chat3Web chatting, as an option for customers to utilize for communicating with  companies, is on the rise. According to the 2012 Fourth Annual BoldChat  Live Chat Effectiveness report, one in five shoppers prefer online chat  over any form of communication. In looking to be effective at properly  communicating via this channel, one question requires consideration – Is  Less More? Is it necessary to have long wordy conversations or are  short, straight to the issue chats sufficient for the chat customer?

Studies have shown that most customers choose to experience an organization  via their website because of ease, speed and convenience. Forrester  Research has predicted that online retail sales will reach $250 billion  by 2014. It seems quite natural that customers may want to communicate with your  company while shopping online. What type of conversation is the chat customer  anticipating? Is it necessary to chat in the same manner that one interacts over  the phone? When web chatting with customers, it’s important to do so in short  sentences. Get right to the point with your answers as long paragraphs are  inappropriate when chatting. Chat agents should possess a high level of product/  service knowledge so that they can communicate in a quick, concise manner. They  should be expert navigators of your organization’s website as this will allow  for locating and retrieving the proper information for developing responses to  customer requests.

Chat customers expect to be serviced quickly, efficiently and thoroughly.  Establish chat guidelines for your chat agents. Provide “one touch” capabilities  that allow your chat agents to ask repetitive questions and provide common  answers with the touch of one key. An FAQ database and cheat sheets are  invaluable tools for your chat agents. Avoid information overload when chatting  with your customer. Provide only pertinent and relevant information. Stick to  the issue at hand! Overwhelming your customer with wordy and lengthy responses  may cause frustration, which can certainly create an unhappy customer. Just as  it’s critical not to ramble when communicating with your customer via phone or  face to face, it’s even more important not to ramble when web chatting your  customer. Remember, this is the customer that seeks a quick and timely  communication session! Be careful not to lose the personal touch with your  customer. While “one touch” usage allows the agent to be efficient, balance that  with utilizing the customer’s name during the chat or asking open-ended  questions that allow your customer to fully express themselves should they  choose to do so. If there is information that every chat customer is required to  provide, proactively get them to do so by prompting them to have the information  ready prior to their beginning the chat session. This helps your chat agent to  be more efficient and possibly may assist in reducing the chat session  length.

In the chat world, Less Is More in the quest to provide  great chat customer service. The right communication method coupled with the  right chat tools and combined with superior product/service knowledge can lead  to your customer experiencing a great chat session with your organization!