People want to reach out and get support the easiest and fastest way possible. Of course, if the customer is your top priority, you also need to give the best possible channel for support.
Most companies would often have phone support or even emails. While technology has evolved, not everyone has a landline anymore; they have mobile phones which can seldom be used to call trunk lines. Plus, customers often complain of having long wait times and being put on hold for too long.
Emails, too, are a bit intimidating to use for support and would take days until they can get a reply back.
This is what makes live chat support the best option for everyone. With just a phone and an internet connection (which is almost everywhere now), any customer can chat away to get help.
But how can you have a successful chat support? Here are a few live chat best practices you can adopt for an optimal support you can give your customers.
Define “Live” and Turnaround Times
When you do provide a Live Chat support, make sure to live up to that label.
Since you’re providing a ‘live’ chat, your customers would expect a direct and immediate response. Otherwise, why would they opt for the live chat?
Define your availability hours if you can’t do it 24/7, but make sure that you’ll really be ready and available right away. If there’s a queue, let your customers know how long should they wait or how many customers are in the queue before their turn.
When addressing customer concerns and there’s a need to pull out records from their accounts, let them know how long they need to wait. Make sure you can go back on or before the time you set.
The key to a successful live chat support is to make sure to live up to that exact term. Replies should be as instantaneous as possible and solutions or resolutions should be made after the interaction. If not, at least give a lead time on when it will be resolved and how they can make a follow-up.
Always keep in mind that your customer should leave the conversation at peace and with assurance.
Create a Support Team and Train Them
The next best thing to do is to have the right people for the job and train them.
Look for people who have experience in customer support or customer service. If not, consider new applicants with the closest possible skills to do the job. You can always train them on the skills they need to improve on.
In your training, start with the basics like how do they greet the customers? Little details such as a greeting can set off a good (or bad) start for your customers.
Also, include in their training on how to use whatever software or platform you use, especially on ticketing and customer relationship management (CRM) software. These will help ease their transition into your company’s CS system.
Another important part of the training you should include is the routing scheme. Who should they route the call to for certain concerns? When do they need to escalate the concern from chat to call?
Routing the customers to the right person at first instance will cut the call time short. Forwarding the call to the wrong department do no only waste time, but it also can lead your customer to become irate. Remember that a short call time does not mean higher satisfaction rating from your customers.
[Read also: Chatbots for you Company: Yay or Nay?]
Technology is Your Friend
We mentioned about software and platforms you can use in the section above. To elaborate, we can extend that to technology in general.
Technology is tricky. When used the right way, it can propel you towards success; otherwise, you’re in for doom. That is why it’s important to choose the best ones that would also work best for your company.
But while others argue which is the best ticket and customer relationship management software out there, we tend to forget the simplest of technology.
One is the keyboard shortcuts.
Since you’ll be typing most of your replies, the keyboard is your best friend. Rather than reaching out for your mouse, it’ll be easier to transition if you master the keyboard shortcuts. You can learn the set of basic shortcuts for your operating system and of your software as well.
Another thing is to use images and screenshots. Rather than asking details from your customers one by one, ask them to take a screenshot of all the possible details and evidence of their concern. This works best for you, too.
There might be instances that you need to send them a document – a bill or a receipt, perhaps. If you can drag and drop files or send screenshots of it, it will give your customer some peace rather than waiting for it to arrive in their email.
Be More ‘Human’; Not a Bot
This is a mistake committed quite too often.
We forget that we are humans and that we’re talking to a human, too. It doesn’t mean that we use chat technology to communicate that we need to sound like a robot.
Type your responses as if you’re communicating with your customer face to face. Write them in a more conversational tone – like you’re just talking to a friend who needs help or advice. That way, the customer would feel at ease in airing out his concern properly. When they feel like they’re talking to a bot, they would feel like you’re just a company trying to get away with complaints and irate customers by having a bot face them. And we don’t like that.
It’s okay to be personal. It’s okay to empathize. Let your customer know that you sincerely understand the predicament. Apologize should you need to, especially when you know you or the company is at fault. Then, provide a solution in the most understandable way.
Respond in a way that they will understand what exactly they should do or what they would receive from you. Use layman’s term. Understand that not everyone you’re going to deal with knows your language. The simplest response is always the most appreciated.
Remember that the end goal of your live chat support is to give an immediate solution or resolve to a customer’s concern. Technology could only do so much. The best way to get to the bottom of it is to communicate well and properly – and that includes talking to your customers on a more personal level.