Intercom’s answer bot.
Of course, you can train your chatbots to make them sound less robotic. You can program your bots to imitate your brand voice and give it a funny or friendly personality that aligns with your brand personality.
But at the end of it all, make sure that they are ready to hand off a customer query to a human agent when the machines are not capable of answering certain things.
If, for instance, customers initiate a chat about your custom pricing plans, make sure the bots are intelligent enough to pass the conversations to the agents who specialize in sales or marketing.
If they are approaching the chat asking for a refund, it’s best the chatbots hand off the conversation to someone from the support team. Nothing beats empathy from a human agent, not even the most conversational chatbot.
#3. Pay attention to the chat language
The #1 reason why chat interactions are void of empathy is because 60% of human communication is non-verbal. It’s a tall task for any chat support agent to overcompensate that kind of human connection over an interface that doesn’t have visual capabilities.
It’s tough to replace that level of human connection over chat, but it’s not impossible.
If you are just beginning to build a chat support team, make sure you hire agents who know the ins and outs of chatting online.
They have to be young and peppy agents who talk the SMS lingo (e.g., LOL, BRB, FWIW, IMO) and are fluent in emojis and GIFs. Allowing your agents to use the textspeak enables them to connect with customers on a personal level and present your business as an approachable and friendly brand.
Your chat agents also have to master the craft of empathetic language to share empathy with customers. At a policy level, have everyone in your company follow an empathy guideline.
Train your agents to internalize empathy statements and practice positivity. Coach them on the importance of handling confrontation coolly and by placing themselves in the customers’ shoes.
From a software perspective, make sure the chat tool that you use integrates with other apps in your tool shed (e.g., CRM, ticketing platform, email) so that your agents have contextual data on the customers. That way, they can offer a uniform experience to all customers and personalize their interactions.
#4. Make chat a solution hub
Many businesses build online chat teams to extend their support capabilities in addition to phone or email support. It’s a great approach, but incomplete if your chat support fails to scale as a solution point.
Let me explain what I mean.
Most businesses install a chat widget on their website just so their customers can initiate a conversation. But at some point, they route the customers to the traditional channels like phone or email because they haven’t thought through their chat support strategy.
Customers jump through hoops to circle back at the original problem without making any progress.
This leads to delays, frustrations, and flaring of tempers across your contact center.
Talk about the opposite of empathy.
The solution is to make sure you try to minimize the support resolution time as much as possible. Chat is often the first channel of choice for customers to approach your brand.
Make sure you have capable staff to handle complex queries and solve them within a chat interaction.