05 October 2023
10 Effective Tips for Customer Service Chat
Customer service live chat can go right, but it can all go so very wrong! Here’s how to bridge the gap every time.
Meeting customer demand is one of those ongoing challenges businesses constantly face. When it comes to meeting their expectations every single time, the best approach is to deliver help instantly. This is why live chat has become the go-to option for so many customers, because it doesn't just allow the customer to scrutinise the information presented at their own pace, but it also allows customers to multitask rather than waiting for hours on the phone to speak to a human being. But while this may sound like online customer chat is a simple way to help people, it is an art that every customer service representative needs to fine-tune. Let's show you how you can build a better bond with your customer through live chat:
1. Offer Help Before They Ask
If there is one thing that's essential to creating an instant bond with a customer, it's about being proactive. Being proactive is partly about understanding the best time to swoop in but also keeping the chat to the bare basics. The customer needs to be in control and therefore you could benefit from automating this aspect of the chat with chatbots using the best chat software for business practices.
2. Be Conversational
It's critical to ensure that your tone is not robotic. This is one of the big issues with chatbots because it is not providing that personal tone that we're all after. While chatbots are getting better because of the ongoing upgrades with LLMs (Large Language Models), a customer operator needs to avoid robotic, stilted sentences. Making it conversational and letting the customer service representative speak in a way that suits them, but is still professional in nature, can gain your customers' trust.
3. Consider Where You Place the Live Chat Widget
Where you place your widget is critical because this will instantly aid the customer's journey. Live chat doesn't need to be on every single page but can be very much at home on the pages that are most important in terms of business. It's not necessary to put a chat widget on the customer login page or somewhere the customer has to input sensitive information. You should also keep the widget on the right-hand side of the screen because it is our natural tendency to look to the right.
4. Be Empathetic
Empathy is a critical skill customer service agents need to harness. It shows customers that we understand their problems. A customer likes to help themselves but if they need help, you should be there. It is critical to be empathetic towards your customers and when interacting with a customer you need to mirror your customer's thoughts and feelings by paraphrasing their problem, sharing your feelings with them, and offering customers options to choose from and highlighting the benefits of each.
5. Ensure the Customer Can Share as Much as Possible
The best chat software for business web pages will allow customers to provide a number of options to share their concerns. It's not just about typing words, but allowing the customer to showcase as much evidence as possible. A great chat widget can allow customers to share documents like attachments or videos within the widget, emojis, as well as formatting buttons such as bold and underline. The goal is to allow the customer to express themselves as personally as possible and you can help them share their information in more detail, but it also allows the customer service agent to understand it better and can offer the most appropriate solutions.
6. Do Not Say "No"
Negative language is dangerous in any customer service environment, especially in live chat where the customer can see every single iteration. Customer service agents that state they don't have a solution to the problem are going to annoy the customer. Never say "no" or "I don't know," and while a customer may come to the business with a unique problem, it's important to listen to the issue and understand what needs to be done. But if the problem is not resolved, the customer service agent needs to take the appropriate steps to inform the customer what they will do to get an answer, which will help the person making the complaint understand the issue is not straightforward. Many businesses use chatbots to solve approximately 80% of general customer queries, and if a customer has a unique predicament, we have to manage expectations by telling the customer what we will do to solve it.
7. Be Accountable
Customer service agents should take responsibility, and any understanding customer will recognise that a customer service agent is the front line of the organisation and is not personally responsible. A customer can be frustrated, but an agent who is willing to admit they are at fault and offer a solution will help customers regain trust.
8. Be Quick
One of the main reasons many organisations look for the best chat software for business dealings is that live chat provides an almost instantaneous solution. Customers will expect a reply within minutes, or even seconds. When a customer instigates a live chat, we have to be proactive to ensure we can deliver solutions with a quick turnaround. This means we have to ensure our agents are not taking on more chats than they can handle. While a chatbot can be a solution here, we still need to deliver good-quality solutions, not just speed.
9. Accept Feedback
Customer feedback is pivotal to ensuring that we can deliver what our customers need but also improve upon it. Live chat is the perfect place for a customer to offer feedback. You can ask for feedback by incorporating clickable buttons with star ratings or pre-written responses. You could also offer incentives like vouchers to encourage feedback. Chatbots provide the perfect format for taking feedback.
10. Refine Live Chat Etiquette
Live chat is open to interpretation. A customer may not know what they are going to get due to a number of different permutations, whether it's the customer service agent, the quality of the website and the tools on offer. But a customer service agent can improve it by avoiding casual tones, using emojis carefully, and being positive in communication.
Live chat can be an invaluable solution for businesses and if you are looking for the best chat software for business, we can help with this, but we must remember that live chat is only one aspect of delivering great customer service.