How to Engage Customers When Agents Are Away

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Aآ live chat tool can help you engage with customers, but it’s only effective when your agents are available toآ chat. Ifآ customers try toآ interact with aآ live chat feature and can’t reach anآ agent, they’ll probably beآ confused, ifآ not frustrated. Offline messages can help you avoid that scenario.

Offline messages uphold the continuum ofآ service that your customers expect. And ifآ you have customers across the country orآ around the globe, you should anticipate that they may need support outside ofآ your normal operating hours. Anآ offline message isآ aآ good way toآ acknowledge inquiries and satisfy customers until aآ live agent has the opportunity toآ follow up.

Let’s take aآ closer look atآ offline messages and how they work.

What Are Offline Messages?

Anآ offline message isآ essentially aآ status update that tells site visitors you’re unavailable toآ chat and invites them toآ send aآ message. This feature replaces your live chat widget anytime agents are unavailable.

When aآ site visitor clicks onآ the offline message widget, they might see options toآ send aآ message, send anآ email, orآ request aآ callback. All ofآ those options generate aآ notification message that’s delivered toآ the chat platform.

Depending onآ the type ofآ chat software you use, you may also beآ able toآ show anآ option toآ wait for anآ available agentآ â€” aآ useful feature ifآ your agent stepped away for aآ short break. Or, you could offer aآ callback option.

Why Are Offline Messages Important for Businesses?

Customers who use live chat are expecting immediate replies. Ifآ noآ agents are available, businesses need toآ offer anآ acceptable alternative toآ live chat. Chatbots can beآ part ofآ that solution, ofآ course, but they may lack the depth toآ fully answer aآ customer’s inquiry.

Offline messages serve anآ important role inآ helping businesses attract and retain customers. With the promise ofآ aآ follow-up, website visitors may beآ willing toآ wait for anآ answer instead ofآ heading toآ your competitors’ sites inآ search ofآ information orآ aآ better experience. Just make sure your agents are responding toآ offline messages asآ quickly asآ possible.

7آ Ways toآ Handle Offline Messages

With the right chat software, you can configure your offline messages to:

1. Direct visitors toآ other resources. Ifآ you have aآ self-service resource library, your offline message could point visitors toآ that feature.

2. Integrate with queue management. Create rules inآ your chat dashboard that route inquiries toآ the next available agent.

3. Route inquiries byآ topic. You can offer visitors aآ few clickable optionsآ â€” such asآ â€œproduct supportâ€‌ orآ â€œrequest aآ quoteâ€‌ that will help direct their offline message toآ the appropriate agent.

4. Validate data. Your offline messaging tool should beآ able toآ verify the format for phone numbers and email addresses, soآ that ifآ aآ website visitor makes anآ incorrect entry, you’ll still beآ able toآ reach them.

5. Integrate with your CRM. Connecting your chat platform and your CRM helps you see who’s using offline messaging and track outcomes.

6. Show aآ â€œthank youâ€‌ message. After aآ visitor submits aآ message, they should see anآ acknowledgement soآ they know the message sent correctly.

Source: JivoChat

7. Set upآ aآ callback. Provide the option toآ request aآ callback, and integrate with agent calendars soآ customers can choose aآ time when agents are available.

Source: JivoChat

Offline Messaging Best Practices

Inآ order toآ make offline messaging effective, you need toآ think like your customers. What are their expectations? What misgivings might they have about offline messaging? How can you set upآ offline messaging that serves both prospects and customers?

With those questions inآ mind, these are three best practices for offline messaging:

Always follow up

Even the best offline messaging tool won’t beآ effective ifآ agents don’t followآ up. Toآ make sure agents are responding toآ inquiries, you should contain message-handling inآ the chat app (asآ opposed toآ having agents manage conversations from their individual email accounts).

JivoChat routes all offline messages toآ the inbox section ofآ the Jivo app, then the app sends anآ email notification toآ the agent (s). Agents respond toآ messages from the app, and that communication becomes part ofآ aآ customer’s ongoing history that others can access when necessary.

Source: JivoChat

State when you’ll beآ back online

Your offline message can take the place ofآ aآ traditional “Business Hoursâ€‌ sign. Tell customers when they can expect aآ response, and beآ asآ specific asآ possible, such as: “Within 12آ hours.â€‌

Provide alternative contact options

For people who don’t like waiting for aآ phone call orآ email, provide some other means ofآ contacting your business. Consider including aآ phone number that’s not already listed onآ your site, soآ you can track which calls come from your away message interactions. Specify when live agents are available byآ phone.

Ifآ you use social media platforms and respond toآ messages there atآ times outside ofآ your normal business hours, mention that, too.

Use Chatbots toآ Provide Support When You’re Offline

Chatbots can help you capture leads and improve customer service 24/7آ â€” onآ your website and onآ social platforms. With JivoChat, you can set upآ chatbots toآ answer questions when agents are unavailable.

Ifآ the user asks toآ speak with aآ live agent, the chatbot can collect contact information and explain when the user can expect aآ response. Any time the chatbot transfers aآ chat toآ aآ live agent, orآ when aآ chatbot chat ends, aآ transcript isآ automatically delivered toآ the JivoChat inbox, where agents can review it.

Set Upآ Offline Chat Messages Today

With chatbots, live chat, and offline messages, you can enhance customer service and help your agents increase sales. Offline messages also demonstrate toآ your existing customers that you care about their needs, noآ matter where they are, orآ what time ofآ day itآ is.

Are you ready toآ see how round-the-clock chat-based support can help your business? Sign upآ for JivoChat’s free trial today!

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