1. Sales scripts: should you use them?
2. Beware of automatic replies and stock answers
3. Can chatbots replace humans?
4. Get to know your customers
5. You need to be proactive
6. Remember to develop your company language
As you may already know, live chat customer service has turned into one of the best ways to communicate with customers across the globe. The immediacy of responses, inherent mobile compatibility and the convenience of chatting with a customer support representative directly on a company’s website are the biggest factors that make live chat stand apart from other channels, such as email and phone.
However, not all companies can draw out the maximum potential of live chat solutions available online due to poor usage and bad customer service habits. After all, live chat is merely a tool, a way to establish communication between visitors or customers and your team.
Whether you are already offering live chat on your company’s website or looking to start working through this communication channel, it’s time to learn how to communicate with the client in the chat.
In summary, we’ll break the biggest customer support concerns down to the most critical areas:
- Are sales scripts really necessary?
- Should you use auto-messages or message templates?
- Are chatbots enough to meet customers’ expectations?
- Should you collect user data through live chat sessions?
- Should you use proactive invitations within your website?
- What manner of speech should you use?
Ready to transform your live chat solution into one of your biggest advantages? Follow our tips.
Sales scripts: should you use them?
The short answer to this question is: yes, you definitely should have sales scripts. Now, the real problem begins when all your customer support representatives do is follow the script step-by-step, word by word. This can be extremely detrimental to the online shopping experience and can lead to angry or frustrated customers. Instead, as eloquently put by Close, you must be able to work with or without sales scripts.
Sales scripts don’t teach you how to communicate with the client in the chat. They just tell you how to deal with problems in a set number of feasible situations. It’s important to note that communication isn’t solely about solving problems. It’s about knowing how to hear and tackle different situations to find the best possible means to assist customers.
Everyone in the team should be ready (and allowed) to walk the extra mile and get off rails from the sales script to meet a customer’s demands and expectations. That’s the only way you can provide a personalized experience, and make visitors and buyers alike feel really valued by your company. This leads us to the next big concern when using a live chat.
Beware of automatic replies and stock answers
Stock answers, much like sales scripts, can be useful at times but definitely shouldn’t be overused. Today’s customers are quick to catch on automated replies and non-personalized answers. While these may increase your team’s efficiency and decrease response times, it can also paint a picture of a company that doesn’t care to offer anything more than a generalized online shopping experience.
Stock answers are useful when customers have general questions that don’t present any specificities about their current, personal situation. Such as:
- What’s your live chat working hours?
- How do I create an account?
- What are your refund policies?
Meanwhile, questions that do involve their personal experience shouldn’t be met with automatic replies, consider these examples:
- The shirt I ordered ended up being too small for me, can I return and change it?
- I’m having an issue completing my order on your website.
- What is the estimated delivery time for my address?
- Can I get a discount if I purchase a large amount?
These questions as well as so many other different situations, require special attention. Providing a personalized answer for each specific scenario helps to build trust, whereas instant replies would simply put the customers off and negatively impact your sales opportunities.
Can chatbots replace humans?
Chatbots are computer programs that use artificial intelligence to conduct conversations with your visitors and customers. With the constant evolution of this kind of technology, today chatbots can cover and tackle a wide range of problems brought up by your clients.
Amongst its biggest advantages, it’s impossible not to mention how chatbots can be available 24 hours a day and process multiple live chat sessions at the same time, which helps your company to handle high support demands.
However, it’s important to note that chatbots lack the primary factor that leads customers to prefer talking to humans: empathy. Chatbots are just machines. They’re there to ease the load on your team, but can’t replace a human customer service representative.
Gathering contact information and paying attention to customer’s demands, pain points, interests, and preferences is crucial to improve how your team communicates with the client in the chat. You need to gather information such as:
- E-mail and mobile for contact
- Job or company (for B2B ecommerces)
- Products or services of interest
Remember, you can and should use data from your customer service database when creating and employing digital marketing strategies or when improving your sales processes. Thus, be sure to request customer feedback and keep track of your customer satisfaction ratings.
Also, this data is essential to segment and qualify your leads, especially if your live chat is integrated with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. CRM’s are developed to provide insights on sales opportunities to help you manage your team and keep track of every single undergoing negotiation.
You need to be proactive
A company that aims to leverage its customer service as a competitive advantage can’t be reactive when it comes to aiding customers. You shouldn’t wait for your visitors to take the initiative and look for your support channels when they require assistance.
Instead, reach out to them with customized proactive invitations through your live chat window on your website. This is one of the most critical features for a professional live chat solution and you definitely should make use of it.
Much like in brick and mortar stores, even if a customer doesn’t need your help, they’ll be glad to know that someone is available and ready to assist should they face any problems or have any questions.
But remember, proactive invitations are automated chat messages. Thus, to make the most out of it, you need to keep track of visitors and customize your texts based on which page each person is browsing within your domain. A simple “Hello, do you need any help?” sent at the right time can mean the difference between a new conversion and a lost opportunity.
Remember to develop your company language
When it comes to chatting through text messages, you can’t exactly change your voice tone or use facial expressions to portray your intent and show how you are feeling. Thus, working on your delivery is absolutely critical to ensure customers feel comfortable when chatting.
Should you use text emojis? Should you talk more casually or keep the conversation entirely formal? There’s no correct answer to these questions. It all depends on the kind of image you want to portray to your customers, which also means you should also consider your branding strategy when providing customer service.
Develop your own language and ensure that everyone in your team understands how to employ it properly. Also, when chatting with customers, take into consideration what kind of issues and questions they’re facing and, above all else, always be respectful and polite.
Now that you know how to properly communicate with the client in the chat, be sure to analyze your customer satisfaction ratings and endeavors to improve your services and increase your chance to retain visitors and turn them into buying customers.