Live chat generates the highest levels of customer satisfaction of all support channels. In 2020, the average chat response time was between 46 to 48 seconds, so the popularity of live chat shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is more important than ever to ensure that your live chat agents are well trained. Not only will a well-trained group of agents be able to enhance the chat support experience, but they can also offer a number of benefits in other areas, including sales conversions and customer engagement.
So how can you reap the benefits of a well-trained live chat customer support agent? Keep these five crucial tips in mind when training your live chat agents.
How to Train Your Live Chat Agents?
1. Ensure they have comprehensive product knowledge
Your live chat agents are your brand ambassadors – so they must have significant and up-to-date knowledge about your products and services. This will help them solve issues quickly and give valuable recommendations and suggestions that are beneficial for your customers. A knowledgeable agent will also mean that issues and concerns are retained and solved within the chat level, increasing customer satisfaction as well as raising their productivity levels. Some ways to help improve their product knowledge are:
- Provide them a comprehensive knowledge base to refer to.
- Conduct regular brainstorming sessions for agents to share their problem-solving experiences with one another.
- Walk them through any new product or feature releases. Customer service agents should be the first to know what’s new about your business because they need to provide reliable information to customers.
- Conduct frequent training sessions to improve their understanding of the live chat software or tool.
- Encourage agents to be part of support forums where they can observe common user problems and how their fellow agents resolve them.
- And finally, understand their subject matter expertise to give objectives that would suit their skills.
2. Help agents know and understand how live chat platform works
Of course, your live chat agents must thoroughly understand how the live chat platform works. Live chat platform is in many ways different from email support or phone support. The core objective of live chat support is to provide quick support in real-time. So live chat has many features that will help in accomplishing this goal. Your agents should know all of the features and tools such as screen sharing or co-browsing that your live chat system is equipped with, to utilize the live chat platform to the fullest.
3. Perform mock chats for better preparedness
How can you offer good chat support when you have never done it? Mock chats can help. Also, when training agents, you can’t immediately allow them to interact with customers. Providing mock chats as initial training will help your agents gain familiarity with some of the FAQs and issues that your customers face. These mock chat sessions can also be used to train agents on how to cope with difficult customers and circumstances, which is where your company’s reputation is most on the line.
Another massive advantage of mock chats is, you will get to know how many chats are too many to handle simultaneously. You can route incoming chats in many ways; you can rotate turns, auto-assign, or even allow agents to choose from a pool of chats depending on their queue and workload. Handling too many chats at a time can impair customer satisfaction, while too little can increase the wait times. Find the balance of the highest number of chats that can be simultaneously handled without affecting customer satisfaction. Mock chats and agent performance analysis are the best ways to find this.
4. Ensure your agents have excellent writing and communication skills
What skill makes a perfect chat support agent? A live chat agent requires a higher writing skill than any other form of customer support. For chat customers, live chat is the window to your brand. Making grammatical or spelling mistakes in chats can be very off-putting and unprofessional. The perceived lack of effort may also lead to a lack of trust in the solution the agent gives. Any customer service training program, not just live chat training, should include support etiquette and advocacy language training.
It is also crucial to ensure better communication skills when hiring or training a live chat agent. Agents should be well-versed in identifying the root of a customer’s problem quickly and how to give clear and concise directions or instructions, which entirely depends on their ability to communicate.
6. Have your agents display an engaging and friendly personality
Displaying a friendly personality is chat etiquette 101. Your live chat agents don’t have to be overly stiff and formal. Encourage them to display friendly personality traits that will help them establish a positive customer connection and move to the solution effectively. Being humorous or sociable can help bring openness, acceptance, and appreciation from your customer, and can even turn a negative experience into an enjoyable and satisfying one. Your live chat support staff can ensure they act friendly in a few simple ways.
Using appropriate opening and closing chats
Greeting the customers at the start and end of the chat humanizes online interactions. Encourage your live chat staff to come up with a variety of greeting templates. And the best part is:
When a new chat is added to the queue, quickly responding with a hello or good morning cuts the wait time and keeps the conversation going. Your agents have now brought themselves some time to juggle between the other chats and come back when the user is done typing their issue.
Putting customers ahead of processes
Using fixed support processes or workflows is important for providing consistent and efficient support. But remember that there is a human on the other end of the chat. You may encounter difficult situations that are especially hard to convey in chat. Have some wiggle room to cater to those decisions and situations. Put customers ahead of processes wherever you can. Empathy is important in customer experience, especially in live chat support, where interactions are fleeting and you have very little time to make a lasting impression.
Try HappyFox Chat – It’s Faster and Better
Most importantly, make sure that you’re using a live chat software like HappyFox Chat that is easy for your agents to learn and use, giving them the ability to move faster from learning to performing! Sign up for a 14-day free trial and enjoy Unlimited Agents on all pricing plans.