Live chat is an internet service that allows a business to communicate in real time with customers or visitors to its website. A chat agent interacts with the customer or visitor to provide information, address inquiries regarding products and services, address customer complaints, or find solutions to problems.
Although live chat has been around for over a decade, it remains popular with many customers of all ages. These customers like the option of chatting one-on-one with a customer service agent, which provides a personal touch to their online experience via multiple devices.
As evidenced by the record number of packages delivered by carriers this past holiday season, demand for online support has increased. Therefore, businesses must keep up with the demand by providing outstanding customer service via live chat.
Companies of any size can deliver a personalized service experience to its customers or potential customers by initiating or accepting a chat request while a customer is navigating their website. Superior customer service is essential and should be available anytime, anywhere, on any device.
The primary component of a great live chat is using well-trained, knowledgeable chat agents armed with appropriate software. These employees can engage with customers on a personal level to establish an environment of trust and authenticity. Chat agents must be as professional and knowledgeable as sales and support personnel, and be able to express themselves clearly and concisely.
A skilled chat agent will customize a help session by understanding the customer’s perspective, setting priorities for the session and forming a plan to meet the customer’s needs. This is also a good way for an agent to influence the purchase decisions of customers.
Chat agents should use a genuine tone of voice that shows they care about the customer’s inquiry or complaint. They should actively listen to the customer and restate the question or concern to double check that they have it right, before moving forward. Agents should know how to prioritize these inquires so the most important issues can be addressed first. Then, the chat agent can proceed with an action plan to answer questions and offer alternatives, suggestions, and solutions that meet the needs of the customer.
When addressing a complaint from a customer, the chat agent should verify the validity of the complaint. Then, the agent should do whatever is within their jurisdiction to make sure the customer is pleased with the way the complaint will be handled. Ultimately, the goal is to make the customer as happy as possible with the outcome.
In order to achieve the best live chat, customer feedback is vital. A skilled chat agent should ask questions, such as:
The multiple features in chat software allow an agent to follow up with the customer to see if any additional issues have arisen since the initial conversation. Following up via email, text, or other appropriate methods, after a reasonable length of time, reminds the customer of his or her positive experience with a company’s customer service.
Another component of good chat is the use of software with the appropriate functionality for a company’s products and customers. With a variety of options ranging from basic to complex, as well as having the ability to add on additional upgrades, allow you the flexibility to meet your company’s specific needs to better serve your customers.
With today’s cutting edge chat software options, a business can empower its chat agents to relate to customers in a whole new way. A chat agent can have access to a past or present customer’s complete history and profile, including previous service calls from any of their devices. This allows the chat agent to quickly become acquainted with any issues previously discussed. Customers will appreciate not having to “get their agent up to speed” allowing the chat to become more efficient and productive.
Pre-prepared responses to FAQs are another available solution that can be sent immediately to customers with as little as one click. Limiting the amount of clicks required to access the needed information, allows for a better customer experience, and simplifies the search process. Links to relevant articles can also be delivered via any customer prefered channel for review and consideration.
Chats can be rerouted to an appropriate expert if deemed necessary. Equipped with all information available about the customer, the agent can answer questions and solve problems immediately.
Convenient, round the clock service, live chat provides the personal touch preferred by many. It is a reliable mechanism for providing unequaled customer service for customers of all ages—Millennials to Baby Boomers.
Superior customer service pays big dividends in customer satisfaction, trust, integrity, and loyalty. It also boosts morale and productivity among service agents.
According to customer strategist expert and founder of Vision Critical, Andrew Reid, customers are three times more likely to tell their friends about a negative experience. Make sure the customer experience is a happy one the first time to avoid damage control. Sales expert Ruby Newell-Legner explains it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. So, deliver a great customer experience and make your customers continuously happy!
The best way to see how Salesforce is revolutionizing customer service is with a guided tour of Service Cloud. With the guided tour, we can show you how Service Cloud shines in several common use cases and scenarios.
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