Why is it so hard to do outstanding customer service?
It might seem that it’s all about the speed and quality of our responses. But is it? Still, most of the companies fail to deliver the highest customer service standards and end up providing just mediocre customer support.
The reason for this is that it’s not only about the way you provide support to your customers. It’s also about the experience your customers are having whenever meeting your brand, including speed, quality, pricing, or personal attitude.
I have recently booked a flight with Ryanair and by mistake entered wrong name information when buying the ticket. After realizing it a few minutes after paying for the booking, it took me less than a few minutes to connect with Ryanair’s live chat customer support, which was amazingly quick.
After a short explanation, I learned that changing the name on the ticket will cost me about $15. I made the mistake entering the wrong name when booking the ticket so the payment seems rational.
But will my experience with Ryanair’s customer service remain in my mind as outstanding? Definitely not. After all, I had to pay $15 additionally, even though I reported the issue straight after the purchase.
The modern technology can be extremely helpful in our customer support efforts and it’s likely impossible to make it work right without the proper tech in place. However, having all the technology, like live chat software ready, it’s also about going the extra mile, every day and every minute to make your customer’s experience better and better, sometimes coming at the expense of your and your business’s interest in the short term.
- Top brands providing customer service
- Top brands using live chat software
- Using live chat in customer service
- 1. Set up a live chat service
- 2. Set up a live chat team
- 3. Configure live chat service
- 4. Set automated invitations
- 5. Set availability hours
- 6. Automate chat conversations
- 7. Connect other support channels
- 8. Follow-up after the chat
- 9. Provide discounts after the chat
- 10. Set up notifications and respond as quickly as possible
So before we look into the ways of using technology in your business, let’s look at some of the top brands providing top customer service.
Top brands providing customer support the outstanding way
These brands are pretty known for the way they provide customer support to their customers.
Amazon’s most important motto has always been putting customer’s interest first which is visible in every small step it takes in its daily work. There are not too many companies ready to put their operational effectiveness at risk, sending the new product to the customer before they even receive a return.
So how does Amazon’s customer service stand out?
- Whenever your product is broken, Amazon provides you with a new one before you send the current one their way
- 24/7 live chat with any issue solved immediately on chat
Zappos story has been quite a famous one when it comes to customer service thanks to providing customer support even outside of the company’s core operational activity.
So how does Zappos customer service stand out?
- Zappos will recommend a product at competitor’s website if it’s not currently available in their stock
- Zappos will order a pizza for you if you ask (at least that’s the story Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO tells in his biography)
Shopify, despite being a purely online business, without any physical product deliveries also stands out with great customer experience, mostly thanks to the number of channels it uses to provide the right customer support.
So how does Shopify customer service stand out?
- Shopify uses multiple easily available channels of customer support – phone, Twitter, live chat & e-mail
- Shopify can change any setting in your store logging to your store remotely
Brands using live chat in customer service
Live chat is one of the most popular channels to deliver customer service quickly and easily. It’s simple to set up (at least technically), readily available and most importantly, allows for some degree of automation.
It’s no surprise that live chat has become a channel commonly used by retailers, service companies or early-stage companies with about 33% of startups using live chat software in their customer support.
Here, I’d like to show you some of the most known brands using live chat to serve their customers better.
Apple uses live chat as one of its customer support channels. Its live chat is dedicated to their current customers only, so you won’t be able to chat about the company’s offer or promotions. To start the chat you’d need a serial number of your device and in turn, you’ll be provided with the technical support related to any issue you’re currently having.
Ryanair is one of the few flight carrier companies focusing on live chat as their key customer service channel. To start the conversation, you’d need to provide Ryanair a few information about yourself, including your name, email and booking number.
Asking for technical support related to the fresh game you’ve just bought is not the most common thing. Still, Electronic Arts, one of the largest game producers provides immediate live chat support service in anything related to your game issues.
How to use live chat to make your customer service an outstanding one
So how to make use of modern software technology to make your customer service above average and end up in the top 1% within any industry you’re operating in?
Let’s take a look at the way of using live chat software to make it work right in your business.
1. Set up a live chat service
On the market, there are quite a few different live chat solutions you could choose from when setting up a live chat service.
