Delivering a great customer experience in chat

Adding chat to your website is the first step to giving your visitors the best customer experience you can offer. However, if you want to truly make them smile, you'll have to do everything you can to show you care.

To make the leap from just OK to brilliant, let’s take a look at the most common things your customers expect from you in chat and how to achieve them.

Quick response

The global village we all live in these days has changed customers' expectations. The answers to most questions can be found at the click of a button. So whenever possible, you need to offer the same.

Speedy interactions make your visitors aware you're there to help if they need something. They also help to create trust. Building trust goes a long way when you're aiming to sell a product or service. 

While providing a quick response may be important, the opposite can be even worse. Imagine walking into a store and seeing there's no one at the counter. That's a situation to be avoided.

If you want to make sure you're getting to chats quickly, you can brush up on answering chats with this article: How to answer an incoming chat

Use your image/name

How you present yourself to a potential customer is just as important in a virtual space as in the real world. There's a reason people working in customer service are usually sporting a nametag. It humanizes them and, again, helps to build trust. This can be especially important in a chat where people will frequently expect you to be some kind of bot.

If a visitor starts a chat and they see a picture of you and your name, they instantly know you've got nothing to hide. It's much easier to make a connection. You can choose exactly what you want your visitors to see when you engage them in a chat by managing your Aliases.

To make sure you've got your Aliases set up right, have a quick look at this article: Creating and managing aliases

24/7 support

This one may be self-explanatory. If you can offer your visitors a way to communicate with you and have their questions answered whenever their hearts desire, you're onto a winner. Even if your site caters to a very specific demographic in a limited area of the globe, round-the-clock support can still have a big impact for customers cruising the internet at their leisure. After all, not all business happens during business hours.

If you just don't have the staff to manage chats after hours, there are a few ways to stay on top of requests. You can download the mobile app and answer chats as they come in. Or, if you don't want to do it yourself, you can hire our chat agents to answer for you. At the very least, make sure to set up Triggers to let your visitors know how they can reach you or ask them to leave their details so you can get back to them.

If you're struggling with missed chats, check out this article: Five easy ways to avoid missed chats

Quick, but not too quick

Yes, your visitors want you to respond to them in a timely manner. However, be careful not to snap back a little too quickly. Don't be awkward. Instead, give them a little time. And if you're using Triggers or pasting big sections of text when answering, wait a little and give them the impression you're typing and working on an answer. 

Set the right expectations

Underpromise and overdeliver. No one wants to hear a whole list of amazing benefits or qualities if you can't provide them. It may be tough and your instincts may tell you not to ever say no to a customer. However, it's often much better in the long run to make that hard decision to tell a customer you can’t provide what they're looking for. 

Use this as an opportunity to educate and explain why something may be out of reach. This allows them to see you're not there to take advantage. Sometimes, if they understand the challenge, another more realistic opportunity appears to help your customer to achieve a win.

Use their name

Using your customer’s name is part of being friendly. Depending on the industry you're in, it could also be very important. It's a very simple way to show you're not only listening but paying attention. And it helps to reinforce the idea that you value your customer’s time. 

This practice can be a bit of a double-edged sword, so make sure to use names sparingly. It's nice when someone uses your name here and there. It can be a little off putting if you start doing it too frequently. 

Remember, it’s a conversation

Just like any other human interaction, this is a conversation and the same rules apply. If you want to have a successful chat with someone, aim for a back and forth pattern, with both people speaking equally whenever possible.

If your customer is doing all the talking, they may think you're not all that interested. On the other hand, if you're being a chatterbox, you'll miss opportunities to let them ask questions you can easily answer. 

Making a positive impression goes a long way to forming lasting relationships with your customers. The tips above are simple but put them all together and you have an outline for the makings of a great customer experience.

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