Live Chat Agent’s Cheat Sheet for Better Customer Service
Chat etiquettes have a very important role to play in providing proper and quality customer support. Professional and genuine communication with the customers goes a long way, in fact further than the opportunity to make a sale. It assists in building a long-lasting relationship with the clients, inspire future interaction and create a loyal customer base that advocates the image of your brand.
How to treat the clients so that they are able to appreciate all the perks and escalate the services of your company to a more professional as well as a human level?
Customer service training is an essential part of achieving the mentioned goals.
Professional line of interaction is not that obvious that you will expect your Live Chat Agents to get it intuitively. It is very true that with the new employees who often require help in finding a proper style of interaction which would be apt for your business objectives, you must allow them the space to maintain the authenticity.
Below mentioned are some of the guidelines on how a live chat agent can best handle the key points in a live chat communication:
How to commence a chat
Use an adequate and appropriate greeting. It may sound very basic but the truth is not everyone does it right. The greeting is essential as it will set the tone for the entire course of interaction.
Quite often the live chat agents fall into one of two extreme situations: its either their way of greeting is too short as well as informal or it is too long and very formal. Both of which will betray the lack of respect as well as concern for the clients.
Greeting must be professional yet friendly and personal all at the same time. A good example of that would be:
Hello James, thank you for contacting our Live Chat Service. How can I be of assistance to you today?”
Or you can also start with a shorter yet personal greeting:
“Hey James, how are you doing today?”
It has been noticed that the second one that is the shorter and more professional one that is the favorite of the clients. Many clients are actually surprised with the question and that too in a good way. It is probably because customer support elsewhere rarely put in efforts to ask the questions that would make the customers feel connected and at ease with the website. It immediately sets the reputation on friendly terms with the clients and conversations to become less formal as well as template-based along with keeping the business tone intact.
After the client has confirmed his or her well being, you can move ahead with something like this:
“That’s great! I am really glad to hear that from you! How can I assist you today?”
Or you can, if the reply asks for it, express your sympathy:
“I am so sorry to hear that, is there anything that I can assist you with?”
If the client commences the chat with the description of the issue or the problem then you can respond to them in the following ways:
“Hello Katherine, I understand the issue and will be more than happy to help you. Let’s see what we can do to ensure you get rid of it.”
If the client does not provide his or her name then you can ask him or her for the same, this will display your concern as well as the fact that you pay attention to them:
“Hello there! May I have your name please?”
Once you get the name of the customer, make sure that you spell it correctly.
How to ask more details or verify your comprehension of the issue or problem
In order to avoid any confusion and a lengthy chat, ensure that you comprehend the client’s issues and problems prior to giving your instructions and providing solutions. There are numbers of ways in which you can ask the customers for clarification and that too politely:
“Let me check that I got it right….”
“Let me see if I have this correct, so you want me to….” Or “you would want me to….?”
“If I get you correctly….”
“Tell me more about….”
“So you are saying that….right?”
“This is what I comprehend from what you are telling me that….”
How to tell the customer “I don’t know”
If you do not know the answer to the question asked by the customer then there is no need to beat around the bush, just be honest about it; however, avoid the usage of the straightforward words “I don’t know”. Here is how you can play it out cleverly:
“That is a very good question; let me find out more for you”
“I am not 100% certain but let me find out more”
“I am sorry; I do not have the information about that. Can I have your e-mail? I will find out more on this and get back to you shortly”
“I am sorry, the question that you ask is out of my expertise, but Michael from tech support department will be able to assist you. Would you like me to connect you with him?”
How to transfer the chat
It is no secret that most of the clients do not like being transferred from one chat to another. So, if you transfer the chat then do it only when it is absolutely necessary. Lest try and find the information all by yourself.
Prior to transferring the chat, inform the customer about why and to whom the chat will be transferred.
“John, I am going to connect you with Stephen from the shipping department. He will be able to assist you with this issue.”
“John, let me transfer you to the marketing department. Stephen will be able to reply to your asked question.”
It is essential to notify the live chat agent to whom you will be transferring the chat, just give them the client’s name and also explain the nature of the issue or the question.
