Live Chat Support – Processes, Tips & Ideas

Most customers reach out to companies for support by either calling the customer support team, visiting the office, or the dedicated support center of the business. Few customers who seek support do not have an idea of how live chat support can also provide them with the same level of satisfaction compared to in-person or phone support.

What is Live Chat Support?

Live chat support provides online customer support through text-based communication with support agents. It was first introduced in websites and followed by the software development of apps in smartphones and tablets.

The embedded live chat software serves as the main channel of communication. It works the same way with instant chat messaging. It allows real-time conversations between customers and the support team by typing their messages.

How Live Chat Support Works?

Companies use live chat software that is either integrated on their website or through the company’s official app. Most of this software is fully customizable and enables companies to choose a preferred way on how to start a conversation.

Typically, customers will be asked first of basic information required for the support and the department they would like to reach. Another way of collecting information is through a chatbot. It will ask for basic information about the concern and even provide basic answers. Once done, the customer will be assigned to an available agent. They can start with the conversation once the customer and support agent are connected.

Live Chat Support Tips and Ideas

One of the ways to make websites or apps more helpful is by adding a live chat support option. It gives customers the access to ask for help while multitasking. Live chat support has evolved from the use of instant messaging platforms to website integration and now in apps. Processes should also adapt to the customer’s ever-changing support requirements.

Below are some of the tips and ideas that can help the customer support department improve the live chat support process.

Use Chatbots

Chatbots mimic the human conversation by asking and responding to a customer’s inputs. If the chat support team does not use a chatbot, it has a lot of benefits that it might not realize. First of all, chatbots greatly reduce customer volume in filtering those that will ask questions answerable by basic information.

These questions are already on the company’s website that might be hard for them to locate or finds asking easier than looking for it. The use of this AI-powered software can also help in directing customers to the right department.

If the live chat support department has multiple teams such as billing, troubleshooting, and B2B (Business to Business) support, using a chatbot will forward the customer to the team that can provide the best answer to their inquiry.

Give Agents a Manageable Number of Customers

To lessen the cost of manpower and help more customers at the same time, chat support agents may be required to handle more than 1 customer. It is recommended for agents to handle 2 to 3 customers at a time to avoid miscommunication or try to maintain an error-free process.

Customer support agents who are handling more than the recommended number of customers are prone to sending wrong information as a result of confusion. Program the chat support software to limit the number of customers being handled while making sure that volume is equally divided to the team.

If there is a lot of customers waiting in the queue, make sure to have needed resources by agents are readily available. It will help agents to provide answers faster and proceed to the next customer.

Enable File Sharing

Chat software is often limited to text-based communication only. Since smartphones and tablets are equipped with cameras, solving customer issues by allowing them to send photos and videos may help. Chat support teams handling technical support will greatly benefit from this function. It will give agents a clearer picture of knowing the root cause of the problem and provide the solution required.

File sharing is also beneficial to support agents. It will enable them to send photos, videos, and documents that may encourage self-help to customers. For example, instead of providing a step-by-step guide to solve a customer’s issue, send the user manual and give the specific page number for the solution.

Encourage Feedback

Ask customers to give their feedback by giving an online form at the end of the conversation. Since customers are already on the internet, send a link directing them to the online feedback form. It should be easy to answer while providing a space to write on additional comments or suggestions.

Never forget to thank customers for their time while expressing willingness to help in the future. Some companies may reward customers for providing their response that can also be used to boost sales.

Adapt New Ways of Responding

Customers contact a live chat support team to get help from a real person and not a bot. Therefore, it is important to provide responses that sound like a human. Aside from providing a complete thought to answer a customer inquiry, adopt new ways of communicating such as the use of emojis.

If the company does not require agents to be formal with customer interaction, the use of emojis may actually give a friendly impression. It can also clarify the responses by confirming the tone of the conversation.

Adapting new ways to respond does not remove the basic rules of chat support, such as avoiding capitalization, grammar checks, and avoiding jargon. Obviously, customer support agents can’t be too friendly by sending messages with slang or shortcuts.

Chat support improves customer support by being easily accessible and allows customers to multitask while seeking help. However, it is also important for the company to adapt to the new techniques while improving the efficiency of chat support agents. A growing number of customers prefer to use live chat support – where businesses can use it as a competitive advantage over their competitors.

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