Odds are that you know someone who hates talking on the phone. A lot of people do. That should make you wonder if having a phone number for customer support on your website is really enough. The user experience should be the primary value of your website. What would make it easier and more appealing for your visitors? In some cases, the answer might be live chat customer support.
Nothing can replace good content. If you anticipate questions from visitors, you should have a detailed FAQs section. It should cover a wide range of possible questions, and it should be easily navigated. You can organize your FAQs into separate topics, and it is helpful to make them searchable. But is that enough? Not if your visitors are likely to have questions that pertain to their own account, whether your service or product is suitable for them or any questions where the answer will depend on individual variables.
Live chat for customer support can be wonderful. It has the potential to be a cost-effective way to give customers exactly what they want. It also can be annoying and frustrating. So how can you make sure your live customer support is actually helpful?
Your live chat support staff should be as well trained as any other customer service staff. They need to know your product or service well and have access to more information and a supervisor. Their manner should be professional but friendly.
If your live chat is not staffed 24/7, make it clear to your website visitors when it is and is not available. That’s a very basic one that is often missed. Consider the user experience. If there is a link to live support and a visitor clicks it and gets a message that lives support isn’t available, well, it doesn’t do much for your brand. You’ve just fallen at the first fence. You don’t have to have live chat active 24/7. Watch for when you get the most traffic to your site, and make sure you have staff available then. Also, be sure to post the hours when you do have staff available for live support. Have you ever stood at the till in a shop and wondered if any staff people were actually in the place? That’s not a feeling you want your web visitors to have.
No one likes being left on hold on the telephone. It’s even worse online. Live chat support staff need to be very clear with visitors if they need some time to check on an answer. You can give your live customer support team some basic scripts to help them remember to always confirm that the visitor has all the information needed and to direct the visitor to your social media for updates on products and services. And of course, just like any of your sales or customer service team, they need to always thank the visitor for visiting.
By Irene Hislop
By Jeff Sheridan
By Iñaki Castellet Hernández