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The Best Live Chat Practices for Your Business

by Olufisayo
Live Chat

In any business, providing superior customer service is essential. It’s always frustrating listening to ceaseless and repetitive elevator music for ages on the phone, or sending an email only to receive a terse and unhelpful response (not to mention, a link to their FAQ page that doesn’t cover your query at all!).

Especially in today’s digital age, expectations in response rates are high. Similar to how we Google topics to receive immediate answers, when we encounter an issue with a purchased product, we want a resolution as soon as possible.

That’s why implementing live chat best practices into your business is important. Not only does it deliver superior customer service, but customer engagement. Below, we provide information on live chat integration, and online customer service tips to help you enhance your professionalism.

How to Implement Live Chat

As people now heavily rely on the web to gain information on products and businesses, you should take advantage of the online platform to connect with potential customers. By integrating live chat software, you will be able to capture leads and sales. To ensure you have a smooth rollout, here are some tips to successfully launch your live chat:

1. Map Out Logistics

Gather the team and hash out a plan. Focus on key action plans such as:

Choosing a software program
Targeting the kinds of customers you will provide live chat to and where the service will live on your website (e.g. home page, help page, etc.)
Determining whether you will provide live chat on other platforms such as mobile
Laying out the types of customer issues you are striving to fix, in order to help track progress later on
2. Establish a Timeline

Create a realistic timeline for your live chat launch. This timeline should not only reflect the launch date but testing dates.

Depending on how large your company is, you might want to schedule a test run amongst a small pool of customers. Utilize this period to get feedback and any online customer service tips to apply changes to the system. It’s best to take your time with the testing period.

3. Train Your Staff

Once you have a plan and timeline put together, be sure to train your customer service associates to ensure they are ready to answer questions. Emphasize both immediacy and quality service when it comes to chatting with customers. These two elements are essential aspects of live chat best practices.

How to Use Live Chat to Deliver Superior Customer Service

Customers value thorough and high-quality support more than speed, so here are ways to deliver excellent customer service:

1. Set expectations with customers

If you need additional support or time to solve a particular issue, be sure to clearly and professionally communicate this with them. Inform them of your progress and the wait time. It’s also useful to have alternative strategies such as canned messages, pre-chat surveys, and help videos to identify customers’ needs and help alleviate some of your workload.

2. Be transparent and honest

Perhaps there’s a question or a request that you’re unsure how to respond to. It’s okay to inform customers that you need a moment to look into it. Giving accurate responses and updates is important to maintaining a sense of trust and loyalty with your customers.

3. Fuel brand awareness

Take the opportunity to fuel brand awareness through live chatting. By providing professional and helpful one-on-one assistance, you’ll boost the reputation of your business. Thus, when communicating with customers, be sure the values, missions, and personality behind the brand are reflected through your voice.

How To Execute Proper Live Chat Etiquette

So how should you approach customers? As the way you communicate becomes a reflection of your brand, it’s crucial to follow proper etiquette.

1. Be Professional

Just because you’re online chatting, doesn’t mean you can use jargon like “idk” or “hbu.” As much as it might speed up the conversation, it’s important to be welcoming and professional. Talk to your customers the way that you would speak to them in-person.

Be courteous by saying “please” and “thank you” and making sure they understand the information you are providing to them. Utilize exclamation marks where you can and an amicable tone to fuel positivity and friendliness in the conversation.

2. Be Personable

Personalize the conversation by saying their name or mention any history (e.g. past purchases, queries, etc.) they might carry with your business. Acknowledge their concerns and empathize with them. Whether it’s a complaint or a question they have, approach everything with poise and empathy.

Be sure to also add a photo of yourself in the chatbox to illustrate that you’re an actual human being. It instills a sense of trust and allows for smooth communication.

3. Listen

When you have a lot of chat boxes in front of you, it’s easy to feel rushed and provide the first solution that pops into your mind. Moreover, it’s easy to overlook some of the points that your customer is sharing with you.

Resist doing so, and take time to read and listen to their issues, comments, and concerns. Remember, high-quality support overrules speed.

Boost Customer Engagement

Live chats not only provides customers with immediate solutions, but also a boost in brand and reputation. So be sure to take advantage of all that this service has to offer by integrating these live chat best practices into your business.

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