Providing chat support is different from communicating with customers by phone or email. An effective chat support agent must possess several skills to communicate effectively with customers.
1. Possess excellent written communication skills
The ability to communicate effectively in rapid written form is a must for any chat support agent. They must communicate clearly and concisely, answering questions with correct answers with short interruptions.
Quick, direct, and concise responses to customer inquiries help increase satisfaction ratings. Chatting with a customer service representative who can’t communicate effectively leads to customer frustration.
Chat is a great channel for high-complexity and low-urgency issues. A verbal conversation with an agent can give a general idea of the problem, while an explanation via chat can present the problem specifically. The agent should be able to respond with simple and clear instructions with the right solution.
2. Proactively interact.
People who use chat support also think they can multitask while being answered. Chat support workers need to be engaged in conversation to ensure that questions are resolved quickly.
Multitasking is a great benefit for customers but can lead to problems for customer service agent who isn’t comfortable taking the conversation into their own hands. Your team should be able to keep the customer’s attention on the task at hand without looking too aggressive.
Many chat platforms also offer self-service options. However, customers may not want to use visual IVR self-service. This means your team needs to be able to chat with those who want to chat with a live agent.
3. Effective multitasking.
Successful support agents must be able to handle multiple chats simultaneously. In each chat room, agents need to answer customer questions, review account activities and records, troubleshoot problems, provide help documentation, and perform a variety of other tasks. This means they need to be able to handle multiple issues at once to be effective.
Many chat platforms offer tools that automate this type of workflow, but if a chat support agent doesn’t enjoy helping multiple customers at once, they’ll have a hard time succeeding.
4. Ask appropriate questions directly
Your chat support agents need to know how to handle the conversation. They don’t have the ability to rely on tone of voice or intonation, so you need specific and direct questions to get to the bottom of a problem quickly. Customers can also have a harder time getting their questions across, so your team needs to know how to get to the bottom of any problem.
Probing questions help move the conversation forward and can raise questions that the client may not fully express. If the customer doesn’t yell FIXED, it’s hard for chat support workers to understand how the customer feels. Taking a written tone, asking for clarification, and acknowledging frustrations ensures that the customer feels supported and helps alleviate frustration.
5. Quickly identifies pain points
Asking direct questions helps agents figure out difficult situations quickly and correctly. Chat agents need to be able to parse the root cause of a problem to identify specific customer issues.
While phone and email support can take the time to discuss the intricacies of a particular problem, a lengthy chat session can make it difficult to understand the problem.
6. Understand trigger statements
Chat support has its own challenges when it comes to reducing customer frustration. Chat support staff must understand how to read the conversation for possible expressions that indicate frustration or anger. When you’re working with a customer on a complex issue, it can sometimes be difficult to understand how to keep the conversation flowing.
This applies to the chat support worker as well. They need to know how to talk to the customer so they don’t say anything that could lead to further frustration.
7. Set expectations.
Dealing with multiple chat rooms, searching through customer accounts, and finding helpful FAQs or knowledge-base documentation can lead to long periods of silence. Chat support staff should make sure the customer knows what’s going on.
Your team should not shy away from providing ongoing updates. It is very helpful to let the customer know that it may take a few minutes to review their question. This ensures that the customer knows what’s going on and also helps avoid potential customer frustration.
8. Uses personality.
Being friendly on the phone is easy the tone of voice and intonation go a long way toward making the conversation more pleasant. Chat support workers must find other, more creative ways to bring their personalities to the conversation. This falls under the professional responsibility of written communication skills because chat agents need to know how to show their personalities without talking.
Depending on the brand, there may be some options: your team can use emojis, make jokes (if appropriate), or use a more conversational greeting to set the tone. Adding personality to the chat can change the tone of the conversation, but should always support your team’s ability to address current issues. Just make sure your team knows how to be both conversational and professional.
9. Does not require a script
Customer service scripts don’t work. Training a new employee in a branded tone has its benefits, but if a chat support agent needs a script to communicate with customers, he or she will never be able to provide high-level support.
Chat support agents need to be able to think things through, communicate with customers on their level, and improvise during the conversation. Pre-prepared responses can help speed up the greeting or goodbye process, but outside of these standard exchanges, the scenario is likely to feel robotic. Your agents should be able to communicate ideas effectively without having to write a script.
10. provide concise information
We know that people use chat because it’s quick and easy; being able to give correct, direct, and concise answers is an important task for a chat support person. Chat support staff members have only a few lines to answer a question before it disappears from the chat window. Long or incoherent explanations do not serve the customer.
This can be mitigated by emailing the customer a chat transcript after the conversation ends or by offering a follow-up call to address more complex issues. When a customer contacts the chat room, their goal is to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Find the right chat support agent
Chat support agents are a special type of person. They need to be able to handle multiple conversations at once and provide the best support to your customers. It’s important that you hire someone who can handle the volume of live chat and still provide good customer service.