3 simple steps to boost live chat customer satisfaction

A live chat channel is no longer a luxury that will delight customers by its mere presence. Customers now expect it, and they expect quality service while using it. And when every site has a live chat support channel, you need to boost your live chat customer satisfaction to stand out from the crowd.

Customer satisfaction is about managing — and answering — customer expectations. Live chat already boasts a high customer satisfaction rate thanks to the instant gratification real-time responses allow, but there’s always room to improve.

In live chat, that room is created in the gap between quality service and speedy support. But where do you start? Here are three simple steps to help you boost your live chat customer satisfaction.

 

Step 1: Prioritise quality over quantity

Live chat software is a way to offer customers near-instant gratification whenever they have a question, issue or problem. Real-time responses are part of the reason why live chat has become such a popular form of support. But it also means that too much emphasis is placed on speed of service.

When an agent’s main goal is to serve more customers more quickly, service quality takes a hit. Rushed support experiences tell customers you don’t care about them. Yes, queue management and speedy resolutions are an important element of great live chat service, but customer satisfaction will see a boost when quality and attentiveness are prioritised. In fact, 95% of customers say they’d prefer slower support with a higher quality of help.

As the idiom goes, haste makes waste. You can boost live chat customer satisfaction by answering chats promptly, but taking a little extra time to find the best resolution for each customer. That could be a quick session directing the customer to self-service, or a longer support heavy interaction that needs more agent attention.

Agents should still be wary of time, however.  No one likes to be kept needlessly waiting, and customers still want efficient service and quick resolution. Speed simply needs to be second to quality.

 

Step 2: Avoid frustration triggers

Frustration rises when expectations aren’t met. To boost live chat customer satisfaction, then, you need to reduce the instances of frustration triggers. This means not making promises you can’t keep and being there when customers reach out.

To start, make sure you’re managing your chat invitations and availability. If a customer is invited to chat or sees a chat button displaying an ‘online’ message, they’ll be annoyed if it turns out no one is there to answer their questions. This is easily resolved by proper chat rule set-up. So, ensure you disable dynamic chat invitations when agents aren’t available. Likewise, set your chat button so that it either disappears or displays an ‘offline’ message when nobody is there to help.

Next, avoid common customer service frustrations once the chat has begun. For example, forcing customers to repeat themselves is a major frustration trigger that won’t help your live chat customer satisfaction. Re-explaining the same issue makes customers feel like they aren’t making progress towards a resolution, which can be infuriating.  Make sure you read and understand each message before replying. Use any pre-chat survey answers the customer has supplied. If they’ve already specified the problem in a survey, they expect you to know what it is when the chat is connected.

Finally, no matter what, stick to your word. If you need more time to fix the issue, tell the customer why, tell them when, and get it done. Getting a problem fixed sooner than expected is impressive, but missing the deadline you’ve given reduces live chat customer satisfaction. You’ll only frustrate customers who have waited patiently for help.

 

Step 3: Make it friendly and personable

The third step to boosting your live chat customer satisfaction is to personalise each session. Personalisation helps customers feel more engaged and invested with your support, and adds the human touch to your online service.

There are several ways that you can ensure that each live chat session is friendly and personable. First, ensure that a support session via live chat remains natural and conversational. Too many canned responses and ‘yes or no’ questions can make a chat session feel like a robotic webform. While such formats have their place in customer service, a cold, heavily scripted interaction won’t help you boost live chat customer satisfaction.

Agents should also use real images for their avatars, introduce themselves, and use the customer’s name. Doing so establishes a human connection through a digital wall. Live chat tools such as stored chat sessions, CRM integration, and real-time visitor tracking are also great for helping agents personalise each chat. Agents can see relevant customer details alongside the session, and tailor support accordingly. This also helps the customer feel important to the company – it says to them that you know and care about who they are.

 

Power up your live chat customer satisfaction

Like any tool, live chat software needs to be used correctly. For customer satisfaction, that means striking a balance between ‘quick’ and ‘quality’. Achieving high customer satisfaction comes from managing customer expectations, delivering on your promises and avoiding frustration triggers.

So, now you know how to boost your live chat customer satisfaction, are you up to the challenge? Try it out with a 30-day free trial of WhosOn.

 

Useful links

10 best practice tips for live chat queue management

Live chat poor practice: let's make live chat great again

WhosOn free trial