Top 10 Live Chat Etiquette Rules
A good live chat function is an important part of ensuring your customers receive the great CX they’re entitled to. There are impressive stats supporting the benefits live chat can hold for your business, as well as growing numbers of customers who prefer using it.
So, offering live chat is a great idea – however, you also have to do it right!
Here are 10 crucial live chat etiquette rules your team should follow in order to ensure your customers get top-notch live chat service.
1. First and foremost: don’t keep your customers waiting!
With live chat, fast response times are vitally important – the faster the better, in fact. More and more research indicates that close to 60% of customers will abandon your site if they are kept waiting.
It’s therefore advisable that your live chat agents should accept live chat requests automatically to allow your customers really quick interaction and access to the information they need.
2. Agents should introduce themselves to the customer in a courteous manner
By introducing themselves politely, agents are taking the first step in creating an important personal bond with a customer and establishing trust. By creating an emotional connection with the customer, your agent will make the customer feel more comfortable and make it easier for them to explain their problem and pass on information.
Agents must continue being polite and forthcoming without being overly familiar. They must address the customer by name and take their cue from the customer as regards the tone of the conversation.
3. Being cheerful, helpful, and friendly are key
Being made to feel welcome by a friendly agent can make all the difference to a customer’s interaction with your business. Your agents should maintain a personal and empathetic tone throughout the interaction to ensure that the customer feels valued and respected.
The customer should never be made to feel that they are a nuisance or that they’re wasting the agent’s time.
4. Always be honest and upfront with customers
Agents should never lie to or try to deceive customers, or make vague promises they can’t honour. If it’s not possible to meet a customer’s demands, tell them so honestly, courteously and respectfully.
Agents should always try to keep the chat positive, affirmative and upbeat, and try to come up with a viable alternative if at all possible. If promises are made to a customer, they must always be kept. Likewise, if feedback is promised it should happen without fail and within the time frame that was indicated.
5. Avoid long live chat queues
One of the best ways of avoiding long live chat queues is to make sure your agents have all the resources they need in their work. This means that they are equipped with good, up-to-date, and effective software.
It will also include hardware like a good keyboard and mouse that work well. Even the best customer care agent can’t do a good job if their computer program keeps hanging, or their mouse or keyboard gives them hassles!
6. Agents must use correct grammar and spelling
Your live chat agents must have great language and communication skills. When you hire live chat staff, this should be one of the prime skills you look for.
Grammar and spelling errors give a shoddy, unprofessional impression, which will leave your customers feeling undervalued and irritated. This will leach over into their opinion (and reviews!) of your business.
Train your agents to avoid slang and obscure jargon wherever possible, and to always proofread their chat before sending it. Also, don’t expect them to handle too many chats at the same time. Overextending your agents will stress them out and cause mistakes.
7. Train your agents to stay on target
Agents must never lose sight of the fact that the aim of the interaction is to solve the customer’s problem. While it’s sometimes tempting just to have a pleasant chat, agents must stay on topic and work towards resolving the customer’s issue. If the customer goes off on a tangent, the agent must gently and politely steer them back to the matter in hand.
8. Agents must be empathetic and caring
This is important in every customer interaction, but particularly when dealing with frustrated and angry customers. Showing that they are willing and capable of putting themselves in the customer’s shoes and understanding their frustration is an effective way of defusing the situation.
Agents should always apologise for any inconvenience that the customer has experienced. They must also be sincere in their attempts to address the issue. They must be empowered to offer refunds, replacement items or vouchers if they feel the situation warrants it.
9. Train your agents to ‘keep it simple’
Agents should remember that the technical jargon they use on a daily basis may be unfamiliar to customers. When they explain something to a customer, they must do so as simply and clearly as possible. They must avoid long, complicated sentences and check from time to time if the customer is following them.
However, they must avoid giving the impression that they are ‘talking down’ to customers, or are impatient with their lack of information or understanding. Respect and courtesy must guide an agent’s interaction with the customer at all times.
10. Try to end the interaction on a positive note
Make sure your agents have a chat-ending protocol and are trained to use it effectively. This protocol should include:
- Asking the customer if their problem has been solved to their satisfaction.
- Asking them if there is anything else the agent can help them with.
- Thanking the customer for their time and for bringing the issue to the company’s attention.
- Asking if they have any suggestions they might want to make.
- Telling them a cheerful good-bye and wishing them a good day.
Following these simple, common-sense pointers will empower your live chat team to deliver the exceptional customer care your clients deserve!