Chat is a powerful tool for keeping in contact with your customers, and we’re proud
of how Conversion Support strengthens our clients’ bottom line. Whenever we work with a new customer, we remind them of something crucial: More important that the actual tool is how you use it.
A company could employ the sharpest customer-facing live chat interface, but without the sharpest operators using it to communicate the right information to customers, chat’s just not going to work. Chat supports your customer relationships; these best practices support chat.
1. Ask targeted questions.
Outcome-oriented queries keep customer-to-representative chats moving along. Customers and companies love that. Nobody likes wasted time. Your chat operators need to ask the correct questions to gather accurate information, and then use that information to deliver a substantive response.
Auto sales is a terrific example. One of our most prolific
chat users works in this industry, and they make a practice out of asking five question types that regularly deliver solid leads (and happy customers).
If you’re in a customer-facing industry, what top five questions do your customer service agents regularly ask?
2. Don’t fall back on cliched phrases to pad responses or buy time.
When a phone representative drones through an overused phrase meant to rhetorically soften a request, my cortisol levels palpably rise. Please don’t patronize your customers by saying how happy you are to look up their purchase order for them. Just do it, and deliver your response succinctly, clearly, and correctly. Be friendly without being fake or saccharine.
A successful chat is a human-to-human interaction—that’s the beauty of live chat!—so why revert to machinelike, preset phrases that don’t mean
anything? That’s subverting the implicit message of live chat. Despite the digital delivery system, you’re still two humans conversing in real-time. So be human.
3. Put experts in charge.
Live answers are useless if they’re wrong. We’ve found that the most successful users of live chat are the companies that put experts front-and-center, facing their customers. Again, if a customer is chatting with you, they’re engaged. They’ll get frustrated if they have to wait too long for the right answers. Dodge that bullet by making sure your live chat operators know their stuff.
4. Make sure chat enhances your customers’ experience.
That means you’ve got to give them something worthwhile: An answer, an insight, a mollified concern, even a friendly, capable personality to embody your brand. Think of live chat as a product for your customers and an investment for you. Live chat gives you sales leads and a stronger connection to your customer base. What, specifically, can live chat give your customers?