9 Live Chat Best Practices to Improve Your Customer Service

Posted by Faraz
8 Minute Read
Date: 9th February 2019

Live chat is one of the quickest ways for your business to assist your shoppers and maximise their experience as a shopper or a client. It’s essential, however, for your company to follow live chat best practices.

Are you using live chat on your website?

Keep reading to learn more about these nine must-follow rules for live chat!

1.      Make a plan for live chat

It is essential to make sure you have a set plan when it comes to using live chat.

You want to make sure you have a designated team and shift schedule for managing live chat support. It’s also critical to ensure that team members know which messages to prioritise, as well as how to handle multiple conversations at once.

Another big part of this live chat guideline focuses on training your employees on the live chat system.

Your team needs to know the proper responses that meet your company’s standards and branding. You want to confirm that employees answering the live chat are the best of the best and know what they are doing.

This preparation helps your live chat launch with ease.

2.      Choose the best placement for your site

Along with knowing how to run your live chat system, it’s also important to place the chat box or chat button in a convenient, easy-to-spot space on your site. By making the live chat conveniently accessible, you can help shoppers in-the-moment.

In most cases, companies place their live chat in the bottom right-hand corner of their site.

Best practices for live chat suggest placing your chat box on every page so that users can access it easily. If you only implement the live chat on one or two pages, it’s easy for users to miss it. If they need help, the lack of assistance can lead to frustration, as well as them leaving your website.

3.      Create an attention-grabbing chat box

Companies will often alert shoppers to their live chat customer service by making the chat box attention-grabbing. You can grab user attention in a couple of ways. One way focuses on making the live chat button light up. This feature usually draws a user’s focus to the chat box.

You can also make your live chat open at specific times. If you have certain sections on your site that often result in a live chat, have the chat box pop up. You can automate this process, like by having the chat box pop-up after a user is on the page for 30 seconds.

This action shows users that you’re there to communicate if they have any questions or problems.

4.      Keep users informed

Let your clients or shoppers know what to expect when starting a live chat. For example, if all your representatives are busy, it’s critical to inform users as soon as they send a message. Or, if you require some immediate information, like an order number.

One way you can keep users up-to-date is with an auto message that provides the expected wait time. When a user starts a chat, you want to let them know how long it may take for a representative to reply and resolve that user’s problem.

For example, an automated message may say, “A representative will be with you in two minutes.”

Listing your operational hours can also help with user expectations. If your live chat isn’t available 24/7, let users know that live chat will resume during your operational hours. This live chat guideline tells the user when they can come back and chat with your team if you’re unavailable.

5.      Offer fast responses and low response times

The whole point of live chat is providing a quick response time. Users start a live chat to get instant solutions. You want to make sure that you reply quickly and efficiently, without rushing or pressuring the user.

Quick responses should be informative, concise, and error-free.

Some live chat best practices for ensuring low response times include:

  • Pre-written responses for general questions
  • Pre-chat questionnaires about user needs
  • A chatbot for gathering information and resolving basic requests

If you have pre-written answers to questions that come up frequently, feel free to use them. Make sure they’re conversational and don’t sound robotic though, as you want to make sure they’re 100 percent relevant to the question.

Pre-chat surveys or questionnaires will also help you direct the message to the proper person. Say you have multiple employees who answer your live chat. If the user responds to the pre-chat survey a specific way, you can direct them to a team member that specialises in that area, like returns.

6.      Provide a helpful user experience

When a user starts a live chat, they’re looking for a relevant and meaningful response to their query. You want to ensure you provide an appropriate answer. As mentioned earlier, if you use canned messages, you want to make sure they’re 100 percent related to the question.

Another way to help guarantee beneficial communication focuses on understanding the question. If a user isn’t clear or doesn’t provide enough detail, ask follow-up questions to provide them with an accurate response.

This live chat guideline helps you construct a meaningful response to a shopper’s question.

For the best results, your team should also reread their responses before sending. If there are errors in an answer, it can impact the user’s impression of your business. This feeling can lead to a decrease in brand loyalty, as well as less-than-stellar word-of-mouth recommendations.

7.      Humanise your communications

Have you ever started a live chat on a site and gotten a robotic response?

Users want to talk to an actual representative when they start a live chat, not a computer. There are a couple live chat best practices to consider for this section. These best practices include making sure you are conversational and connect with users.

A conversational and friendly tone makes it easy for a user to talk with a team member.

A user will feel more comfortable and more satisfied with their experience if you’re conversational, even if you aren’t able to answer their question completely. A conversational tone is an essential guideline for live chat services.

Making a connection with shoppers also increases their satisfaction. It shows that you understand what someone’s looking for when it comes to their question. Plus, a connection can put users at ease when chatting with a team member.

8.      Leverage troubleshooting resources

In most cases, you can answer a variety of user questions through live chat.

Improve your user assistance by referencing troubleshooting resources available on your company’s website. If you feel a video, FAQ, or PDF may help answer a user’s question better, send them that resource.

Other resources you can use in your live chat interactions include:

  • Screen sharing
  • Cobrowsing
  • Video conferencing

With these tools, you can offer users a visual explanation and resolve tough troubleshooting issues.

9.      Ensure user satisfaction

When it comes to customer support, it’s critical for your company to maximise user satisfaction.

Get feedback from your shoppers by asking for their opinion, after receiving live chat assistance. You can request user feedback via email surveys, phone calls, and more. In some cases, companies may incentivise user feedback, like by offering a voucher.

With continuous feedback from your users, you can provide better service to your shoppers.

Get more live chat tips

The above live chat best practices aims to help your live chat team provide the best service possible. If you’d like to learn more about live chat, from tips to strategies, contact Faraz Shafiq.


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