I could give you thousand reasons why amazing customer service is worth the effort.
For example, better customer service is cheaper than any advertising, happy customers become your brand advocates, bringing others with them and people are more likely to buy from you.
These are just a few examples. Amazing customer service should be your mission. Here’s how you can deliver it with a help of live chat.
Step 1. Make ways of contact visible for customers – clarity
Whether it’s a phone number or a chat available on a website, those options should be visible. The longer a customer is looking for them, the lower the chances are for a good customer experience.
To make your chat visible, you can set up an automated and customized messages that engage your website visitors. At LiveChat we call it a greeting. You can personalize greetings for customers based on their actions on your website and information you have about them. For example, you can set up customized greetings for visitors from different countries or for returning visitors and tell them that it’s nice to have them back!
The fact that they see a helping hand they can reach out to whenever they need, makes their browsing experience easier and much more pleasant.
The other solution is to set up an eye-catcher to make your chat more visible. The small chat now button can get lost in all the bells and whistles already added to your website. Tell your visitors that they’re just one click away from getting an immediate help. A nice-looking graphic can help you build trust between you and your customers. They will know that, anytime a question pops out in their heads, the solution is just to click the colorful badge and ask the operator for help.
Step 2. Don’t let the customer wait – continuity
When a customer starts a chat with you, don’t let them wait for your answer - you don’t want them to think that you have put them on hold. The point of having a chat is to communicate immediately – without a queue or delay. This is possible because live chat agents can talk with a few visitors at a time. Don’t waste this potential and always have somebody ready to chat.
If you’re not able to provide live chat agents 24/7, write approximate times of responding in your chat window and use pre-chat survey to gather emails from visitors. This way you’ll be able to contact them the minute you’re back to work. Use those tips to keep your communication smooth and clear.
Step 3. Have the customer feel at home – recognition
When people feel at home somewhere, they’re more likely to come back to this place. How to make somebody feel at home? One way to do it is to learn things about them and use them in your communication.
Luckily for you, LiveChat can integrate with CRM, thus you can store all the information about your customers there. Besides knowing where customers are from and their chat history, you can also have an insight into notes that you and your colleagues made regarding them.
Making notes about customers is a very useful thing. You should do it even if it’s something simple, like “Carl gets irritated fast” or “Carl had an issue with a payment a few times.” These notes might be useful when handling customer's case and don’t require from you scrolling through the chat history to know something about them.
Plus, once you solve their next issue, you can ask – "I hope you didn’t have any issues with the payment lately?” A customer will be amazed that you “remembered” their previous cases and bothered to ask.
I think details like these make the perfect customer experience. Each insight is helpful when talking with other people. Why do you buy your wife her favourite flowers, not just some flowers? Why you fire candles or change the color of a tablecloth during Christmas? Because small details create atmosphere. And great atmosphere creates amazing experience.
4. Shush yourself and listen - attentiveness
If you want to deliver amazing customer experience, one of the best advice I can give you is to shush and listen. So simple, yet so hard to do.
It often happens that a support representatives don’t exactly listen to their customers' needs, but are ready to provide them with solutions. The easiest and popular case happens in a store. Let’s say you want a skinny navy jeans and they bring you different types of jeans just because they’re navy. All you want to do is to scream“why aren’t you listening?”
While chatting with a customer, live chat representatives should be more precise when providing solutions, just because they have customers’ questions and needs written right in front of them. When you read what customers wrote you and try to understand it, you know more about their problems and pain points that need to be solved. The time of solving the problem is often not so important as solving the problem itself. So, concentrate on listening to the customer and try to understand them, rather than provide solution as fast as you can.
To do that you need to stop caring so much about what you’re going to say and how it makes you look, but rather try to mindfully delve into customer’s problem. I guess you can start practicing this in a neutral environment like talking to your colleagues at work or your partner at home. Let them give you their feedback on your communication skills before you go in a front line with customers.
Step 5. If you need more time to research, let the customer know – communication
You won’t always be ready to provide your customer with the solution right off the bat. If you feel the need to do some investigation or discuss it with an expert, such as developer or a more experienced live chat support agent, communicate this to the customer. It’s better to take your time, do the research and come back to a customer with the right answer.
There’s nothing, absolutely nothing worse, than a silence on a chat right after a customer asked an important question. It ends with “are you there??? Hellooo?” messages, if you’re lucky. Most likely it will end with “Your service sucks” and a thumb down those are the real stories from our customers. Treat them as a warning and be open with a customer, just like they need to be open with you when they come for help.
Step 6. Take it easy on canned responses – personality
It’s important to use simple and clear language when talking with customers. If you run a global business, remember that customers might not be familiar with your native language.
One of the best ways to provide excellent live chat experience is to have a personality while chatting. To achieve that, don’t use too much of canned responses. I know they speed up the conversation, which might boost customer satisfaction, but that’s not always the case.
Sometimes customers come to you with a case to which you cannot provide a solution. But maybe you can offer them something else instead?
Canned responses are created to generally suit the most popular responses which is a great facilitation, but they don’t let you provide amazing customer service - only the fast one.
Don’t forget that the person on the other site is a human being, who want to get from you empathy and honest, deliberated responses.
Step 7. Step in your customer’s shoes – empathy
It all comes down to one thing – are you able to put yourself in the other person's shoes?
Don’t force customers to do things your way, care about what they want in a first place.
Empathy is a must-have skill for everyone who wants to work in customer support. Without the ability to imagine what the customers go through and how does it makes them feel (why are they irritated with your product), you won’t be able to react properly.
With the empathy, you’re able to understand the issue from the customer's point of view and what you can do to solve their query in the best way possible.
Step 8. End a chat on a positive note – openness
The way in which you end a chat session matters, because if not handled well, it can create a bitter memory for the customer. Ask customers if they’re satisfied with the solution you provided or maybe there’s any part of the conversation that they didn’t understand and need additional explanation. Don’t be surprised if they didn’t get anything of what you were saying. They might use your product for the first time, so be patient.
Also don’t forget to ask if there’s anything else that they need help with. End a chat with the intent to hear from a customer soon. This way you will remind them that you are there if they need any further help.
Step 9. Follow up with a customer – feedback
One of the best ways to complete amazing customer service is to send a follow up to a customer. If you gather info about customers through a pre-chat survey, you can use their email. If they faced a real issue that took some time and research to resolve, it might be nice to write them an email and ask if everything is working now.
Or if you have your own business, like a private physiotherapy practice: after a session with a customer, it’s nice to write them a text and ask if everything is fine. Use their feedback to improve your product and service.
Customer experience through different channels
Learning to provide amazing customer experience on live chat takes time and patience. You need to learn basic rules, work on your empathy and control your emotions.
During a chat, customers can sometimes write more than they were supposed to say on the phone. But there’s more to it. Being a live chat agent doesn’t mean you will be responsible only for a chat. Today customers can switch between channels when they’re seeking help. Actually, 60% of customers change their contact channel depending on where they are and what they’re doing.
Just because a customer uses live chat while they’re watching TV, that doesn’t mean they won’t call you during the day. To provide excellent customer experience, you need to be prepared for it and provide seamless service across multiple channels.
Being a support hero is not an easy job, but stay up to date with all our posts, improve your skills, and I’m sure you’ll be fine.