Remember these days in the late nineties when the Internet was in its childhood, websites took a century to load, and the only way you could deliver top-flight customer service was either via a Hotmail email account or by phone? We have certainly come a long way in the past two decades, not only in customer service in general but also in the wider context of an all-encompassing Internet presence in particular. Live chat, for example, has moved smoothly from Yahoo chat rooms to millions of customer-centric websites where it is considered to be the premier runner among all major customer service channels. Here are three ways in which you can take advantage of the power and potential of instant messaging software to personally connect to your customer communities not only during the live chat session but for many years to come based on a sustainable relationship that you can and should develop with all your customers:
Customize Live Chat Experience. Each live chat interaction between your chat agents and your customers usually begins with a short chat-form. This form usually requires the customers first name and an email address. While the e-mail address is a valuable asset to your CRM arsenal inn that you can use the email address for deepened customer interest through a sign-in process, the first name gives your chat agents an excellent opportunity to personalize interactive live chat. Address your customers using their first name during the communication. You can also consider starting the conversation with a welcome message and a reference to the city from which the chat originated, provided this feature is active in your live utility.
Example: Hi Mike, this is Daniel from (your company name). How is the weather in Seattle?
This will put your site visitors calm down right now and set the stage for a truly productive dialogue. Your customer will realize that there is a real person on the other side of the magic window and not a prosaic computer simply responding automatically to their chat messages.
Send a thank you report. Use the email address that your chat visitors give you to send out a personal thank you message when the chat session ends. The message may contain:
A login link for a newsletter or a warning sign. A link from where your customers can retrieve a copy of the chat transcript for reference purposes. A Call to Action (CTA) with an offer.
Integrate Live Chat with your CRM. If you currently use CRM (Customer Relationship Management Application) like SugarCRM, Salesforce.com, RightNow or one of the products of the big guys like Siebel, PeopleSoft, SAP CRM or Microsoft Dynamic CRM, your live chat software company asks if they have an app that integrates their application with the CRM solution of your choice. One of the most important benefits of this integration is that it helps you further customize your chat communication by providing your live chat operators with phone records, chat posts, purchase history, and other information your CRM is configured to capture, classify and categorize.
Spread up your visit window. Your live chat agents can not only personalize the user experience through targeted communication, but can also connect to your customers through visual images. Encourage them to use smileys and expression symbols provided by your live chat service. The image of the agent or avatar can also add the personal touch to the whole experience.
According to a survey of consumer trends conducted by ATG Global, 90% of customers believe that live chat is beneficial for them to achieve a positive and personal user experience. Implement these personalization tips and you will notice a visible increase in the number of customers who will award you a remarkable customer rating the next time you go out to investigate them.