By Andrew Gori
For businesses focused on maximizing the value of their customer support platforms, every communication channel will have it’s own particular benefits. Take live chat. According to Forrester, adopting Chat can result in increased conversions, ticket deflection, and decreased costs.
As is the case with any business initiative, there’s a right way and a wrong way to implement proactive chat support. The greatest pitfall is arguably the very fine line that exists between being helpful and being intrusive. Which means that beyond the actual technology, a very important factor in proactive chat’s success is training support agents to use it properly.
We’ve all been a part of awkward conversations. Out there in the unscripted real world, comments fall flat and awkward moments are plentiful. That record-scratch moment when things go off the rails is often just the cost of interacting with other humans. When awkward moments happen in person, at a dinner party let’s say, fallout ranges from a few uncomfortable minutes to never being invited to your neighbor’s house again. When the same discord or misunderstanding happens over live chat, companies risk alienating and potentially losing a valuable customer.
How your agents handle the delicate back and forth of a live chat conversation matters. Especially when that chat conversation is initiated not by the customer, but by you. How best to assure a successful interaction? Some may say that proactive chat scripts are the answer. But are they?
Customer expectations vs company needs
Your customer service voice should be consistent in tone and personality across all platforms, and proactive chat is no exception. When training agents to engage in proactive chat, consider your business and your brand personality. Customers have different expectations from customer service interactions depending on what they’re shopping for or what information they need. So while a script might ensure an on-brand communication, it might not result in a great interaction for the customer.
So to be successful, live chat scripts must be able to accommodate a range of customer emotions, from affable to angry. Once they’ve initiated a conversation, agents should be trained to pick up on the tenor of the conversation immediately and to move through a script quickly, based upon that tone.
Customer empathy is key
The more empathetic a proactive chat conversation can be from the get-go, the better chance a customer will engage. For example, a generic “May I help you?” is less effective than beginning a conversation by acknowledging the issue your customer appears to be having or the information they seem to be looking for. Use live chat metrics (visit times, chat times, time on website, current page URL, time on current page, number of pages, order history) to tailor your conversation-opener to specific customers rather than resorting to a generic conversation opener.
Be as friendly, engaging and personal as the platform allows—without being overbearing. It’s a fine line. (Emoticons can work for some brands but not for Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community