Live chat best practice (with real chat transcripts!)
- Conversation flow
- Typing skills
- Building trust
- Communication skills
A big mistake many businesses make is simply putting their in-house phone or email team on chat, or even worse, random members of their team. This results in it not seeing the results they want and giving up on live chat.
The best live chat strategy is well thought out, with goals in mind and comprehensive training for anyone going on chat. Live chat takes a very specialised skillset.
Every conversation works best when the chat agent is in control. Based on your goals, whether that is customer support or driving sales, steer the conversation using relevant questions to guide the site visitor to this goal.
Often someone has come onto chat because they need help, so guide them. Talk them through the site, providing links where appropriate, confirm the issue is solved, and follow up if needed.
Check to make sure they’re happy before they leave and everything is solved. If the chat requires further follow up, let them know what will happen and by when.
Typing skills are among the most important, so if you are putting your phone team on chat, they may be awesome at talking but have a slow typing speed.
Keep it short and simple. Live chat is text-based, so keep the answers snappy and frequent.
Spelling and grammar is critical: Becauze no1 trusts tings like dis.
Be fast, but be accurate: Speed is critical, but taking an extra second to check a response is worth it. When there are multiple chats, make sure you’re giving the right response to the right chat.
Lack of trust is often the biggest barrier to sales and leads, but it’s also essential for customer satisfaction and retention.
Live chat is a real conversation between two people, so let your personality show. Don’t feel like you need to be a robot as it’s text based! If they make a joke, let them know you found it funny. If they talk about something personal, comment on it.
A great way to build trust is to use their name, it’s a great rapport builder, so drop it in whenever you can.
Live chat takes a specialised set of communication skills. Unlike being on the phone, people are quick to assume you’ve left chat if you don’t reply quickly enough. If you’re looking into something, tell them, so they know that you are still there.
Overcoming objections is a critical skill. It depends on the business, but be aware of common issues and barriers and ensure you have a well thought out response for each of them.
If they stop replying, make sure you follow up and ask if they are still there. It’s only polite to close up the chat properly, whether they end up replying or they leave chat without saying anything.
Ensuring your team has the knowledge they need to chat effectively is key. By creating a knowledge base that is organised but comprehensive, they will have the information they need to answer every query.
You don’t want human chat to read like a scripted bot, but creating a conversation flow is extremely helpful. By knowing which questions to ask to guide the customers, you can pre-qualify leads and drive them to your goals.
Don’t make the mistake of just putting anyone on chat, or you simply won’t see the results you want. Effective live chat requires ample training and strategy.