Live chat is a valuable channel for customer service – but how do you guarantee the best chat experience? Understand your customers!

Live chat is a valuable channel for customer service – but how do you guarantee the best chat experience? Understand your customers!

If you’ve hopped on board the omni-channel customer service bus and have integrated real-time chat into your customer service quiver – hats off to you.

Chat software is in high demand by customers these days, as more people seek help directly online or wish to ask questions as they’re browsing a website. In fact, a recent study found that live chat customer satisfaction rates are 73% — the highest of any customer service channel, beating out email (61%) and phone (44%).

The next step, now that you’ve integrated business chat software into your customer journey workflow, is to ensure that your customers receive the best possible experience when using live help. Follow these three tips to exceed customer expectations, and be prepared for some soaring CSAT rates!

Best chat experience tip #1: Get to know your customers

If we’re speaking face-to-face with a customer, automatically, we’ll adjust our type of speech, level of jargon used, and even amount of slang. For example, if a 25 year-old customer service rep is helping out a 20-something customer, the rep will try to build rapport by using common language that’s appropriate for the Millennial generation. Conversely, if the same rep is speaking to a customer in his 60s, the rep will similarly adjust her speech to be more appropriate for her customer.

We do this automatically throughout our professional and personal interactions, and often, we don’t even realize we do it. Consider, however, that with live chat (and any online customer service platform), we don’t have the same luxury of knowing the customer’s age, background, or even geography. In fact, over live chat, you may not understand your customer demographic at all, and the language you use on your website, and that your customer service reps use, could unknowingly be turning away (or simply not resonate with) your customer base. A strategic move, therefore, is to invest in a quantitative research study that gives you segmented customer information. Once you understand the basics of your demographic, you’ll be able to model your branding and customer service training appropriately, based on your average customer profile.

Best chat experience tip #2: Understand what your customers really want

Numbers will tell you one aspect about your customers (a very crucial aspect), but numbers alone don’t give you the complete picture. To really tap into customer insights (and consequently be able to better address customer concerns through live help software and online platforms), you need to discern what it is that your customers actually want from your company, your products, and your service. See, in business, we all have blind spots, and often what we think our customers want isn’t necessarily the case. This is where bringing in a third-party objective researcher to conduct in-depth interviews with your customers can be truly transformative. In-house marketing research, unfortunately, doesn’t always show us our own blind spots, however talented our own researchers may be. The beauty of interview-based research (qualitative research) is that it helps us really understand how customers perceive a product, how they use it, and how they wish to interact with customer service.

Best chat experience tip #3: Invest in live chat training

Finally, to offer the best possible chat experience, invest in customer service training for your whole team. Even though “chat” as a tech support or customer support medium may seem basic, there is a methodology and some core training principles to ensure it works effectively. Empower your agents to diagnose customer issues, understand what the customer is asking, and respond appropriately – a solid training course will give your team the confidence they need to help customers.

Happy live chatting!