Today’s consumers are busy and expect immediate attention, instant answers to their questions, and satisfactory solutions to their issues. Above all, they require good customer service from the companies they patronize. This is where live chat comes into play.
Live chat is great because it is a popup window on a company’s webpage that directly connects a customer with a tech support or customer service representative. Live chat utilizes multitasking reps to produce resolutions quickly and also to increase sales.
Try implementing these six best practices for live chat tech support and service into your routine and see the difference it can make in higher productivity and higher customer satisfaction.
1- Integrate with Your Social Media and Email Channels
One of the most important things your company can do to maximize your reach and engage more customers is to build connections across all forms of social media.
On every Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ page and in every post, add a live chat button. In every email and every blog article, add a live chat button. This will ensure your customer knows it’s there and ready for them when they need it.
2- Customize Your Chat Windows and Buttons
Customization and personalization matter when it comes to chat windows and buttons. If they look too plain or generic, customers may mistake it for an automatic, robotic response or, even worse, an unaffiliated popup message.
Make sure your chat windows and buttons match your company’s branding. Make them visually appealing. Make them inviting by using your customer’s name when possible.
3- Be Inviting
Extending a courteous invitation to chat with your customer is an important part in getting them to do it. Rather than using large, aggressive popup windows, offer customers the option to initiate a conversation on their own terms. Place your chat button prominently on each page of your website for easy access. If you do want to use a popup, make it subtle, non-generic, and friendly.
If possible, tailor your messages to be sent only to users who presumably anticipate or need it. This can be done by:
- Noticing the page the customer is staying on (Help, FAQs, Contact Us, Shopping Cart).
- Noticing how long the customer has been browsing a certain product page (2-3 minutes, for example).
- Customize your chat message to correlate with the above two factors.
If live chat is a new service your company is offering, advertise it. You can even give incentives to encourage its use.
4- Have Product and Service Knowledge
One of the most important elements for a successful interaction with customers is your reps possessing a high level of product and service knowledge. It’s a bad sign if your rep needs to do a lot of research or ask for a superior’s help while your customer is waiting for an answer.
Be sure your reps are trained fully on the live chat program they are using. Give continued education on new product and service offerings. Provide all the materials they need in order to quickly view an item or answer a question.
Enable a post chat survey to collect feedback regarding the effectiveness and quality of your customer support. Follow up on the results.
5- Use Positive Customer Service Vocabulary
Avoid the “least-liked phrases” in customer service. They are:
- I can’t.
- There’s nothing I can do.
- That’s just our policy.
- I think…
- You’ll have to…
- To be honest with you…
- No problem
Instead, use the words and phrases that customers love to hear. They are:
- How can I help?
- I can…
- I will…
- My pleasure.
- Thank you.
Pre-defined scripts are a great way to save time and make things easier for the tech or customer service rep. However, agents should always keep some level of spontaneity during the support experience. It should never sound like a script is being read. Encourage authentic conversations.
6- Give Prompt Service and Manage Time Effectively
The whole point of using live chat is that it’s an easy and prompt way to get answers. If a customer has to wait, they may just lose interest and unhappily leave the chat window.
Ensure there is always someone available to chat. Automatically assign chats to agents based on their availability. Also, although it’s common (and sometimes critical) that a customer service rep handles multiple chat windows at once, the customer should never know it.
By proactively inviting online prospects (and established clients) to get their questions answered or to get the support they need, your company can quicken service times. By engaging your customers with personalization and understanding, you’ll increase their overall satisfaction with your company.