4 Live Chat Tips to Increase Customer Loyalty
Think back to your last live chat experience. Was it smooth and user-friendly, or did it leave you wanting to tear your hair out in frustration?
Mine, unfortunately, fell into the second category. I was trying to fund a checking account I’d just opened with a large banking and credit card company. Following the instructions didn’t seem to be working and I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for, so I clicked the live chat button in an attempt to get some help.
Though I didn’t quite get to the point of tearing my hair out, the whole experience had me scratching my head and wondering why on earth they even bothered to call it “live chat.” Each time I typed in my concern, it would link me to the same FAQ answers I’d already looked at. I couldn’t find the answer to my question anywhere, and there was no option to chat with a live person. So frustrating!
I eventually gave up, and a week later, I still haven’t funded my account. I’ll eventually get it taken care of with a simple phone call, but life’s been hectic and I haven’t found the time. (Sound familiar?)
Of course, it’s a little different for a huge bank with millions of customers who need their services to function in life. Frankly, there’s no reason for them to care about inconveniencing a customer from time to time. People don’t have much of a choice but to continue doing business with them.
But in a hypercompetitive market like e-commerce, any delay or inconvenience can be repellent to a customer and can cost you the sale and the relationship. Here are four tips to create a fast, friendly and efficient live chat experience so you can boost sales and form loyal customer relationships.
-Balance automation with a personal touch.
Providing automated answers to the questions asked most frequently can certainly be helpful. It can help save your team time and allow them to focus on the inquiries that demand more involvement. But if you rely too much on one-size-fits-all responses – much like the bank I mentioned – you’ll miss the opportunity to connect with customers and offer personalized service based on their individual needs.
Make it easy for customers to connect with a live team member who can answer their questions. And make sure your team members have the information they need to communicate effectively. Integrating live chat with a customer relationship management tool, or CRM, keeps customer information readily available for your team to reference in real time.
-Anticipate their needs.
Keep track of what customers are doing before they reach out on live chat. Have they visited your FAQ page? Have they searched for a specific product? Have they tried contacting you via email? Know the answers to these questions, review past transcripts, utilize your CRM, and identify common trends. This can help you determine what they may be looking for in advance, leading to a faster resolution and higher customer satisfaction.
-Show them you value their time.
Customers hate to wait, and in a day and age of instant communication with endless options at their fingertips, they’re not going to wait around if they don’t have to. Live chat offers an opportunity for real-time support and provides a faster response time than email or social media. Customers prefer businesses that save them time.
Pledge to respond to all chat requests in the shortest possible time frame that’s realistic for your team. Stand by that pledge. Also, make sure your customers know what to expect. Transparency is always appreciated, and an automated message with an estimated response time is a helpful way to keep them informed.
-Optimize live chat for mobile devices.
In 2018, 52.2% of internet traffic came from mobile devices. That number is growing steadily every year. That’s why it’s imperative to make live chat simple and user friendly for mobile device users.
Once again, it all comes down to the waiting game. If a customer is on the go and it’s too difficult to get a question answered in that moment, there’s no reason for them to wait. Make live chat easy to use on a mobile device, respond quickly and effectively, and you’ll eliminate a common obstacle to maximizing sales.
These are just a few tips to help you take advantage of the opportunities live chat has to offer. If you can make the process quick and easy while being responsive to customer needs, you can build a loyal following to take your business to new levels of success.