How to put the clients on hold
If you require a certain amount of time to investigate the issue then ask the customer for permission to put them on hold.
“Do you mind holding that thought for a few minutes while in the meantime I check it with the administrator?”
“May I put the chat on hold for a while, so that I can check your order?”
“Can I put you on hold for a minute?”
On getting their consent, ensure to thank them before leaving the chat. When you come back, thank them again for waiting patiently.
“Thank you for holding or waiting. I have the information of your current payment; let me send it to you.”
If you feel that the resolution of their issue is going to consume a lot of time then ask the client would he or she want you to revert them rather than waiting or staying on hold.
“Jane, I will need to put you on hold in order to run a few tests. Would that be okay with you or would you like me to e-mail you the details?”
If you have been away for far too long and the client has been inquiring about your absence, ensure that you apologize to them.
“I am sorry for keeping you waiting for so long. I have tested the issue and here is how you can fix it.”
How to admit your fault
Be clear and direct about the fact that you committed an error. If it is your personal mistake then say it to the customer.
“Robert, I am sorry, I made a mistake by giving you the incorrect price detail for this product. The correct cost is….”
If it is someone else’s error, then say that it was “our” fault, attribute it to the company rather than to that specific individual who is not present in the chat conversation between you and the client.
“Jennifer, I am sorry we made a mistake and sent the invoice to the wrong e-mail, which is why you did not get the same. We are going to send it to the correct e-mail address and add extra days to your subscription to make up for that error.”
How to say “No”
Saying a blank “No” to the client will appear quite rude. The best approach will be to use the “compliment sandwich”. This tactic is basically about putting together the two constructive statements on either side of the bad ones.
For instance, if the client asks to be connected with the other agent who is not available at the moment, then you can say-
“I am sorry; Joana is not available right now. Can I help you with something?”
The first step is to express empathy that the client’s desire cannot be fulfilled by you in that very moment, followed by writing the negative statement and after that, you complete the response on a positive note.
You could also extend this to deal with more complex situations. Few examples of that are:
“I am sorry, we cannot lower the cost for this product anymore but we have a similar item at a more affordable price because it does not have the in-built face recognition feature. Would you like to take a look into that?”
“I am sorry; we do not have the feature that you ask for at this very moment. We do intend to add it and we can notify you when it takes place. Would you like to receive an e-mail update about it?”
How to follow up the customers
If you promised the clients to e-mail them back then it is expected that you do the same within 24 hours, even if you do not have the answer to their questions yet.
“Robert, I just wanted to let you know that we are still looking into the issue mentioned by you. We do not have the solution yet. I will e-mail you the solution as soon as we find one.”
If you missed a chat request and have the clients’ contact information, your clients will no doubt appreciate it if you follow them right after:
“Hello Jerry, I am sorry that we missed your chat request. Is there anything that I can assist you with?”
How to handle the complaints from the angry clients
Commence the chat by showing sympathy and understanding, acknowledging the sentiments of the customers.
“I am sorry that this has happened to you. Let me see if I can find the apt solution.”
“I am so sorry about that. Tell me what happened.”
“I am really sorry that you encountered this problem. Let’s see if there is anything that I can do to help you in this situations.”
Express your capability and willingness to help the customer and commit yourself till the time you come up with the appropriate and right solution.
“I am really sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with our product/service. Let’s see what we can do to make everything right.”
“I am sorry that you did not receive the product on time. Let me see what we can do to make it up to you.”
“I am sorry that this happened to you. I understand your frustration completely and I will do everything I can to help you.”
How to deliver on the promise
Frequently it happens that the client has been promised one thing or the other which is impossible to acquire and accomplish either via the lack of knowledge or some misinformation.
Instead of the direct denial “It is impossible that we could promise something like that”, reassure the client that you are going to verify that and offer him the apology to make up for your mistake.
“The thing that I got from this is that you were promised….it appears that there has been an error. Let’s figure out how we can resolve everything without any further troubles.”
So, the mentioned cheat sheet will help you show your professionalism and potential of your company to the customer.
Final tip: You can turn the mentioned recommendations into canned responses to save time and be available to each and every customer.