10 Common Mistakes in Live Chat

Without a doubt, many businesses are starting to recognize the various benefits of live chat support. Live chat has taken customer experience to the next level allowing customer reps to immediately address the concerns of their customers. Statistics show that more than 40% of customers prefer live chat over other modes of communication. In addition, 73% of customers consider live chat as the best form of communication with a company. 

When done right, live chat support can help companies increase their revenue. According to Crazy Egg, 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support. Aside from that, 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. 

Despite the growing popularity and many benefits of live chat, many companies are unable to leverage the advantages of live chat software. In this article, we shall take a look at the common mistakes every business should avoid when using live chat and how to avoid them. 

  • Not Responding Immediately 
  • Long Waiting Time 
  • Making Customers Repeat Their Problems 
  • Lack of Human Interaction 
  • Not Following Up With Customers 
  • Redirecting Customers To Another Channel 
  • Using The Wrong Tone 
  • Poor Handling of Customer Issues 
  • Making It Hard For Them To Reach You 
  • Skipping Peak Chat Times 

Let’s discuss them in detail.

1. Not Responding Immediately

Live chat was designed to provide agents with a channel where they can instantly respond to customers. 79% of customers choose live chat because they want to receive an immediate response. However, one of the biggest mistakes you can make with live chat is not responding immediately to your customers. 

The faster your agents respond to customer queries, the better it will be for your online reputation. According to Forbes, the average live chat response time is 46 seconds. More than that and the customer becomes impatient. Even if the customer service representative does not have an answer to the query yet, letting the customer know that their message has been received will put them at ease.

So how can you fix this problem? You can put an auto-response feature in your live chat software. Using AI integration, you can even include a FAQ into your chatbot so your customer can search for the solution themselves. It can provide clients with the support information they need even without a live agent.  

2. Long Waiting Time 

In connection with #1, customers expect an instant response after the initial chat. They also expect a swift response during the actual conversation. Studies show that the chances of making contact with a prospect decrease by 10 times after a wait of 5 minutes.  While customers want an immediate response, they still prefer quality over speed. For this reason, your live chat agent should strike a balance between stellar support in the shortest possible time. 

Customers don’t want to wait for a long time. They consider it as poor customer service if you keep them waiting for a long time. Statistics show that a lot of customers prefer a maximum of 10 minutes for replies or support. If you really need to keep them waiting, inform them how long it will take for you to resolve the issue. On the phone, customers may already be used to waiting but it might not be the case with live chat. 

The problem may be that your chat support agents are already overwhelmed with the number of inquiries that they are not able to answer queries right away. One possible solution could be to have a dedicated chat team on hand to keep up with the number of support requests. Finally, open self-service channels for customers to be able to help themselves with their concerns. 

3.  Making Customers Repeat Their Problems 

This can be a source of frustration among customers as it is also a waste of time for them. According to Hubspot, 33% of customers become frustrated when they need to repeat the issue to many agents. Not only is it a waste of time but is also an indication of how disorganized or unconcerned you are about customer satisfaction. This is also a quick way to lose business to your competitors. 

Making customers repeat themselves can create an obstacle to creating frictionless brand experiences. Customers want to tell you what they need but they don’t want to tell it to you twice or thrice. They wouldn’t mind re-explaining their need especially if the issue is more complicated than others. Also, the concern might require the approval of an authorizing officer or another expert to step in. But what is frustrating is if your agent seems not to be listening well enough. 

To prevent this mistake from happening, train your agents to be good listeners. They should learn the art of active listening. They should be able to understand what the customer is saying, respond to and reflect on what is being said and retain the information for the future. Active listening in live chat is about paying attention to the whole story. 

4. Lack of Human Interaction

It is expected that the global automation market would reach $8.42 billion by 2027.  Currently, 51% of companies use marketing automation and 58% plan to adopt the technology. Chatbots continue to be on the rise. Automation frees up agents, saves time, and improves your bottom line. But while automation offers various benefits, nothing can replicate the touch of a human customer service rep. 

Too much reliance on automation is one of the biggest live chat mistakes you can commit. In most cases, customers still prefer chatting with a real person, not a robot. This can result in a drastic increase in resolution times and difficulty in forming genuine customer relationships. On the other hand, connecting the customer to a human representative offers faster issue resolution. 

While you should not overlook the benefits of chat automation, never commit the mistake of replacing human interaction. Work on improving the efficiency of live chat and human interaction for a better customer experience. Chatbots collect essential customer information and provide a summary of the issue at hand. This will allow the live chat agent to have the specific information they need to help the customer address their needs. 

