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What is appropriate chat etiquette for me and my operators?

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What is appropriate chat etiquette for me and my operators?

Postby AlphaMedia » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:20 pm

Know your product– It is important that your customers feel confident with the Operators they chat with. Make sure your operators are trained to answer a variety of questions without any additional assistance, or sending them through various levels of support. This will help keep the conversation 'flowing' more smoothly.

Solve the Problem– Make sure your customers are satisfied with your response. It is not only important to give the correct response, but to make sure your customer understands it. Once the problem is solved, the Operator should ask "Is there anything else I can help you with?" or something of that nature. Train your Operators to follow up with the customer, whether it is through an e-mail form or a phone call.

Personal Touch– Chats are not meant to be a business reply form. Humanize yourself to the customer. Use their name, and reference their specific question. This lets your customer know you have their full attention, and they are not just another problem ticket number.

Know the Customer- Review all of the basic information of each customer before you start your chat. It will give you insight on who you are dealing with, and what past problems the individual may have had.

Friendliness is Key– Make sure your responses are courteous. Tone and tenor in written responses are often difficult to read. A “please” and a “thank you” will ensure positive tones.

Avoid Internet Speak– Typing in all capital letters is the equivalent to screaming at the top of your lungs. Try using proper capitalization and punctuation. Sentences still count, so do not use web speak abbreviations (OIC = Oh, I see.) or emoticons (strange smilie faces :-p or :-D ).

Use Quick Messages- We've found that most of the questions you will be asked often repeat themselves (FAQ’s). Setting up Quick Messages is a fantastic tool which can help you answer FAQ's and eliminate typos. While quick messages may take a few minutes to setup, they will save you time in the long run. NOTE: Do not rely solely on quick messages or you may not seem interested in your conversation with you customer.

Be Direct- Answer the questions you've been asked ... don't become a lengthy user-manual. It is more difficult to type and read, than to have a speaking conversation. A general rule of thumb is to keep each block of text to about 20 words. If more is needed, simply break up the response into several blocks. This will allow your customer to read and keep up with the conversation.

Don't use single-word responses– While brevity is good, one-word answers will drive your customers somewhere else. People often take a while before they type their questions. One-word responses are rude and will make your service reps look cold.

Quick Responses- Keep the conversation moving. Try to avoid long pauses between responses. It is important that your customer feels connected to you. Let them know what your doing. If a long pause is necessary, either let them know (try "One moment please, while I check" or "Please hold.") or ask them if you can get right back to them by phone or by e-mail.

Type Plainly- Type the way you speak. Keep your tone more conversational. If you're constantly trying to write a perfect business response it will take forever, and your customer will lose interest and move on. A few typos are okay as long as your responses are not riddled with them.

Keep your chatter informed- If your company handles heavy chat traffic your Operators may be on 2 or more calls at a time. Don't be afraid to tell chatters that you are handling more than one call, and explain there may be a slight delay in your responses.
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