Efficient and effective online customer support is crucial to keeping prospective clients engaged. Without assistance your prospective customer might not get the attention and answers they need to convert into loyal ones. Customers become loyal to a brand when they feel their needs are being consistently met, they’re being guided in the right direction, and when they cement a good client to brand relationship. By adjusting the way in which your online customer support system is run, you can impact the overall success of your business.

better online customer service
This is how you shouldn’t do online tech support. Dilbert by Scott Adams.

1. Ensure Consistent Support

On the topic of consistency within customer support, Phaseware.com says that “the foremost rule for offering multichannel support is consistency. Customers should see absolutely no difference in messaging from one channel to the other”.

They couldn’t be more right. When you are introducing another support channel you have to ensure that your brand has the same voice on every platform.

As a company your support team should be giving the same answers and advice on every platform. Your online customer support team should be given ample product/service knowledge and be taught how to diagnose solve problems with ease. The customer or client should feel as though they are talking to the same person and not be fed different information that might lead to even more customer relation issues.

2. Time is of The Essence

The most important feature of online customer support is that it gives the customer instant access to the support team. Don’t disappoint by not having someone informative and helpful on duty. The entire goal of live chat as a part of the customer support initiative is to allow the client direct contact with the support team. In essence these queries are more pressing than those communicated via email and should therefore be addressed first.

The response time over live chat shouldn’t be longer than 60 seconds; should it go over, there must be a message explaining the valid reason for the delayed responses. You could always improve your response and overall chat performance by tracking live chat analytics or hiring more agents. Alternatively, you could consider creating specific operating hours for when your agents will be available to speak to customers.

3. Be Security Conscious

Always explain to those engaging in correspondence that the live chat option isn’t a platform where security sensitive information should be shared. Give the customer the chance to share this information via telephone or a secured web form.

Alert them that they shouldn’t share personal information, account details, or even credit card numbers. Not only will it prevent their personal information from leaking, this will also show your customers that your agent can be trusted.

4. Don’t Force the Conversation

If you are using a call-to-action button or a trigger to start a chat, your client will be aware of the offered assistance. It usually helps to alert the visitor that you are available and ready to assist, should they need any help. But, pushing the conversation, instead of letting it develop organically, could lead you to scare away the potential customer. The visitor should have the option to accept or decline the chat conversation. If you are struggling to create conversation with via your live chat widget, you could follow some of our tips to increase live chat requests.

5. Make Use of Layman’s Terms

When your agents are communicating with the customer they shouldn’t rely heavily on jargon or technical terms that will be hard to understand. Educate them in communicating clearly with easy to understand phrases. Should a large chunk of information be shared the agent should break it down into smaller sections.

Your agent should also constantly check whether the customer is grasping the concepts and being assisted in the most beneficial manner.

6. Equip your Team With Training and Tools

One of the most important factors is to keep your customer service team educated and motivated. They should undergo regular training and be given tools to aid them in their service. For busy customer service channels it is advisable to have a ticketing system in place that allows your agent to organize and prioritize their replies.

The tone and attitude of the agents are also important. It takes more effort to come across friendly and helpful through live chat than over a telephone conversations. Some companies might even consideration using emoticons with their online correspondence, just to add that personal touch.

These are just a few tips for efficient and effective online customer support service. If you’d like to learn more about making your live chat communications successful check out our 3 Tips for Effective Live Chat.

Read more: Assess Customer Support Success