When choosing the right live chat software for your specific business needs, it’s worth to consider a few factors:
- Software’s integration with the platform you’re currently using, like WordPress, Shopify, WIX or Weebly
- User-friendliness and features meeting your specific needs, like mobile apps or reporting
- Automation potential – ability to automatically engage your visitors in a conversation and to automate some of your responses
One of the nicest live chat solutions available on the market is Tidio Chat – a live chat software sold in a freemium model. It provides all the most important features for free, with the unlimited number of automation options available in the premium plans, starting at $15/mo.
Tidio, just like other software solutions is easy to install as the only thing it requires you to do is copying and pasting the code on your website. It definitely stands out from any other software solutions when it comes to messages’ automation. With the drag and drop editor, you will easily customize the messages sent to your customers, depending on their website activity, like an abandoned cart or when a visitor stays on your website for a longer time.
2. Set up a live chat team
Once you have your live chat software ready and in place, you need to set up a team who will be able to handle any requests coming from your users & customers.
So how to learn how many people will you actually need on your team to handle the chat questions and requests?
Well, that mostly depends on the traffic you currently generate at your website.
Let’s say that about 20% of your visitors are actually interested in your product. Out of this likely, no more than 10% will be interested to start an actual chat with you.
So having a 100k monthly traffic at your website it would mean:
100k * 20% * 10% = 2k chats per month = 70 chats per day.
If you’re not aiming for an extremely efficient customer service team, we can say that an average person can handle about 10 chat conversations an hour. So having this amount of chat volume, we can say that you’d need to hire one additional person for handling chat requests coming to your business.
TIP! After setting up a chat you should keep monitoring the results and statistics of your chats and manage any workload within your team. E.g. let’s say you see your number of chats is increasing and the reaction time of your agents slow down. It’s the right signal to consider hiring additional live chat support for your business.
- Should you offer 24/7 live chat support?
That highly depends on the nature of your business. If you’re running an international, high-volume e-commerce store it might be worth to consider setting up a constant 24/7 live chat support. However, if you’re only selling on the local market, it might not be required to provide live chat support all the time. Still, you’d be able to collect your visitor’s email address and respond later, via email.
- Should you have a dedicated customer support representatives handling live chat queries only?
That depends on your chat volume, however, it might be smart to provide your team with some degree of flexibility, letting them handle live chat, email & other channels of communication. This might be helpful in keeping your team’s motivation high so that they’re not bored spending time only chatting with customers.
3. Configure a live chat service
Well, having a live chat installed at your website and hiring a team ready to provide customer support is a good start but it’s only the beginning of your live chat customer support journey.
Now it’s the time to make it all work, with:
a) your team providing outstanding customer service via live chat
b) configuring your live chat support in the right way to help your customers and to support your agents in their job
So what are the recipes to providing a top-notch customer service? According to Bill Hogg from customerservicemanager.com some of the things worth remembering about are:
- Always go beyond the minimum to make your customers love you
If there’s a real problem, and you can do just a little more to make a customer’s day, he or she is going to remember it.
- Listen to your customers
Don’t assume you know what they want. They may have some good things to say, even if they’re not experts.
Call or email after a problem’s been dealt with, or after a customer has received a particularly big order, to find out how things went.
Training your team on providing support is 80% of the job but it’s way easier to do it using the right software and technology in place. So let’s see how to set up live chat to help you in your customer service issues.
4. Set automated chat invitations at the right moment, engaging your visitors
A person browsing through your website might not be looking for live chat customer support but sometimes he or she might not even know they actually need one.
You can set up a non-invasive chat invitation trying to engage your visitors into the conversation at the right moment.
Remember that every chat conversation increases your chances to sell your product or service. According to Emarketer, your customer will be more likely to return to your store once they actually engage with you using live chat.
Inviting your customer to chat will likely increase the number of your chats.
- When should the chat invitation pop up?
Chat invitation should not display right after the visitor comes to your website. You’d better let your visitor get familiar with what you actually offer. A good recommendation would be +15 seconds.
- What should be included in the copywriting of chat invitation?
