Chat Dos and Don’ts
Now that you have made the important decision to add live chat to your business website, you want to incorporate the best practices so that you can attract web surfers and turn them into clients.
Current clients who have their questions answered promptly and appreciate your live chat feature are more likely to refer their family and friends to you.
In order to make your chat program a success, there are some definite dos and don’ts recommended by those who have experimented with the feature.
- Make it clear the hours that live chat is available. Then, be sure someone is available to chat during those hours. Some businesses offer chat 24-7. If you decide those hours work for you, then be sure your chat person is trained to answer the most common after-hour questions and how to respond when the answer is not known.
- Respond quickly to live chat questions. If consumers have to wait after they have begun to engage in live chat, you will lose them. They need to know they are receiving the promised immediate chat attention.
- Use typing indicators. This feature informs the user that your representative is typing a response. It keeps the attention of users when they know something is happening and they are not just staring at a blank screen.
- Strike a balance between personalizing the experience versus "creeping out" the users. For repeat visitors to your site about whom you have personal knowledge, you want them to be greeted warmly. You do not want to do it in a way that indicates you have a lot of personal information about them. This may make them feel their privacy is compromised, which will defeat the purpose of you trying to make them feel comfortable.
- Imagine you are talking to the person in person. Communicate as though the user is talking to you in person and respond in the same way.
- Do not be intrusive. Allow browsers a bit of time to look around your site before offering to chat. Dropping down the chat box the second a consumer clicks on your site can be annoying and drive consumers away.
- Do not misspell words or use improper grammar. You need to be sure your chat representatives know basic grammar. For example, they should not confuse "their" with "there" or "your" with "you’re." Consumers report this is one of their biggest pet peeves. It undermines their confidence in your site when these types of errors are made.
- Do not be impersonal. Avoid one or two word answers which may be interpreted as rude. Answer in complete sentences.
- Don’t be afraid to transfer the user to someone who may know better how to provide the information. Just be sure the user knows you are making the transfer and how long it will be before another chat person will be with them.
When you customize your live chat approach to meet the needs of your specific business or professional practice, while keeping in mind important dos and don’ts, it will not be long before you reap the benefits of using this technology.