Live chat is a fantastic tool for reaching out to site and visitors and reducing your support costs. Still, live chat is only effective if your agents know how to use it efficiently and properly.

Like just about anything else IT related, live chat training for your agents is crucial in helping them learn the ins and outs of the system.

In this post, I will give you a few pointers on the most important aspects of training your agents and operators to use live chat effectively.

Scripts and Soft Skills

The most important part of training your live chat agents will be educating them on the products and services you provide. Ensure that your agents know your products inside and out, and that they have appropriate scripts and documentation available when explaining them to visitors and customers.

If you don’t have a well-thought-out script that you already use, look to the agents that are achieving the best results for some insight and ideas. Your star agents probably have tactics and replies they use over and over again to achieve the results that set them apart from the rest. Ask them to help you devise scripts that can help your other agents perform just as well.

Platform Training

Allow your agents ample time to train using your live chat system. Depending on the complexity of the live chat application and the ability of the new agent, the system may take only a day or two to master or it may take a couple of weeks.

Remember not all live chat agents learn at the same pace. Nevertheless, ensure that the agent has mastered the chat console and all of its features completely before turning him/her loose to handle chat requests.

Make sure that the agent knows how to answer chats, initiate them, do transfers, use canned messages and is able to perform all other tasks in the chat console before he/she ever answers his/her first live chat request from a site visitor.

Mock Chats

An excellent way to help your agents learn your live chat system quickly is to engage with them in mock chats. Pretend you’re a site a visitor and engage a new agent using your live chat system. While conducting the mock chat, walk him/her through introductions, basic chat functions and using canned messages and links.

Also, while training during a mock chat, have the agent practice pushing you files and links as well as do a few transfers to other agents or operators. Do a mock chat or two during the initial training phase, and then ensure you do another before the agent goes live and starts accepting chat requests from site visitors.

Tech Support Tips

In addition to being the most effective way to communicate with visitors to your website, live chat is also an excellent tech support tool. Live chat features such as canned messages and links, the ability to push files and screen sharing and co-browsing, create a power-packed support environment with which CRMs or Help Desk systems cannot compete.

Providing tech support with a live chat application is relatively straightforward. Train your agents to go slow and ask short, simple questions to get to the root of problems and to make solving them easier and faster. More important than training your agents to provide tech support is making sure they have the resources they need readily available.

Ensure your tech support agents have canned links for knowledge base articles, how-to tutorials, videos and other resources they need to help customers resolve issues or problems. Make sure the agents know how to find the resources quickly and then send them to the customers who need them.

Secret Evaluations

Creating an effective live chat solution requires that you train your agents before they start, and then continue to provide training on an ongoing basis. Ongoing training should include reviews of scripts, mock chats and secret evaluations.

Secret evaluations can be performed by a manager or a pre-selected customer. Of course, the primary goal of a secret evaluation is to perform the chat without the agent having knowledge of its purpose.

Secret evaluation chats keep agents on their toes and encourage them to be at their best at all times. When used effectively, secret chat evaluations can be an invaluable tool in learning just how well your agents are performing.