Top 10 Best Practices for Live Chat Customer Support

Live chat is the current darling of the online customer support arsenal, and it is not difficult to understand why. Customers prefer to talk with a live person, but they don’t always have time to wait on hold using the telephone. Email support can take days to get a response. Live chat is immediate and satisfying, which can earn the companies that use it high rankings for customer experience. Live chat capabilities offer a boon for businesses as well. They can cut some costs, increase revenue and still come out on top with positive attitudes towards their brands. Want to know how they make chat work to its maximum potential? Take a look at these best practices.

Train Staff Well

Every agent who answers the live chat call must be fully knowledgeable about the products they are addressing and all the company policies that apply. Agents must be trained to be friendly, efficient and professional, never showing anger or frustration with the caller.

Offer Incentive for Use

Companies that use live chat as a new customer service option can offer an incentive to entice site visitors to chat instead of calling or emailing with issues. For example, users might get free shipping or a $10 credit for a future purchase.

Be Fast

Site visitors who choose live chat are looking for a quick resolution to their problem or answer to their question. Even though agents tend to work several calls at once, they still must appear to be present and engaged in each call. Their responses must be quick and courteous.

Don’t Be Too Pushy

Some customers don’t like aggressive pop-up windows that invite them to chat. Offer a “close” option so they can get rid of the window if they want, but be sure to offer a chat tab somewhere on the screen so they can activate it if they change their minds.

Watch Your Tone

The best tone for agents to have on live chat is informal but professional. They can use the customer’s first name in their responses, and they should always sign off with a “thank you” to make sure the caller is done seeking information.

Don’t Overuse Scripts

Live chat customers can spot canned responses, so they should be used judiciously. They should be inserted only for the most common questions or for longer explanations that would take too long to type. Even then, the tone should still be informal.

Make it Match

The user interface on a live chat tab is remarkably important to customers. It should be easy to use, esthetically pleasing and should match the colors and typography of the rest of the company’s website.

Pre-Chat Form

If there are specific types of information each agent team handles, you can make sure callers reach the right specialists by using a pre-chat form to determine the nature of the problem.

File-Sharing Capabilities

Often, sharing a screen shot or photograph can be helpful in resolving a customer service issue. The best live chat software allows both participants to share files with ease.

Encourage Sales

Customer service agents should be able to complete transactions as well as answer support questions. They may be encouraged, depending on the company, to promote additional products or encourage upgrades to premium products.

Live chat is an extremely helpful tool when it comes to providing a good customer experience. Not only do site visitors get immediate assistance from a professional representative, the company can glean a great deal of helpful information by tracking the content and number of calls. This opportunity to increase revenue while satisfying customers can be an easy sell to companies eager to achieve both these goals.

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