How to leverage customer data for better support

Jacob Firuta
Jacob Firuta

Knowing more about your customers will help you deliver better support over live chat. Even the smallest bits of information can help you handle a case more efficiently.

By having access to customer information like name, email, and order ID, support agents don’t have to waste time on asking the same questions over and over and instead can move directly to providing a solution.

There are a couple of ways of gathering and using information to your advantage, in live chat.

Pre-chat surveys

live chat pre chat survey

The simplest way of getting information about your customers is to ask them a few simple questions at the beginning of a chat.

Pre-chat surveys allow you to gather some basic information about the customer like name and contact email. You can also ask for more detailed information like order ID or the department the customer wants to contact.

The answers to the pre-chat survey questions will give your agents a head start. For example, instead of asking for the details of the customer’s last order, they will be able to look it up immediately, putting your agent one step closer to solving the customer’s problem.

Before configuring the pre-chat survey, think about what information you need in order to start helping the customer as quickly as possible. If you’re using a CRM like Nutshell, you may only ask for a name and email address, in which case you can quickly pull up the customer’s timeline, showing you all of the information you need to provide great support.

Tip: Don’t ask too many questions! By asking too many questions, you risk having the customer turn away from your chat and ultimately weaken the customer experience.

Logging in with Facebook

live chat customer support facebook login

Another option you can use to get additional information about a visitor is by allowing them to log in to your chat using their Facebook accounts.

Right off the bat, you get to see the customer, you get their name and email. Not only is it convenient for the user, but you can also learn some tidbits from their Facebook profile (if public) to help make the interaction more pleasant.

For example, if a customer is looking for a new fishing rod and you noticed that they have a lot of photos from open sea fishing trips, you can immediately recommend a rod that’s designed for fishing in open waters.

Tip: Remember that if a visitor logs in via Facebook, they won’t be able to answer pre-chat survey questions.

Website monitoring

Another feature that comes with most live chat applications is the ability to look up basic information about a visitor based on cookies.

For example, you can see which page the visitor is currently viewing or which pages they viewed so far. This can be extra useful when you need to recommend a product since you may already know what they have seen and what they could have missed.

live chat customer support cookies track visits

You can also see if you are dealing with a returning customer. This is important because it should shape your entire approach to the conversation. Returning customers don’t usually need to have everything explained. After all, they have already contacted your company.

Adjusting your approach to returning customers will allow you to move straight to the solution and resolve cases more quickly.

Custom variables and CRMs

If your customers log in to your website (e.g. to access a particular service), you can use custom variables to provide agents with more data. Custom variables are information you can ‘assign’ to visitors on your website when they perform a certain action like logging in.

For example, when somebody logs in to your service, you can use their login information to automatically fill in pre-chat survey details for the customer. Instead of having to type in the same information the second time, the visitor will be able to simply click on your chat to connect to your agent, automatically providing the necessary information.

Once you know which customer just logged in, nothing stops you from forwarding more information about them to your live chat. You can either integrate your chat with a CRM solution like Nutshell, or connect your live chat to your customer database.

live chat nutshell integration

In either case, you can display all sorts of customer information right in your live chat. You simply have to check which bits are the most important for agents, e.g. if they only chat, they probably don’t need to have the customer’s phone number.

The CRM integrations will also display the data if the email provided in the pre-chat survey matches the email stored in your CRM.As a result, your agents don’t have to use a third party application or switch between several tabs to know more about the customers. They can have all the necessary details embedded in the application.

The perks of having more customer data at hand

So, what’s in it for you by getting all that sorted out? Well, the more data your agents have, the easier it will be for them to provide good customer service.

To see how big of an impact additional bits of data can have on customer service provided via live chat, we checked the customer service stats from three of our pages, each with a different approach to gathering data. The data represents all of our chats from the beginning of the year.

The first website is our mobile website, where we leave all pre-chat survey questions optional. We have it set up like that to make accessing chat more convenient for mobile users. In extreme situations, the customer might not provide any information.

The second website is our main website, where we ask for basic contact information and one additional question about the purpose of the contact (sales or support). This way, we always get some basic information about the customer, but we don’t push for too much information. A fine balance between convenience and additional resources for our agents.

The third and final website is our web application, where we get all the data automatically via custom variables. Once an agent logs in to their account, we can extract useful information about them, e.g. license type, and provide it for our agents.

We check the satisfaction levels for each of those websites. Our main website averages at about 87% customer satisfaction level, which is pretty much the global benchmark for customer satisfaction.

When we checked our mobile website, where we often don’t get all the information we need, we noticed that we scored only 70% customer satisfaction.

Finally, the chats that started from our web application reached 93% customer satisfaction—an amazing gain considering how little effort you need to put in to get a bit of extra information during chats. When the data is available, your agents can solve more cases in one touch, leading to a jump in customer satisfaction.

Know your customers better

You can get the same, if not better results in your live chat by having more customer data on hand. Here’s a quick list of the things you should enable in your live chat to do that:

  1. Ask for information in a pre-chat survey. This will get the most basic questions about name, email, or order ID out of the way and allow your agents to move directly toward solving the customer’s problem.
  2. Allow visitors to log in to chat with Facebook. It’s not only convenient, but also gives you added information about a customer that you can then use to create a more personalized experience.
  3. Use website monitoring tools in your live chat. These tools will help you make more accurate suggestions based on the status of the customer (new/returning) and pages already seen by the customer.
  4. Use the data you already have in other systems. Whenever a visitor logs in to your page, or simply provides an email address, you can pull information from your own database or a CRM solution and feed it directly to your live chat.

It’s funny how powerful a bit of data can be when used correctly. With a couple of small changes, you will be able to give your agents something to work with at the start of every conversation. The sooner you implement them in your live chat, the faster you will be able to provide better service and get higher customer service rates.