You’ve been there before. You go to your favorite shop and you happily make your way over to the register to make your purchase.
But despite your cheery demeanor, the cashier’s not smiling back. You can feel the smile slide off your face as he stares back at you with dead eyes, like he’s looking through you.
You leave the store doors defeated, receipt in hand, and you wonder why something so small like that bothered you. Well here’s the reality–it’s not just you. Customers generally want to feel secure in their purchases, and that comes easier when a sales associate makes you feel appreciated. It’s a lesson all live chat support agents need to learn–how you end a chat truly matters.
Last Moments Matter
Last moments can color a whole memory, just ask Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman spoke on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour to explain how an experience and the memory of the experience are two different things.
He recounts a story of a man who was listening to a symphony, and heard a dreadful screeching sound at the end of the recording. The man claimed that it ruined the whole experience for him, but Kahneman points out that the experience had already happened. It was the memory of the experience that had been ruined, not the experience itself.
As Kahneman states, “we tend to confuse memories with the real experience that gave rise to those memories.”
Now imagine exercising your excellent customer service skills on a chat, only to have a customer feel it was awful because of the last few minutes. Can you imagine how terrible that would be? Don’t let that be the case–deliver quality customer service up until the very last goodbye with the following rules for customer service.
Avoid Being Abrupt
The first rule is more about what NOT to do, but it’s the important first step. Never blurt out a curt “goodbye”. Even if you mean it with the best intentions, it’s hard to convey tone over the Internet. It can come off as rude and like you trying to get the customer out of your hair so you can move onto the next problem on your list. When you do that, you make them feel like just that–a problem.
Give your customer the same attention you gave her when she first came to you. She is just as important now as she was then. Think about it, you don’t want a customer to think she is less valuable to you after she makes a purchase–because the reality is, she is now more valuable. Positivity goes a long way in turning site visitors and one-time patrons into loyal customers.
Make Sure All Their Needs Are Met
The last thing you ever want to do is send off a customer with unmet needs. When you feel a chat is winding down, never assume that you have done all that you can for him or her–there’s always the opportunity to go the extra mile. Think back to your own customer service experiences–you’ll probably realize that you’re more likely to go back to those companies whose agents exceeded your expectations.
Before you end a chat, always throw in an extra, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” for good measure.
Thank the Customer
Thanking your customer is absolutely crucial to ending your live chat session. This lets the customer know that the interaction is more than just about the money. Thanking a customer for their business is thanking her for the relationship she chose to have with you. Customers support your institution and your contribution to society–it’s much easier to feel gratitude when you think about it that way.
So don’t be afraid to thank customers personally! Address the customer by name for an extra special touch. Always follow the golden rule of treating others they way you want to be treated. And let’s face it, we all like to be appreciated.
Thank a customer with the following lines:
- Thanks for stopping by, we hope to hear from you again!
- We appreciate your business and hope to hear from you soon!
Give a Goodbye That Means “Talk to You Soon”
When you are getting ready to end your chat, remember that this is hopefully not the last time this customer will be using your company or buying your product. Avoiding negativity is a huge part of it, but that’s not enough. Remind the customer that you are there for her, and invite her to speak to you again in the future. Try lines like:
- We appreciate your service and hope to hear from you soon!
- Thank you for using our live chat service. I am now closing this chat. If you have any more issues, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Have a great day!
Never act like this is goodbye forever, even if the customer is terminating a service with you or making a return. You have the ability to lure the customer back later with your kindness now. So say goodbye in a way that indicates you hope to hear from her again, whether that be through inviting the customer to ask you questions in the future, promoting a sale, or asking for feedback.
Whatever you do, NEVER shame a customer into staying with your company. If you never heard the awful Comcast call that went viral, listen to it now and promise yourself you’ll never be that person. You don’t want to put yourself or your company in this position—it’s not worth the sale you might earn (but probably won’t).
Use a Stellar Script
The most underrated yet easiest way to end a chat is to use a live chat script. It may seem too easy, and you may fear that a canned response is impersonal, but it’s not if it’s well-crafted. Scripts can put you at ease because you know that your goodbye will be as heartfelt as you need it to be. This way you can focus on how to improve your customer service skills instead of feeling like you’re constantly trying to keep up.
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Read more: Are Proactive Chat Scripts The Answer?