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How to start chatting for the first time

There are two moments in people’s lives that are stressful and wonderful at the same time. It’s when you’re going to run your final college exam and when you’re waiting for your first chat with a customer.

Of course I’m kidding, but the truth is, chatting might be stressful at the beginning.

You’ve just installed the chat.io code, you can see the chat widget on your website, you log in to your chat.io app and get ready to rumble.

What now?!

The below guide will help you to get started with your first chats.

1. Set up your chat.io profile

Setting up a profile before starting to chat is very important for a couple of reasons. First of all, you should edit your picture and your name, because it will be the first thing that your potential customers will see. Your account is your live chat business card.

To set your profile up, go to Settings (bottom left corner) and then to Users section. Apart from changing your picture and name, you can also set up a couple of important features:

  • Maximum chats limit: it’s the number of chats you can have at the same time. Experienced live chat agents have 4, 5 or even 6 chats, but as you are just starting, go with 1 or 2.

Pro tip: Remember to change this number to 3 or 4 once you’re more familiar with the product to make sure no customers are waiting in a queue..

  • Status after logging in: you can choose what status you want to have right after you log in to chat.io app. If you choose “Don’t accept chats” to be your default status, you will have to always remember about changing it upon logging in to chat.io.
  • Daily summary: a daily email you will receive, with information how many chats you had in total and which agents were the most efficient.

2. Set your status to “Accept chats”

You can see your availability status in the bottom left corner of chat.io. If you didn’t change the default setting, there’s a bright red dot by your picture. By clicking on it, you can change your status to “Accept chats.”

Get used to checking your status, because if you don’t change it, your website visitors can see the live chat widget, but they cannot chat with you! They will see a message:

“We’re not available now. Leave a message and we’ll get back to you.”

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3. Be prepared to respond fast

Once you’re ready to respond to your customers in need, get ready to assist them immediately.

In the online world, swift response means two things: being able to resolve customer’s problem fast  (e.g., by providing information about your product) and being able to respond as soon as your customer sends you the question.

It doesn’t mean that you have to provide a full explanation of the problem in seconds. It means that you should react as soon as possible, for example, by simply writing: “Hello, let me check it for you.

For live chat customers, there’s nothing more frustrating than asking questions and waiting for minutes for a first response (minutes in the Internet translate into ages in real life). Even if you don’t know the answer yet, let your customer know you’re there.

Pro tip: If you don’t get lots of live chat inquiries, you might feel like you’re tied to your PC. I’d recommend using our mobile app that will allow you to move around and be able to respond to all incoming chats. You won’t miss any of them thanks to built-in push notifications.

Chat.io mobile app works on Android and iOs.

4. Set up canned responses

When you start to get your first chats, you also start to notice that some of the inquiries repeat themselves. For you, it means writing the same responses over and over.

It would be great if there would be a way to automate it, right?

Your wish is our command, say hello to canned responses, pre-made messages that make your life easier. You can save any message you like, and during a chat just recall it with a proper hashtag.

For example, you get a lot of inquiries about your shipping costs.

Apart from adding this information to your FAQ section, you can set up a canned response that will help you to send all the information within seconds.

Go to Settings > Canned responses. Click “Add new” and in “Reply” window enter your message. For example:

“*When the buyer pays for the item, shipping costs are calculated automatically based on the buyer’s location.*”

Then, you have to add a shortcut, let’s say it’ll be “shipping info.” Save.

From now on, every time your customer asks you about shipping, you can in your conversation window write “*#shi.*” Your canned response will immediately pop out. Click on it and send it. Voilà!

Thanks to canned responses, you respond with speed and accuracy, and you increase your customer satisfaction.

5. Don’t panic if you make a mistake

Before you start to chat, here’ the last piece of advice.

Mistakes will happen because making mistakes is a part of learning. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything and if you make a mistake, simply apologize and proceed to solving the case.

Live chat is the most informal, the most personal channel of contact with your customers. The simpler language you will use, the more honest you will be, the more they will appreciate it.

Chatting via live chat is fun, easy and gives you a lot of knowledge about your customers. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to start, don’t be stressed about it, and just start accepting chats.

You’ll do just fine!

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