Top 6 Live Chat Mistakes Retailers Should Never Make

Live chat support is easy to implement. Just contact your chosen live chat provider and you are all set in minutes. But this does not mean it’s easy not to screw up. How you approach an online shopper, how you respond to their question, how you guide them through the checkout process, how you deal with their unexpected issues – all this text-based interaction, if not handled the right way, can sabotage your customer relationship and stain your brand’s reputation.

If you want to make live chat work wonders for your online business, here are 6 common live chat mistakes to avoid when employing this communication channel.

1. Open chat box instantly

Many retailers let their chat window pop up right when one visitor land on their website. It’s neither encouraging nor engaging and may seem quite annoying for some people. Don’t ever send your potential customers away as such. They can come to your competitor e-stores after only a few clicks.

Let’s give them some time to click around and explore your product line. Chat invitation is only helpful when customers know they have an issue that needs assistance.

2. Misuse triggers

Trigger in live chat is incredibly powerful in breaking the ice and targeting the right customers. It only backfires when you unknowingly abuse its usage at a frequent level.

Here’s an example. You shoot out a trigger, like “How can I help you with this?”, when your prospect is viewing a product. And when they move onto another item just seconds later, another obtrusive “Are you buying for yourself or gifting” is thrown right in their face. It goes on and on every time they visit a new page until the customer gets annoyed and clicks away.

It’s like a sales person pestering customers around the shop, asking a bunch of “this or that”. It never works, especially when people have yet had a proper look at what’s on your shelves. So make sure you set your triggers wisely, since being annoying can unlikely gain you a transaction.

3. Being robotic

Top 6 Live Chat Mistakes Retailers Should Never Make

Avoid Robotic

Most chat operators have to deal with many visitors at the same time. It’s understandable that they tend to rely on lots of canned responses to speed up their replies. But at the same time, that would make their interaction with customer sound less human.

A fundamental purpose of live chat is to add a human factor to online support and make your service more trustworthy. Don’t ever go against that purpose with too many robotic responses. Sometimes, being witty with jokes like this Neflix customer service rep is much more welcome.

4. Ignore customers


Ignore customers

Live chat is where you promise customers a real-time service. Responses must be prompt and accurate. Don’t jump to implementing live chat support when you can yet guarantee this. It’s funny how some companies with insufficient human resource are still showing a live chat bubble that says 24/7 support. This is misleading and makes people question your brand’s credibility when they reach out to you and no one is really there.

If your live chat is already up and running, make sure all chat agents are well-trained on how to handle multiple concurrent chats effectively and decrease wait time for each chat session. Customer’s queries must be addressed in minutes, not after hours like fax or email. In case chat agents don’t have the answer right away, let customers know that they are working on it. Never make customers feel like they are being ignored or they will never come back.

5. Take feedback for granted


Take feedback for granted

Customer feedback is a precious gift and should be treated seriously. If people are having difficulty with your complex checkout process, there’s still room for improvement. If lots of questions are flying in, asking for a new payment or shipping method, it’s time to update your policy.

Chat agents must encounter many issues like those each day. It’s ideal to make it their responsibility to note down every valuable feedback and nurture the ability look beyond the issue itself. The ultimate goal is to see from a bigger picture and come up with better ways to improve the service or product features.

6. Hire unqualified support staff


Hire unqualified support staff

There is some belief that anyone can do support, that it’s an easy job, where all one needs to do is look into the available information and bring them to the customers. Working as a chat agent, however, requires more than that.

They must be a good typist. They must be multitasked to handle multiple chats. They must know how to express an appropriate tone for each situation in a totally text-based communication. They must be fully knowledgeable about the products. They must understand some basic marketing ideas to know which deal to suggest and which combo would sell well.

In all, they must be trained specially for the chat agent position, not someone you drag from the call center department who used to handle phone calls. Don’t underestimate this position by hiring unqualified staff. They are the direct line of contact with customers. And if this link of the chain goes wrong, anything would go wrong.

Hopefully this list would help you avoid the common mistakes and gear your live chat support to the success path. Did I miss anything? Feel free to comment below.

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