Customer service continues to be a key factor in the success for most businesses. Handling customer queries on a daily basis is crucial for B2C and even B2B companies that rely on high value clients for their revenue and continued operations.
Customers are the most crucial aspect of any successful business. They’re the ones who can make or break a company’s reputation. Their satisfaction is arguably the most vital factor when it comes to maintaining a good sales performance since one bad experience can have profound effects on a business. As one of the research says: The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience.
Live chat is defined as the online chat channel which allows a website visitor to directly communicate with a company’s representative. Live chat support is always great to have on a business website since it helps customers resolve their queries instantly without having to go through long and tedious communication methods such as filling out a form. But live chat can be a double-edged sword since it needs to be implemented well. Any shortcomings will only frustrate your customer which will ultimately cost a business potential revenue in sales. One study shows that 66% of the customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction and never bothered to check back.
In order to create a smooth customer experience, it’s important to have an intimate knowledge about the pain-points customers experience while going through live chat support. Half the battle is knowing where to start when building a successful live chat service. Therefore, here at IdeasUnlimited, we’ve highlighted some important points on this topic based on our 11+ years of experience in the support service industry combined with our own research.
Every business is unique. Therefore, the challenges faced by a particular company might differ a little based on their products and service. Same goes for online chat support. There are always different set of challenges when building a successful online chat experience, but certain things are always a common issue across the industry.
Slow Response Time
This is perhaps the most important expectation from a customer. When they write a message in a chat window, they usually expect an immediate response. Furthermore, customers expect simple, quick responses as opposed to long and lengthy greeting messages which do more harm than good. They also hate being bombarded with supplementary questions like product information, asking for name, email, phone number etc. It’s tempting to use live chat to extract customer data, but wasting their time can make you lose a customer for good.
Lastly, the tone needs to be just right. You don’t need to speak to a customer with too much formality. Just keep it simple and semi-casual as if you’re having a light conversation. Guide them well and point them in the right direction to solve their query and fast as possible without any extra fluff.
Not Enough Knowledge
A solid lead can be lost if you’re unable to answer your potential buyer’s questions or persuade them gently. Listen carefully and try not to repeat your questions since asking the same thing over and over can frustrate a customer.
Because of this, it’s important to have the right person in-charge of your live chat. Preferably, it should be a sales representative from the right department with sufficient company information. If the chat is not resolved in time or if it needs to be transferred to another representative, customers tend to get annoyed and leave the conversation before you even know it.
Building on our last point, there are times when there is no choice but to transfer a conversation to another representative. In that case, it needs to take no longer than 10 minutes. According to research, 75% of customers say that they were “highly annoyed” when they couldn’t get someone in a reasonable amount of time.
Customers always loathe long wait times. Transfers can be done quicker in live chat as opposed to call centers, but the issue can still exist. In fact, according to one research, 12% of Americans rate their number one frustration with online customer service as “lack of speed” above everything else. Make sure your live chat support agent handles transfers quickly and efficiently without making a customer wait too long for their conversation to continue.
Approximately 1.1 billion people around the world are English speakers out of a total population of 7.9 billion. This might seem like a surprising fact, but the majority of the world are not native english speakers. Consequently, some customers will expect online chat support to be available in their own language.
Therefore, you need to have bilingual agents ready to handle online chat when needed. While you can overcome some of the language barrier by using online translation tools, it’s still better to have a multilingual customer support staff who can keep the conversation flowing smoothly and communicate effectively.
Poor User Interface
Live chat is intended to ease customer experience and that needs to be matched by a simple, easy-to-use UI. Giving users a complex interface that requires too many clicks defeats the whole purpose of an online chat support. When choosing your online chat tool or plugin, be sure to go for the minimalist option. Avoid asking users to fill a form or provide information before they can start a chat. Reduce the barrier between your website visitors and the agent. You may also send auto responses just, such as a simple greeting message, in order to keep the user engaged before an actual agent takes over.
Inappropriate Conversational Tone
When we discussed ‘slow response time’ earlier, we also mentioned the importance of using the right tone with your customer. We want to elaborate this further.
One mistake a lot of companies make is relying too much on pre-written scripts or template messages. Customers can easily sense when a conversation is not genuine. Another common mistake is by communicating too formally. Customers don’t like to be treated as corporate entities and would rather have a simple, down-to-earth conversation. In fact, according to one research, “70 % of the customers believe that Friendly employees or customer service representatives are what makes a memorable experience that causes consumers to stick with a brand.”
So instruct your agents to chat in a friendly manner without using too many corporate jargon.
Lack of Effectiveness
When making a query, it is imperative that it is taken care of effectively. That means that their concerns are addressed properly such as a complaint about a product or an inquiry about pricing. The agent chatting with them must make sure that their tickets are resolved and that the customer leaves the conversation satisfied. According to Statista, 27% of Americans report “lack of effectiveness” as their number one frustration with customer service.
Another aspect of being effective is the ability to listen to your customers and take feedback and criticism in a professional manner. Irate customers are always common but agents should be well trained to handle them calmly without any miscommunication.
There are many ways to create a robust, effective and successful online chat support for your business. While there are many challenges along the way, the benefits outweigh the risk and IdeasUnlimited encourages every company to explore this option. If you need help to set up your own online chat service or just need to get pointed in the right direction, our experts are always available to help. Simply visit our contact page and get in touch with us today!