Companies offering live customer service chats are on the rise, and customers are loving it. In fact, customers have come to prefer live chats as their medium of choice when it comes to connecting with companies.
And considering this form of communication has one of the highest chances of winning over clients and turning them into loyal followers, it may be one of the best services your company can offer.
But how can you use live chats to get raving fans? Read on to find out.
According to a McKinsey report, 70 percent of people base their buying experience on how they felt or were treated throughout the buying process.
For all the advances artificial intelligence has made, nothing will turn a customer off more than feeling like there's a robot talking to them from the other side of the screen. Agents who parrot words or speak like they're from a different century will make your customers wish they had never contacted you.
What clients want is a genuine conversation.
An emotional connection should be established beginning with your opening sentence. Start with a simple introduction, then continue speaking conversationally as you work through the problem or questions with your customer. Be sure to sympathize with their frustrations and avoid sentences sounding highly scripted.
Most appreciated of all can be acknowledging when the company has dropped the ball, and then swooping in with a resolution to make it right.
Unlike sending and receiving an email, live chats are a form of real-time communication. If a customer were at a physical shop, they would be able to ask questions directly to a sales representative who would help dispel any doubts or fears about your services.
Live chats allow for these instant clarifications and mean clients don't have to wait for answers when they visit your online shop.
Case in point: 79 percent of clients like live chats because of the immediacy of responses. Because the truth is, if they wanted to be on hold, they probably would have called customer support instead.
Making your audience wait too long for a representative to join a chat is at best, a slight annoyance; at worst, it leaves an overall negative impression about your business that is hard to undo. This adds additional friction to any resistance they may already have about making a purchase.
A good trick to save time and make interactions faster is to use a text expander for common responses. With one keystroke, an entire preset sentence or paragraph appears and is ready to send. Mac OS has a native text expander accessed via System Preferences, but a quick google search will also reveal several available solutions across platforms.
Both of the above tactics have this underlying concept: the effort the customer has to make to get an issue resolved has the strongest correlation to customer loyalty, according to research from the Customer Contact Council.
When questions aren't addressed quickly, 45 percent of consumers will abandon a transaction. Previous buyers who had their complaints painlessly resolved are also 94 percent more likely to purchase again from you.
To that end, companies should respond to chats within 30 to 60 seconds of an inquiry for the best user experience and increased customer satisfaction rates.
Customers also shouldn't have to switch mediums to get an issue resolved (i.e., from chat to phonecall after being unsuccessful online) or contact a business again for the same dispute.
But even for problems that are satisfyingly resolved online, repeat calls down the road for questions relating to the initial complaint increase customer effort and therefore, decrease customer satisfaction.
To keep satisfaction high, it's essential for businesses to be proactive about analysing chat histories and anticipating questions your users may have downstream. Links could then be attached to the initial chat and a copy sent to email, so customers already have the information when they need it.
Customer loyalty is when a person chooses to buy from you, even when you aren't the cheapest, most convenient, or highest-quality option. While many think loyal fans are created by exceeding a consumer's expectations, the truth is customer loyalty is developed when businesses resolve complaints painlessly. A live chat's quick and instant nature makes it the perfect mean of communication to do this and to create avid supporters of your services.
How does your business use online chats? What other strategies have been most successful in creating loyal fans of your brand?
(Original feature photo via Unpslash)