20 Tips for Effective Live Chat Support

By Rachana Chotia / In Customer Support, Live Chat / November 18, 2020 / 5 Mins read

To make live chats effective, it’s imperative to deliver top-notch service by trained staff. We share 20 tips you can easily implement to improve your live chat support.

Live chat is the champion of customer support. It’s no wonder that more and more companies are using it to provide instant and helpful customer support. 

live chat statistics

A lot of things go into providing an impeccable experience to your customers. A combination of good communication skills and using the many features of a live chat app can help you get the most out of it. 

As you get started on your journey to provide live chat support, we’ve compiled a list of steps you can take to make this a delightful experience for your customers.  

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

Personalise live chat support

  1. Introductions – Share your name and role with the customer to personalise the conversation. This also lets them know that they are now talking to a human. 
  1. Social Mirroring – Imitate the speech pattern of your customers to build a strong rapport with them. The similarity in language will help them talk freely with you.
  1. Empathy – If the customer is complaining, acknowledge the problem and listen to them fully before responding. By genuinely showing interest in what customers are saying and letting them vent, you can avoid escalation and put the fire out.  
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway 

Communicate clearly

  1. Shorter Sentences – While explaining complicated concepts, break up the conversation into shorter sentences. And if you want to get more information from the customer, ask one question at a time. Smaller chunks of paragraphs are easier to read and consume (like this blog.)
  1. Active language – Active voice is conversational and shows that you are prioritising customer query. Leave the passive voice for the bots. For example, instead of saying 

“This will be processed by [X]”, 

say 

“I will ask [X] to process this for you”. 

  1. Emoticons – Remember this is a chat and not a telephonic call. Live chat conversations are slightly informal, and the best way to make it clear is by using emoticons. Just make sure you aren’t using too many of them. 
“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.” – Jim Rohn
  1. Avoid jokes and sarcasm – While it’s necessary to be casual during chats, don’t say jokes or use sarcasm in your conversations. More often than not, humour is misunderstood and can leave customers in bad taste. 
  1. Confirmations – Before closing the chat, confirm with the customer if you’ve understood their issue. Don’t assume. A mistake at this point can cost you the customer. 
  1. Communicate proactively – Keeping communication transparent is key to good communication. Explain your next steps, so your customer knows what’s going to happen next. This will keep them engaged. 
“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” – James Cash Penney

Utilise live chat app features

  1. Show typing indicator – Make use of the ellipse to show you are writing. This will let the user on the other end know that you are still around. Also, if there is an option, activate notification sound, so the customer and you both know when a new message is added. 
  1. Quick replies – Respond faster with quick replies. A quick reply feature lets you pre-fill common responses and adds them in your conversation through one click. This way, you can respond faster to the customer and resolve the query swiftly. 
  1. Collect information – Before you can take over the chat, go through the information the chatbot has collected. This will give you context, and the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves. 
“What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?” – George Eliot
  1. Customer history – While you are chatting with the customer, read their previous chat history to understand them better. A good live chat software will also show you the pages the customer visited before getting on a chat. This knowledge will help you assist them better. 
  1. Multilingual chatbots – Allow your customers to choose the language they are comfortable communicating in. And if your team consists of polylinguists, you can assign the chat to the person who can speak this language. 
  1. Set business hours – When you set the business hours, the chatbot will not auto-assign chats to an agent during their off-hours. If no one is available to take chats, the chatbot can inform the customer and raise a ticket for later analysing.  
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Supplement customer support and sales

  1. Multi-page support – A live chat widget is usually present on the website’s homepage. But by adding it to the website’s relevant pages (like pricing, product and help pages) will drive more conversations and help customers find relevant information. 
  1. Integrations – Sync your chatbot conversations to the CRM your company uses. This will integrate the customer data automatically and sync it across channels to provide comprehensive and omnichannel support. 
  1. Labels – During your chat with the customer, add relevant tags to the chat. This will help you club chats, analyse them and derive meaningful insights later. 
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf
  1. Dashboard – Review and monitor data on the dashboard to understand how the agents are performing. Narrow down on agents with best stats and find out why they are doing better than others. You can use this information to train other agents and improve the customer’s experience. 
  1. Update FAQs – Chatbots can answer 80% of customer complaints, but to improve the experience, it’s essential to check what questions customers are asking and update the FAQs. This will enhance customer support experience. 
“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.” – Sam Walton

Final Thoughts

Good live chat support can become an excellent customer experience by training agents on their communication skills and online chat software. This will not only help them speak confidently with the customers but also skyrocket customer satisfaction. 

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Rachana Chotia

Content and Marketing, Verloop.io

Here to write about all things Customer Support Automation. If I’m not writing, I’m either reading or planning a trip.