Working with Online Chat

Using Online chat is a new way of connecting with customers. In this blog we explain a few tips to help you be more successful.

You’re taken the plunge and installed Online Chat on your Website, and if you haven’t and want to know why you should here is a post worth reading.

Now what?

The “Chat” is installed and you are monitoring the site, it doesn’t matter if your are a Visitor Information Centre or an Operator the same principles apply. It’s not quite working out how you thought,  you seem to be scaring them off, nobody wants to talk to you and when you do try to start a conversation, they leave. Well welcome to my world, the world of Online chat!

In this blog I’ll share the tips I have learned over the past 12 months at the Tourism Tribe, these tips have saved my sanity, yielded some good results and even created some online friendships.

online chat 1

Don’t get carried away with the “tool”

The Online chat I use has a cool function, where I can “/GM” and it creates a lovely sentence and saves me typing. So in an effort to be organised, I created loads of them…. well I only use 5 or so, so save this task until you have a better understanding of the questions you are getting repeatedly asked.

Add a profile pictureonline chat 2

Make sure they can see a picture of you, it doesn’t have to be a professional portrait picture, just a nice friendly picture they can relate too. You’ll be really surprised how many people comment on your picture.

Observe

Watch and learn, take note of where your customers are coming from, are they locals, from Interstate or International customers. What are they looking at and on what device. This is the most important stage, take your time and learn about your customers.

Leave them alone

I know you’re keen, you’ve got a new tool and they are a potential  customer, but don’t jump down their throat. When you enter a store in the real world and the overzealous salesperson literally hugs you at the door, you’d run for the hills I bet, well the same applies online. I think the magic time to wait is around 2-3 minutes.

Tread carefully

Don’t go straight into sales mode, you need to develop trust and that is harder in the virtual world. Ask leading questions to open up the conversation. Be friendly but professional and answer questions that may not be specifically your responsibility. They may for example be after information about a region neighbouring yours, help them by providing the link to what they need.  They will remember the great service you provided.

Introduce yourself

Explain to them who you are and how you can assist. I they respond that they don’t need any help, let them know that that’s Ok but you are here if they get stuck. If they ignore you don’t take it personally, they probably haven’t noticed you or they are scared of engaging this way. Leave them be! 

Online chat 3

Provide options

If you are working in a Visitor Information Centre use the over the counter skills you already have and adapt them to the online world, you can do this by;

  • Asking relevant questions
  • Clarifying their needs
  • Making suggestions and providing direct links to products
  • Offering to send the transcript of the conversation to an email account, so they don’t have to write everything down
  • Offering to make a booking
  • Following up on any queries they may have

If you are a Tourism Operator the same principles apply it’s all about customer service

Don’t over service

It’s a very fine balance and each customer is different, use your “gut” to analyse the signs and level of engagement. I don’t think it’s science it’s more an art.Online chat 4

Let them leave the chat

Your chat will probably hold a record of the conversation and remember them when they return, so let them go!

BUT

………when they return, here is your opportunity to astound them. Quickly read the history and follow on with the conversation, they’ll love you and the great service you’re providing. You’ll remember their name and what they wanted and you can continue taking them down the purchasing path.

So there you have it, a few tips to ensure you get the best from your Online Chat!

Have fun…

FREEBIES: Grab your free resource + bonuses!

Pop your details below to download your free resource and our extra bonuses, which include cheatsheets, our Smart Tourism Marketing System email course and monthly grant funding opportunities! 

Feel free to leave a comment so we can get back to you with a professional and practical answer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

HOT TIP!

Use Loom to record your screen and talk to your issue if you'd like! Then paste the link in the comment :)

Latest posts

Team members sitting in front of a macbook screen discussing the 20% bonus tax deduction for small businesses under the Small Business Skills and Training Boost

20% Bonus Tax Deduction for Small Businesses Investing in Skills and Training

We explain how tourism businesses can access a 20% bonus tax deduction under the government’s Small Business Skills and Training Boost.

Read More →

Complete a SWOT analysis to uncover new growth opportunities in 2022

Reassess your business in 2022 by conducting a SWOT analysis that identifies your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Read More →

Grab our Freebies

Click here to access a number of free checklists and resources available to Tourism Operators.

Brisbane
Head office

Suite 1,
57 Woodfield Rd
Pullenvale QLD 4069 
Australia

Sydney

Suite 101,
18-20 Victoria St
Erskineville NSW 2043
Australia

Melbourne

5 Molesworth St
Hawthorn East VIC 3123
Australia

Adelaide

120 Kenilworth Rd
Parkside SA 5063
Australia

Agnes Water

139 Bicentennial Dr
Agnes Water QLD 4677
Australia

Europe

36C Rte de St Cergue
1260 Nyon
Switzerland

aboriginal-flag

Our team would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. We acknowledge that the sharing of knowledge has occurred across the lands and waterways of Australia for many thousands of years. As we continue to share stories and support small tourism businesses we try to listen to the knowledge and practice that has always existed here and consider how we can contribute to the preservation of culture and Country wherever we live and work.

© proudly brought to you by Digital Coaching International   ABN: 45 153 766 771 All prices are in Australian Dollars

Terms & Conditions  | Privacy Policy