Live chat can be a powerful communication platform for your website visitors. However, you can do your brand more harm then good if you don’t set up a successful support program that includes thoughtful steps and quality agents.
Editorâ€™s Note: This post was submitted by guest blogger, Grace Carter. Enjoy!
Staying in contact with your customers is an important part of the customer lifecycle process. Itâ€™s not just about them falling in love with your product and purchasing it â€“ itâ€™s about maintaining and nurturing that love and your relationship with them.
This isnâ€™t easy to manage but for true professionals, itâ€™s more than doable. The contact is most important when customers have an issue and they need you to reassure and help them.
Live chat services are one of the best and quickest options for this. Here are some tips on using live chat to maintain a good relationship with your customers.
- Have a pre-chat survey
A pre-chat survey is an excellent way to give your agents some time before connecting with a customer and to also give them a better picture of the problem once the conversation begins. These surveys can be short but informative. This will also allow you to connect the customer to the agent that is most qualified to answer their question.
- Make them feel important
When customers come to you with an issue, the worst thing you can do is lack empathy. They are confused and insecure and they need your help. Make them feel like their problem is your problem and that itâ€™s your mission to solve it. This is a great way to have a good and long lasting relationship with your customers.
- Provide your customers with a transcript
Think about it â€“ how many times did you forget what the customer support agent has told you? Probably a lot. This happens more often than you think. Your customers would more than appreciate a transcript of the conversation. The process of doing this is simple, yet it could win you so many points.
- Pay attention
Customer support agents deal with a lot of tasks at once â€“ commonly a lot of people at once. Their job is hard and itâ€™s understandable that their concentration will fail at times. But they still need to pay attention to their customers.
â€śI understand the struggles of dealing with people constantly. But some good organization can help in making the job easier. Hire more people and organize shifts in a way that doesnâ€™t put too much strain on anyone,â€ť says Mike Gosselin, a Customer Support Manager at Essayroo.
- Use a typing indicator
Type indicator is a simple tool that could help agents solve problems faster. As they can see what the customer is typing, they will be able to find a solution much faster, sometimes even before the customer sends the message.
- Ensure that live chat agents have good writing skills
Any live chat agent should have decent writing skills. If this is not the case, there are plenty of tools that they could use to fix this. For instance, there are companies like StateOfWriting, ViaWriting, Boomessays or Academized to choose from.
They give guidance on grammar, proofreading and overall style. Mistakes in texts from a live chat agent are not very reassuring.
- Respond quickly
The average response time should not be over 10 seconds. The customer needs to be able to connect with the live chat agent as quickly as possible. It is not always possible due to the lack of employees or too many customers but you should find ways to make this experience seamless for your customers.
For instance, you could use the pre-chat survey to increase the time that the agent has to connect. You could also create canned messages which could automatically be sent to the customer. Just be careful, too many canned messages could annoy your customer and make it seem like they are talking to a machine instead of a human. One or two of these messages would be fine but more would come off as suspicious.
- Donâ€™t be defensive
Defensiveness is another understandable mistake yet it doesnâ€™t do anything either for the agent or for the customer. Rather than being defensive, agents should focus on trying to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
â€śI try to teach my team members that they have to be patient. Defensiveness is not a good colour on the brand. Plus, we could all learn from our mistakes and customerâ€™s problems,â€ť says Dana Mills, a Customer Support Agent at UKWritings.
Dealing with so many people and their problems is a hard job. It takes a lot of patience and effort to make everything run smoothly. However, this is a part of building a brand, nurturing and maintaining your clients. Follow these tips to manage your live chat properly.
Grace Carter is a writer atÂ Â AustralianHelpÂ and Big AssignmentsÂ services. She creates writing guides and manuals, develops courses on the art of editing. Also, Grace is a tutor at Paper FellowsÂ academic website.