In this busy world more and more people are turning to texting as well as instant messaging as their primary route of communication. In such a situation, live chat has become growing channel for customer support.
According to a recent Gartner report that its presence as a customer engagement channel will increase from 2% to 10% of all interactions by 2018, with over 80% of companies making it available for their customers.
As understanding customer behavior is vital to delivering outstanding customer service, it is important to reflect on the customer journey. Thanks to the uninterrupted Internet connection, customers these days can look for answers to their questions at any point of time via search engines, FAQs, blogs, forum posts and even social media.
However, it is often seen that they often turn to live chat as it allows them to multitask more efficiently and at the same time, get real-time answers.
To top it off, they can easily bypass the issues they face while using other channels, such as waiting on hold in case of calls and selecting options in case of IVR.
Live chat is one of the first interactions of a customer with a company. Therefore, while using live chat a customer is at an early stage of the customer journey. A company can, therefore, use live chat as an opportunity to delight their customers, reduce channel switching and build customer loyalty.
There are numerous benefits of live chat as a customer support channel both for the companies and their customers. However, to reap those benefits, one has to use this channel correctly. Here is a checklist of live chat best practices that can be of help.
Live Chat Best Practices for a Better Customer Experience
You must be wondering- how clichéd is answering a question with a question? Well, often it is a necessary route to take. This way, you can bypass making assumptions about customer problems and avoid further miscommunication and frustrated channel-switching.
Let your customers know that you are focused on finding a resolution but that you will need more information (as well as confirmation) from them to do so.
This is particularly true in case your prospects use live chat to get an idea of pricing or specific features. But to answer these questions, you almost always need more information.
There will be times when you cannot resolve an issue no matter how many questions you ask. The resolution will take further research. In that case, it is important to let the customer know that. They are looking for fast resolution. If you cannot provide that, you should take measures to reduce their frustration.
Avoid industry jargons while talking about your product or service. Remember, your customers are not very familiar with technical lingo. Apart from that, try not to get wordy in your responses, over-explaining or repeating yourself.
Customers using live chat are looking for quick answers. Sometimes they are in a rush, and sometimes they are simply too intimidated to call. The best way to serve them with a delightful experience is to be concise in your answers and use familiar language.
However, live chat agents should make every effort to avoid typos; it is a one-way road to tarnishing your brand image.
Using canned script to answer live chat is a very common practice. But is should be avoided at all cost. It sounds very robotic and lacks the personal touch of a one to one interaction.
The solution to this problem is to align your live chat strategy with your customer experience strategy. You can empower your agents to empathize with customers to understand their needs and help them reach solutions.
At the end of the day, customers want to feel heard and understood by live humans who will give special importance to their concerns. Modifying the templated answer to support individual customers is the key to a differentiated customer experience.
Build a Knowledgebase
Building a knowledgebase to answer commonly asked questions is a valuable way to deliver consistency and efficiency in any customer support channel. And live chat support is no exception.
It is a good practice to have quick access to blog posts, how-to articles, troubleshooting manuals, or video tutorials that cover all the typical questions with clarity.
Live chat agents can refer to this knowledgebase while answering customers and direct customers to specific articles for in-depth information. This way, they can provide personable service and consistent responses. Agents too can save time while competently tackling simultaneous chats.
Live chat a customer support channel bound to make a significant impact on the future of the contact center for engaging with your customers and delivering a distinguished customer experience. But it takes careful strategy and meticulous best practices to succeed.