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Eight live chat customer service tips

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Last editedMar 20233 min read

According to live chat statistics, nearly half of online shoppers will abandon their purchase if their questions aren’t answered promptly, and 73% report being satisfied with live chat alone. The research is clear; adding live chat to your website can boost trust and conversion rates all at once. Yet to be effective, live chat needs to be properly implemented as part of your customer strategy. Here are our top eight live chat customer service tips to help you make the most of this technology.

1. Keep a conversational tone

There’s a big difference between a live customer service chat and an automated chatbot. You don’t want your customers to think they’re talking to a robot, so avoid overly sales-y speech and canned responses. Start the conversation with a neutral greeting and adjust your conversation patterns to match the customer’s tone and energy. Ask for the customer’s name and personalize your chat wherever possible to earn trust.

2. Show that you’re listening

During a live conversation, we often make noises or nod our heads to show that we’re listening. In the absence of non-verbal cues like facial expressions and eye contact, it’s important to provide subtle cues in your chat to show that you’re still there with the customer. It can be as simple as an “I see” or “yes” here and there so that your customer knows you’re on the same page.

3. Be quick with your responses…

Many live chat customer service tips boil down to efficiency. Customers are motivated to use the live chat feature to get a speedy response to their questions. If you make them wait too long for a response, they will go elsewhere to complete the transaction or seek outside support. For complicated queries, you should aim to provide an answer within no more than 48 hours. Provide updates if there will be any further delay.

4. …But don’t be too quick

Within the chat itself, you don’t want to make it look like you’re following a script. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle the chat with natural pauses when you’re looking up an answer or searching for their order. If you respond too quickly, it breaks the natural, conversational flow you have going on.

5. Ask for more information

Don’t hesitate to ask for more information when you need it. Rather than rushing to finish the conversation with a patch job, dig deeper and show empathy. Make sure you’re really answering the question they’re asking, using tools like paraphrasing or a selection of options to make sure you’re getting it right.

6. Use a sense of humor (when appropriate)

If it seems appropriate to the situation, have fun with the conversation. If the customer makes a joke, it’s okay to respond with a “haha” or laughing emoji. This creates a more natural bond with your customers and reinforces the fact that they are speaking to a real, live, human.

7. Never say “I don’t know” 

Customers use live chat support for solutions. Naturally, customer support won’t have an automatic solution to every problem, but the worst thing you can do is shut down the chat with a blanket “I don’t know” when asked a question. Instead, listen carefully to the problem, take notes, and inform the customer that you’ll get back to them shortly with a solution. Transfer the chat to another specialist if available to provide the best possible experience.

8. Don’t end the session too quickly

Once you’ve provided a solution or answered your customer’s query, don’t automatically end the chat session. Be sure to ask if there’s anything else you can assist your customer with. It’s not uncommon for one question to lead to another, and you don’t want the customer to feel cut off from the conversation. Take your time and ensure you’ve answered all queries.

By following these eight live chat customer service tips, you’ll improve the customer experience on your website. Maintaining open lines of communication both online and off provides new connections and improves brand loyalty no matter the time zone.

GoCardless can also help improve communication with customers by providing a secure, convenient payment option. Eliminate awkward conversations about delayed or missing payments by collecting payment directly from customer bank accounts. GoCardless also integrates with over 300 partners, including ecommerce platforms for a streamlined checkout process.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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