Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Live Chat Tips: Emotions Online

As business people we understand that it is important to create trust between a seller and a customer. Interpersonal communication, or word-of-mouth, is recognized as an influential source of information for consumers.  It is so because of body language and voice timbre. But how to act if you meet your customer online? How to show these “respect” and “confidence” emotions?

Words vs. Emotions 

Scientist agree, that online interfaces in use today, such as chat systems, are far more primitive than face-to-face conversation, making it difficult to convey many basic cues, such as emotions.

Birdwhistell's linguistic analogy suggests that the information conveyed by words amounts to only 20-30% of the information conveyed in a conversation. These observations demonstrate the importance of non-verbal information, such as emotions, that affect human cognition and influence different aspects of peoples lives. This may become a headache  how to communicate online and to get sales results as good as possible?

What to do?

A lot of companies and scientist tried to answer this question and some of them found very interesting solutions that are public now. We will use public information to give you some hints.

First of all, remember: emotions are created by action. Online and offline. Keep it in mind while searching for the best answers for yourself about how to communicate online and create positive emotional attractiveness to your customer.

Some of the general advises could be these:

  • Try to be a 'fast answer' person. The ideal chat responses to customer should be provided within 30 seconds. Real-time conversation via chat is expected to be as real conversation. At least customer hopes so.    

  • Responses must be accurate to fulfill customer expectations. Straight to the point, and use spell checker. Use canned responses as the best tool to be sure about all of that. Like in real world, if you look unorganized, sloppy or make mistakes, customers are not inclined to trust you. Trust is created by showing professional aptitude. 

  • Best chat responses should directly answer customer questions and avoid promotional copy-paste. Simply remember, that people don't talk like robots with ad text.

  • Use words, that express emotions: like "you'll feel better by using our solution", "Joy comes with this type of shoes", "this games will drive you into action hours" and so on.

  • Customers expect a personalized, brand-appropriate experience, even when using online chat. That means showing respect, and usage of dictionary that is common to your brand.  Don't use letters instead of words. In example, don't use "u" instead of "You" or "u2" instead of "you too". Except, for example, if you are teenage-orientated company and such lexicon is expected.

  • Fast but patient. Don't push by asking: "So, will you buy? When?" Most important thing is to find out what drives customer to buy or what stops him from doing it. It's important to be patient. If you are emotionally intense, try to relax as you will lose focus of what your customer really wants.

  • Be simple. People use simple words that don't waste their time by looking at Google or Wikipedia. Again, if your customer is in specific segment of the market, use them. But if you are working with mass product simplicity is the key to relaxed and fun online communication with customer.
  • Be welcoming and warm. Always try to use customer name if possible. People love to be in the center of attention when they are talking to you.  

  • Be better than you promised. If you have something to solve and you need some time, ask for more time than needed and answer faster than expected. For instance, if you need 15 minutes to find an answer, ask for 30 minutes but finish it in 15 minutes. Customer will be pleased.

We hope, that these tips will show possible options how to create emotional attractiveness to your customer. You are always welcome to share your practice in the comments. 

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