04 July 2013
How to Greet Customers using Online Chat Software
How you choose to greet a customer is hugely important and conversations when using online chat software is no different to those on the phone or in person.
Careful consideration should be given to ensure an appropriate welcome is chosen by your operators that’s inline with your other customer service interactions. This consistency among communication channels is key, ensuring the same level of service is delivered to every client and your company image is maintained. Check out these tips below to start your live chats in the right manner.
A Quick First Response
A fast, friendly and professional first response is vitally important when engaging with website visitors over online chat software. In fact, visitors use the channel as they desire a quick reply to their query and expect a first response inside 20 seconds. Not providing a swift welcome can leave the visitor feeling frustrated instead of valued. Just like customers browsing in a high street store, visitors feel more appreciated when they are acknowledged promptly and politely by staff members.
Use Pre-Defined Welcomes
Using predefined replies to assist operators in welcoming new visitors is a great way to ensure a quick response. A series of different predefined replies can be stored, allowing operators to select the most appropriate for each situation. Assigning shortcut keys, allows the welcome to be communicated to the visitor instantly. This is a considerable reduction in time compared to typing out the full greeting. Using pre-defined welcomes in this way ensures consistency across all interactions and includes the added benefit of preventing grammatical or spelling errors.
Personalisation is extremely important throughout all live chat communications. Customers expect to speak with a real person, not a robot and are looking for a personalised experience. Including the visitor or agent’s name in the welcome message, adds that all important personal touch. Consider the following 2 examples:
“Hello you’re through to Click4Holiday’s live chat, how can I help?”
“Hi Tom, you’re through to Sam. How can I help?”
The first is quite formal, and although this may be appropriate in some occasions, the second option is friendlier. Not only does it directly address the visitor, but starts to build a relationship which is vitally important for providing great customer service. Customers should leave live chat interactions with their questions answered and a positive view of the company. Providing a friendly personalised welcome will help ensure this is achieved.
Avoid Being Overly Familiar and Using Slang
Being polite and friendly comes across more natural and professional than attempting to use over familiar or slang terms. In fact, it’s good practice to avoid them completely, as they can be damaging to your company image. An example of slang terms is text talk such as shortening words so they’re spelt incorrectly, whereas over familiar terms include phrases such as ‘mate’ or other terms of endearment.
Define a Company Policy
Perhaps the most important tip we can offer on greeting customers is to define a company policy on all live chat interactions, including the formality and tone of all communications. This ensures all chat agents are clear about the language they use and the way they interact with customers. Predefined replies in keeping with company policy, allows operators to communicate as the company requires and ensures the continuity of the corporate brand is maintained.
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