8 Ways to Deliver a Memorable Live Chat Customer Service
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
Figuring out ways to create an awesome customer experience (CX) helps build a relationship with your clients. With technology such a big part of everyone’s daily lives, offering features such as live chat is vital. However, if you’re going to provide a live chat customer service, make sure to make it memorable. Far worse than a mediocre live chat is one that creates a poor experience. Never leave customers waiting for long periods or without a solution to an issue.
The first live chat software appeared in 2002 and became popular around 2010. The software integrates with websites and gives customers another channel of communication with customer service agents. Most e-commerce sites today facilitate some type of immediate response option. Providing live chat customer service can be less expensive than staffing an entire call center and much more effective.
Live chats work like website widgets, allowing the customer to share their name and other details and then message back and forth with a customer service rep. The discussion should start immediately after the user initiates the process, creating an immediacy you don’t get from email or forms.
Kayako surveyed 400 consumers and 100 business owners to come up with a list of live chat statistics. They found that 52% of repeat customers are more likely to buy from a company offering live chat support. Meshing excellent customer service with the feature is easier than you might think. Here are eight ways to gain the edge and present a service patrons love.
Live Chat Customer Service Tips
1. Introduce Yourself
A live chat is an opportunity for personalized customer support. Train live agents to begin every conversation with an introduction. At a minimum, they should share their name and what their role is with the company. Whenever possible, reinforce what your brand stands for.
For example, if a customer initiates a live chat and complains about a faulty product, the rep might say, “I’m so sorry you had this experience. At ABC Company, we strive to make sure every customer is 100% satisfied. Let me work with you to resolve this issue.” Educate the customer as you go along about what you stand for and why.
2. Anticipate the Customer’s Need
When given a choice between interacting via a form or chat, 86% of consumers prefer live chat customer service and talking to a real person. They like the immediacy of the feature. However, just having a generic live chat window for every situation may not be very impressive to users.
Picture a scenario where someone gets a text reminder about an upcoming payment. When they click on the link, a live chat starts, and they see the option to pay their bill then and there or talk to a rep about their account. The specificity of going to the right department makes a big difference in the overall customer experience.
You should also integrate your customer relationship management (CRM) software with your live chat. The customer doesn’t want to type in endless information or share details every time they phone in or initiate an interaction. Instead, have this information for your agents, so they can get right to the heart of the issue and not waste precious time.
Picture 1. By anticipating your customers’ needs you can make their customer experience much better
3. Improve Customer Satisfaction
HelpScout looked at the customer satisfaction rates of those who participated in live chat versus email interactions. After studying 8,000 conversations, they discovered 90.6% of live chat feedback is rated “great,” while only 69.1% of email interactions are graded the same.
Live chat customer service helps with customer satisfaction because people are often in the middle of completing a transaction or task when they run into a snafu. They want instant help so they can move forward with their work. Perhaps they have a question about shipping, their discount code didn’t work or any number of other scenarios.
A live agent who says, “How may I help you?” is much less effective than one who says, “I see you are on the checkout page. Do you need help completing your order?”
4. Explain Your Process
There will be times when you can’t immediately solve an issue for a customer. Perhaps you have to research where an order failed. Maybe you need to talk to a supervisor about solutions to the problem. Whenever you can’t solve something right then, let the customer know when and how they can expect to hear from you.
It doesn’t matter if you email or phone the customer. The key is they know when and how you’ll be in touch with a solution. Explain your process, why they have to wait and what they can expect from the delay.
5. Go Faster
Many customers say they like live chat because it is faster than email. However, some sites use the feature but don’t respond quickly or throw up a message stating they’ll be back in touch via email. The lack of attention frustrates customers who want an immediate answer.
In the same Kayako report mentioned above, the fastest responses were within seven seconds. Work with your reps to speed up response times. Even if you just notify the customer you are researching and will be with them in a moment, you’ll keep them engaged, and they’ll know you haven’t abandoned the chat.
Work to staff your live chat so you can respond at least during business hours, if not 24/7. You can utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to chat with the customer and collect necessary information before transferring them over to a trained person who can develop a custom solution.
Picture 2. Average customer wait time while using live chat worldwide
6. Break Down Complex Ideas
Another reason users reach out via live chat customer service is to get details on how to use a product or service. Complex ideas are difficult under the best of circumstances. Look for ways to break down the explanation and make it easy to understand. Pay attention to industry words the person might not understand and find different ways of saying the same thing.
If you have videos or knowledgebase articles, ask if the customer has checked them out yet. If not, provide a link. The last thing you want is to make them feel you’re pushing them away and telling them to find the answer on their own, so offer to wait and see if the video answers their question.
Explain complicated topics as though you’re talking to a small child. Stop after each step and make sure it makes sense to the person. If you need to explain further, do so with specific examples or images.
7. Shift to Positive Language
Tap into the beauty of neuroscience when speaking to people. They respond better to positive language than negative. For example:
- Negative Language: We are out of gizmos, and they won’t be back in stock until April.
- Positive Language: We will have more gizmos in stock in four weeks. Can I initiate an order and send them your way as soon as we have them?
Although it might seem like a minor thing, the semantics of how you say something impacts the way the person perceives it. Any time you can put a positive spin on the situation, your customer walks away feeling happier with the interaction.
Let’s look at some other examples of negative versus positive conversations:
- Negative: Sorry, we don’t offer refunds.
- Positive: I can offer you a store credit for the full amount of the purchase.
- Negative: We don’t have a video explaining how to put the desk together.
- Positive: I can walk you through the process right now or send you step-by-step instructions on how to put the desk together.
Try to always focus on what you can do for the customer rather than what you cannot.
Picture 3. Use positive language
8. Follow Up
Customers like to feel they are valued and that you care about their opinion. Fixing an issue or answering a question is just the beginning.
Make sure your live chat either collects their email at the start of the talk or you gather it before you end the conversation. Wait 24 hours and reach out to make sure they’re still satisfied with the conversation. Ask them if they have any other questions. The contact after the initial interaction is also a great time to find out if there’s anything you can do better.
One of the best ways to create a fantastic live chat customer service experience is by talking to your patrons. Find out what they like and don’t like, so you can make changes and improve as you go along.
Build Customer Loyalty
Offering a stellar customer service experience creates happy clients who feel loyal to your brand. Someone who feels heard and important is more likely to share your business with their friends and family. If you put a little extra effort into your live chat and create a marvelous CX, you’ll gain word-of-mouth marketing you can’t buy.
Investing time and effort into live chat will help improve your conversion and customer satisfaction rates. Use the tips above and create better customer support and rapport with leads.
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