Your customer service is the lifeblood of your business. And, live chat is a central communication channel for your online shoppers. Live chat can make or break your business. When leveraged properly, Shopify live chat can have a tremendous positive impact on sales. You just need to make sure you’re not turning prospects away.
This article covers a few points.
- Why live chat is crucial for your online revenue
- Shopify live chat support mistakes you need to avoid at all costs
- Actionable advice to solve these common issues
Now, learn why your growth depends on your live chat processes.
Why is Shopify Live Chat a Vital Component of a Successful Online Store?
If you don’t yet have live chat or you haven’t experienced the potential of optimizing your communication processes on this channel, you may wonder what the big deal is. Yeah, your customers want to talk to you at all hours, but is it really that important?
Let’s look at a few facts about live chat so you can think about it.
- 38% of online consumers are more likely to make a purchase if a retailer offers live chat support (Crazy Egg).
- Site visitors who engage with your live chat are worth 4.5X more than those who do not (ICMI).
- Live chat has the highest satisfaction level of any other customer support communication channel at 92% (Inc).
Now, here’s what might happen if you leave your shoppers dissatisfied.
- It can take 12 satisfying customer experiences to make up for a single dissatisfying one (Invesp).
- 95% of customers tell others about their poor experiences with a brand and 87% share positive experiences (Customer Thermometer).
Are you convinced? If so, it’s time to make sure you get it right. Avoid these live chat mistakes and ensure that you’re getting the most out of one of the most powerful communication channels for online stores.
Live Chat Mistakes to Avoid on Your Shopify Store
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. Here are the mistakes you need to avoid when implementing live chat on your Shopify store. And, below each problem is a simple and actionable fix.
1. No Automation
When you don’t implement automation, you’re forced to have multiple support agents online at all times or miss the point of live chat altogether. Your customers prefer this communication channel because they want the convenience of self-service. And, without some level of automation, customers might as well send an email because it will take just as long to receive a response.
The Quick Fix: Learn Your Chat Platform’s Macros or Automation Processes
Live chat platforms are designed to enhance the workload of your support team. So, naturally, the brand you work with will have a knowledge base with detailed instructions about platform use. Make sure your support agents learn how to implement macros or automations.
2. Too Much Automation
Before you get too excited and try to automate your entire live chat workflow, stop and think for a moment. It is possible to fully-automate your live chat communications. However, with automation, you can’t always get the answers right. Irrelevant responses to customer queries can trigger immediate dissatisfaction.
The Quick Fix: Refer to the Pareto Principle
In marketing, sales, writing, and even customer service, the Pareto principle, better known as the 80/20 rule can come in handy. This principle states that 80% of the effects for many actions come from 20% of the effort. Spin this just a bit for an easy solution.
Find out where most of your effort is being spent (maybe 20% of the customer support workload) and use live chat macros to answer the most common customer questions first. Then, the rest of your support agents’ work time to reply to the unique and personal queries (perhaps about 80% of the customer support workload).
3. Excessive Wait Times
While it may not always be possible, especially from the perspective of a brand, up to 79% of consumers want immediate responses and expect answers within 10 minutes. If you’re making your shoppers wait longer than this, you may be losing sales. You need to find a solution.
The Quick Fix: Enlist Assistance from Other Departments
Much of the time, excessive wait times are due to the fact that customer support staff must reach out to external departments and wait for answers before replying to the customer. Try what Nomad did to decrease first-response time by 78% and implement an all-hands support strategy.
Require each department to directly respond to a number of tickets every day. And, there’s no need to go overboard — just a few tickets a day from sales, marketing, and/or product teams can have a dramatic positive impact on response and resolution times.
4. Ineffective Language Use
Do your agents sound like robots? Are your chat communications overly-formal? If so, you run the risk of turning people away. Consumers appreciate AI, but if they can have better conversations with Siri or Alexa that they do your customer support team, your conversations could use some work.
The Quick Fix: Parrot Your Customers
Compile some data from your chat sessions and look for patterns. Do you see any recurring words or phrases in your customer communications? If so, add them to your macros and your agents’ vocabulary. When you speak the same language with shoppers, they’re more likely to trust you.
5. Low-Skilled Agents
Customer service agents never get as much credit as they deserve. Without a small army of satisfaction soldiers, you will lose the eCommerce war. So, the work needs to be taken seriously. If you hire low-skilled agents who can’t answer your shoppers’ questions, you will end up with low-quality support operations. Eventually, this mistake can kill your business.
The Quick Fix: Hire and Train Well
Unfortunately, for this problem, there isn’t a “quick” fix. However, if you put in significant energy in the beginning, you may be able to kick up your heels later. Onboard well.
