You have live chat support set up for your business, but it doesn't seem to be getting the results in customer satisfaction that you expect. In fact, it's having a net negative effect. You see angry feedback from customers citing poor chat support and your brand starts getting a reputation for inadequate customer service. Revenue is down as consumers start jumping ship for the competition rather than reaching out for fixes to straightforward problems. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then your chat support is failing. When 42% of customers prefer to contact companies via live chat, you need to get this right. Here are 6 common reasons that it's not getting the job done.

 

Wrong Staff for the Job

What type of customer service skills do your customer support agents have? If they don't have the right mindset and skills for the live chat environment, then they can't provide a quality experience for customers. When reassessing or building your chat support team, look for people who are excellent at written communication and have a heightened sense of empathy for people. These skills will help them to handle customers who may be irate and frustrated, and be able to de-escalate those situations without their manager's involvement.

 

Limited Hours

Is your live chat service available during peak hours for your customers? If you only offer support during normal business hours, then you could miss out on when your customers need you the most. Look at your historical data to determine when you get the most inquiries so you can adjust your schedule based on actual need. You can work with a service provider to expand your coverage so you can reach 24/7 availability. Check out this real-life client story on how we partnered with an e-commerce giant on their follow the sun model and increased CSAT by 12%.

 

Poor Response Time

How long does it take for your chat support agents to respond to a customer inquiry? Customers expect that you'll answer it quickly, but the average response time is more than two minutes.

In order to examine the causes behind the poor response time, go through these questions with your team: Do your live chat agents have to handle other support channels at the same time? Are the new chat notifications not displaying properly? Do you simply not have enough people to answer messages? Once you can identify the answers to these questions, your team can begin to fix these problems to improve the customer experience.

 

Chat Support System is Difficult to Use

Problems with chat support can occur for customers and staff members. Some common issues include:

 

•             Live chat options hidden on the website

•             Slow software creates delays in responses

•             Lack of mobile-friendly options for smartphone and tablet users

 

Your organization may need to look into other types of live chat platforms to address these fundamental concerns with this customer support channel, or use a customer experience consultant to help you get it right.

During the procurement process, get feedback from customers and support representatives to see what they expect out of a live chat support solution and compare them to your original goals for implementing it. You can match their feedback to industry-leading platforms to ensure a good match.

 

Lack of Data Integration Between Support Channels

Customers don't want to repeat themselves when they open up live chat after communicating through another channel previously. Your chat support system should integrate with the rest of your support options so you can see their history without asking the customer. These proactive support opportunities will help you improve resolution time and decrease customer frustration.

 

Irrelevant Scripted Responses

Scripted responses are an excellent way to convey common information to customers, but sometimes they are poorly suited for the task at hand. Irrelevant canned replies make the customer feel like they aren't receiving personalized service and the agent may fail to address concerns. Following the bad experience, the customer may post bad reviews, share the experience with others or end up having their screenshotted conversation go viral.

When training and retraining your customer support agents, make sure you advise them to go outside the script when it's warranted. For example, if a customer has a complex issue or one that the company hasn't encountered before, they need unscripted assistance. Use the set replies as a foundation for more personalized communication and provide guidelines. It may take longer for your representatives to edit these responses, but it leads to a more relevant customer experience.

Periodically review your script to see whether it actually reflects the questions that customers ask and if outdated information is being used.

Learn how we helped our client create a more personalized chat experience to optimize service levels while also increasing their revenue through better upselling strategies with our latest case study.

 

Why Great Customer Support is Essential

Did you know that customers will pay more for a great experience? PWC found that consumers will pay up to 16% more for the same products and services. Live chat support is one component of your customer experience strategy, but it's an essential one. Take care of your front line agents by giving them the resources they need to succeed like training, incentives, and coaching to help your customer experience reach its full potential.

Your customers are happy to talk about their positive experience in reviews and within their social circle. When customers like the experience that you offer, they're also more likely to stay loyal to you, with 42% coming back for repeat purchases.

Getting live chat support right takes time and resources, but the benefits that it brings to the customer journey are well worth the investment.

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Mason Jones

VP of Business Development
January 22, 2019