Rights and Wrongs You Should Know Before Conducting a Live Chat


Before the born of live chat technology, there was a time when the vast majority of online businesses simply left their visitors to figure things out all by themselves, which created a feeling quite similar to walking into an empty store. Today, as live chat technology develops, modern ecommerce businesses have officially passed the ‘empty store’ age. Instead, most of them now have both their support team and sales team stand-by right behind their live chat box. This kind of online communication has become an important way of customer service, as well as on-site sales.

However, whether aiming at improving customer satisfaction or increasing sales amount, there’re always ‘closers’ who can put a ‘happy-ending’ with a few lines of chatting, while others struggle with one single  un-closed deal for days and weeks. What makes the difference? Here we go with a list of ‘Rights’ and ‘Wrongs’ that sets a closer apart from the others in a business chat.

Right Things to Do

  • Be focused. This includes two aspects: being focused on a certain visitor and being focused on a certain issue. Though it is quite common for a live chat operator to conduct multiple chats at the same time, each of the visitors still deserves undivided attention. Keeping a visitor waiting in the middle of a chat can seem quite disrespectful and unprofessional. Whenever trying to conclude a third conversation, it would be better to follow telephone etiquette rules and ask the present visitor if he/she is willing to hold on for a moment. Meanwhile, during the chat with a specific visitor, it’s usually better to stay on the topic and try not to get-off too much. Although in some cases a general chit-chat may be appreciated, knowing when and how to get back to the right subject is the key to proceed further.
  • Be honest. This one can also be divided into two parts. Firstly, be honest with the product/service information. Product/service descriptions can be the springboard through which a visitor gets to know a brand. Clear and accurate information on this will help build better customer recognition and reduce subsequent controversy. Secondly, be honest with the situation on the operator’s side. There will always be times when a visitor’s question or query is actually beyond reach of the present operator. Many operators get scared under this circumstance and are likely to spend lots of time discussing with their colleagues before getting ready to go back to the visitor.  Unfortunately, researches have found that few visitors appreciate this kind of behavior. What they really need is a quick response, no matter where it comes from! So, when unable to answer a query, the better option will always be being frank with the visitor and transfer him/her to someone else who can provide instant help.
  • Take advantage of modern technology. Modern businesses ask for efficiency, and this is where modern technology comes into stage. Today’s live chat technology offers a series of features to help operators move faster. Here’re my favorite two: canned message and remote desktop tool. Visitors expect real-time responses. Well-prepared canned messages let operators offer answers in time.  While remote desktop tool is most useful in software troubleshooting cases since nothing helps more than actually seeing the visitor’s desktop when trying to investigate a system error.
  • Be personal. Certain personal contact with a visitor/customer is good, but too much personal opinion is just going to ruin a business chat. Most visitors are looking for information and facts through a chat, not comments or judgments from the operator. Personal attitude should be left outside the door before entering a chat room.
  • Be nobody. Though it’s a widely accepted fact that online identities are not reliable, people still prefer to deal with a neighborhood ‘Mike’ to a secret ‘Mr. Anonymous’. Real name and photo can help to create a better relationship between a visitor and an operator, as well as to build a trust between both parties.

Wrong Things to Avoid

Business chat online is not a complex thing. Everyone can be a ‘closer’ with the right techniques in mind. Coffee’s ready, time to enjoy!

Author Bio:- Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Live Chat Software, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn to find out more about him.


1 comment… add one

  • Zoey Richardson

    Live chat is definitely must have item for the ecommerce website. I accidentally came across inside, and after looking through their site http://www.inside.tm/, it morphs a business website into a virtual storefront so business personnel can see and help their site visitors in real-time using chat.

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