Businesses have realized that the key to their growth is delivering an exceptional experience throughout a customer’s journey. This will not only ensure customer retention but will also convert customers into brand advocates, who will then pull new customers to buy from them. A 2019 study of more than 34,000 consumers worldwide by Verint Systems Inc., the Customer Engagement Company, threw up some revealing numbers.
- 83% of consumers said that customer experience is a major factor in selecting their service providers
- 77% of consumers said that convenience is a major factor in selecting their service provider.
- Furthermore, 68% of consumers globally felt more loyalty towards brands that made it easy and convenient to engage with them.
It is no wonder then that organizations are investing heavily in implementing CX strategies that help deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Chat support is possibly the most important channel for any organization to provide real time sales and support assistance to its customers. It is also a medium customers are most comfortable with, given the widespread adoption of chat and Instant Messaging platforms. Therefore, it is crucial for organizations and their support teams to make delivering amazing chat support service their prime mission. Here are a few ways to ensure your chat support succeeds:
1. CONTINUOUS TRAINING FOR SUPPORT TEAMS
Chat or otherwise, the starting point for any support team is to have thorough knowledge of the product and/or service they are providing support on. Layered on the technical knowledge, another must-have is inter-personal skills or what are termed as soft-skills. Chat is an impersonal medium, which suffers from an inherent negative-bias, which means a customer starts their interaction from a defensive space. It is the agent’s responsibility to bring a customer to a place of ease and then engage proactivity with them to resolve queries to their satisfaction.
2. CONSISTENCY IN DELIVERY OF SUPPORT SOLUTIONS
Even a single bad experience can turn a customer away for life. Research shows that a dissatisfied customer will share his/her experience with atleast 9 other people, which can mean substantive damage to brand image and reputation.
3. MINDFUL OF CHAT ETIQUETTES AND GUIDELINES
The support team needs to be even more mindful of chat etiquettes in these times of social isolation, heightened emotions and low patience. Always start conversations with a positive tone, don’t keep the customer waiting for a response, use canned responses for faster replies but for specific standard queries only, humanize the conversation as much as possible to make a personal connect, use simple language and no short-forms or excessive use of emoticons, keep the conversation on point and maintain a solution-mindset.
4. POWER CHAT WITH STRONG TECHNOLOGY BACKEND AND OMNICHANNEL SUPPORT
For quick access to customer profile information, complete customer interaction history and real time information on customer queries. This will reduce resolution time, increase agent productivity and provide an enhanced customer experience.
5. CREATE A FEEDBACK LOOP FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
This helps in three ways. A follow up message lets a customer know that you care enough to ensure the issue has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. And if not, customer has a means to have it addressed. Second, it displays the self-evaluation and improvement mindset of the organization. Third, it helps measure agent’s performance against established KPIs and identifies areas that need improvement through further training.
Lastly, do not fall into the trap of benchmarking your support levels with those of your direct competitors. Because your customer is not. Rather, your customer is benchmarking you against the best customer experience they have received at any company and in any industry. So even if you are delivering a better experience than your direct competition, the customer may not consider it good enough.