5 undeniable skills every Live Chat customer support agent must possess

Technology has changed the daily habits of consumers to a point where companies are pressured to modernize their support systems to match or exceed customer expectations. With more and more customers choosing to chat with a live support agent proves that live chat is slowly making its way as a consumer favourite in terms of mode of communication. According to Kayako, 41% of customers prefer live chat as a way to reach customer support. 

Agents are the most important elements in making live chat such a sought after customer support option. As an agent, you must be aware that the best way to make customers stay with your brand is to provide them with phenomenal customer support. But how is that practically done? Initiating chats are not as simple as it looks. Agents must have the necessary skill sets to take on any situation that comes their way and still be able to provide more than satisfactory services to their customers. In addition to that, the goal here is to also retain the customers and convert prospective leads into long-lasting customers. 

Always bear in mind that being behind the software makes you instrumental in crafting and delivering customer service experiences that clients dream of. In the remote CX platform, customer support (CS) is extremely important to be good at in order to deliver statements, solutions, etc in the right sentiments and emotions through the mode of speech and written or typed communication. More and more customers are opting to communicate through live chat as they can clearly interact with customer service without having to worry about voice or network quality. Customers are also beginning to choose live chat as their primary point of communication instead of calling the contact centre of the brand as it is gaining the reputation of being one of the fastest ways to receive support while also being able to do other things while getting their issues resolved. 

Significance of Live Chat: 
As the popularity of live chat grows, businesses and companies are tasked with the job of providing customers with the best possible customer experience in order to stay relevant and have a competitive edge. This gives customers what they want when they want it which is a great way of making them come back for more. 

Source: Superoffice 

As per research conducted by Superoffice, Live Chat has the fastest response time as opposed to social media and email. When implemented right, live chat has one of the highest satisfaction rates supported by the study done by Zendesk. 

Some live chat statistics that caught our attention are: 

  • According to EConsultancy, 79% of consumers prefer live chat as it allows for instant responses. 
  • Zendesk announced that Live chat has the highest satisfaction rate at 92%  
  • According to Kayako, 95% of consumers would accept slower-paced chats to get better quality service.
  • According to Kayko, 29% of live chat users hate scripted responses. 
  • According to Intercom, 85% of chatters are most likely to convert into customers. 
  • According to Emarketer, 63% of consumers who used live chat on a businesses’ website are most likely to return to it.
  • According to Zendesk, 92% of customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature. 

The negative impact of poor user experiences:  

  • According to Kayako, 20% of customers have something negative to say about a bad experience they had with live chat service.
  • According to PWC, 1 in 3 customers will walk away after a single poor interaction or experience.

The following skills characterise the profile of a triumphant live chat agent:

  1. The skill to become an SME or Subject Matter Expert 
    According to HuffPost, 44% of customers have reported getting the wrong answer from a customer support agent or representative. Incorrect answers can very easily contribute to the frustration of the customer, eventually leading to their dissatisfaction. Customer support agents who are looking to engage themselves in the live chat process must always be ready to understand and assimilate new knowledge and information. They may be required to study software changes and updates regularly so as to navigate through them and provide fast and effective responses and solutions. 
    Most importantly, customer support agents need a good and thorough understanding of the product and services and the necessary live chat skills required for superior customer handling. Agents must possess in-depth knowledge of the entire flow and process to assist and support customers at any step of the purchase cycle. Agents who are quick to catch on to the best practices of live chat will be able to carry on productive conversations and troubleshoot when the need arises in an efficient manner. 
  1. The skill of critical reading 
    Live agents are required to have the ability to read through a customer’s unstructured questions, grievances or queries. Customers who are in a rush to find a resolution and are pressed for time end up typing quickly because they want quick answers. Critical reading implies identifying what the is actually trying to ask as opposed to concentrating on what the customer is typing. In some cases, it can be unstructured complaints or questions but in other cases, it can be where the customer is failing to explain what they want or are looking for. In such moments, a live chat agent’s ability to comprehend and read between the lines of what the chatter is trying to say can make a huge difference to their customer experience.
  1. The skill to set appropriate expectations
    Customers need to know what is going on and agents are tasked with the duty of constantly keeping them updated on their issues and their resolutions. Communicating with agents on live chat is very different from speaking to them over the phone. Therefore by keeping them in the loop whether you are studying their customer account, finding helpful FAQ information etc; make sure you let the customer know that you are trying to figure out ways to help them out. For instance, letting the customer know that it will take a couple of minutes to look into their issue can calm them down as well as give them the feeling of hopefulness and gives the company an image that prioritizes its customers above all else.
  1. The skill to structuring a supportive conversation
    Successful facilitation of customers narrows down to structuring useful and supportive conversations. As a live chat agent, you wouldn’t want to supply your chatters with robotic, script-based dialogues that are bound to frustrate them. By being thoughtful and empathetic while choosing your words to frame and structure sentences that you are going to send, choosing appropriate moments for transition, customer mood detection etc are all that live chat agents need to bring to the table to perform successfully. 
  1. The skill to multitask and manage customer support workload 
    In the long run, agents will be evaluated on their ability to handle the overall workload and their multitasking skills. Agents will be required to research customer accounts and history, respond to customer questions, supply supporting help documentation, troubleshoot issues, amongst other tasks. 

Since live chat agents are on the front line of customer interaction and engagement; handling five to six customers simultaneously while also having to deal with the workload can sometimes be stressful and demotivating for agents. Unlike innate live chat agent capabilities, multitasking is a matter of practice. Thereby learning the art of managing multiple chats while also managing the work that accompanies the CX job will help in motivating live chat agents and make them more productive and confident while dealing with customers. 
At VOIZ, we believe that with the right training you will be ready to provide live chat service in no time! Sign up now to get started on your journey as a CX talent with us!

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