Live chat support has become an integral part of customer support for most businesses. Having said that, it is not successful for all, reason being that their live chat agents routinely make the same mistakes that diminish the brand value and costs valuable customers. To ensure that your live chat agents don’t stumble frequently, you need to know about most common mistakes in chat support and how to fix them right away.
Are you missing peak chat times?
Ideally, 24×7 live chat support should be available to your customers but in reality, most companies are not able to provide this for various reasons. Apart from this, another common mistake which businesses make is offering live chat agents support service in the regular office hours of 9 to 5 slot when it is convenient for them rather than during hours when they get more live chat requests.
If your business footprint is global then you could be receiving the bulk of your live chat agents support requests from your overseas clients at 1 am. If your live chat isn’t available at that time, you will be missing out opportunities to interact with your customers and possibly prospective orders too.
How to fix?
The first thing you need to do is to identify your peak times when you expect the maximum requests for live chat agents support. In most live chat reports you can see details like total no of chats during a 24-hour-cycle and also the weekly pattern of your peak demand. If you observe that most requests for live chat agents support come during hours when you don’t have in-house staff available, you should outsource live chat support. Most live chat outsourcing companies offer 24×7 outsourced live chat agents.
All this information will help in making your staffing prediction report which eventually will result in better management of your live chats agents’ shifts. This will also help you in getting prepared for increased workload during festive occasions like Christmas or New Year eve. If you outsource live chat, you also have the flexibility of scaling up or scaling down according to your changing business needs. What more, some live chat outsourcing companies also provide outsourced Multilingual live chat support so if you get request for multilingual live chat support, you should certainly explore this option.
Are you taxing your customers too much?
The basic purpose of having live chat agents support is to make customers life easier by having free-flowing communication. Unfortunately, there are lots of companies who ask for lots of information before letting their live chat agents chat with their customers. Getting basic information from customers isn’t a bad idea as it helps in making a personalized chat but the problem occurs when the customer is asked too many questions before they get a chance to talk to a live chat agent.
How to fix?
Try to integrate your live chat with your company’s website or e-mail tool in order to provide a seamless experience for your customer. Don’t ask for the information, which you don’t require as that will only make your customer apprehensive about your motive. If you outsource live chat support, make sure that your outsourced live chat agents have access to your CRM so that they don’t have to bug your customers with too many questions before they can assist.
Ambiguity in written messages
Written communication has a major handicap as it lacks body language and voice. Therefore, in order to remove ambiguity in your conversations; live chat agents need to be very careful. Brevity and simplicity may be the hallmark of an ideal chat but at the same time, they can create misunderstandings. Live chat agents are more prone to create ambiguity if they are using short or one-word fillers in their answers.
The human mind is programmed to interpret ambiguous information negatively and there is very little chance of it being appreciated by your customer. If your live chat agents are using a language that lacks clarity, customers are more likely to judge them as being uninvolved, indifferent and rude.
How to fix:
The objective of a live chat agents support is to apprise your customer about the right course of action and what you can offer to them. One of the common mistakes live chat agents usually commit during live chat is using too many abbreviations which may give an impression that you are rushing the conversation because the customer isn’t important to you. The following table shows examples of ambiguous texts and how to replace it.
Don’t use Do use
Hi! Hello! How can I help you?
OK Yes, I do understand.
Check it on our website? May I forward you the link to our website?
If you outsource live chat support, make sure that your outsourced live chat agents get a thorough training in these soft skills. This applies not only to English live chat agents but also multilingual live chat agents.
Being careless with the privacy of data
We are living in times where we have access to every kind of data related to our customers such as location, device, shopping history, shopping cart content, and also their social media activities. All these data can be used productively to enhance customers’ experience. If a customer gets the feeling that the live chat agents know things about him that they hadn’t shared with them, he will feel jittery and creepy.
How to fix?
Always use your customer’s information to serve him or her in the best possible manner. So, if you want to suggest a specific product to your customer, go ahead and do it instead of saying that you are suggesting because of his past purchase history. If your customer shares something, which you already know, live chat agents should not acknowledge it.
Live chat agents should make it a point to explain to your customer about every step that they might take and ask for his consent even for routine things like sharing the chat with a teammate and sending details through email. Live chat agents should be as transparent as possible while collecting customer data but at the same time need to jealously protective about it. Collecting sensitive information like credit card details should be avoided unless the chat is SSL secured. If you outsource live chat support, ask your live chat outsourcing for their data protection policy.
Making your customers wait too long
The response time on live chat support is of utmost importance for businesses. Unfortunately, they still get it wrong resulting into customer churn. According to a latest report by LiveChat, on an average, it takes 48 seconds for a first response. So, you should try to better that average.
It will be damaging to your company’s interest if you make your customers wait. This fact is corroborated by a research carried out by Forrester and Amex which shows that among younger generation in the age group 16 to 22, around 20% would stop using a particular brand if their chat responses were on slower side.
How to fix?
Such things happen only in those companies where it is claimed that their live chat agents are available for the chat when in fact they aren’t or maybe they have a skeletal staff that isn’t able to cope up with the large volume of work.
It is very important for companies to know that they should set up live chat support only when they have enough live chat agents to provide a high quality service. It is always preferable to give support either through e-mail or telephone calls than to offer a sub standard live chat facility. Alternatively, you can outsource live chat support to a live chat outsourcing company. Outsourced live chat agents are both cost effective and efficient and allow you to focus on more critical tasks.
Using a high level of automation
To some extent, automation is good for companies but the problem arises when businesses get an impression that customers too prefer an automated system.
On the contrary, in the online environment customers are already inundated with automation and when they reach out for live chat agents support, predominantly it is because they are desperately seeking a personal human response. The data available also supports this fact.
Same is true when it comes to multilingual live chat support. Since most businesses can’t afford to hire in-house multilingual live chat agents, they use machine-translated automated messages which are usually replete with errors and do little to help the customers.
How to fix?
You need to be cautious while using templates. A readymade script may help in giving prompt replies and being consistent with the support you’re offering, but coming up with a generic and machine-based advice is the last thing you want. Even if you want your live chat agents to use pre-made responses for uniformity, faster and prompt assistance, make sure that they are thoroughly trained on how to modify those responses every time to suit customer’s question and to provide a more personalized and human experience. For Multilingual live chat support, you can consider cost-effective shared outsourced multilingual live chat agents.
Are you facing lack of skill?
You shouldn’t be under the illusion that you will manage a good live chat agents support service with low investment. Skilled and trained live chat customer support agents are key to the success of your live chat program and if you deploy live chat agents who lack the detailed knowledge of your business and products, it will damage your brand and company’s reputation.
How to fix?
To start with, you need to recruit qualified and professional staff and train them adequately. Make them fully conversant with everything related to your product and line of business and show them how to handle live chats. Don’t make your live chat service available till you have a team of well-trained live chat support agents. This is even more crucial if you outsource your live chat. Make sure that your outsourced live chat agents very well understand your business before they start interacting with your customers. Training and managing quality of Multilingual live chat agents may be challenging if you don’t have internal staff that understands the languages you offer support in. However, Multilingual live chat outsourcing companies offer an end-to-end solution for Multilingual live chat support that includes recruitments, training, quality, and ongoing operations management. At LiveSalesman, we offer Multilingual live chat support for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic amongst 30 other European and Asian languages.