That highly depends on the type of your business but remember your goal is simply to engage the conversation. You’d better use something simple like: “Can I help you in finding a product?” or “We’re available, chat with us now”.
- Should I set different chat invitation for different subpages?
Personalizing your invitation, depending on the current website browsed by your visitor might be a smart strategy. E.g. you could use an invitation: “Are you looking for any specific size and color?” on one of your product pages. But you’d need to test if it works in your case. Sometimes, generic chat invitation might be as effective as personalized one.
5. Set availability hours for your team
It’s great when your team is available to chat 24/7. But likely, you will need to set the time when your team is & isn’t available to chat.
You can do it by setting up pre-defined availability hours. After this time, your chat window will be switched to offline and chat will either switch to bot, responding to the customer questions automatically or will simply attempt to collect the visitor’s email address to respond later.
6. Monitor the chat conversations and automate your answers
By looking at the responses of your chat agents, you will easily identify some repeated answers and automate them using bot feature.
Wondering how specifically would you automate your responses? Let’s look at some of the example automation you could use in your business:
- Provide your customer with the pre-defined most popular questions to trigger specific answers
Use the bot feature to let your visitors quickly ask the most frequent questions simply by clicking on the button.
- Autoreply to missed conversations
Whenever you fail to reply to your customers, set up an automation to respond automatically and collect your visitor’s email address to respond later.
- Automatically provide a discount for returning visitors
Caring about your current customers is crucial to your long-term success. Why not automate offering discounts to your returning visitors/customers?
There are many ways to automate responses to your customers but the way you decide to do this will be highly dependent on the specificity of your business.
7. Connect different support channels and provide multi-channel customer support
Today, customers will get in touch with your brand on multiple different levels.
Live chat on your website is one of the options but customers might also want to reach you via FB Messenger, email or Twitter.
With today’s live chat technology, you will easily connect your live chat service to other channels like your Facebook fan page or mailbox.
You’d then be able to use your live chat software as the main communication center for your business.
8. After any conversation and closed case, follow up and ask for feedback
Your live chat conversation is only the beginning of the relationship with your customer.
When you see your chat volume increase, it might be difficult for you to maintain the right level of customer satisfaction.
It’s important to implement the best feedback collection processes right from the start. No matter whether your customer actually responds to your question, he/she will always feel appreciated for being asked for feedback, that’s what actually builds your outstanding customer support in the long-run.
How to make it work in an automated way? You can integrate your live chat service with MailChimp, setting up a follow-up message to the customers who join your mailing list after the conversation.
9. Provide discounts and promotions to customers after the chat
Use the chat opportunity to bring your users back to your website.
One of the great chances to do this is offering a discount after a specific period of time, e.g. 2 weeks.
This can not only help you sell more of your products and services but most importantly can likely trigger a positive reaction from the customer feeling special and receiving a discount.
10. Set up notifications to respond as quickly as possible
Sometimes, we get lost in our daily tasks and duties and it’s not difficult to forget about chat and customer support.
That’s why it’s essential to stay updated about any new messages, no matter if working on mobile or desktop.
Use notifications to not miss any chats and make sure you respond to any queries as soon as possible.
TIP!It’s not only about quick responses. If you need to do more research regarding your answer, just tell your customer that you’ll be back in a minute and take your time to find the right answer to the question.
Start providing outstanding customer service, today
If you’re serving B2B customers, it might turn out that your customers also have live chat software installed on their website.
Use it to your advantage and connect via their live chat and ask for feedback using the live chat service after the conversation. It can be much quicker then writing an email.
The sooner you start providing outstanding customer support, the quicker you’ll see the effects. Building outstanding customer service takes months or even years but it’s definitely worth the effort. After all, how your customers feel during every touchpoint if your brand will finally be one of the key factors when deciding to pay you the money for anything that you’re offering.
Today’s technology provides us with the right tools and solutions to make it work well in your business. Actually, 77% of businesses claim they won’t make a purchase if there is no live chat support available at your website, even if they don’t actually use it.
Use live chat software to help you automate some of your tasks and unify customer support channels. Save time, go home early and see your business grow with outstanding customer support and modern cloud technology.
This article was supported by Tidio Chat, one of the live chat software providers
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