Fist of all, learn the core skills that your support agents need like active listening and product knowledge. Then, hire like you know what you’re doing. Make sure to ask the right interview questions. And, when onboarding, create stellar customer service training materials. The resources you invest when you bring on new agents will pay for themselves fast.
6. Overkill with Emojis
Once in a while, if you throw an emoji out there in a live chat conversation with a customer, it can be fun. Emojis can help adjust the mood and keep a message lighthearted. Forbes says that emojis can be worth 1,000 words. But, don’t go overboard. Too many smiley faces and penguins will come across annoying and unprofessional.
The Quick Fix: Just Stop 🛑
If it seems like your agents may be on emoji overdrive, just ask them to stop. Remove the use of smileys and strong arms from your operations entirely. It’s better to have no emojis at all than to have too many. Now, if this hasn’t become a problem internally, then don’t worry about it. Skilled agents typically know what’s appropriate and what’s not.
7. Extreme Focus on Quantity
In eCommerce and business in general, decision-makers spend end a lot of time looking at numbers. In customer service, you strive for the fastest first-response and resolution times. While this is best practice, don’t let quantity overshadow quality. Some teams become so focused on their numbers that they lose sight of their actual customer satisfaction. Don’t let this be your team.
The Quick Fix: Audit Your Operations
Instead of playing a numbers game and obsessing about the clock, focus on quality. Customer satisfaction should be the number one goal of every support team and every business, for that matter. Periodically, run an audit on your operations and make sure your satisfaction levels are balanced with your speed.
8. No Data Collection
A few weeks ago, I called out to online store owners on Twitter to ask for their experience using live chat to increase sales. I wanted to level the playing field and reach beyond our internal data to find others who had the same experience. And, while each respondent knew that live chat had a positive impact on their Shopify sales, they couldn’t provide real numbers. Instead, they shared anecdotes and vague descriptions and stories. There are two key problems with no data collection for live chat.
- When you have no performance data and statistics, you can’t determine the exact areas where you need to improve your processes.
- A lack of customer data leads to a decrease in customer satisfaction.
90% of consumers value when an agent knows their account history and current activity within a company.
The Quick Fix: Use a Full-Featured Live Chat Plaform
If your live chat platform is designed to collect data from your agents and your customers, you can get all of the information you need to collect helpful internal statistics.
Keep track of tickets created, replied, closed, messages, time to resolution. Sort your data by agent or event. Use real numbers from your internal processes to power your customer support strategy.
With the right reporting system, you can inform your future decisions about hiring, automation, processes, and more.
9. Missing Optimal Chat Times
Do you know when your website traffic spends most of their time on your website? And, are you making certain that your agents are online during peak times? If not, you will naturally see low response and resolution times. Plus, the people who reach out when nobody is online may never return to your site.
The Quick Fix: Discover Your Peak Times & Make Sure You’re Staffed
Use a tool like Google Analytics to generate hour of day and day of week reports. When you have determined the most active times for your website visitors, check to make sure you’re staffed during these times. And, if you see that there are active traffic times that you don’t have anyone available, make adjustments to your staff schedules.
10. Ignoring Sales Opportunities
Customer support is an avenue for your team to keep shoppers happy. And, happy shoppers evolve into satisfied, long-term customers. But, you may be missing opportunities to upsell your website traffic on current promotions and increase sales even more.
The Quick Fix: Share Your Current Promotions With Shoppers
When you’re running a promotion, contest, or sale, make sure your support agents are aware. At the beginning or end of every live chat conversation (you’ll have to test to see what works best for your audience), give customers a link to a page with the information or briefly tell them about the promotion.
11. Disconnected Processes
A major problem for many support agents that can kill satisfaction is processes that are disconnected. Your staff can be forced to open multiple tabs to keep a conversation going — email, social media, live chat, web store. This can take up precious time and also give customers the feeling that your company doesn’t know who they are or what their status is.
The Quick Fix: Make Sure Your Live Chat is Integrated with Shopify and Your Other Communication Channels
Your live chat platform should connect with your Shopify data so that you can streamline the resolution on orders, shipping, tracking, and return tickets. Furthermore, it should integrate with your email, phone, and social media messaging platforms so that you have access to all customer data, no matter which channel they reach out on.
Now you know exactly what not to do and how to fix what you’re doing wrong with live chat on your Shopify store. Apply this advice today and watch your support team nurture more satisfaction with shoppers. If you need a Shopify full-featured live chat platform that provides the data you need to scale your customer support operations and the integrations that can streamline your operations, find out what we have to offer.
Sign up for your free trial of Gorgias today and experience the difference for yourself.
Ashley Kimler is an eCommerce specialist who has been selling online and helping both small businesses and enterprise companies with their online sales marketing for nearly 15 years. Follow @gorgiasio and @ashleykimler on Twitter to read more expert advice.
This article originally appeared in the Gorgias blog and has been published here with permission.