Want to improve your live chat customer support? Looking for some practical tips that would help you make it happen?
If you thought that the fastest response time makes the cut in the world of live chat support, think again!
While fast response time remains one of the key aspects of live chat support, quality is winning over quantity again! It turns out 95% of consumers prefer slow, personalized live chat support if it guarantees a higher quality of service.
This means that it may be simple enough to pop a live chat widget on your website and “turn on chat support,” but delivering a high-quality customer experience consistently is a different story altogether. Giving great live chat support can demand more skill than you realize.
Even with the aspiration for a much lower response time, you cannot overlook the quality of your customer service teams.
The bar is high, and businesses have to find the perfect balance between faster response times and quality of service to meet customer expectations.
So how do you enhance the quality of your live chat support channel to make it more effective?
Here are 10 ready-to-use customer support chat tips for you!
10 Live Chat Customer Support Tips to Implement Today (Plus One)
Chat handling skills are of utmost importance because even though live chat happens digitally, people
#1. Invest thought in placing the live chat widget
Have you noticed a commonality in how businesses place live chat widgets on their website?
From the top of my head, a chat window on the right side of the screen is the most common placement. Also, a chat window on the landing page is the most common, like here:
Why are businesses doing that? Because they invest careful thought into it for maximum conversion and best support.
Here are some tips for you to follow to achieve the same:
- Create a list of the main pages of your website, where you expect and want the most footfall.
- Find the conversion rate of each page.
- Place your live chat widget accordingly – on the main pages that mean most to you business-wise.
- Do not place chat widgets in places it is not required, like the customer login page, etc.
- Keep the widget on the right side of the screen as most cultures favor the right side and it becomes our natural tendency to look to the right first.
#2. Give help before they even ask for it
Giving help even before your customers ask for it has its own merits.
A Gartner survey found that proactive customer service results in a full point increase in – Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Value Enhancement Score (VES).
What we are trying to say is that being proactive with customer service will result in higher customer satisfaction. And that, in turn, will result in more sales, and positive word-of-mouth about your brand.
Here are some ways you can win your customers with proactive live chat:
- Trigger proactive chat messaging at the right time – not too early, and note too late. Understanding the touchpoints of your buyer’s journey here is the best way to pinpoint those moments.
- Keep the chat minimal, like ‘Hey, James here! Let me know if you need any help :)’
- Automate the proactive chat as much as possible with the help of chatbots
- Make provision to hand the chat over to live agents at the right time.
#3. Personalize your live chat conversation
Live chat is the most preferred customer service channel for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is that with live chat they can talk to a real person (without wasting any time).
So, while your customers are connecting with you because you are a real person, you cannot run the risk of sounding like a robot! So it is best you leave canned responses for bots and make use of ready-to-use live chat scripts only for simple queries.
And here are some things you can do to keep your conversations human:
- Introduce yourself with your name
- Use a real profile photo
- Address customers by their name by using pre-chat forms or if they are repeat customers, etc. Here is an example:
#4. Real empathy goes a long way
While we are on the topic of sounding like a human (because we are), showing empathy will pay you in the long term.
29% of consumers find scripted, impersonal responses the most frustrating. Because until you try to understand your customers deeply and genuinely, you cannot truly serve them.
So, here are some ways, you can make customers feel special so they keep coming back for more:
- Ask the right questions
- Don’t be creepy friendly, and don’t be overly formal, just be real
- Include emojis to show emotion and break the monotony of plain letters
- Integrate live chat with your CRM to have a holistic view of every customer while you talk to them
- Refer to customers’ chat transcript history, etc.
#5. Never say no
How frustrating it is to walk away from a help desk executive who couldn’t help you? Very!
Remember, you are called support agents for a reason and if you leave your consumers hanging without a resolution, they are likely to give up on you.
So even if you do not have the resolution, the following answers are not acceptable:
- I cannot help
- I don’t know (the worst!)
- This is not the right department, etc.
Own the brand, and make sure to give your client some kind of resolution, even if you are not the right person.
- Use a chat service that lets you transfer the chat to another department.
- Go out of your way to find a solution or the next step in solving the client’s problem instead of saying no. Like connecting to your seniors, going through the knowledge base, etc.
