Having been spoiled by Taobao, China’s online consumers often expect instant live support for Chinese website. Here is how to do it easily and cheaply.

One of the most critical components for a successful conversion of online consumers is being able to communicate with them in real, or almost real time. In this post we are going to look at how to incorporate and use live support for Chinese website.

Chinese online consumers have already been spoiled by near instant customer support on major ecommerce sites. For example, large percentage of shoppers on Taobao would often initiate online chat session with a seller before taking a decision to make a purchase.

Regardless of whether it is a product sold from a website or an online service, Chinese visitors would expect to be able to ask questions and get answers within minutes.

Luckily, this can be accomplished in several ways and we are going to look at each of them next.

Live support for Chinese website with QQ

QQ messenger is still the most popular chat program in China. Practically every Chinese is familiar with QQ from the early days of the internet. Incorporating QQ into a website is also quite easy – all it takes is pasting a piece of code to your website to display a functional QQ icon.

By clicking a QQ icon, a visitor can start chatting immediately as long as the program is installed on their computer or a mobile device. Fortunately, this is the case for the vast majority of Chinese anyway.

Phone based support with Chinese toll free number

Live support for Chinese website
The good old toll free phone number is the traditional way get customers to call you directly and it would probably work well if you target somewhat less tech savvy visitors. Toll free numbers in China start with 400 and can be applied for with China’s telephone service providers. Typically, they offer several different packages and are fairly inexpensive.

Telephone companies are constantly adding more new features to those numbers such as autoresponders, forward services, voice mails, various types of notifications etc. They also allow to choose a number from an available pool, although the good numbers go quickly. While picking a 400 number it is best to avoid the “unlucky” digits such as “four”. “Eights” and “nines” are the best, so are the repetitive numbers such as 55, 66 etc.

How does live support with WeChat work

Live support for Chinese website WeChat
There are many good reasons to include WeChat contact on the webpage and having live support for Chinese website is just one of them. Once a visitor to a website starts following your company WeChat account, there are many ways to keep them engaged which is a whole separate topic.

Nowadays, increasing number of companies in China choose to provide customer service exclusively through WeChat because it offers much more than just a live chat. For example, WeChat can send pre-programmed answers in response to a specific inquiry with predefined keywords. It can also grab an information about users such as their present location and tailor the answer based on that criteria. More advanced companies can even integrate WeChat customer service into a sophisticated system that incorporates various types marketing automation.

One drawback of using WeChat as a live support channel is the fact it takes manual scanning of a QR code by a visitor with their cellphone. While this may be convenient for someone visiting from a desktop, browsing site on the mobile device makes that scanning impossible. The workaround is to save the QR code as a picture in the photos and then import it to WeChat. Unfortunately, this is not a straight forward process and many people are simply unaware of how to do that.

Incorporating Live Chat for Chinese Website

Live support for Chinese website
Live chat app is, perhaps, the most natural way to offer live support for Chinese website. Live chat can be integrated with practically any website in a form or a 3rd party plugin. There are many services that offer this type of functionality and they mainly differ in features and price plans. Basic features usually include support for mobile apps, automated responses, alerts and escalation scenarios, various levels of security, ability to share files, routing options etc.

Some of the most popular services that offer Chinese support are Zopim, LiveChat, Zoho Sales IQ as well as many others. Some of them, like Zopim, even offer free plans with limited features set and the prices for paid plans are also fairly affordable in the range of $15-30 per month – well worth the investment.

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