Even more so than the phone, live chat gives customers the ability to interact with your business 24/7, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
In terms of brand perception, what you say on your website or in your emails has nowhere near the impact of a nowait, real time interaction with a real human being.
Think about it. When the customer walks away from an actual conversation – be it good, or bad – that’s what’s going to stick in their mind. And this makes chat one of your biggest branding opportunities.
But it’s important to get it right. Here are three antipatterns – things to avoid – that could be driving your customers away.
Hello? Anybody there?
Of those who prefer live chat, 79% said they did so because they get their questions answered quickly.
Worst thing ever when your customer has a simple question that needs answering right away? Clicking on a live chat button and having no one ready to help.
It’s realistic to assume that not all businesses have the resources to be ‘on’ 24/7, but if you have a live virtual chat option and no one is available to help, make it clear that’s the case, and send an automated FAQ email instead.
When your team is onhand to help, make sure the chat conversation doesn’t open in a new window. Rather, keep your customer within their query context (on their current page) and make the interaction with your business feel legitimate, i.e the chat window looks the same as your site, not like it’s coming from a third party provider.
Live chat is a powerful customer touch point, ripe for conversion. But if you’re not committed to be across it constantly, it’s an opportunity that will be lost, potentially doing more harm than good.
Can’t talk right now...
66% of customers who use live chat say that approximate wait time is a key factor in encouraging them to chat with a customer service rep.
Let’s face it. It’s obvious when the person you are chatting with is also chatting to 10 other people at the same time! Rather than saving resources, overloading your agents will only result in your customers feeling ignored and unwanted. So don’t make your customers wait to engage with you.
Here’s a top shelf example from booking.js. Aside from being completely onbrand and enticing to use (funny cat pictures win again), booking.js uses chat to enforce excellent, immediate service – regardless of where the customer is in the funnel:
Why it works: