How to Handle a Customer Support Chat Session


You know how sometimes you’re receiving technical support in a customer support chat session and the rep tries to make small talk at the start of the session? Maybe they ask how you’re doing or how your day is going. Is it just me, or does that make you crazy, too?

It’s Different in a Customer Support Chat Session Than On the Phone

I realize that, we in customer service training, often talk about establishing rapport with a customer and it is important. It’s even more important to respect your customer’s time and space.

Often, when you’re providing support in a chat session, your customer is juggling other tasks. When you ask them how they’re doing, they’ve got to stop the other task to answer your question, which is disruptive.

I don’t mean to imply that we should never try to engage with customers on a human-to-human basis. What I’m suggesting is that, in a tech support chat session, your customer is probably doing other things while the chat session is going on and they’re not only not interested in light banter, it’s distracting for them.

Here’s a post I wrote about rules for written communication in customer service.

When you’re providing support in person or in a telephone call, sure, engage in some small talk (just be sure you’re sensitive to how much of that your customer wants and don’t go overboard!). In a chat or text session, however, be pleasant, polite, and professional, and don’t ask superfluous questions that force your customers to interrupt their workflow to answer such questions.

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