How to Coach Your Support Agents to Maintain Positive Attitudes

Tina Arnoldi

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Good live chat employees do much more than simply connect with customers online. The really good ones are those who can keep a positive attitude during a conversation because that isn’t always easy. Everyone is stretched for time and today’s customers expect almost immediate resolution of problems. With access to the internet from anywhere, people look to resolve problems with only a few clicks.

Although a positive attitude is natural for some live chat agents, those who do not have it can learn it through employee engagement and training.

With this in mind, HappyFox Chat has put together some helpful pointers so that you can coach your agents to keep a positive attitude and provide the best customer service possible.

It’s not about you

There are cranky people out there. And let’s face, most of us have been that cranky person at times. Customers may be rude over live chat so agents have to remember it’s not a personal attack towards them. One doesn’t know what someone is going through in life that is totally unrelated to the reason for the contact. And a live chat agent is a distant role to the customers. They may be rude because there isn’t the in-person accountability. When agents go into every conversation knowing in advance that it’s not about them, it’ll be easier to not get emotional about the rude ones.

Smile even though they can’t see you

Of course the customer won’t see the smile (or frown) of the support person. But research has found that the facial changes with a smile can influence someone to feel happier. Just like customers, agents too have not-so-great days and putting on a smile can help them put aside their own concerns for the moment while they serve the customer.

Listen first

Your agents may feel pressed for time and jump to resolutions before really understanding the problems. Listening is a gift that not enough people give. Agents have to take the time to let the customers explain the details of their problem without jumping to canned solutions.

Stay focused on each customer

With multiple windows open, it can be easiest for agents to just pull information from the knowledge-base and find a solution as quickly as possible. However, even when cases sound similar, each customer is still an individual. Agents can keep it personal by paraphrasing – not parroting – things that were said so customers feel recognized as an individual. This may include accessing customer history and commenting on a previous purchase or stating exactly what the agent is doing to resolve the issues for that specific customer.

Some things may not be resolved

Hopefully, your live chat employees have some discretion in resolving customer concerns. But there may still be some requests that are so far out there that they no one could resolve it, not even the company CEO! As part of your employee engagement, make sure agents know the rare occasion when that may happen. When they realize this could be a possibility, they’ll be able to maintain a positive attitude because they know they are doing they best they can.

Live chat employees with a bad attitude will absolutely have a negative impact on the bottom line. From the start, attitude should be part of a training program and quarterly refreshers can help keep employees that positive attitude regardless of the customer.

Tina Arnoldi

Tina Arnoldi, the founder of 360 Internet Strategy, is qualified in both Google Analytics and Google AdWords, and part of the Google Partners program. She helps clients develop and manage their internet strategy. Tina is also an experienced presenter, offering instruction on topics including Google tools and social media.

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