So you’ve decided to move your customer service team into the 21st century, getting them ready to chat for the first time. Congratulations!
Luckily, implementing a live chat system on your website is often pretty simple. But what do you need to do to prepare your agents to use the system? You could simply give technical training on the new system, then let your agents loose.
This could mean, though, that agents aren’t prepared enough to adapt their existing customer service knowledge to the live chat system – which could cause negative encounters with customers through misinterpreted comments, slow chats, or grammar gaffes.
Because of this, it’s important to back up systems training with training focused on the customer experience of your live chat customers, helping your agents to understand the service impacts of your new channel.
So if you haven’t yet thought about giving your agents more than just straightforward systems training, here are five things to consider when giving effective chat support training to your team.
1. Words, Tone & Body Language
Professional customer service agents understand that all face to face communication is made up of three different elements: Words, tone, and body language.
Telephone communication can be tricky since agents can’t rely on assessing a customer’s body language to get more insight into what they’re thinking and feeling.
Extra attention needs to be paid to words spoken, and the tone they’re spoken in, to accurately ‘read’ a customer. And when communicating back to customers, words and tone need to be delivered and moderated carefully in order to communicate in a clear way.
Live chat presents extra challenges. Without being able to hear a customer speaking or see their body language, how can you read the subtleties of their communication to truly understand the meaning of what they’re saying? And how can you demonstrate listening, friendliness or build rapport by simply exchanging typed messages?
Well, attention to wording here becomes absolutely crucial in allowing you to do all of this. Agents need to step up their communication a notch to consider sentence structure, word choice, and conversation flow in building and assessing the intent of a communication.