As described in our previous blog post, live chat is an essential channel for driving sales and customer satisfaction. From providing service on the go to helping customers make purchase decisions, live chat offers tremendous potential for delivering great customer experiences. Here are ten steps to creating the perfect live chat customer experience.
Provide live chat on the most popular webpages.
Ideally, your brand should make chat accessible across the entire website. However, it’s also important to use analytics to determine which pages are visited the most: These pages may need more agents behind them, and the live chat invitation pop-ups may need to occur faster.
Optimize for mobile customers.
Making live chat accessible to your mobile customers is a must. When customers need service on the go, such as product assistance in-store, live chat can make all the difference. Live chat through click-to-call or click-to-chat buttons allows customers to get the support they need when they need it most.
Send invitations quickly.
One of the key benefits of live chat is its potential for saving time, so don’t keep customers waiting! A proactive live chat solution may use geolocation features and web analytics to suggest the best times for inviting customers to chat, whether they are in-store or have spent more than a few seconds browsing a webpage. Once you send the invitation, be just as quick to respond when the customer accepts. The same is true when the customer initiates the chat: Move quickly and never keep your customers waiting.
Use a natural conversational tone.
Treat live chat like a natural conversation and use a friendly tone. Agents should always begin every chat with an introduction and ask for the customer’s name as well. Let the customer know you are ready to help, and ask questions to clarify information when needed. Don’t just guess what the customer means, and don’t be afraid to let him know if you need a moment to find the answer.
Follow proper text chat etiquette.
While a natural tone is essential, there are some simple chat etiquette rules to follow. For example, in written chat, limit the use of emoticons and stick to classic ones (like smileys). This keeps the tone light yet professional. Check for correct spelling and grammar, and avoid using any abbreviations or slang as customers may get confused. It’s also a good habit to write short paragraphs for easier reading, rather than long chunks of text. Lastly, remember to simplify technical language as much as possible and check for customer understanding.
Check the customer’s profile.
As soon as the customer is identified, check the customer database to determine his profile and purchase history. The agent may then be aware of recent service issues, recent purchases, and other important details that may arise during the chat. This gives the agent a better idea of what service the customer may need and empowers him to make appropriate upselling or cross-selling offers as well.
Break down multiple customer queries.
If a customer has many issues to discuss, an agent may feel overwhelmed. The best practice is to simply break down the queries one by one and solve them accordingly. Let the customer know that you are there to help and will work through each request one at a time.
Keep the customer informed of delays.
If a customer initiates a chat and an agent is not available right away, be sure to let the customer know that the chat will begin shortly. Generally speaking, don’t keep the customer waiting for more than 15 seconds, or he just may abandon the chat altogether. When an agent needs more time to find information, he should let the customer know so there are no sudden lapses in conversation.
Make your answers comprehensive.
Think of live chat as an opportunity for first contact resolution. Make sure to answer customer inquiries in full, giving detailed explanations and taking proactive measures to ask the questions customers may have in the future. The more comprehensive the live chat exchange, the less likely the customer will have to reach out again for support.
Make it a positive experience.
From being friendly to providing detailed support, do everything you can to make the live chat experience a pleasant one. Checking for clarity as you go, making references to purchase history, and being prompt to respond all deliver the message that you are putting your customers’ needs first. Create a great experience that is tailored to each customer’s unique profile.
With live chat, your brand can offer timely, thorough, and personalized service that drives both brand growth and customer satisfaction. To deliver the very best in customer service, learn about Vocalcom, a global leader in cloud-based contact center software solutions and premium conversational commerce platform for great customer experiences.
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