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7 common mistakes to avoid with your live chat support

Andrej Csizmadia

Andrej Csizmadia

Last modified on November 5, 2020 at 8:45 am

agen providing live chat support to customers

Live chat support is one of the most effective ways to boost customer engagement. If controlled in the right way, it provides considerable and sustainable increases in conversion rates and overall consumer satisfaction. 

However, there’s a problem. Writing and communication mistakes may have a bad effect on how people see you. When receiving a message full of errors, whether in sales mail, live chat, or business proposals, a customer will assume you are not reliable and worth their trust. That’s the reason why you bring them to your competitors. 

This article below gathers 7 common mistakes that you should avoid in your live chat support, which can improve your customer service significantly.

Why should you add live chat support to your customer service?

In the digital world, it seems to be not enough to just put the information on your site and wait for customers to visit. Customer service is the most critical element, and live chat can bring your business to a higher level. 

As you’ve probably known, businesses and customers have conflicting opinions on superior customer service. Whereas 80% of companies assume that they offer awesome experiences, only 8% of clients agree. 

Besides, as 79% of customers love real-time communication, including a live chat option to your landing page could improve engagement and drive more leads and conversions. 

Clients prefer live chat because of instant response. And according to eMarketer, 63% of customers want to revisit a website that supports live chats. Ultimately, live chat is a vital element of business growth and smart lead management. 

7 common mistakes to avoid with your live chat support

most common live chat mistakes

1. Lack of instant response

Making the customer wait for a reply is one of the typical customer support mistakes on any support channel. As the average live chat reply time is 46 seconds, anything more than a minute will lead to customer impatience. 

Even if a supporter hasn’t answered a question, just ensuring their message has been received – and offering an estimated reply time – can make customers feel comfortable. 

However, how can businesses offer immediate live chat responses and express the image of a thriving company without spending on hiring and training more support agents?

How can we fix: Auto-response message 

Auto-response chat messages offer instant responses to customer inquiries, making sure that support has got the answer and is finding a solution. 

Canned messages are crucial for retaining customers for your business, which can deal with common issues without the presence of a live agent. 

Pre-made responses can be:

  • Hi, how can I help you?
  • Your support request has been received. An agent will support you in 5 minutes.
  • Our live chat support hours last from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM every day. Please send your request again then or make a phone call to your customer service phone number. 

While pre-made messages are convenient, they’re not always the right choice. When overused, they can make customers feel like your customer service staff is not listening. 

Let’s look at a made-up chat below:

Customer: Hi, I made an order on July 2nd, but I see that it has not been delivered. It is now three days late. Can you show me the order status? My order number is 235-56214
Bot: Hello, thank you for reaching out to your customer support department! What can we assist you with today?

Here the customer has already told their problem and has even given a specific order number. The above conversation is an annoying and unhelpful approach to customer support. 

In addition to canned responses, you can utilize incredible AI-powered chatbots to support your customer better. Artificial intelligence text analysis and Natural Language Process tools flip through the customer’s message and search for specific words that contain clues about the nature of the request. 

The words like “order number,” “delivered,” “late,” and “order status” can be found by an AI bot, which can offer a better reply:

Bot: Hi, thank you for contacting our customer service department. We're very sorry to hear that your order is off-scheduled. We are checking your order status now. 

Moreover, it is necessary to learn more common customer service AI chatbot questions to have a more efficient self-service. 

2. Making customers repeat their issues

customers repeating their issues

HubSpot research shows that more than 30% of customers feel most frustrated with customer service when they have to repeat their problems to many agents. 

That not only wastes the client’s and agent’s time but also expresses your company as disorganized and your company customer service representatives as those who don’t concern about customer satisfaction. 

Furthermore, good customer service refers to conversing with customers on the chat platform they want, such as SMS messaging, website chat, or social media messaging

Agents should continue the conversation exactly where they left off with a client without regard to the channel they use. 

How can we fix: Unified agent views and saved chat history

To prevent clients from repeating themselves, all support agents who can manage a ticket request need real-time conversation updates and omnichannel communication

That means that every agent is able to see the communication’s progression, with any extra ticket notes past agents have made. Hence, no matter who is communicating with the client or which platform they’re using, they know precisely what happened, which approaches have already been tried and can find the complete chat history for more information. 

Chat history should be saved in the cloud for at least 31 days after the first contact – because, in addition to offering context, these transcripts enable managers to assess agent performance. 

Support communication that began on a mobile phone may finish on a desktop screen. Be assured that conversion updates are synced in real-time on any device as well as various channels. 

3. Wasting customer’s time

hourglass and coins

Customers reach out to your live chat as they need immediate answers and don’t want to wait for a long time. Therefore, wasting their time can have a bad impact on your brand reputation. A study indicates that 20% of Gen Z would stop using a brand if it takes too much time with live chat support. Hence, before launching this feature, ensure you have enough resources to offer a high-quality service. 

