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A recent Gartner report suggests that prominence of live chat as a customer engagement channel will grow from 2% to 10% of all interactions by 2018, with over 80% of companies making a dash to make this service available for their customers. Considering the direct benefit that live chat offers to both customers and the companies, this trend shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. However, from a business perspective, is just providing live chat as a service on your website enough? Will it help you to deliver exceptional customer service? No, it will not, say experts. To really get the most out of this new age support channel and deliver exceptional customer service, you will have to implement right approaches and this blog is dedicated to uncovering them.

1. Avoid delays in accepting the chat

At a time when customers are spoilt for options, keeping them waiting is a sin. Hence make sure that you accept the chat request as soon as you receive it. Aim for an average wait time of 20 seconds or less.

2. Chat with focus and confidence

Yes, you heard that right.

Once you have accepted the request and initiate a conversation, it is utmost essential for you to be focused. Start the conversation on a positive note by greeting the customer.

Also make it a point that you approach the chat with confidence and a cheerful mood. This is because having a cheerful mindset greatly increases your chances of delivering happy customer experience.

3. Know your customer

Before you go any further, make sure that you perform a quick check of the customer’s profile. Glean as much information as you can about them – look to see if they are a lead, an existing customer, or contacted you by mistake.

In case the customer has contacted you by mistake, don’t give them a cold shoulder. Be as friendly as possible and try to re-direct them to the correct company. This is because such helpful behaviors could create a positive impression about your brand in the mind of these individuals and potentially direct them to your company as and when a relevant requirement arises.

4. Read the subject of the chat carefully

Many a times customers key in their issue/query in the subject of the chat itself. Hence make it a point that you read the subject of the chat carefully before starting the conversation.

If the chat subject is unclear or needs elaboration, then you may have to probe the customer to glean more information.

5. Divide complex queries into several smaller ones

Often people come to you with multiple queries. The best way to deal with such a situation is to answer one question at a time, after the customer has finished typing.

6. If you need time to research, communicate it with the customer

It is not always possible to have ready-made solutions for every customer query. Many a times, you may have to do some research to come up with a solution. Hence in situations, when you feel that you need time to do research or discuss with an subject matter expert, communicate the same to the customer and ask for a good time to schedule a follow up.

Also before you end the conversation, make it a point that you collect all the required information from the customer, so that next time when you or your colleague follows up, all the necessary information will be readily available.

7. Empathize with the customer

Empathy is one of the most important skillset that every customer support professional should possess. This helps you to put yourself in customer’s shoes and come out with an ideal solution to resolve their issue.

8. Test the solution

Make it a habit to always put the solution through the motion by repeatedly testing it in a test environment before giving it to the customer. This goes a long way in helping you iron out flaws in the solution and customize it as per customer specific needs.

9. Keep your response simple and precise

Many of the customers might not be familiar with your local language, hence make sure that your responses are simple, clear and understandable to the layman. Also keep the responses real and honest. And last but not least, avoid jargons and canned responses, so that you don’t sound robotic.

10. Offer a detailed and well-rounded solution

It is important to provide a solution that is detailed, and covers all the aspects – from conceptual to technical. Also make it a point that you explain the details about how you arrived at the solution, so that the customer can learn from it and hopefully resolve recurrent issues on their own in the future.

Also in many instances, solution can be achieved by several methods. In such a situation, it is a smart move to share all the possible ways with the customer and let them choose the one that suits them the best.

11. Re-direct the customer to knowledge base and encourage self-service

The biggest benefit of having a well-rounded knowledge base is that agents can concentrate of providing solutions to complicated quires and redirect the customers to a video, screenshot, or an online guide for more standard queries.

Redirecting customers to knowledge base also promotes self-service by encouraging customers to try and find an answer to their issue on their own, before contacting support.

Over to you

Follow these simple steps to come up with a well-rounded approach for providing better chat support. In case you need any assistance with regards to chat support don’t hesitate to contact us.