This post is dedicated to the recently discovered beauty of Live Chat online support..
Emails and phone calls
As a nation, we’re still fairly new to the concept of Live Chat. When we have a question, the normal action is to pick up the phone or send an email. Generally, we don’t get the answer instantly. Remember how frustrating it is to be held in a call queue, some of which are nice enough to give you a numbered position in the queue, sometimes you have no idea how long you will be left waiting and they’ve all gone to lunch. Then you look at your watch and realise you’ve been waiting for over 30 minutes. Anger bubbles up inside.
Emails tend to be worse, they often get sent to a general mailbox which lands itself in a queue, replies are days later and often give you more questions than answers.
Introducing Live Chat
Live Chat has changed all that. Setting up Absolute VA has meant visiting many websites, looking for the Contact Us page. When a Live Chat option pop up at the bottom of the screen, excitement (yes, excitement) levels rise. We don’t mean the messages that pop saying, “chat to us now, enter your email address below”. Those don’t count, there’s no-one there and your email goes into a mailbox which sits frustratingly patiently for a few more days.
123 Reg host our emails and whilst the technical side to setting up emails is complex, the support from 123 Reg is instant and excellent. They talk you through everything you need to do, you can easily send them screenshots to help explain your problem and they fix it right there, right then.
WordPress is similar but they take their support a step up. We’re always on the lookout for companies with similar exemplary customer service skills to Absolute VA and WordPress ‘get it’.
The support team are called Happiness Engineers and boy do they deserve that title. They reply instantly, they’re upbeat and jolly (but not forced and over the top); can talk you through problems, can go into your website and make fixes and edits and will always try and think of a way to help you, even if you’re not on the highest paid monthly subscription plan. Absolute VA pay yearly for the website but nothing in comparison to the fee larger companies pay for full customisation. Still, the Happiness Engineers always try and think of way around our problems, without needing to upgrade to the top plan. Sometimes requests aren’t always possible but they at least try and there is no sales talk whatsoever. Which works even better as a sales technique because we’ve unconsciously become brand ambassadors and rave about their service to anyone and everyone who will listen.
Look at this very post, for example!
Here is WordPress’s philosophy:
“Our goal is to build relationships based on trust which result in happy, passionate, loyal customers and colleagues.” Hear hear.
HMRC was a recent surprising discovery. An initial phone query to HMRC resulted in being told to expect a phone call back, in a few days but “we’re exceptionally busy at the moment”. Heart sinks. Which is silly really but we have become accustomed to a speedy pace of reply.
The next HMRC enquiry was somewhat different. On the website, that glowing box, bottom of screen popped up and said Live Chat. One takes a breath of anticipation, waiting to read that you need to enter your email address below but no, it was a real, live person.
Instant question, (almost) instant reply. HMRC still aren’t as quick with instant responses as the aforementioned companies but c’mon, this is HMRC after all. And answers were given, same day, same hour. Instant happy customer.
Audible and Voip
Two other great services where all my questions were answered quickly and thoroughly. Faultless.
It goes a step further…
Transcripts. There are always details of the Live Chat conversation that are important to remember but that you know you’ll forget. For this reason, many companies email transcripts of your conversation to you instantly after. One to watch; sometimes they’re instant but sometimes you have to request them so if you’re discussing technical steps that you’re sure to forget, always request a transcript.
Kirsty was talking to some colleagues at a previous workplace who now also use Live Chat. They reported that they use a version where they can see what the enquirer is typing, before they press submit. We weren’t quite sure how we felt about this. Perhaps an invasion of privacy but actually, does it really matter? Live Chat technicians are there to help you and it means their responses are even quicker, which is what we love.
So today we’re raising a toast to all the companies who have Live Chat, no more waiting, no more expensive premium numbers – pure joy.