Customer Support
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Online chats allow your company’s customer service team to reach out personally to potential customers. With this tool, your company reduces overhead costs and boosts conversion while improving customer service. Whether you have an established online chat option or recently adopted this helpful tool, consider the following tips to improve the customer service your company provides during online chats:

1. Accept the Chat Quickly

Customers typically use the chat feature because they want a quick response, especially if they have a question about their order or are experiencing a problem with the website. Do your best to accept chats within 20 seconds as you prioritize your customers and meet needs quickly.

2. Smile While Typing

Yes! Your customers can’t see your face, but they can feel the effects of a cheerful, positive attitude a smile evokes. With a smile firmly in place, you can demonstrate positivity, friendliness, and confidence during chats.

3. Verify Customers’ Identities

A quick peek at a customer’s profile gives your reps the chance to review the customer’s ordering history, previous chat records, and other profile notes. With this information, your customer care professionals get to know a bit more about each customer and can provide more personalized service.

4. Address Customers by Name

Address customers by name and your reps demonstrate that your company cares about individuals and will focus directly on the customers and their needs. Here’s an example: “Hi Dana! Thanks for contacting us. How may I help you today?”

5. Skip the Small Talk

You want your online chat reps to be friendly and conversational, but small talk and empty questions fill time rather than meet a need. Consider training your staff to get to the point quickly.

6. Reference the Customer’s Situation Immediately

The subject line or intake form typically shows why the customer has initiated the chat, giving your online reps the info they need to get to address the customer’s need. The reps can read this information carefully and repeat the problem to the customer, showing that they have paid attention and will listen.

7. Demonstrate Empathy

Customers want to know that your company cares about them. Your customer service reps can share this fact when they empathize and put themselves in the customer’s shoes. This compassion and understanding diffuse strong or negative emotions and reinforce that your staff will walk with the customer until the problem is resolved.

8. Ask Questions

Sometimes, chat queries contain incomplete or conflicting information, and the customer may be uncertain about his or her exact needs. When coaching your reps, encourage them to use questions and rephrase concerns as they discern the exact need each customer faces. The right questions reduce frustration, quicken resolution and improve the customer’s experience.

9. Address Complex Queries Individually

Whether you’re running an eCommerce store or a VOD platform, customers who use your online chat feature may have multiple questions, concerns or feedback about your services. To reduce confusion and equip your chat reps to share accurate information and answer questions completely, encourage them to address multiple issues one at a time. They can also verify that each individual concern is answered before moving on to the next. This step-by-step strategy allows your staff to simplify and solve complex queries in a timely and accurate way.

10. Take Time to Research

Depending on the situation, your customer service reps may not immediately have answers for customers. They can take the time to do more research first to ensure the customers receive the correct information about their issues.

In these cases, the reps may gather all the information they need about the customer and the problem, then ask for a few minutes to find the expert with the answer. For complex situations, they can set up a specific time to follow up with a chat, call or email, and keep that appointment.

11. Test Solutions

Certain customer service issues, such as resetting a password or clearing the computer cache, require the customer to complete steps on their own. If possible, your reps can use their system to test the recommended steps first. This test can reveal potential bugs and verify that the solution you have to offer the customer will work properly the first time.

12. Share Relevant Facts

While some customers may be familiar with your company, others may not know facts that can persuade them to make a purchase or help them choose the right products or services for their needs. Assemble a list of resources and facts your online chat experts can share with customers, such as:

  • Links to related blogs, guides or FAQs content.
  • If you’ve created an eLearning hub for your customers, now is the time to refer them to it!
  • Applicable discounts.
  • Alternative products that can also meet the customer’s needs.
  • What customers can expect after the sale.
  • When customers can expect to receive an order.
  • Product customization options.

13. Proofread each Response

Especially if your online service reps chat with multiple customers at once, they may wish to re-read their chat responses before hitting the send button. This pause allows them to check that they’re addressing the correct customer, including the right technical information and using proper grammar as they build trust through professionalism and attention to detail.

14. End the Chat Professionally

A professional end to the chat leaves your customers with a positive view of your company. Your customer service reps may thank the customers for contacting the company and ask if they need further help or would like to review any part of the chat. The reps can also encourage customers to contact the company at any time for additional information or assistance.

15. Follow up With an Email

And last but not least, consider sending a follow-up email a day after the chat ends, to stay connected with your customers, build stronger relationships and reinforce your brand values.

This email can summarize the chat and provide additional information that’s valuable and useful, such as:

  • Links to additional resources
  • How-to tips for using the product.
  • Non-traditional ways the customer can use the products they purchase.
  • Fun facts about your company.
  • Recent social media posts such as your latest Instagram photo, or YouTube video
  • Industry trends.
  • A coupon code for a future purchase.

Online customer service chats improve your customers’ experiences. By using these tips, you can enhance your chats and support your company.