Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels (73%) of any customer service channel (versus 61% for email and 44% for phone), with customers citing fast answers, the ability to multi-task and efficient communication as the top benefits.

However, as these advantages have become clear to customers so, too, have expectations for the live chat experience.

Is your customer service department up to the task? Here are three ways live chat agents fail to meet customer expectations—and how you can avoid these common pitfalls.

#1: Slow service

Many customers opt to use live chat to avoid the delays commonly encountered when calling a customer service line. Because speed of service is often closely tied to a customer’s overall satisfaction, many live chat departments track and optimize their first response time, or the time between when a customer’s issue is submitted and a customer service rep’s response.

Use your live chat platform’s reporting and analytics tools to ensure you have the bandwidth needed to meet your customers’ expectations for timeliness and to effectively manage peak times for live chat activity.

#2: Keeping customers in the dark

There is no “hold music” for live chat, so agents must keep customers informed of what they cannot see from their side of the screen. If the customer’s issue requires additional research and delays the ability to respond, say something. Rather than immediately typing a long-winded response, let the customer know you need a minute to explain. Then, break the information down into short, digestible chunks that can be easily read – or sum up the answer and link the customer to a manual or FAQs page for more information. Whatever the case may be, keep the customer engaged and informed, every step of the way.

#3: Overusing canned messages

Canned responses can be integral to juggling simultaneous chats and maintaining efficiency, but overusing or misusing scripted text can be an instant turnoff to customers. Similar to automated phone menus and call center scripts, canned responses can make customers feel like agents don’t have the time to interact with them on a personal level.

Create flexible canned responses that can be customized as needed, and train agents to recognize instances, such as extreme customer dissatisfaction, when a more spontaneous, personalized approach may be needed.

Ensure you have the right strategy the next time you’re contacted by a dissatisfied customer. Check out our infographic, How to Handle Angry Customers >>