7 Best Practices for Delivering Superior Customer Support via Live Chat


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Live chat’s bubble is on the rise in 2012, according to a new study of more than 2,000 US and UK online shoppers. LogMeIn and the e-tailing group have released the Fourth Annual BoldChat Life Chat Effectiveness report which shows one in five shoppers prefer online chat over any other communication method.

This growing affinity for live chat mirrors a 2010 Bold Software survey that found that once a shopper used lived chat, more than two-thirds of these consumers actively look for website that provide it. In addition, 77% of those who used live chat agree that the channel positively influenced their attitude about the retailer who offered the channel.

The delivery of live chat has a lot to do with its success however. Featured here are 7 best practices for offering a superior live chat customer experience:

  1. Offer Chat Incentives. If live chat is a new offering, provide incentives to encourage early adoption. In a 2012 study, 80% of shoppers said that a free shipping offer would encourage them to use live chat services instead of email or phone, while 74% said an invitation with a special purchase discount would encourage them to start using live chat.
  2. Customization Matters. Make sure chat buttons and windows match your organization’s branding and are visually inviting and appealing to customers.
  3. Extend an Inviting Invitation. The best invitations to chat feature personalized brand messaging and address the specific interests of the customer or the actions they are taking in a particular section of the site. Custom invitations have been proven to greatly enhance response rates. Make sure your chat offering is in a prominent location on your organization’s website.
  4. Aggressive chat pop-ups are typically a turn-off. Consumers should have the ability to close or decline a chat pop-up invitation. Aggressive live chat pops are typically found to be intrusive and annoying; consumers prefer chat options that they are able to initiate on their own terms.
  5. Good conversations carry a lot of weight. Best practices for live chat include a friendly, informal tone. If your organization offers canned responses, try to reword them so that they don’t sound canned. But, an informal tone doesn’t mean giving up good grammar and punctuation rules. A lack of proper capitalization and punctuation has been proven to slow reading and cause confusion for consumers.
  6. Don’t make the customer wait. Most CSRs are engaged in multiple chat sessions at one time with different customers. The key is to never let the customer know this. According to the Fourth Annual BoldChat Life Chat Effectiveness report, 89% say the speed of agent response and talking with a real person are critical for success.
  7. Knowledge is Key. 93% of chat users agree that the product and service knowledge by the chat agent is the most important element for a successful interaction. Agents must know their stuff when it comes time to chat with their web-savvy customers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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