In the field of customer service, live chat is a powerful platform that many brands and call centers are now using. Because it can easily be integrated into a company’s website, blog, or social media page, chatting has become a favorite method of communication for many customers. According to research, 44% of consumers say that having a chat support agent to answer their queries in the middle of online shopping is one of the most important services a company can offer.
Aside from enhancing the customer experience, chatting with customers online boosts engagement and helps build better relationships between brands and their target market. For this reason, it’s important for agents to learn proper etiquette when talking to a customer via chat. If not, they may end up driving customers away and tarnishing the company’s reputation.
Here are five tips for facilitating smooth conversations with customers through live chat.
1. Use positive words.
Positive words set the mood of conversations. When you use terms such as “definitely,” “absolutely,” “great,” and others, customers will be able to feel your enthusiasm even though they can’t see your face or hear your voice. It gives customers a sense of assurance to know that you’re fully dedicated to helping them sort their issues.
2. Be wary of miscommunication.
Although it’s a powerful communication platform, web-based chat has a number of limitations. For instance, customers will not be able to see your facial expressions and gestures or even listen to the tone of your voice, which can make it harder for them to understand what you really mean. To avoid misinterpretations, use clear and precise words. Always specify what you mean, avoid sarcasm, and keep your statements short.
3. Spell words correctly and pay attention to grammar.
What makes live chat entirely different from voice calls is that customers are reading, and not listening, to your messages. Thus, you want to present yourself in a professional but friendly way. Call centers should therefore train agents to pay attention to correct spelling and proper grammar. This would show that you care and respect customers enough to deliver error-free messages.
4. Do not shout.
It’s impossible to literally shout when you’re talking to a customer through chat, but using all capital letters is essentially synonymous to shouting. Aside from grammar and spelling, proper capitalization also promotes understanding.
5. Be direct.
Remember that in live chat, customers are reading your messages, so help them through this process by conveying what you want to say in the shortest possible way. Doing so will also allow you to address the customer’s concerns at top speed, which is a major prerequisite to delivering a great customer experience.