Best Practices for Live Chat in Customer Service
In the new age of instant gratification, customers are less willing than ever to tolerate slow, inefficient, or unhelpful customer service experiences from brands.
In fact, 53% of customers will likely abandon their online purchases if they can’t find quick answers to their questions, and 73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing companies can do when it comes to customer service.
With these statistics in mind, this new standard of customer service is why more brands are utilizing live chat software on their websites to meet the needs of their customers.
Think about it from a personal perspective: when you need a quick answer from a friend about their weekend plans or where you’re meeting up for dinner later this evening, are you typically picking up the phone or typing an email?
Nope – more often than not, you’re likely firing off a quick text or DM instead to get a fast response and move on with the rest of your day.
So why should communicating with our favorite brands be any different?
What is live chat & what are the benefits of using it in customer service?
Live chat is a customer support option that allows customers to converse in real-time with an agent.
It’s most common for customers to reach out to your brand via live chat when they’re mulling over a purchase, and 44% of these online consumers say that having their questions answered while they’re actively shopping is one of the most important features a website can offer.
Therefore, when used properly, installing live chat software on your website can help your brand:
- reduce the number of basic inquiries that would otherwise clog your team’s bandwidth.
- provide valuable information for customers’ future queries by linking to a knowledge base or FAQ page.
- create a truly omnichannel customer experience that keeps your team on the same page when managing customer interactions.
- increase revenue by offering helpful advice and insight to customers that can lead to upsells and cross-sells.
However, it’s not enough to simply hit “install” on your live chat software and move on to the next task.
To really make a positive impact on customer satisfaction and leverage live chat to grow your revenue, you must seamlessly integrate this support channel into your customer service strategies and give it the attention it requires.
Our Must-Know Do’s & Don’ts of Live Chat Support
Before you hit the ground running, join us as we explore our best practices for using live chat customer service to have better conversations with customers online.
1. Keep response times under 30 seconds
Responsiveness is crucial in live chat, as customers will typically turn to this support channel when they need instant support for their issues.
However, almost a quarter of consumers (24%) claim that long waiting times are the biggest problem with live chat support, which can hurt your brand’s bottom line when it comes to retaining loyal customers.
To satisfy customer expectations and ensure their needs are met, we recommend creating templates, canned responses, cheat sheets, and SOPs for your customer service team to help them keep response times under 30 seconds.
2. Ensure your brand has the bandwidth to cover live chat
If your brand serves customers in various time zones, you’ll definitely need to consider whether your existing team has the bandwidth to manage live chat before implementing it.
After all, live chat serves as a quick, interactive support channel.
Allowing it to go unmanned during your non-business hours may frustrate customers living outside your time zone (especially when you consider that 51% of customers want businesses to be open 24/7).
Outsourcing customer service to a BPO like TalentPop will allow your business to open up more live chat availability without sacrificing the quality of your customer experience or overspending on agents to provide support for a single channel.
3. Use concise, on-brand language
Sticking to your brand voice and keeping your messages short and sweet is the key to every live chat conversation.
Your customers want to feel that they’re communicating with the brand they know, like, and trust, but they don’t have time to read email-worthy paragraphs from your customer service team.
That’s why they chose live chat in the first place, right?
To keep live chat interactions helpful and high-quality experiences, encourage your agents to:
- Use accessible terms (ie. cut out the jargon and confusing terminology)
- Eliminate unnecessary information from their responses
- Fully know your brand so they can write concise explanations + anticipate common questions
4. Empower your team to manage their conversations
No matter the support channel a customer chooses to use, there’s nearly always a chance that the conversation may get out of hand.
Let’s face it – some issues are more frustrating than others, and it’s not uncommon for a customer to spin out of control.
However, giving your agents the tools and the space they need to handle a wide range of interactions will improve the quality of your customers’ live chat experiences and help reduce fatigue on your team.
To manage the conversation effectively and keep customers on track, set expectations from the very beginning.
- Before they’re connected to an agent, show the customer their spot in the queue to provide an expected wait time.
- Let your customers know when you need to step away for help, if you need to escalate their ticket to a manager, or any other information they’ll want to know throughout the process.
- If a conversation needs to be moved to another support channel, defer to your helpdesk software to do so without causing confusion or sacrificing the quality of the customer experience.
5. Establish a clear end to each interaction
Once a customer’s issue has been resolved via live chat, it’s time to close out the conversation.
To end the interaction on the right note, be sure to ask the customer if they need assistance with anything else.
If they’re all set, you can quickly recap the takeaways or action items of the conversation and then thank the customer for their time before ending the chat.
The closing of a conversation is just as memorable as the opening, and care should always be taken to give your customers the best experience possible.
Top Live Chat Software Options for E-Commerce Brands
Creating a live chat customer service strategy starts with finding the right live chat software for your e-commerce brand.
To help you narrow your search and identify which will work best for your needs, we’ve created a list of top live chat options used by e-commerce brands just like yours.
Take a look below:
- Shopify Inbox
Use our best practices for live chat customer support to improve the customer experience in your brand
If you’re ready to take the next step with your customer service experience by implementing live chat software on your website, TalentPop is here to help you make the integration absolutely seamless.
Since 2020, TalentPop has helped over 500+ top brands prioritize their customer service needs by assisting them with live chat coverage and support.
Not only do we help with the training process for your customer service agents on your preferred platform, but our TalentPop agents also ensure that your channels are covered at all times and each interaction meets the expectations of your customers and brand.
Schedule a call with our team today to get started – we’ll show you exactly how we can take your brand’s customer service to the next level to increase your revenue in 2023.