Conversations that are part of an online chat are just as important as those that take place face-to-face. Sometimes, they are even more difficult carry out because it’s harder to make your message clear; things can get misunderstood or perceived the wrong way; and online chat lacks the communication that takes place in body language during the face-to-face conversation. But here are some things your Internet and sales staff can do to ensure a pleasant online chat outcome.
Online Chat Rules
Let the customer know who you are – and that you are ready and able to assist them. “Hi, I’m Joe. I’m here to help you in any way possible.”
Don’t assume the customer has lots of time. Find out if they have ample time for an online chat before you begin a lengthy “sales pitch”.
Stay on topic. Keep your answers short and to the point, while still being pleasant.
Be patient. Your customer may not be the best typist in the world, or they may be taking longer than you’d like to ask a question. Before you begin a series of rapid-fire messages to the customer, let them respond to you.
Be careful what you say. Never cross the line into something that’s inappropriate or in bad taste.
AVOID ALL CAPS! This gives the impression that you are shouting, something you don’t want.
Keep your slang and abbreviations to a minimum. You can’t assume the customer understands them.
Always be courteous. Even if you’re having the worst day ever; even if the customer is taking forever to respond; even if they get a “tone” with you, stay composed and be polite.
Double-check what you say. Be sure to review what you typed – every time – prior to hitting the “enter” key. Once it’s out there, you can’t get it back!
Close effectively. When the online chat draws to a close, summarizing everything puts the customer at ease and lets them know you’ve been listening to them.
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