Live web chats are an effective way to offer online support, and they can be better than traditional means like emails and phone calls. However, it’s important to know how to integrate your live chat so that it provides the best experience for your customers. In this article, we’ll cover the dos and don’ts of offering live web chat support.
Do establish a presence
Establishing a presence is the first step to establishing trust, and doing so online is no different. When customers see that your online chat service is there whenever they need help, they will feel more comfortable with your company and its products.
Customers who have questions or concerns can be frustrated if they don’t know where to go for help, so make sure that all of your support options are clearly visible on your website. Make sure you let customers know that you’re available all the time, as well as how long it may take for someone from customer service to get back to them (if there is an expected wait time).
Do provide fast and competent support
As a company, you want to provide your customers with the best possible service. To do that, you need to be able to answer questions from your customers quickly and in a timely manner. If they have a question regarding their product or service, they will expect an answer right away, especially if it involves something like technical support.
If someone has an issue, they are going to want answers right away. If you can’t provide them with these answers quickly, then there is no reason for them to hesitate and look elsewhere for better options.
Do be personal
While it’s important to be professional, it’s also important to be personal. Your customers want to know who they’re talking to and will appreciate your willingness to show your character.
Have a chat agent use their name at the beginning of each chat, and let them know where you are (e.g., ‘I’m in Sydney, right insider our physical branch. Come visit us sometime!’). It may seem like a small thing, but a simple phrase like, ‘Hi Paul! I’m Dave from customer support’, tells people that this isn’t just another generic, auto-fill conversation.
Let them know your business is actually interested in their problems and wants them to feel comfortable reaching out for help when they need it.
Don’t confuse customers with complex terms and jargon
When you’re offering customer support, try to avoid using complex terms and jargon. It’s better to use plain language and simple terms when you can.
This is especially important if your customers are not technically skilled. For example, if they’re seeking help with an electronic device or software program, or any product that requires a certain level of technical skill, don’t assume that they’ll understand all the terminology or acronyms.
However, if the person starts using or is familiar with those terms, it’s fine to use them as long as they don’t bring about confusion or make them feel uncomfortable asking for clarification (and potentially becoming frustrated).
Don’t compromise reply quality for quantity
One of the most important things to think about when planning your customer support strategy is considering how many chats you can realistically handle in any given period. It’s tempting to say, ‘we’ll just do as many as possible,’ but it’s important not to compromise reply quality for quantity.
While a business chat service is a great way for your business to interact with customers, it should not be used as an excuse for poor customer service. This means that you need a plan in place before you get started on implementing live web chat, so consider these guidelines:
- Don’t let the number of chats take over your business flow. If they do, then every single one could become an obstacle instead of something simple and efficient. If all else fails, and this happens anyway, make sure there are enough people available so that everyone gets their questions answered without having to wait too long. You might even want someone monitoring each team member at any given time so they can help out if necessary (this could include checking back later).
- Don’t let customer service become a passive activity. It’s one thing if employees are busy answering questions during office hours because those hours were set up in advance; it’s another thing entirely when managers aren’t planning ahead and giving employees enough space.
Don’t just stop once the conversation is over
After you’ve completed the live chat, don’t just stop there. Make sure to ask for feedback and provide a way to contact your business if the customer needs to.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in making sure that everything went well during the live chat and forget about what happens afterwards. This is important because if your customers are left without any support after they’ve purchased something, then there’s a good chance that they won’t come back.
To avoid this scenario (and keep customers happy), make it clear on your website where people can find further information about your products or services by including links like ‘Learn more’ or ‘Talk to us again’ after each chat.
Live chats are an effective way to offer online support, and they can be better than traditional means like emails and phone calls
If you’re not already offering live chat as part of your customer service offerings, it’s time to consider adding this convenient option! Here’s how live chats can help you:
- They’re more efficient than phone calls. Customers don’t want to wait on hold or be put through a series of menus in order to speak with a human being about their issue. Live chat makes it quick and easy for customers to get answers from support agents who are available 24/7/365. And since customers only need one human representative (instead of having their concerns forwarded from person to person), they’re less likely to leave frustrated or disappointed with their experience.
- They’re more efficient than emails. Emails allow customers outside the country, where many companies have no brick-and-mortar presence at all, much easier access than phone calls do. Just take note that they also come with challenges like no built-in record keeping, lengthy waits for replies, and lack of context provided when replying back through long threads rather than talking directly via live chat session where both parties know exactly why this conversation is happening.
There’s no doubt that live chats are an excellent way to offer online support. As such, they are certainly worth considering as part of your overall customer service strategy.