Remember those days in the late nineteen nineties when the Internet was in its infancy, websites took a century to load, and the only way you could deliver top flight customer service was either through a Hotmail email account or on the phone? We have surely come a long way in the past two decades not only in the realm of customer service in general but also in the broader context of an all-encompassing Internet presence in particular. Live chat has, for instance, seamlessly transitioned from Yahoo chat rooms to millions of customer centric websites where it is regarded as the front runner among all the major customer service channels. Here are three ways in which you can leverage the power and potential of live chat software to personally connect with your customer communities not just only during the live chat session but for many years to come based on a sustainable relationship which you can and should develop with all your customers:
Personalize the Live Chat Experience
Every live chat interaction between your chat agents and your customers usually starts with a short pre-chat form. This form typically asks for the customer's first name and an email address. While the email address is a valuable asset to your CRM arsenal inn that you can use that email address for sustained customer engagement through an opt-in process, the first name provides your chat agents with an excellent opportunity to personalize the live chat interaction. Address your customers by using their first names during the course of the communication. You can also consider commencing the conversation with a welcome message and a reference to the city from where the chat has originated assuming this feature is active in your live help application.
Example: "Hi Mike, this is Daniel from (your company's name). How is the weather in Seattle?"
This will put your website visitor at ease instantly and set the stage for a really productive dialog. Your customer will take full cognizance of the fact that there is a real person on the other side of the magic window and not a prosaic computer simply auto responding to their chat messages.
Send a Thank You Note
Use the email address your chat visitors provide you to send out a personalize thank you message once the chat session concludes. The message can include:
- An opt-in link for a newsletter or an alert sign-up
- A link from where your customers can download 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 are currently using a customer relationship management application (CRM) such as SugarCRM, Salesforce.com, RightNow, or one of the products from the big guys such as Siebel, PeopleSoft, SAP CRM or Microsoft Dynamic CRM, ask your live chat software company if they have an app that integrates their application with the CRM solution of your choice. One of the key advantages of this integration is that it will help you personalize your chat communication further by providing your live chat operators with access to phone records, chat records, purchase history and any other data your CRM is set up to capture, classify and categorize.
Spruce up your Visitor Chat Window
Your live chat agents can not only personalize the user experience through targeted communication but can also connect with your customers through visuals. Encourage them to use smileys and emoticons provided to the by your live chat service. The picture of the agent or an avatar can also add that personal touch to the entire experience.
According to a consumer trends research study conducted by ATG Global, 90% of customers believe that live chat is beneficial to them in achieving 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 survey them.