5. Not Following Up With Customers 

Following up with a customer is key to improving the whole customer experience. Maybe your customer has already called the hotline or sent an email. Ignoring previous interactions with a customer whether willingly or unwillingly is a common live chat mistake that you should avoid. There’s a good reason why you should follow up with a customer after a conversation. It will help you determine the weak points of your live chat and improve your customer service accordingly. 

By following up with customers, you show them that you value and care for them. It increases the likelihood that customers will stay loyal to your brand. Offering excellent customer service is vital to customer retention. 42% of customers will abandon a brand that does not have real-time customer support. According to American Express, happy customers will share their positive experiences with and refer up to 11 people while dissatisfied customers will share their negative experiences with 15 people. 

To leverage the benefits of follow-up, don’t let too much time go by before you follow up with customers. The faster you reach out, the greater the chance you will win them over and create a memorable impression. If a customer reaches out to you, ensure that you return their call or email to them as soon as you can. 

6. Redirecting Customers To Another Channel 

Can you imagine the frustration of being asked to call another department after you have already made a detailed explanation of the problem to a live chat representative? You should avoid making this mistake with your customer at all costs.  

Yes, redirecting customers to another channel may be necessary as it may be part of an escalation process. As such, they may need to call different numbers, send emails or complete forms which could become very frustrating. 

To fix this mistake, you need to review internal policies and procedures to allow agents to resolve all types of problems. By doing so, they will be able to offer solutions right away without them waiting for the authorized person to become available before the concern is resolved. 

7. Using The Wrong Tone 

Most live chat agents are stuck with reading scripts and they tend to ignore what customers are saying. Most likely you have a voice and style that you use in your marketing messages. It’s okay to follow your brand of messaging but there are times when you need to get out of that box and improvise. 

What then is the right tone for talking with your customers? It should be friendly but professional. This means that it should not be too formal or too informal. Also, avoid being robotic as this could annoy your customers. According to the Global Consumer Customer Service Report, most customers still prefer talking to a human person for their customer service needs.  

You should display empathy by speaking the tone of the customer. Always strive for a balance of brevity and clarity and avoid using jargon and industry lingo as much as possible. Finally, never assume that the customer knows your product or service and/or that they are tech-savvy. 

8. Poor Handling of Customer Issues

This is one of the biggest mistakes you should avoid in live chat support. In today’s business world, the name of the game is customer experience. Whichever company delivers the best experience wins the customer. Gone are the days when price or product was the basis for customer loyalty. In fact, studies show that 86% of customers are willing to pay more to get a great customer experience.  

Customer issues arise because there is often a disconnect between customer expectations and service delivery. It may mean that customers may have incorrect assumptions or unreasonable expectations or that something is wrong. Whatever it is, you should always give credence to customer complaints. Unhappy customers demand a speedy response from your end. They wouldn’t mind if it takes you a day to respond as long as you respond. 

First, hear the customer out in order to identify the root cause of the problem and then find the solution. Discuss the resolution with the customer and follow up if the solution you recommended actually solved the problem. It may also be worthwhile to revert back to the customer after a few days to make sure that everything has indeed been resolved. Lastly, monitor any satisfaction ratings as negative feedback may mean that there are still issues left to be resolved. 

9. Making It Hard For Them To Reach You 

Customers turn to live chat because the agents can provide them with an immediate response to their concerns. Before they are able to contact live chat support, most companies make customers fill up pre-chat forms to gather information such as the customer’s name, email address, and reason for contacting customer support. However, making them fill up long pre-chat forms can be time-consuming and may lead to frustration on the part of the customer. 

Pre-chat forms can be helpful in routing customers to the right agent. While collecting customer data is essential in order to deliver a top-notch customer experience, it doesn’t make customers feel like they are being forced to provide it. In reality, however, it may prevent customers from being able to contact you. 

As much as possible, keep your pre-chat forms to the minimum. Reduce the amount of information you will collect to the most essential: name, email, and location fields are enough. Don’t make it hard for customers to contact you or else they might end up contacting your competitor instead. 

10. Skipping Peak Chat Times   

Some customers reach out to you because they have a time-sensitive issue and it can be frustrating for them if they cannot contact a live chat agent during their time zone. Customers may be working at a time different than yours. How will they be able to resolve their issue if there is no agent who will handle their concern? 

While there are customers who will contact you during regular business hours, others may be reaching out to you at night or at odd hours. Not being able to receive help when they need it the most will have an impact on the customer experience. If there is no one who will be able to address their concern, they could end up finding the answers somewhere else. 

Make sure to adjust your support availability to accommodate customers who will reach out for support in a different time zone. Make your live support team available 24/7 or 24/6 so that you can still connect with customers with different working hours. 

Live chat is a preferred channel by many customers nowadays. However, you need to avoid committing these 10 mistakes to be able to leverage on its benefits. 

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