing live chat doesn't have to be daunting, even with a small team. Start slow, use knowledge base articles, ensure easy access to customer info, and maintain healthy chat shifts.

Stick to a consistent schedule and constantly strive for improvement. It's time to leverage the power of live chat and provide your customers with the exceptional service they deserve.

Ready to elevate your service to the next level? Let's get started.