We at InstaCarma provide LiveChat support to many of our web-hosting clients. There are certain things that needs to be taken care of while handling live support chat . One of the main advantages of LiveChat is that it adds that personal touch to the website which can result in increased customer interest which in turn will result into increased sales. So, it is very important that it is handled with utmost sincerety rather than having it on your website just for the sake of it!
Conveying warmth to the customer
‘Friendliness’ is the key while interacting with customers. Even though we are working in a business environment, there is no harm if you take the customer’s name a few times during the conversation. That helps in conveying the warmth to the customer. A ‘Please’ or ‘Thank You’ is worth it.
For example, if a customer asks a difficult question which you cannot answer instantly, instead of writing something like, “Tough one!” , you can always put in a little more effort to write “Good one, Chris. Please hold on for a few while I check it out”
Do not make the customer repeat
Try your best not to make the customer repeat. It might give a feeling that you are not being attentive. However, if the need be then make sure that you mention your apologies for making him repeat.
Conveying verbal communication using emoticons
LiveChat is purely text and the customer is not face-to-face with you. So, you need to express and emphasize what you want to convey as words can easily be misunderstood for their literal meaning an context. Emoticons can be used in order to achieve this wherever appropriate. Sometimes, the customer might also misinterpret your words and think that you were rude.
For example, a customer is happy with your service and appreciates you ” You rock . James” . And you reply like “Thank you”, might send out a feeling that you are hardly interested or acknowledging the appreciation . You can always add an emoticon “Thank you , Peter 🙂 “. It makes a huge difference.
Being well spoken
Your words and attitude depict your knowledge, intelligence and personality. So, it is always nice to be well spoken. Make sure that you frame the sentences properly, avoid spelling mistakes and use the right words. These things might not matter too much when you are having a talk but they do matter a lot in verbal communication. Being polite doesn’t hurt either.
Usage of canned messages
Having pre-defined replies for common questions can save you a lot of time. But make sure that they are relevant, framed properly and answers the query completely. Otherwise, the customer will easily figure out that you are sending him canned messages. Do remember that they are there on Live chat because they need a humane response . Even if you are using canned messages, make sure that you do not repeat them. If you have to use the same canned messages time and again , then that means that there is something wrong. Please try and rectify the problem.
Keep it short and simple
Chat as you talk. Use simple language. Nobody is judging your vocabulary skills . Do not engage customers in long , unnecessary details. They are not here for a manual . Communicate through short sentences but make sure that the complete message is conveyed.
Be quick in your responses. Nobody likes to wait for ages to get a response. Use of canned messages might be handy here but be intelligent in using them.
Keep the customer informed
Do inform the customer about what is happening. Sometimes, you might need a while to figure out the problem or the solution. Let the customer know what you are working on.
Do not use one-word replies or Internet language
Refrain from giving one word responses. It shows how uninterested you are. Also, avoid using words as we do over the internet or while test-messaging. Take the pain to write the complete word.
Know your product
The people handling chat should have sound knowledge of their product. They should be able to answer the questions fielded by the customer or worst case, suggest and guide them to an alternative way to get to the solution of the problem.
Solve the problem
Most importantly, try your best to solve the problem quickly and effectively. If at all, you cannot do it then make sure that you guide them to the right channel as mentioned above rather than fooling around and pushing them to various support levels. After all, they are here to get the problem solved. As long as you can do that, small mistakes are acceptable.
Be calm and patient
Customers can get impatient at times. Try and understand their frustration when they are facing a persistent problem or being kicked around through various support levels. Be calm and patient. Remember that there is no business without customers. But that doesn’t mean that they can be abusive. If things start going over the roof then you can always end the session politely. Also, you might not be in a great mood due to personal problems while handling the chat but never let that show in your conversation.
Last but not the least, it is good to have a nice canned message which you can say at the end. Not every customer would be interested in prolonging the conversation with you as they might have other things to do. In such cases, you can use this quick canned reply so that they have a good impression before they leave the site. In other cases, you can take the time and write messages as per the situation before the customer leaves.
These are certain things that we train our techs on . If you have any more suggestions then do mention them.