If your business has an online presence and you already deal with your potential customers via chat, or you are planning to introduce this feature, take a few minutes to read our article. In this article, you will find 9 great tips for achieving the perfect customer service experience. We share the best practices so your customer service can provide outstanding quality to have as many satisfied buyers as possible.
Before we start, we should clear one thing up: In-person customer service is very different from communicating with your clients via email or chat. You can certainly use some of the experience you have gained through in-person customer service, but you also need to consider additional aspects if you want to provide outstanding service to your customers online as well.
Chat is a very good way to actively connect with your customers electronically. Online visitors can get in touch with you quickly and easily, so you get to know their needs and expectations better. Be advised that if you use it incorrectly, it can even be detrimental to the brand you’re building, as you can lose customers due to a small misunderstanding. We will help you find out what to look for when using this communication channel. Here are the 9 tips we promised!
1. Research before you start your chat service
Before you set up the chat feature on your site, it’s a good idea to do a survey about the common questions that customers need answers for. If you are just now starting your business and don’t know what these questions might be, test your product/service on your associates and ask them. Make a list of questions and have your answers ready. Be prepared for customer questions so you can answer them quickly. Every time you come across a new question, you can expand your existing list and become more experienced, faster with inquiries.
2. Use visual tools for a quick response and easy understanding
Presenting ideas with pictures helps with understanding and information processing.
You can save yourself time if you have some pictures, screenshots, files, or even videos that you can send quickly when your clients are interested in a particular topic. Most people are visual types and don’t like to read too much, so you might want to use these tools for greater clarity as well. Customers rarely encounter visual aids when receiving a response, this way you will make a better impression. Visual tools are seldom used, they can set you apart from your competitors.
3. Be as fast as possible
The goal is always to respond to questions/problems immediately, but this is not always feasible. If you can’t answer people’s questions right away, they’ll disappear in a flash. They start looking elsewhere and some of them may forget to go back to your site afterward. Many customers leave the online platform if they don’t get an answer right away, which will result in a high migration rate for your website.
4. Let them know when their questions will be answered
If you know in advance that you will not be available for some time, it is a good idea to indicate this to your clients. This is called setting expectations when you prepare the customer in advance for what response time they can expect. If you are answering customer questions in a chat, think about a realistic time frame it will take you to respond while also running your business. The other important thing to consider is what you would expect if you were the customer. If the response time you promise and the expectations of your clients are the same, you are going to have satisfied customers.
We conducted a survey to gain a better understanding of the expectations placed on online customer service. We hope you find it helpful. In our survey of more than 600 people, only 9% of respondents are satisfied with a one-day response. In the research, 91% of respondents said a response time within 1 hour would be ideal when asking questions via chat or Facebook.
5. Be personable
People don’t usually like to talk to robots because canned responses lack authenticity. Try to use customized replies in each case.
Refer back to what the customer described: “As you mentioned, it’s important to you that …”
This will also express your attention and they will know that they are not talking to a robot. If the client has previously purchased from you, or any personal relationship has already developed between you, be sure to refer back to this experience. Your attention will make them feel very important.
6. Send personalized messages
A simple way to accomplish this is to use your clients’ first names. If they have not purchased from you before or there is no established relationship between you, this will be their first impression of you and the product/service you represent. When talking to multiple clients at once, be very careful to always focus on the one person you are responding to.
Refer back to what the customer said. Here’s how you can further strengthen your conversation:
“If I understand correctly, you mean that …”
7. Be empathetic
Your customers may contact you for several reasons. Inquiries in a chat are not always about interest. Sometimes objections, complaints, and negative feedback may also arise. One of the most important things in handling objections is to fully embrace the problem first. Then you can offer an empathetic solution.
You can answer along the lines of:
“I understand that you”
“I feel that”
“It couldn’t be easy for you to”
8. Always communicate in a positive tone
During customer management, it is important to have a positive tone, both verbally and in writing.
It is a bit more difficult to implement this when communicating in writing, as we cannot use metacommunication in a chat. When communicating in a chat, there is an even greater emphasis on the words we use:
Instead of “There’s nothing wrong” use “All will be taken care of“
9. Use emoticons carefully
The use of emoticons, also known as emojis, is very common during a chat, but in the case of customer service, use them very carefully or rather avoid them. If you do not know the customer personally, you have no idea exactly what kind of emotion a given symbol evokes. They may have had a bad experience with them, may dislike emojis, or may not know their exact meaning.
What is the next step on the road to perfect customer service?
Examine your customer service based on the 9 tips above and think about how well you have managed to apply them in the past. Consider yourself lucky if you are just now rolling out the chat feature at your business because you can communicate this way from the beginning.
If you see that you haven’t been able to fully implement some of the aspects mentioned, don’t worry. There is always room for improvement and valuable lessons to be learned. Make a note of your next goal and keep it in sight to be reminded of it as often as possible. Over time, you will be able to apply what you have learned and experienced expertly. If you want to improve your customer communications – and thereby increase customer satisfaction – it may be a good idea to outsource this feature and have a professional company take care of your customers’ messages.
Other companies sell the same product/service as you. You must always provide the best quality customer service because a single moment can have a huge impact on online platforms. Proper communication is an important differentiator that will keep customers committed to you in the long run. If you know how to talk to your customers, your company will have a reliable, sympathetic image.