Here are some factors that can worsen your live chat’s quality:

  • Making a client wait for answers
  • Hurrying up to end a live chat while the client still has inquiries
  • Asking them for the details you should already have
  • Passing them to other support agents
  • Making them repeat their issues

Although customers want quick answers, they still prefer quality to speed. That’s where you should have a balance: offer excellent support but in a comparatively short time. Focus on quality instead of quality, and bear in mind: every agent has their limit of the number of chats they can take care of. 

How can we fix this 

What you need to do first to solve this problem is to figure out how long is too long. As mentioned earlier, customers expect live chat replies within 46 seconds on average. Nevertheless, it is necessary to note that this reply time varies depending on each representative. 

Rather than relying merely on general statistics, allow customer service agents access their data, such as chats per month, chat duration, chats per agent, missed chat, messages per chat, and first response time. 

Customer support staff should always remember that their customer’s time is valuable and need to find out exactly their customer’s demands. Live chat support systems have software that gives customer service agents necessary information about their clients. 

These representatives should leverage this information to solve their customer’s issues. This further reduces the need for them to ask for too much information or transfer the customers to another agent. 

4. Using too much formal language

Support agents often follow formal communication rules, including using business language, writing messages with a formal tone, and practicing impersonal word constructions. That can make the conversion slow and bulky. 

Moreover, this also eliminates personalization, increasing the client’s wasting time, and annoyance. While they open live chat for fast, clear answers, they receive lengthy sentences and complex word combinations. It stops them from interacting and makes them leave your site. 

How can we fix this 

Even though informal conversations are natural to customers, you cannot chat with them as if they are your close friends. There’s a fine boundary between professionalism and friendly manners, so try your best to have that balance in live chat support. 

Here’s how you can avoid being too formal:

  • Conversation indicators. Phrases such as “I understand,” “Yes,” or “I get” express your attention and confirmation. 
  • Include emojis (but don’t overuse them)
  • Use the words everybody knows and write short sentences. 
  • Avoid using slang and tech terms as much as possible.

5. Being too robotic

Companies often gain benefits from automation. Nonetheless, like anything in excess, it can have a negative effect on them. While it saves money, time and ensures uniformity, automation is not always the right case for live chat support. 

As automation requires automated responses from the chat agents, customers may feel like they are not chatting with an actual person. 

Even though automation offers consistent and controlled communication, it is essential to highlight that clients would love a personalized encounter instead of a robotic one. 

The personal reply often results in a higher level of support. Research done by Ovum and Oponium has pointed out that 52% of customers would appreciate a business if its customer service is more personalized. 

How can we fix this

  • Check all messages to your conversation partner before sending them.
  • Use real names and photos of your agents in live chat support for clients to see they are chatting with a real person. Generic names and stock images will lead to distrust. 
  • Call clients by names and ensure to include all the information that can help them grasp you’re joining in the communication. 

6. Missing the chance to extend help

live chat and social networks

Live chat gives businesses a chance to offer useful support to their customers. However, some chat agents may miss the chance to provide more help because of their reactive approach. 

For example, a client is looking for a product or service that is now out of stock in the business’s system. With the responsive approach, the agent answers that the item he’s finding is unavailable – end of the conversation. 

Nevertheless, if the product mentioned is only unavailable as an updated version will emerge soon, then this is a missed chance. 

How can we fix this 

It is true that responding to the customer’s inquiries is the main responsibility of agents; however, they should find some opportunities to assist the clients as well as the business. This can be down by focusing on training the skills and knowledge of live chat agents. 

They should always know changes in stock, product development, and other information that they can use as suggestions for customers. 

7. Poor spelling and grammar

Nothing terrible will occur if you have one or two typos in a chat message. We are humans, and we all make mistakes. However, if there are too many errors, how can your customer have trust in your business anymore?

How Can We Fix

You can try a couple of things below:

  • Add spell-checker to live chats. It is a good start to decrease typos.
  • Learn the most common grammar mistakes and try to avoid them.  
  • Check your message before sending it.

Besides, it would be best if you spent time recruiting the appropriate candidates for your live chat support, ensuring they have customer service skills and character traits that match your brand. Additionally, you also need to train them carefully so that they can deeply understand your products and support your values. 

Summary

Consider live chat a great tool to drive leads and avoid the common mistakes that may negatively impact your reputation and customer trust. What you should do is to track your live chat activities on a regular basis, learn from mistakes, and eliminate what’s not working. 

Another thing to remember is to follow up on a client when the live chat has finished. It’s your opportunity to build a positive experience and gain the customer’s loyalty. 

Guest Post Author

Ellie Tran is a content creator at Avada Commerce. She loves watching movies, baking and traveling. She always desires to learn more about marketing, especially content marketing, to gain helpful skills and knowledge.

Andrej Csizmadia

Andrej Csizmadia

Growth Marketer

Andy is Growth Marketer at LiveAgent. Previously, he studied International Relations and Business Diplomacy and was active as a volunteer in the world's largest student run organization, AIESEC. Running, music and reading books are his favourite free-time activities.

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