Live Chat 101: Why it’s Important and How to Do it Right

With 79% of consumers citing live chat as their preferred customer service contact method, the medium is only increasing in popularity. So, why is live chat important and how can you make sure your brand is doing it right?…

 

Why it’s important

1.Meets customer expectation

With a study by EConsultancy showing that 79% of customers favour live chat due to its instantaneous nature, offering this customer service channel is no longer a ‘nice to have’; it’s a necessity.

 

2. Builds rapport

The nature of live chat makes it a conversational medium, similar to customer service over the phone, and this is extremely beneficial when creating a fantastic customer experience.

 

3. Convenient

Chat is a timely customer service medium that can be accessed from almost anywhere via a multitude of devices, understandably making this a popular choice for your busy, multi-tasking customers.

 

4. Easy to integrate

Live chat is easy to integrate with APIs and systems, enabling your brand to harvest both qualitative and quantitative data, whilst implementing additional tools such as FAQ chatbots and AI, complimenting the work of the customer service team, alleviating wait times and improving the customer experience.

 

How to do it right

1. Personalise

Be sure to personalise your customer’s experience; greet your customer using their name and introduce yourself, as well.

The Customer Service Team should feel empowered and able to make their own decisions when it comes to interacting with customers. If the brand and its purpose have been trained out correctly, then there should be no issues allowing the team to go ahead and establish a genuine, human interaction.

 

2. Simple, accurate answers

Customers choose Live Chat due to its ease of access and simplicity, so make sure your interactions match this expectation!

The ability to provide simple and accurate responses boils down to effective training- the customer service team need to know the product/service inside-out.

 

3. Speed + proof-read

79% customers sited instant assistance/response as the main reason they head to Live Chat (BoldChat). This can sometimes be difficult, as Advisors may be handling a number of chats.

Find a balance between the amount of chats you are allocating to an Advisor at any one time, and quality. Each message should be proof-read before they are sent, to avoid any mistakes. Again, having too many cases open at once can make this difficult for the Advisor and you run the risk of careless mistakes being made; like chats getting mixed-up!

Finding the balance between speed and quality is very important. Your customer contact centre should be able to work with you to reach this happy-medium.

 

4. Keep your customer updated

If you need to go away and check an account, or perform an action, then simply let the customer know and apologise for any delays.

The customer will appreciate you taking action to help them. As long as you keep them updated, it’s unlikely your customer will become frustrated by you taking a few minutes away from the chat to concentrate on helping as best you can. Manners are everything (and cost nothing)!

 

5. Predict and respond to future queries

If your Live Chat is indeed “chatty”, you’ll find it a lot easier to get information essential to helping your customer with future queries/needs.

For example: a customer may be turning a service on, so you might tell them what they need to do to turn this off, as well as what they can do in future should they need to switch it back. You may find that they have a holiday coming up from chatting to them, and you can then provide them with product/service information in relation to this… see what we’re getting at?

 

6. Encourage and share

Encourage self-service! It’s beneficial for your Customer Service Team to liaise with Marketing to pin-point which pieces of information customers tend to seek-out most frequently.

You may then be able to place this in an FAQ section, or produce a handy ‘how-to’ document. If you select a well-informed customer contact centre, with dedicated MI (hint hint…), you can work in partnership to create a better Live Chat customer experience.

 

If you need help improving or implementing live chat for your customers, simply get in touch to find out how we can help.

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