Live Customer Support Chat: Best Practices for Shopify Stores

Amir Mot

January 4, 2021

Level up your Shopify store’s live customer support chat. Discover best practices to increase customer satisfaction.

Live customer support chat is a common feature on Shopify stores — and with good reason. More than 70% of consumers prefer live chat to any other support channel, and 44% say having questions answered when buying products online is one of the most important features available on a website.

Customers can use live chat to resolve issues that affect the quality of their experience without waiting for a response to an email, being put on hold, or paying for expensive calls.  But simply implementing the live chat software isn’t enough. You need to prepare your team, train staff with the right skills, and understand consumer needs to make your live chat service effective.

Let’s dive in to the best practices for live customer support chat: 

1. Understand the power of language and tone.

Templates are a big help when dealing with one customer after another. They keep your interactions professional, coherent, and consistent. But don’t be afraid to tweak them and make them more human. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re chatting with robots. Consumers understand that businesses use customer support chat scripts, but they want to feel as if they’re being empathized with.

They want to feel as if agents are actually speaking to them. That means your interactions need to be personal and not just a series of canned responses.Think carefully about the language included in your customer support chat scripts. Use terms that are accessible, and easy for your audience to understand.It’s okay to be informal and friendly. You don’t need to adopt an overly formal tone to appear professional. 

And don’t bombard customers with jargon or blocks of text either. They can be hard to read. 

For example:

- Break long explanations down to be more digestible. 

- Walk the customer through a solution or process one step at a time. 

- Give them a chance to ask questions between directions and ask if they’re following along. 

2. Approach situations appropriately.

Support teams should know how to handle any situation in the most professional way. Here are a few professional chat tips to help:

3. Be empathetic.

Yes, handling customer complaints can be exhausting. Yes, you’ve heard a dozen people ask why their products still haven’t arrived already. It’s important to be empathetic during customer support chat interactions. If there’s a problem with an order, delivery, payment, or anything else, be apologetic. Be sincere. Be polite. That can go a long way to increasing customer loyalty and keeping customers on your side.

4. Keep customers informed.

Agents should communicate to customers when they will need to wait a period of time for  a resolution. In the customer's eyes it can be incredibly frustrating if an agent becomes unresponsive during an interaction. The customer may assume the agent has abandoned them, feel they are distracted and juggling multiple conversations at the same time. Tell them you’re looking into their problem and trying to find the best solution. Ask them to wait for a few minutes or as long as you need, but keep them informed frequently. Communicate what you’re doing so they understand you’re working on resolving their issue.

5. Gather the information you need before offering a solution.

Be sure you have all the information you need (order dates, addresses, costs, etc.) before providing customers with a solution. This may include checking past interactions and customer profiles for deeper insight.This reduces the risk of making silly mistakes and creates a better impression. Consumers may feel it’s your responsibility to gather the essential details, and not up to them to check that you have. Ask as many questions as you need to Identify the issue. Find the solution.

General tips for the best customer support chat:

1. Know your product catalogue inside out.

Comprehensive product knowledge is key to satisfying customer support chat. You will have to answer queries quickly for a convenient customer support experience. Consumers might be happy to wait a couple of minutes, but they want to know you understand the products your company is selling . Deeper product knowledge will make it easy for you to make valuable suggestions and resolve issues faster. That demands training and a comprehensive knowledge base available at all times.

2. Make helpful recommendations.

Be prepared to recommend similar or complementary products before or after a customer’s purchase. You might also offer advice on the best way to use goods, tell them where to find further assistance, and anything else that will contribute to their experience. 

3. Gather valuable feedback.

Live chat is a terrific way to gather feedback from customers. This might apply to products or the live chat itself. For example, a common technique is to ask for a rating at the end of an interaction. Usually, this involves assigning a quality score (1 - 10, stars, etc.) or a prompt to comment on the chat.  You may send a post-chat email to collect more detailed insights via a brief questionnaire. Just make sure the customer knows this is coming. 

4. Master your response and resolution times.

Timing is a core part of quality customer support chat. You should be readily available and responsive. If you offer 24/7 live chat support, for instance, your customers know they’ll be able to find help round the clock. But even with 24/7 live chat support, consumers don’t want to be left waiting. 

The average wait time for live chat in the eCommerce industry was 113 seconds (close to two minutes) in 2019. You need to structure your support to achieve the fastest responses you can, but that can be tough when your support team is struggling to keep up with demand. Fortunately, you can outsource with an on-demand customer support service such as Bradza to create a more cohesive team. This helps to reduce first-response times, improve resolution times, and boost customer satisfaction overall. This is ideal for a little extra support over busy periods, across the holiday season, and beyond.

Follow these tips for better live customer support chat and leave your audience satisfied after each interaction. It’s vital to make a positive impression and ensure your prospective and existing buyers are happy to come back. They might even recommend you to others. To learn more about how Bradza can help you build a stronger customer support team, get in touch now!