Live chat support is the single most preferred resource for customers in need of assistance online. They’re also an excellent opportunity for businesses looking to win over visitors with outstanding e-commerce customer services. If your chat features are lacking, you may be missing out on much more than help requests. Even worse, you may be turning customers away. Here are four ways to enhance your live help services and turn customers into lifelong brand advocates.
1. Respond in Real Time
When was the last time you enjoyed waiting in line for an undisclosed amount of time? The answer is likely, “Never.” The same is true with live chat support. Even if you’re juggling ten other conversations and can’t respond to a new customer right away, it is absolutely essential to let him or her know how long it will be before you can help. Because customers can make purchases online at anytime, they expect you to be able to help them right away if they need assistance. People don’t mind waiting for two minutes if they know they’ll get help, but leaving them wondering if their message was ever received is one of the quickest and easiest ways to lose a customer. Aim for an average response time of 30 seconds for maximum customer satisfaction.
2. Make It Personal
Most chat operators have a go-to file of canned or pre-written responses. While these are great for increasing speed and handling more conversations at once, they can be deadly if the message isn’t personalized. Customers want to know they’re talking to a real person who is genuinely committed to helping them, not a live chat robot that’s clearly running out of memory space. This isn’t to suggest you should ditch the canned responses altogether. Instead, find ways to insert personalized touches like:
1. Using the customer’s name
2. Discussing purchase details
3. Relying on past history information
4. Engaging in casual chit chat
3. Find the Right Balance
There’s always a balance between responsive support and aggressive assistance. Most customers prefer to reach out to the customer service representative or chat operator on their own terms, rather than field unsolicited, “How can I help you?” pop-up messages. When in doubt, give the customer control. Even if you utilize pop-up chat windows, give your customers the freedom to minimize the message. If you don’t use pop-ups, make your live help feature easy to find on your website.
4. Be Accurate and Efficient
It may seem obvious, but an operator’s spelling and grammar count during a live chat. While it’s OK for customers to make mistakes, an error on the operator’s end will have them questioning your legitimacy and professionalism as a brand. It can be tempting to slip into colloquial language and abbreviations in order to save time, but it’s best to stick to formal spelling and grammar rules. A better way to increase is efficiency is to use as few words as possible and deliver the most important pieces of information first. Your ultimate goal is to help the customer by resolving problems and maximizing satisfaction. Don’t compromise either for the sake of speed.