The other day I was frustrated after not receiving an order for the second time from an online retailer that I order through all the time.
The support site for the company offered me three options:
- I could receive a phone call
- I could send an email
- I could open a live chat.
For a quick response, I knew that I needed to go for phone or chat. But did I want to talk to someone on the phone? I never want to talk to anybody on the phone.
Chat it was.
I opened up the chat box, after having already provided a ton of information about my issue.
“Hello, Mercer. I’m Name from ABC Company. What is the issue that you are having today?”
We then proceeded to go back-and-forth with me repeating all of the information that I’d already written out.
It was frustrating.
Like 64% of humans, I was on my phone. I was simply trying to get a quick response about my $300 order that hadn’t arrived. Again. Instead, I spent 15 minutes typing back-and-forth on my phone until eventually giving up and asking for a phone call.
This is not an unfamiliar story – right?
Chat Support. Just saying it out loud sends shivers down my spine. But chat support doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) have to be painful, either for the customer or for your support team.
A satisfactory live chat experience is hard to find
- 95% of customers value high-quality support over speed.
- 52% of customers are more likely to repurchase from a company that offers chat support.
- 47% of customers haven’t had a good live chat experience in the past month.
So, what does that mean?
People want chat and are willing to have it take a little longer to be a great experience. But businesses are measuring speed and pushing their reps to get quicker connection and resolution times.
There’s a disconnect. What we are trying to provide isn’t what people want.
Chat is scary, both for the people providing it and the people receiving it, and it doesn’t need to be.
20% of people have told their colleagues or friends about a negative chat experience. Heck, I just did that in my story. But 29% of people have told their friends or colleagues about a positive chat result.
If you take time to address your customers’ needs by presenting chat support over your other offerings, you might just turn them into your largest promoter. So, let’s take a look at what they’re keen on and how you can deliver.
So, let’s take a look at what they’re keen on and how you can deliver.
How can support teams boost live chat customer satisfaction?
The most important aspect of support is consistency: your customer should know what to expect and get the same treatment every time without question. What does this mean for your company?
When thinking about your chat strategy, instead of shooting to go as fast as you can, you should analyze the type of people that reach out to you by chat, what the most common issues are, and what their contact ratio is. Using that information, you can start to determine a strategy for providing them the type of support that they are looking for.
1. Focus on quality support, not speed.
There are many ways to reduce your team’s first response time in live chat, but 95% of consumers say they would prefer slower support if it meant the quality of help was higher.
So, instead of focusing on the best way to drive your reply and resolution time down, focus on building tools and training your employees to provide quality resolutions.
Provide the person manning your chat with information about what the customer is looking at, or what guides they’ve viewed during the day. Using these context clues, your support person might be able to put together a story of what the customer is looking for before the customer is even finished writing their message.
2. Don’t frustrate customers or make them repeat themselves, they hate it.
With 38% of customers frustrated by poor user experience on live chat. A priority for your to support department should be to avoid making customers engage in things that frustrate them about typical live chat experiences:
- Support not being online despite live chat displaying as available
- Being disconnected during a live chat
- Effort required to start a live chat, particularly where there are pre-chat forms
The customer is reaching out to you via chat because the problem they are having is pressing for them. You wouldn’t make them type everything they’d already said via email so don’t do it via chat support either.
If you’re using a traditional chat support tool, and the customer has to fill out a form prior to the chat being started, make sure you read and absorb what they’ve written before starting to engage in the chat.
With modern messaging, conversations are started instantly and can be picked up at any time. With Kayako Messenger, live chat is fast, effortless, and personal.
3. Use the insight in your customer history to deliver personal experiences
Traditionally, live chat tools integrate poorly with customer support systems. It’s not the support person’s fault that they don’t immediately respond to customers’ inquiries; often times they don’t see them.
Chat tools are often a lonely island where support team members feel isolated and under-resourced while trying to operate a siloed tool alongside their existing support inbox.
But It doesn’t need to be this way anymore.
Companies have so much information at their fingertips. Your support team don’t need to sit alone waiting for their message in a bottle, and a customer shouldn’t need to send it.
Use the information you already have about your customer, including any support interactions they’ve already had, to tell your support agent a story about them. This context will help them to offer more cohesive support and get to the bottom of the issue more quickly.
The customer will not always provide as much information as we need. How many times have you seen a message that just says:
“I’m having a problem with buying. Please help.”
Without any context, this request is scary. But you probably know already by using tracking tools that you have built into your product, where that person has looked in your app, what help articles they’ve looked at, and any console errors that they’ve run into.
Surface those to your support person, and it takes the work out of the customer’s hands and makes the whole interaction go more smoothly. Rather than an endless back-and-forth, you can get right down to business.
A great example of this is journeys and conversations in Kayako. End the needless back-and-forth. You can see Taylor’s Help Center browsing history and exactly what she was up to before she makes contact. Stripe and Shopify integrations tell the you that Taylor’s payment failed due to an incorrect CVV code. It doesn’t have to be so hard.
It’s your turn: Boost your live chat customer satisfaction
Chat is scary. It’s hard to do well, and most customers come into it expecting a bummer of an experience. It is up to you to turn that around and shift their perspective.
It’s better to be correct than to be quick. Take the time to get to know what your customer is looking for, and gather as much information in the background as you can before asking them for more. The more you can uncover without them having to tell you, or reiterate to you, the better.
While there are many people chomping at the bit to complain about their bummer of an experience, more people are willing to share their good times than their bad. Use that to your advantage and create a stellar experience that everyone wants to talk about.
Lastly, make it easy on your employees. Happy support agents mean happy customers, so give them the tools that they need to do their job with ease. Check out Kayako’s Messenger for some of the best offerings in live chat around.