Live chat is the craze at the moment. I’m here to tell you what I hate about live chat though. Almost every website I land on has a live chat system integerated. Usually you would find it at the bottom right corner of webpage. Mostly you wouldn’t need to go looking for it because when you land on a website, the live chat box will spring up and you would see an automated message that goes something like “Hi, how can we help you? We would like to hear from you”.
Other times you have to hunt for it, probably cause they’re hoping you won’t find them.
You know what though, I get it. Live chat is great when it’s done properly. It cost nothing to communicate with customers all around the world. Customers can drop you a message instantly, and you can solve their problems instantly. You could even close a sale through live chat. If done properly it’s great.
Let me get into what I hate about it:
1. When they don’t answer your questions
This happens to me a lot with service providing companies where I’m already their customer. When their service is not what they promised and I ask them what when wrong or why such and such thing happened I’ve had them blatantly not anwer my question. They tell me something else instead, so weird and very annoying.
Company ABC collects money from our customers on our behalf for sales we make online. They were two weeks late in bank in the money to our company account. I have a live chat conversation with them that goes something like this:
Me: Hi, according to our finance statement you were suppose to bank X amount of money into our account two weeks ago, but seems like you’ve not banked in that money. When can we expect you to bank in the money?
Company ABC: Hi. Let us check and get back to you in 5 mins.
5 minutes later.
Company ABC: That is correct, we’ve not banked in that money. Sorry for the delay. We will bank in that money in 2 days.
Me: Great, thanks.
Me: Can I know what happened that caused the delay?
Company ABC: Don’t worry we will bank in your money in 2 days. Please be patient.
Are you kidding me? Tell me you won’t be cheesed of with a reply like that!
I know that this exact conversation could have also take place over phone. But it’s doubly annoying over chat when the question was literally already spelled out for them. And it takes longer to get to the end of it when it’s on chat; with all the typing and more so waiting for a reply.
2. Language can be a barrier
I don’t want to generalize this problem but I have to say it like it is. This is a major problem our local Malaysian companies. I communicate in English on all live chats, and many times I get a reply that is completely incomprehensible. It causes misunderstanding and it’s such a waste of time.
3. Live chat takes up more time
Sometimes I wish I could just pick up the phone and quickly tell my service provider the issue I’m facing and move on. With chat it takes longer. You have write then you have to wait. No body will keep you waiting on the phone as long as they would on chat.
4. They can choose not to chat with you
That’s right. Just a few days ago this happened to me with a company that consolidates numerous courier service company. One of their courier company were a week late in picking up my parcels. My service provider told they have reminder and will continue to remind the courier company. But the courier company said they’ve not received any order to pickup and they have no record of my parcel. I tried to explain this to my service provider but they refused to accept something was wrong. Eventually they just kept cutting me of their live chat. I had to make a gazillion calls to fix the problem myself.
5. They have live chat personel who know nothing about the products, services, systems or processes.
This is especially the case when a company hire chat agents. Agents who feel no real responsibility towards the company. Agents who are only interested in closing a case a.s.a.p., without any real desire to solve a customers problem or keep the customer informed or even keep the customer.
6. Lack of soft skills
I’m going to generalize here again, but this is a problem I experience with Malaysian companies. I don’t know what it is with our chat personel or agents many of them lack the skill to interact harmoniously with a customer in need.
7. Over use of emojis
Emojis are okay in small doses. But you don’t want to leave a big smiley face after telling your customer they can’t or won’t fix their problem. It’s weird and it makes your customer feel, well stupid.
8. You could loose a chat session midway
In some cases, a live chat session is built in such a way that if you accidently close your browser or the chat box, you loose the whole conversation. Which mean you’ll need to start a new live session with possibly a different person; you have to explain or ask your question all over again.
9. Can’t send attachments
This is a no no for me because I’ve been spoiled by live chat systems that allow me to quickly send me snapshot of my screen to my service provider. Some systems don’t allow you to send attachments. Attachments can be important if you need to send a file or a snapshot of your screen to explain your problem better or faster. If you can’t send attachments on a live chat system, then the person you’re chatting with might ask you to send them an email instead. It just breaks the flow of the conversation.
10. Keep checking that browser window
With live chat, sometimes you don’t get an immediate reply from the person you’re chatting with. So while you wait you might want to work on something else, online or offline. While you do, you still have to keep checking back on your chat box.
A company can anytime change their live chat system. But what’s most important is the other person on the other end of the chat box. If you get a person who is genuinely interested in helping you and they care about the image they are presenting for the company they work with, chances are you’d have a pleasant chat experience and things just get’s sorted out faster.
Otherwise you leave the office like you’re about to gnaw at someone’s head.
That’s my list of 10 things I hate about live chat. You have any of your own?