'Live chat etiquette in customer service' gives you a brief description and some tips of how to deal with your customers via live chat. Having in consideration your customer operator's personality, this presentation aims to guide you through the web chat process
Customer Service for Live Chat
Chat etiquette plays an important role in customer service.
Nowadays, authentic interaction with clients goes far beyond the
opportunity to make a sale and the benefits that your brand can get
from a more professional and human level can be exponential.
Customer Service for Live Chat
Customer service training is the most important part in achieving these
goals. Professional line of communication is not that obvious to expect
your service agents to get at it intuitively.
It is especially true with new
employees who often need help
finding the proper style of
communication which would
stick with your business
objectives and allow them to
maintain their authenticity.
Use a proper greeting. It may sound very basic, but actually not everyone does it
right. Greeting is important, as it sets the tone for the whole conversation. It should
be professional, while remaining friendly and personal at the same time.
1. How to start a chat
“Hello John, thank you for calling Provide Support. How may I help you?”
Or you can start with a shorter but more personal greeting:
“Hello John! How are you doing?”
It instantly sets the rep on friendly terms with the customer and the conversation
becomes less formal and template based while keeping a business tone.
1. How to start a chat
If the customer starts the chat with a description of
his problem, you can respond in the following way:
“Hello Mary. I understand the problem and will be
happy to help you. Let’s see what I can do.”
If the customer did not provide his name, you can
ask for it. It will show your concern and attention:
“Hello! May I have your name please?”
Once you have the name, make sure to spell it
After the customer confirms his wellbeing you can move on with:
“Perfect, I am really glad to hear that! How may I help you today?”
or you can express your sympathy if the customer is not doing well:
“I am really sorry to hear that. Is there anything I can do to help you?”
2. How to ask for more information
or verify your understanding
To avoid any confusion and a long chat, make sure you understand the customer’s
issue before giving your instructions or offering solutions. There are many ways you
can ask for clarification politely:
“Let me see if I have this correct, you
want me to…”
“If I understand you correctly…”
“Tell me more about…”
“So you are saying that…correct?”
3. How to say “I don’t know”
If you don’t know the answer to the customer’s question, be frank about it,
however, avoid using the too straightforward “I don’t know”.
“That is a good question, let me find out for you.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t have the information on that. May I put you on hold for a
few minutes? I will clarify this with our manager.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t have the information on that.
May I have your email/phone number? I will find
this out with our accounting department and get
back to you shortly.”
“I’m sorry, this question would be out of my
expertise, but Daniel from the tech support
department will be able to help you. Would you like
me to connect you with him?”
4. How to put on hold
If you need some time to investigate the problem, ask the customer’s permission to
put them on hold.
“Would you mind holding on for a few minutes while I am checking this with our
administrator/ while I am checking your order?”
On receiving their consent, make sure to thank the customer before leaving the
chat. When you are back, thank them again for waiting.
“Thank you for waiting/holding. I have the details of your latest payment, let me
send it over to you.”
If you feel resolution of their problem is going to take a longer time, ask the
customer whether they would like you to call or email them back rather than
waiting on hold.
“Jan, I will need to put you on hold for a few minutes to run a few tests and see if I
can reproduce the problem. Would that be ok with you or would you prefer I
call/email you back with the details?”
5. How to admit fault
Be direct and clear about the fact that you made a mistake. If it is your personal
mistake, say that.
“Rob, I’m sorry, I made a mistake and gave you the wrong price for this item. The
correct price is…”
If it is someone else’s mistake, say that it was “our” mistake attributing it to the
company rather than to the individual person who is not present in the chat room
6. How to say “No”
Saying a blank “No” to the customer may appear quite rude. One of the best
approaches is to use the “Compliment Sandwich”, adding two positive statements
on either side of a bad one.
If the customer is asking to be connected with a team member who is not available
for a chat, you would usually say:
“I’m sorry, Joan is not available right now. May I help you with something?”
First you express empathy that the customer’s desire cannot be fulfilled at the
moment – “I’m sorry”. Then you make the actual negative statement – “Joan is not
available”. After that you complete your response with something positive, an offer
of help – “May I help you with something?”.
7. How to follow up
If you promised the customer to call or email them back, it is desirable that you do
that within a 24-hour time-frame, even if you don’t have an answer to their
“Rob, I just wanted to let you know that we are still investigating the problem. We
don’t have a solution yet. I will email you as soon as we have found the bug.”
If you missed a chat request and have the customer’s contact information, your
client will no doubt appreciate it if you follow up with them right away:
“Hello Tom. I’m sorry we have missed your chat. Is there anything we can help you
8. How to handle complaints and
Start by showing sincere sympathy and understanding, acknowledge the
“I am really sorry this has happened. Let me see if I can find a solution to it.”
“I’m really sorry about that. Tell me what happened.”
“I’m sorry you are having this problem. Let’s see if there is anything we can do to
help the situation.”
I’m sorry this has happened. I
understand your frustration, and I will
do my best to help you.”
9. How to deliver on a promise
Sometimes it happens that a customer has been promised something which is
impossible to accomplish, either through lack of knowledge or misinformation.
Instead of direct denial “We could not have promised anything like that”, reassure
the customer that you are going to verify that which he had been promised and
offer him apologies and or make it up to him if there was a mistake.
“If I understand you correctly, you were
promised… It appears there has been a
mistake. Let’s figure out how we can
10. How to handle several clients
When you have to deal with several clients at the same time do not give the
impression that you are rushed. If it is necessary, take the extra time for yourself by
telling the customer that you are going to check the information for him and asking
him to hold for a few minutes.
“Let me review your transaction history. Please bear with me for a few more
If your responses are delayed and the customer enquires about it, never tell them
you are dealing with other clients. The customer should always have the impression
that he is the only one you are dealing with at that moment. If there are any delays,
attribute them to your checking up the information for the client.
“I’m sorry for the delay on my part. I am pulling up
your account details. Please allow me another
minute. I’ll be back with you right away”
11. How to treat those who contacted
the wrong chat
It is important to treat all callers with respect, even if they are not your clients or
potential customers. Most people who are contacting you by chat have some sort
of online presence and if you are rude with them or reluctant to give them a clear
answer, they can leave false negative comments about your company in online
forums or on social media. To avoid such situations, make sure to come up with a
friendly response to such callers.
“I’m sorry, you have reached the wrong
company. This is…, we are not affiliated
If they insist that you should still help
them, don’t let yourself be trapped into
an endless chat, give the user a reason
why you cannot help them and close the
12. How to wrap up the call
Ask if you can be any further assistance. If any further action is
to be taken, clarify what was agreed upon.
“John, is there anything else I can do for you?
As agreed, I will post a note to our billing
department regarding your payment and we
will follow up with you on that by tomorrow.”
Thank the customer for calling your chat line.
Invite them to chat again. End the conversation
with a definite “goodbye” or any other expression
which leaves no doubt that the conversation is
“If any other questions arise,
please feel free to contact us
at any time. Thanks so much
for calling. Good bye.”
13. How to wrap up the call
Who should hang up first? Preferably, let the person calling hang up first. If they
forget to close the chat room right away, keep half a minute pause after your last
message and then close the chat room.
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