Getting in touch with customer service can be a stressful situation for both the customer and the employee handling the issue. Luckily, there’s an easier way: live chat. Let’s talk about why customer service chat works and how you can get started today. Here’s what you’ll find in this article.
Table of contents
- Why live chat works for customer service
- Guidelines to follow for a customer service chat
- Live chat or chatbots?
- Best live chat software
Why live chat works for customer service
Live chat connects your website visitors with live customer service representatives through an instant messaging chatbox. Here are three reasons why live chat works so well for both customers and businesses.
Live chat means quick answers
Nobody likes waiting to get a question answered. Live chat helps to improve your customers’ experience by making sure that your customers’ questions are answered in an instant.
Live chat means better productivity
If your customer representatives have to be on the phone with every single customer who calls, chances are that they’re not being as productive as they could be. Live chat allows your reps to deal with multiple customers at the same time.
Guidelines to follow for a customer service chat
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind during a customer service chat.
Add a human touch
There’s nothing more frustrating than needing help on a complex question and instead of reaching a live human, reaching an automated bot. Make sure that your customers know that they’re talking to a real human. Add images of your representatives and try to greet the customer by name (ex. “Hi, Mark!”).
Don’t keep your customers waiting
If a customer is using live chat, chances are that they’re looking for a quick response to their issue. So make sure that they aren’t left waiting without an answer. Of course, not all businesses have the resources for an extensive pool of representatives. In this case, make sure that you’re using software that can give your customers automated responses (more on this later).
Have a default response ready
An easy way to speed things up for your representatives is to have a few default responses ready. Chances are that there are a few common scenarios that they often deal with.
Of course, it’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t only be relying on default responses. If the customer’s problem is complex and can’t be answered with your templates, make sure that you’re engaging with them to resolve their unique situation to their satisfaction.
For many customers (including myself), contacting customer service is often a stressful experience. Make sure that you’re maintaining a positive attitude. A great customer service representative has the ability to turn a stressful situation into a great one.
Let the customer know if you need time to research
While speed is important, what’s important is providing quality service. If you need more time to research a specific issue, that’s okay. Just make sure that you’ve communicated with the customer that you’ll get back to them. Customers feel frustrated when they reach out to customer service and are met with uncertainty.
Go offline when necessary
While live chat works in most circumstances, there are certain situations where taking the conversation offline might be necessary. It can be confusing to read instructions or advice as compared to listening to someone talk. If you feel like your customers are getting confused by chat, ask for their number and get on the phone.
End the chat on a high note
There’s an interesting insight from psychology known as peak-end theory. It goes something like this: People tend to rate overall experience based on the ending. If you see a good movie with a terrible ending, you’re more likely to rate it negatively.
The same concept applies to customer service chats. So make sure that you’re ending customer service interactions on a high note. Ask if there’s anything else that the customer needs help with and avoid an abrupt goodbye. If you give the impression that you care at the end, it helps paint the entire interaction in a more positive light.
Live chat or chatbots?
You might be wondering whether live chat or chatbots would work better for your business. While the answer does differ based on every business’s unique situation, we have seen that a combination of both works very effectively.
Chatbots can be used for simple queries, which frees up time for your live chat team to handle more complex queries. It’s a great way to ensure that all of your customers get the support they need.
Best live chat software
If you’re looking for great chat software, consider using Birdeye. Birdeye’s chat solution is versatile. It is very convenient to use, for both businesses and customers alike. Birdeye’s live chat solution allows your customer service team to connect with customers instantly.
What if a customer comes to you with a simple question? Birdeye also offers chatbots to answer simple questions, like “what are your hours of operation?”, etc. It’s a great way to make sure that your customer representatives are spending time on the issues that really matter.
If a potential customer contacts you after hours or if none of your customer service reps are available, then they’ll get an automatic response saying that they will receive a message as soon as possible. It’s a great way to make sure that all customer queries are handled efficiently.
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Originally published Apr 03, 2020, updated