- Tell them that what they are asking for is beyond company policy but you will check once more and get back.
#6. Enable the customer to share maximum information
While you are there to give solutions to your customers, you also need to enable them to share their queries and all the related details. You can do this by giving them options to:
- Use clickable buttons to respond quickly
- Share documents like files, images, attachments, videos, etc. in the chat widget
- Message in rich text by using formatting buttons like bold, underline, and lists
- Use emojis to express themselves, etc.
This way they can share their issues in detail and you have a better understanding of it too, resulting in better customer support. Here is an example:
#7. Make it reasonably quick
One of the main USPs of live chat is the response speed. And so, customers expect replies within minutes, and sometimes even within seconds. See for yourself:
So, one of the primary things that you should be taking care of is a reasonably fast response. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Tell them the wait time in advance
- Share what you are doing while you ask them to wait, like checking the details of their order, talking to the concerned department to get clarity on their query, etc.
- Do not take more chats than you can handle.
- Even if you are handling multiple chats at a time, make sure none of your guests feel ignored or abandoned.
#8. Use technology to your advantage
You can boost customer satisfaction further by making the live chat come alive in more ways than one. For example, video chat.
Nothing can beat face-to-face interaction. Video conveys body language, tone of voice, and eye contact which are essential for drawing emotions and reactions. So for the most personal interaction, video is the best option.
A lot of live chat services give you the video chat option along with live chat (for an additional cost).
But that is the only technology you can use to make live chat more personal.
With co-browsing options, you can walk with the customer just like in a real-world store.
You can see customers’ screens in real-time and guide them through complex transactions, processes, forms, and demos. It enhances the live chat experience by reducing multiple touchpoints.
#9. Arrange live chat etiquette workshops
The most basic things are the most important, and live chat is no exception.
And since most of the time live chat is plain text devoid of facial expressions, gestures, etc. there are chances that your clients can misinterpret your intentions.
So, chat etiquettes come in handy at all times for live chat agents and you should train each one of them into that. Some common ones to follow are:
- Keep the communication positive at all times by using the correct tone and vocabulary.
- Avoid using any abbreviations, as they sound extremely casual, and you may be talking to someone from a different part of the world altogether.
- Do not keep the customer hanging, always keep communicating what you are doing
- Do not make spelling or grammar errors, they make you look beyond unprofessional
- Never ever use caps lock while talking to a customer, it seems like you are SHOUTING.
- Use emojis, but wisely.
- Properly end the chat, with greetings, etc.
- Use a typing indicator to let your customers know you are already responding before they get restless waiting for it.
#10. Take feedback and reviews
Consumer reviews are playing such an important role in business today as never before. A report says that 92.4% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they have been able to read a trusted review about it.
But how many customers take time out by themselves to leave a review? Not many. Well, here is the good news, if asked, approximately 71% of consumers will leave a review for a business.
And a live chat is the perfect place to ask for it.
Also, taking customers feedback is one of the most important things you can do in terms of improving your product and processes. Because the feedback you take is then sent to concerned departments so they can act on their part of the feedback.
You can ask for feedback through chat in a couple of ways:
- Clickable buttons for star ratings
- Clickable buttons with pre-written responses for faster feedback
- A free-flow text box to get a more subjective feedback
- Discount offers and vouchers to encourage people to share feedback, etc.
Also, you can ask for feedback at different touchpoints, like:
- During the product tour
- After offering a demo
- At the close of a transaction
- At the end of a customer support chat
Chatbots also do a good job of taking feedback and can even send automated emails asking for it. Here’s an example:
BONUS TIP – Know your product
I know, it seems kind of obvious, but to emphasize the importance of knowing your product, we have kept it for the last.
The key element of excellent customer service is a knowledgeable and well-trained customer support team. Unless the live chat operators have a sound understanding and knowledge of the product they are talking about, all of the above does not matter.
Here are some things businesses can do (other than training) to that effect:
- Give them a comprehensive knowledge base to refer to
- Conduct regular brainstorming sessions for agents to share their experiences with one another.
- Encourage agents to be part of support forums where they can observe common user problems and how their fellow agents resolve them, etc.
We hope that you will train your live chat service teams in the points listed above to make a greater impact with your live chat channel.
We wish you all the best!