Live chat has emerged as a powerful widget among the many multi-channel service options available today. It allows companies to quickly engage in a conversation with the customer and effectively close more deals. However, simply integrating live chat software with the website is not going to solve the purpose. It is equally imperative to have a knowledgeable and well-trained operator to manage the chat if you want it to make a positive difference to your sales figures.
Being tech-savvy and ability to personalize the conversation and connect with the customer without the advantage of body language are few of the traits that the Live chat agents should be trained with. Good communication with visitors can lead to turning them to customers.
Below I have listed the strategies and skills that Live Chat operators should adopt to flourish when executing any Chat operation:
Understand your Business Thoroughly
It is of utmost importance for chat agents to understand the products and services their company offers. They should have a clear understanding of the pricing strategy and what is the best fit for a customer’s need. Knowing what’s in stock and average delivery time of a product and how to overcome other objections raised by the customer can drive the conversation in a positive direction.
Know When to Initiate a Chat
All the visitors on your site are not there to purchase. Some are idly browsing and some are simply shopping around and comparing things. Offering a chat request to each one of them is definitely not a good idea. A live chat agent should identify visitors who are determined to buy and are facing certain difficulties while doing so. Also, offering a chat request to customers too early in the website visit may make them feel pressured to communicate and it might interrupt their search activities. Make sure you furnish a chat request only if you detect that they are struggling with the search and have questions to ask and/or about to leave the website. People who have visited the demo page or are checking the plans and price of a product are the ones you might convert.
Knowing when to start a chat would make a lot of difference in building credibility among the customers and creating a positive brand perception as well.
Make the Chat Session Personalized
Adding a human element to the whole conversation is vital to establish a personal connection with the customer. Apart from communicating properly, it is also essential to develop a rapport with the customers that allows them to put their thoughts forward and uncover their needs. Live chat agents should share the best-suited ideas and informative answers that lead to multiple exchanges of conversation, leaving the customer satisfied and happy. Instead of pushing customers to buy quickly, the chat operator should guide them to the right products that meet their requirements. Some of the companies make the customers fill a short form that asks for their personal info or if they are repeat customers, they might have filled it during their past purchases. Utilizing this data, an agent can personalize the interaction by using their name and other provided information.
Answer the Chat On-time
If a customer has initiated a chat, then it should be answered immediately and an agent should not make the customers wait for more than 10 seconds. Providing quick customer service is very important these days and customers really appreciate it. Sometimes they may decide whether to buy or not depending on the response speed of your chat agents. Being late can lead the customers to immediately switch to a competitor’s website.
Know when and how to Escalate to Voice
According to Amex, customers prefer a voice conversation when it matters. For a complex inquiry (e.g. product return or product assistance), 38% prefer speaking with a real person on the phone, while only 10% prefer to chat. For a more difficult inquiry (e.g. making a complaint or disputing a charge), this jumps to 46%, in contrast to 4% who prefer chat.
Therefore, it is crucial for chat agents to know when to escalate a customer’s query to a voice conversation. But, while escalating to a voice service, companies should ensure that the customer does not have to repeat the information provided by him/her all over again to the voice agent or else it makes the customer frustrated. Having an omnichannel communication mechanism in place will reduce the probability of this situation remarkably.
Don’t Act Pushy
Being proactive and helping customers is undoubtedly good but too much of it can hit you back. In a chat session, the agent does not have the advantage of understanding a customer’s frame of mind through his/her body language or voice. Hence, the agents have to be extra sensitive about this and deal with the customers smartly. For example, a question asking if the customer requires any assistance is ignored or declined should make the agent sense that the customer is probably not interested in a chat and should stop it then and there.
Always Ask for a Feedback
Customer feedback matters a lot when it comes to improving the services of a company. A chat agent should make sure that they always ask visitors and customers for feedback about their site or product. Asking for their suggestions will make them feel valued and keep coming back for more.