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The idea of live chat is pretty simple, right? Someone comes to your website. They have a question. They chat in. Then someone on your team answers their question and hopefully moves them down the pipeline and towards a sale. However, despite the apparent simplicity, many companies just can’t quite seem to get live chat right. But with a few quick tips and some disciplined implementation, your team can be at the top of the game in no time. Here we share four essential techniques for live chat success.
1. Don’t Ever Leave the Site Visitor Hanging
Make sure your team understands that any answer is better than no answer! If a chat comes in and they don’t immediately know the response, that’s okay. At least acknowledge that the visitor asked a question or made a request. Then let them know that someone is looking into finding an answer. This response would be even better if the sales rep also lets the site visitor know how long it might take for them to get back to the site visitor. This kind of response sets the site visitor’s expectations, which helps them feel more patient and trusting.
2. Mirror the Tone of the Site Visitor
Each site visitor has different expectations for what a positive interaction with your website and company representatives means. Some people want to engage in small talk before moving on to business and others might just want to skip the pleasantries and find answers to their questions. How is a sales rep supposed to know which site visitor wants which experience?
According to Tom Jenkins from CloudTask, the answer is simple: mirror the site visitor’s tone. The visitor will be the one to start the conversation, so take cues from how they choose to interact. Their choice to be formal or informal, start with a question, or ask, “How are you?” will give sales reps a great idea about who the site visitor is and what kind of experience they want. Of course, always remain polite, but try to answer their questions as quickly and directly as possible in the way they would prefer.
3. Train Your Team With Examples
It’s great to tell your team all the different ways they should respond to live chat requests, but it’s even better to show them. Jenkins suggests preparing examples of good and bad live chat interactions to give sales reps a solid idea of what’s expected of them. You could even create some practice conversations for trainings so that sales reps can share their ideas on how to best approach a live chat, hopefully increasing the quality of live chat responses as a whole.
4. If Sales Reps Multi-task, Provide a Fail-safe
Like point number one said, the worst thing you can do is leave a site visitor hanging. Live chat is a fairly new territory for many sales reps, and companies have limited resources. Therefore, it’s common to have lots of people assigned to live chat while also taking care of their many other duties.
The problem with this is that it’s easy to let a live chat request slip through the cracks. If you can’t have a couple reps specifically dedicated to live chat, consider employing some type of backup system. That way all chats will always receive a response. Even if it’s just an automated response with an estimated wait time, any response at all is much better than leaving a potential client in the dark.
While you’re revamping your approach to live chat, keep this in mind: live chat is just one tool of many that you need to optimize to engage with your potential clients. Live chat is powerful. And when working in tandem with other communication strategies like phone, email, and social media, it works even better.
The good news? Many of these tips that will make you and your team successful with live chat also apply to those different communications approaches. Because at the end of the day, the goal is this: to make authentic connections between you and the client.