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The Guide to Becoming a Top Performing Live Chat Agent

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Chapter 9

Do Not Make Excuses

There are two conditions under which you should not make excuses:

a. When the Customer Asks a Question You Cannot Answer Immediately

You can never know everything, and most customers don’t expect you to. So, if the customer asks a question you cannot answer immediately, be honest and tell him/her as much. Let the customer know that you don’t have the answer to the question, but will try to find the answer as quickly as possible.

  • Ask a colleague or supervisor for the information you need so that you can get back to the customer right away.
  • Research on your own. Just tell the customer frankly that you need more time to find the answer. Then, get the customer’s email address or phone number and be sure to follow up.

If after researching, you still cannot find an answer for the customer, be sure to inform him/her of the situation. Do not make excuses for not being able to answer a question and never dismiss the customer’s question as unreasonable.

b. When the Customer Complains about Your Brand/Company

If the customer complains about your brand or company, be apologetic and empathetic as much as possible, and never be adversarial or be drawn into a fight or argument. Never imply “well, it is your fault because…” or make any other similar statement.

In reality, customers may not always be right, but you cannot blatantly state that they are wrong. Just remain calm and professional.

When you sense that your customer is becoming more irate no matter what you try to defuse the situation, do not hesitate to excuse yourself from the chat for a moment, and ask your supervisor for assistance.

Sometimes, simply getting a different perspective on handling difficult customers can make defusing the situation that much easier.

However, only transfer the chat to a supervisor or manager when a customer has directly requested you to do so. You never want to undermine your own abilities to resolve a customer’s concerns. Otherwise, every time the customer experiences a similar issue in the future, he/she would request to chat directly with a supervisor without chatting with an agent first, believing that’s the only way to receive a speedy resolution.

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