10 Spot On Rules of Etiquette for Live Chat Success!

Daryl George

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You want to offer exceptional customer service. You know that good customer service leads to benefits for your business like a loyal customer base, customers who are willing to pay a premium for your products, and customers who leave great reviews. And if you’re offering, or thinking of offering live chat customer support, you’re probably already aware of the benefits such as increased sales, high customer satisfaction, and reduced customer support costs.

But what happens when you don’t offer good customer service? Like this example, where the customer service agent addressed his male customer as “ma’am” and didn’t have a basic understanding of the problem? Or this example where the customer had to wait 20 minutes before being connected to an agent and received a canned response that didn’t resolve her issue?

Bad customer service can lead to frustrated and dissatisfied customers, negative reputation for your business, and lots of lost customers. In the examples above, these live chat agents simply didn’t observe some of the general rules of live chat etiquette, or even general customer service etiquette.

Do you want to avoid ending up like them? Then make sure you follow these 10 rules of chat etiquette for your support team.


Rule #1: Don’t keep your customer waiting

When it comes to live chat, the faster your agent’s response time, the better. Research has shown that over half of all customers have become irritated if they don’t talk to a live person right away while 45% of customers will abandon a purchase if they don’t receive an answer from customer support right away! You should consider having your live chat agents automatically accept live chat requests to allow customers speedy access to the information they’re looking for.

Rule #2: Good grammar, spelling, and use of language

Ensure that your live chat agents have exceptional grammar and spelling skills in whatever language they’re offering the support in. A customer support agent with bad grammar or spelling will indicate to your customer that you don’t value them and will make your entire business seem unprofessional. Provide tools like infographics with common grammar mistakes to avoid or a dictionary widget for their internet browser. Also, your live chat agent should not use internet speak (such as “lol” or “brb”), shorthand, or type in all caps (which may indicate that the agent is shouting). Also, jargon or technical terms should be kept to a bare minimum to prevent the customer from becoming confused.

Rule #3: Provide a proper introduction

A bit of familiarity goes a long way in creating an emotional connection between your customer support staff and your customer. By introducing themselves, your agent will put a personal touch on the interaction that will allow the customer to feel more comfortable in exchanging information with your customer support team.

Rule #4: Be friendly and cheerful

Being friendly and cheerful can mean the difference between a cold, boring interaction and an enjoyable one. Your customer support agent should be empowered to use a friendly, personable tone when engaging with customers. In fact, one report found that almost 75% of all customers expect their customer service agent to be friendly, meaning that customer service friendliness was expected more than receiving the help that customers need, demonstrating the importance of being friendly.

Rule #5: Always be honest

Your customer should never be lied to or deceived. In a situation where a customer’s demands cannot be immediately met or there is bad news, your live chat agent should be honest with your customer while seeking the next best alternative. If your live chat agent makes a promise, they should make sure to deliver on that promise.

Rule #6: Keep the chat positive

Your live chat agent should always endeavor to frame the conversation in a positive manner. In the event that there is negative news, your agent should place that news at the beginning of the interaction while “saving” the positive news for the end, as this has been shown to have a positive effect on customer enjoyment.

Rule #7: Stay on topic

While it’s important to be friendly, it’s even more important to never lose sight of the goal of solving the customer’s problem. Resist the urge to engage in a discussion that isn’t related to that problem. Even if the customer would like to go off track your customer support agent should steer the conversation back to the issue at hand in a polite manner in order to maintain efficiency.

Rule #8: Be caring and empathetic

Sometimes your support team will encounter angry or frustrated customers. Instead of trying to argue with them, your customer support team should work hard to diffuse the situation. They should apologize for any inconvenience caused and be willing to spend a reasonable of time to allow the customer to cool down. Your agent needs to be willing to empathize with your customer, let them know that they’re on his or her side and that their feelings of frustration are understandable.

Rule #9: Check in

It is quite common for customers engaged in live chat to take pauses. They could be on a bathroom break or answering an urgent phone call. Whatever the reason, it is important that you do not end the chat immediately after getting no response. You will want to give your customer 2-3 chances to respond while they’re off, with each chance being at least a couple of minutes before you end the chat.

Rule #10: End on a high note

Don’t end a chat as soon as you think you’ve solved the issue. Your agents need to have a chat ending protocol to ensure customer satisfaction that should include:

  • Thanking the customer for the time taken to discuss their issue,
  • Asking the customer whether their issue has been resolved and if they have anything else that they need assistance with.
  • Wishing them a good day and telling them goodbye.

By training your live chat support team to follow these 10 easy rules of chat etiquette, there is no reason why your team would be unable to provide exceptional customer service. And with a solution like HappyFox Chat to aid them in providing instant responses to resolve issues or finalize sales quickly, what more could you need?

Of course, these 10 are not the only rules of chat etiquette that your live chat support team should follow. Have you got a rule of your own? Let us know what it is in the comments section below.

Daryl George

Daryl George is a freelance writer and blogger. His areas of expertise include business blogging, inbound marketing and freelance writing. You can catch him at freelancewriterstartup.com if you'd like to know more about him.

One thought on “10 Spot On Rules of Etiquette for Live Chat Success!

  1. I think it’s a great idea that you suggested to make sure and, “End on a high note.” I think everyone working live answering service should know this. I used to work customer support and the calls would always go a lot better if we ended well. Thanking the customer is always a great way to do that, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing this!

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