Quick resolution. These are the words most frequently used by customers when describing positive customer support interactions. As advertising costs continue to increase, having a robust chat strategy can help you differentiate your brand from your competitors and exceed your sales and retention goals.
1. Show empathy by being solutions-oriented
When something goes wrong, the urge to apologize often kicks in. A quick apology is appropriate in most cases but instead of adding limited value to the customer’s experience with an apology, show that you genuinely empathize with their situation by providing a solution. For instance, many businesses have been affected by shipping delays as a result of the pandemic. Instead of going into a lengthy explanation regarding the delay, respond to your customers in such a way that makes the interaction worthwhile for them. This could involve providing accurate information as to the order status, or depending on the specifics of a given case, it might involve processing a replacement order, a refund, or any other kind of financial incentive – for example, a discount on their next order. 2. Mind your tone and language
Customers who reach out via live chat tend to adopt an informal tone and employ casual language. If your brand’s tone is friendly and casual, there might be some leeway for some friendly banter. But remember that at the core of every customer interaction lies a business transaction. So avoid taking unnecessary risks, such as using humor in a way that could lead to misunderstandings. And always use clear language, avoiding texting abbreviations and technical jargon.
3. Make it personal but be cautious
Avoid making assumptions. For instance, it could be that you are in the health and beauty industry and many of your customers disclose sensitive personal information when reaching out. For example, some of your customers might need to cancel a subscription as a result of becoming pregnant. Before you jump to congratulate the customer on what many of us would consider good news, consider that your customer might feel a different way about her pregnancy.
4. Review the customer interaction history
5. Leverage chatbots and canned responses but tread with caution
Chatbots can be useful in that they provide an immediate response to a customer’s query. They also help to establish clear expectations with customers – for example, allowing you to establish the timeframe within which customers will have access to help from a real person. Scripted responses can also add value to the customer experience in that they provide efficiency, minimize the possibility of making human errors (e.g. typos) and allow brands to stay consistent in their messaging. With that said, avoid excessive use of automated and scripted responses. Only use chatbots to provide a first point of contact. Additionally, when using scripted responses, make sure that the response addresses the customer’s issue in its entirety and avoid appearing unauthentic. This is where reviewing the customer history also plays a role, as it can prevent you from using the same canned response with a customer more than once.
In a nutshell, adopting live chat often results in higher customer satisfaction rates and revenue generating opportunities. Nevertheless, to truly benefit from live chat, it is crucial that your business gets it right. Customers prefer live chat over any other channel because they essentially value two things: an efficient resolution and the ability to interact with a real human being. As such, friendliness, patience, and helpfulness are key. (Although if someone reaches out extolling the virtues of their cryptocurrency scheme, there is only one way to respond: ignore.)
Horatio is a leading provider of white-glove customer experience and omni-channel support services. At Horatio, we like to say “do what you do best, and hire Horatio to do the rest.” Horatio partners with high-growth and innovative companies to develop their customer support strategy and provides a dedicated handpicked team to execute. Horatio’s number one focus is on providing high-touch, brand-focused customer support. Our team is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and expertise to ensure a great customer experience every time.