Live Chat is emerging as a must-have medium for online customer service.
It’s a convenient way for companies to immediately connect with customers, and it helps significantly to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates once customers have already placed items in their cart. It’s not just good for businesses, though. Customers like it too. How much? According to a benchmarking study by eDigitalResearch, 73% of customers who used live chat in the past year were happy with their experience.
Customer opinions can have a dramatic impact on how trends develop, and as more and more customers experience Live Chat – and enjoy the convenience it offers – more companies will adopt the technology.
However, as with any new customer experience platform, it takes more than technology to create happy customers; new methods of interacting with customers require the correct type of training program to ensure an experience that will keep customers coming back, again and again.
When your company decides to embark on a training program for your Live Chat system, make sure you incorporate these three key aspects of Live Chat customer service training.
Live Chat Customer Service Training Tip #1: Understand Your Customer’s Mindset
Before your customer service agents even engage with a “Hello – how can I help you?” Live Chat message, they first need to understand the mindset of customers who choose to interact via Live Chat. Here are a few reasons why customers might choose Live Chat over another customer service platform, such as a phone call or even a message sent to support over social media:
- Live Chat is speedier – offers an instant response
- Personalized service – no canned responses
- No wading through a phone menu system to reach a live person
When you understand why your customers decide to use Live Chat, your customer service reps need to be trained to respond accordingly to customers’ desires for choosing Live Chat. In other words, prepare your agents to respond quickly, be resourceful, and process customer requests efficiently.
Live Chat Customer Service Training Tip #2: Be Customer Centric
Live Chat, much like a phone call, is perceived to be a one-to-one conversation, where the customer gets the full attention of the agent. Even though your agents may be handling multiple chats at one time, the interaction needs to feel entirely personal to the customer – that is to say, the rep needs to have a customer-centric attitude. To accomplish this, the agent should demonstrate the following:
- Let the customer know time requirements: “Just give me one minute here while I research that request ….”
- Keep the customer engaged: “I’m checking with our warehouse to see if we have the item in-stock…”
- Be courteous: “Thanks so much for inquiring about our selection of new software products. We’re so happy to have you as a new customer …”
- Know the customer’s history: “I see last month you purchased the 2.0 add-on. How has that product worked for you?”
Live Chat Customer Service Training Tip #3: Take Extra Steps to Convey Professionalism
“Lost in translation” can be an unfortunate consequence of the Live Chat medium if agents are not trained properly. This means that quick messages back and forth from the agent can come off as rude or rushed, if special care is not taken to convey a professional and positive tone. The farther the customer gets from face-to-face or voice interaction, the more the tone can be misinterpreted, so as part of Live Chat training, it’s imperative that your customer service agents go above-and-beyond in their ability to convey professionalism. Here are some tips to make sure it happens:
- Be positive: Use language that is positive, not negative. For example, “You can do this by …” instead of “You aren’t able to do that with …”
- Be friendly, but still formal: Live Chat is a more casual communication medium, but you don’t want your agents reverting to texting acronyms, such as “TTYL” or “LOL.” Agents need to type out their words, striking the balance between friendly and professional.
- But not too formal … Live Chat still needs to be approachable, and it can be slightly more casual than language used in corporate communications or email. For example, “Let me look up your reservation,” is perfectly appropriate. “Please hold while I inquire for you,” is a little too formal.
Customers love Live Chat. Will they love interacting with your company through Live Chat?
Research shows that Live Chat has the highest customer satisfaction levels of any medium. In a study, 73% of customers preferred Live Chat over email (61%), and phone communication (44%). However, high satisfaction marks are directly tied to the level and detail of customer service that people receive over Live Chat. Training, in other words, is paramount for Live Chat to work successfully.