This is a guest post by Maria Lebed, Customer Support Advocate and Writer at Provide Support.
No doubt, live chat has many benefits not only to the customer, but to a business also. There are many conveniences involved with providing a live chat service:
- Live chat is cheap. It costs companies $5-30 for each inbound phone call to a customer service rep. These costs are fully 10 times higher than the cost-per-conversation of live chat.
- Live chat has 73% customer satisfaction rate – the highest of all customer service channels, as compared to 61% for email support and only 44% for phone support.
These two stats alone are enough reason to consider rechanneling a larger portion of your customer service traffic to live chat. For live chat to be a success among your clients, it is important to create a memorable live chat experience because this will make the customer want to come back and use this service option again.
Use these six steps to be remembered by your customer:
1. Be personal
Greet customers personally by using their name. Use your own photo in the live chat window to help the customer connect with you emotionally.
You can be creative around this and use a caricature avatar instead of a real picture. This can also be fun and will tell the customer you have a sense of humor. However, make sure that all the pictures represent your brand’s style. For example, if you are a corporation, caricature picture may not be a good fit.
2. Be human
Customers appreciate human communication, so make sure you don’t sound like a robot.
Scripted answers may be useful sometimes, for example, when you need to provide a set of instructions to the customer. On the whole, however, don’t rely on scripts and free yourself to speak with the customer as human-to-human. Ditching the script in favor of more personalized real-time answers will help to establish a more memorable connection with the customer.
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3. Have fun
Showing your fun side can be another way to tell the customer you are a human. You can use fun operator greetings and emoticons.
While having a fun conversation, remember not to go too far and keep in mind that you still need to solve the customer’s issue and/or give them the information they need. That’s what they are after and a fun conversation cannot be a substitute for a solution to their problem. Remain a professional.
4. Stay on topic
This needs to be stressed over and over again – stick to the goal and be concise. There is nothing that contributes more to the success of a live chat interaction and creating a great impression with the customer than being their ambassador in solving their problem.
Do whatever it takes and don’t deviate from getting the issue solved as fast as possible.
Sometimes I was surprised myself, that I could solve the customer’s issue in one chat line having taken less than a half-minute (and that’s with experience on the customer service front-line for more than seven years!). For me, it almost felt like I needed to say or do something else, but simple and small help worked.
Later I learned how much customers actually appreciate getting their answer like this, in less than a minute. Otherwise, they may have needed to browse quite a few FAQs or knowledge bases before they could find the information they needed to solve a simple problem.
Customers will remember effortless service much more than the one where they needed to strive to get it.
5. Make it convenient
If you can do something on behalf of the customer during live chat, do it. Be there and walk them through the exact steps of what they need to do. In the customer eyes it’s an extra convenience for them.
Maybe you can help them to transfer their settings from one account to another, or email them an invoice instead of having them download it. Whatever it may be, they will no doubt appreciate the time you saved them and that’s another point in favor of remembering their live chat support experience.
6. Make it useful
It is not enough to provide a solution to a problem which exists in this moment. The best help takes some degree of anticipation of future issues and educating the customer how they could solve those issues themselves.
If it seems like a possibility that the customer may be facing a similar problem in the future, explain to them how they can solve it themselves. Next issue avoidance should always be the heart of your support interaction and it’s just a live chat best practice. They will appreciate that you have empowered them for self-service and took time to save their future effort.
Create a More Memorable Customer Experience in Live Chat
While you can personalize your customer live chat experience with a few tweaks, nothing will make the customer remember the interaction more than simply receiving superb service, and getting their problem solved quickly and efficiently. Delivering such a service is not that easy because it is still quite rare to get such a perfect live chat experience from a company.
If I got my question answered and problem solved in just a couple of minutes without having to pick up the phone or waiting for an email reply for a few hours, I am surely going to remember this service and will turn to it again when I need help next time.
About the author:
Maria is a customer service professional at Provide Support . She is responsible for making customers happy and finding creative solutions to improve customer support procedures. She likes to write and share her experience with customers, team members and other customer service professionals.