Customer service through chat is in a lot of ways different than the conventional face-to-face customer service. While chatting with the customer, it is essential to pay attention to a number of rules that apply especially to written communication. Words can convey a lot of meaning, but due to the lack of, e.g., physical presence and gestures, written messages can often be misinterpreted. Here is a four-point list to get you started with the chat – or to brush up your old skills!
1. Respond fast
Online customers, just like most other customers, want you to solve their problems fast. So, reply to your customer’s message as fast as you can, preferably a maximum of 30 seconds after you have received a message from the customer. Don’t let your customer wait alone for minutes while you search the website for them, but keep the customer constantly aware of what is going on.
2. Stick to the point
Keep in mind that in addition to fast answers, customers want answers that are direct and accurate. Make sure that your messages do not contain incorrect information or unnecessary promotion, and do not ramble. Stick to the point and provide your customer with a brief yet informative reply to their question.
3. Know your grammar
In a chat context, the customer service agent’s writing skills become essential. So, always double check your messages for grammar or spelling errors, rambling and run-on sentences, and jargon. Before you send a message to the customer, proofread the message for typos. Clear, well-written messages make you seem professional and convey information effectively.
4. Serve with human touch
In addition to, and in slight contrast with, carefully constructed written messages, a customer service agent must also pay attention to the personalization of the chat communication between them and the customer. It is important to make the customer feel unique, and that they are receiving human-to-human service from you. A chat customer is often expecting an automated response from a robot; surprise your customer in a positive way by bringing on the human touch! If your customer is using emojis, you may also use them – but with moderation. Do not make jokes, as they might come off as offensive to the customer. Finally, always remember to stay professional as you are the face of your company to the customer.
Good luck and have fun with online customer service!