Live chat is a perfect channel for every aspect of the customer experience. When customers are searching for product information or need help with checkout, live chat can provide the immediate assistance they need. However, as with any channel, it’s important for brands to personalize the experience and communicate in a manner that best fits the channel. Here are five steps for creating a perfect live chat experience.
A well-timed chat invitation is essential to a great experience. Using analytics, determine how long customers have been browsing a webpage. Then, send a live chat invitation once the customer has been active on the page for more than five seconds. In this manner, your brand can capture the attention of customers who are considering a purchase or simply need support. In addition, make sure to offer chat on the most frequently visited webpages and employ agents who possess the skills those pages demand.
Agents should always use a natural and friendly tone. However, when agents go a step further and match the language and tone of the customer, this also adds a layer of personalization to the experience. For example, if the customer uses a formal tone, the agent should do the same and refrain from slang words or emoticon use. If the customer shows a lighter attitude or uses emoticons, the agent should make an effort to keep the dialogue light-hearted. Just as with any conversation, the flow depends on a willingness to communicate and put each other at ease.
While it’s always important to save customers time, they need to understand the information they are given. Overwhelming customers with too much text at once is unnecessary and can prolong the interaction. Agents need to begin with a quick introduction, ask how they may help, listen to the customer, and then provide a solution in short paragraphs. In this manner, the agent can periodically ask the customer if he understands the communications and encourage an actual dialogue. Customers will feel more at ease and better able to process information.
As much as possible, the agent should stay one step ahead of the customer. For example, if the customer has experienced an inconvenience, the agent should offer some kind of gesture to remedy the situation. In addition, it’s essential to convey a proactive attitude that instills confidence in the customer. The agent should emphasize that a solution will be found, using positive language that also shows empathy and a willingness to accept responsibility for any brand mistakes.
At the end of every exchange, always be sure to send a survey on the live chat channel. The agent may ask the customer if he would be willing to answer a short survey that is provided through a link. In the survey, ask the customer to rate the agent’s performance, but also inquire about the overall live chat experience. Was the invitation sent in a timely manner? Was the experience effortless? Such feedback will help your brand improve your live chat strategy. Live chat is a versatile channel that can assist customers at virtually any stage of the customer experience. Whether in-store or at home, customers can benefit from immediate and personalized customer service.
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