One of the best things about live chat is its powerful ability to provide exceptional customer service. In fact, 73% of customers who engage with a brand’s live chat support report being satisfied with their experience. That’s the highest levels of satisfaction with any form of support!

But even if you realize that live chat is the best way to support your customers, you may not know how to properly execute. And, trust us, it’s all about the execution. That’s why it’s crucial you understand how to provide exceptional customer service through conversation.

Step 1: Planning

First and foremost, you need to plan to succeed. Most companies either A) have a limited staff who can provide support or B) limit the ways in which their existing staff can provide support. That is why it is absolutely crucial you plan to overcome those two limiting factors before implementing live chat service.

If neither is addressed, your live chat can suffer tremendously as a result, providing customers a worse experience than other platforms. Think about it – if you have limited staff, a customer may need to wait for a while before they are attended to. This could prove problematic especially during peak hours when many customers may be trying to reach support at once.

And, if you don’t properly equip your support staff, conversations may take longer than need be. Live chat is a real-time platform and delays in service are felt more than elsewhere. There’s no hold music or anything of the like, just the chat.

If responses are slow it may lead to a feeling of not truly being prioritized, that’s something you don’t want your customers to feel!

That’s why you need to first, analyze your traffic to find when your peak hours are, and second, equip your support staff with the tools they need to succeed. Don’t make them wait to ask permission for a discount or to request access to a document they may need for support. Enable your support staff and you’ll find they have significantly greater satisfaction numbers!

Step 2: Plan for text’s lack of emotion

Text lacks feelings. It’s very hard to convey text with emotion and this can be on of live chat’s few downsides. This is only magnified when live chat agents are instructed to talk in a way that’s not fitting for live chat. Corporate sounding messaging with little to no use of emojis can come off as cold.

Instead, allow and encourage the use of emojis with your support agents. A simple emoji can often help convey emotion in a way that many will struggle to do with words. Additionally, keep the tone light and playful. Live chat isn’t about sticking to some branded, pre-canned responses. It’s about engaging with the user in a way that’s dynamic and authentic.

Here are a few ways to make your live chat support authentic and filled with emotion:

  • Use emojis when appropriate
  • Avoid copy and paste responses
  • Stick to smaller messages with 2 sentences each max. (Can be overwhelming and feel copy and pasted)
  • Never send more than 3 messages at once. (Could be viewed as rushing the other side)
  • And don’t sweat a typo here and there. (They actually make the conversation feel more real for the other side)

Step 3: Make it easy for your reps

The third step in providing excellent customer service through live chat is to make it easy for your reps. We talked about empowering your reps above, but this is a bit different. Here, you’ll want to ensure that you provide resources for your reps to quickly consult with if they need to find the answer to something they may not know on off the top of their head.

That’s why it’s important that you have well-organized documentation on your products/services, billing information, general business info, and more. Ideally, every question that’s asked will have a well documented and easily find-able answer. This results in quicker response times, which is a must in a live chat environment.

Additionally, some of the information prepared in these documents can go on to be used in a public knowledge-base that may solve some individuals questions without the need for contacting support.

Step 4: Think about your live chat implementation

Another crucial step in providing exceptional customer service through live chat is to consider how your live chat is implemented onto your website, within your social channels, and anywhere else. How you set up a chat app for your business is just as important as having a dedicated sales and support team ready to man it.

Each business is different, which is why so many conversation platforms exist. But we’ll help you narrow it down. Here are all the factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a conversation platform for your live chat support:

  • Branding
  • Scalability
  • Integrations
  • Support
  • Personalization

Let’s take a closer look at these 5 factors starting with branding. Ideally, you want a chat support app that has the option to fully remove branding and replace it with your own. Some apps will still say something like “brought to you by app provider”. Find one which lets you remove that and replace all mentions of their brand with your own.

Then let’s talk about scalability. You want a conversation platform that can handle multiple simultaneous conversations and dozens of agents all at once without any hiccups. Best of all, it needs to be ready for those peak hours when customers rush in.

Next, there are integrations. A good conversation platform should be able to integrate with all of your social platforms, your helpdesk, and even your CRM. This will enable you to pull all relevant customer data during a conversation with ease and see any previous conversations the customer may have had with your support.

Then, we’ve got support. It’s always a good idea to look for a live chat app that provides 24/7 support as you never know when something could go wrong. If something breaks, or you need help figuring out how to do something, you can’t afford to put live chat on pause to wait for a response from your platform provider’s support team!

Lastly, there is personalization. And we aren’t referring to giving agents the ability to change the colors of their UI. We’re talking personalization for the customers you’re supporting. Things like pulling info on which products they’ve purchased in the past and using it to offer a tailored experience during support can help to create moments of delight. Personalized conversations with your customer will ensure a happier support experience which is why this is so crucial to have.

Conclusion

A lot goes into providing exceptional customer services through conversation. From the training you provide your team to the platform you choose to offer live chat support on, there are many considerations to make. But if you’re going to take one thing away from this, let it be the following:

The key to providing exceptional customer service, via live chat or any other medium, is to create moments of delight for your customer. Choosing a great conversation platform, training your team, providing resources, and planning for both text’s lack of emotion and logistical challenges are just some of the ways you can delight your customer. But, there are plenty of others out there waiting to be discovered.

And remember, no two businesses or customers are the same, so the ways in which you delight your customers may differ from those employed by another business! That’s why it’s crucial to lay a good groundwork and experiment with ways to bring happiness to customers after doing so. If you’d like to use Layer’s industry-leading conversational marketing platform to improve your customer service, request a FREE demo today!