We know it’s convenient. We know it’s reliable.
It connects with people and helps solve their problems.
Statistics say 41% of customers prefer it over other forms of customer support.
It’s none other than the live chat services.
Despite its superpowers, live chat can be tough. It’s harder to keep a conversation flowing over chat than it is over the phone or email. You thought it would allow your staff to please customers with quick support. But for most businesses, they are still waiting for it to happen.
Can you believe even Amazon, with its “highly customer-centric business” ethos, hasn’t been able to avoid embarrassment with customer support?
It’s painful to watch the ineptitude of an agent or the system create friction in live chat and it leaves the customer with the worst experience they ever had. Equally dangerous are situations like a technical failure, language barriers, misunderstanding and foul mood of people involved in live chat communication.
One bad live chat experience can bring the roof down on customer happiness and turn them away from your brand. Even worse is nearly half of them will share the poor experience with their friends spreading the bad word about your business.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major challenges in live chat services and how to overcome them.
Unrealistic customer expectations
It is a fact that in live chat, customers expect a quick response. But your staff can have a hard time with customers whose expectations simply are not attainable. Sometimes they want a lot of information in an impossibly short period of time which becomes difficult to deal with. And your business will be left wondering what to do next or how to satisfy them.
Managing customer expectations is a major aspect of a new customer relationship. It essentially involves eliminating customer assumptions. An agent must take time to explain the company’s service capabilities. The agent should not leave the customer wondering what your company can or cannot deliver.
High volume of chat
There could be times when there is a huge number of chats coming in simultaneously, especially the week before the holidays and during offers. Agents have to respond to an unprecedented number of customers and offer solutions that could be overwhelming.
Increased number of chats also could bring in a lot of similar questions, for which an agent can have canned messages and templates. It means the agent will never have to type the same response multiple times. Another way to deal with high volume is to prioritise the chats and try not to feel rushed to respond. Avoid hurried, blunt responses as they might sound unempathetic and can escalate to become issues.
Though most of the customers are understanding and sympathetic, they could be worried and stressed, especially in a crisis time like the pandemic now. This could generally be a time of dealing with cancellations, refund requests and other sensitive situations. Customers could easily get frustrated at the slightest provocation, increasing their stress levels.
Customers have many reasons to be on the edge, and it’s up to the agent to keep the peace and composure when your customer is in tough waters. When things turn bad, the agent may try neutralising the situation by apologising on behalf of the company and let the bad conversations go when they’re done.
Venting frustrations out loud also could help, but you may do it judiciously taking into account the environment you are in. Alternately, you can also try exercises or any physical activity that would let off the steam and keep you relaxed.
Learning curve of new software
Live chat services make it easier to remotely assist customers on your website. With more businesses moving their customer service online, there’s a spike in the sign-ups of the chat software. This could mean that the customer service agents who were unfamiliar with live chat now have to learn a whole new product. Your staff or live chat agents start with a learning curve with the team and customers getting adjusted to a new channel of communication.
To minimise the learning curve, you may limit your chat slots to three at a time. More than three chats at a time could be a little overwhelming and might not contribute to learning efficiency. Tutorials and blogs may come in handy to get chat tips and learn clever ways of using live chat.
Trouble staying motivated
Keeping a positive attitude always towards customers can be tough if you’re feeling low or mentally suffering. The communication with the customer may feel artificial and forced. It could also cloud your judgement at times leading to poor responses. Your mood changes may also get reflected in the way you respond to your customer.
Staying motivated requires work. To start with, you may make a list of positives. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, let us tell you that making a list of things you are thankful for is a great motivator. Meeting with your team regularly can have a positive impact on your mood. Having daily stand-ups and huddle meetings could energise you all day.
Maintaining a work-life balance, avoiding overtime work, moving around physically are some of the things you can do to stay motivated so that you can keep yourself empathetic with your customers.
Customer service through live chat services is personal and direct. It’s understandable how tough it is to maintain composure all the time. However, it is imperative that your live chat agent needs to maintain conversational communication with your website visitors and customers, no matter what the challenges are.
Live chat service is a great customer support tool for your business. It’s easy for your brand to engage with your customers and deal with their queries, especially when they prefer chat messages over phone calls and emails.
Using live chat for customer support imitates the format we use to message friends and family. Live chat lets you craft exceptional conversations that are timely, relevant and useful. Your customers and website visitors feel that a friendly, knowledgeable human being understands their needs and supports their buyer journey.
Won’t you take that opportunity?