I’m really excited to launch a new series of posts called Tech Tuesday! The content will be a mixture of how to guides and posts that take a look at some technology related issues. This week I’ve decided to talk about my Clinique live chat experience which I hope you’ll find interesting.
My Clinique live chat experience
Live chat software is a funny kind of animal. I’ve always felt that live chat exists to make a brand look customer focused, which is great in theory and disappointing in reality. More often than not the employees managing a company’s live chat interface are not given the same authority as other members of the customer service team; if no differentiation between the teams has been made clear to the customer, it’s almost always going to be a negative experience.
I spent a lot of time using Virgin Atlantic’s live chat offering earlier this year, trying to understand if and how we could rearrange our flights to America after I broke my leg. My experience was bad because nobody behind the computer had the authority to do anything, including answering basic questions. That’s not acceptable when your live chat service is portrayed as an alternative to a phone call. Virgin Atlantic’s representatives were always polite but their only purpose was to direct you to an expensive phone number, but only after you’d gone round in circles for twenty minutes.
Last week I found myself on Clinique’s website, pondering whether to buy a new facial toner. I’m familiar with Clinique products and used the facial toner in question a few years ago, but I really needed some advice about whether it was currently the best thing to use on my skin.
Despite previous negative live chat experiences, l saw there was a live chat facility on their website and decided to give it a go. After saying hello I asked ‘Sam’ whether the facial toner in question was suitable for my skin type. Instead of replying ‘yes’, Sam asked me a few questions and we went back and forth for a while before she recommended a different product entirely – which happened to cost less than the product I was thinking of buying.
What I liked most about this live chat experience was that it mirrored the customer service experience I’ve received in-store at a Clinique counter previously. This is absolutely key – it is essential that brands considering a live chat facility ensure they can deliver the same level of service that their customers have come to expect from them offline. Considering skincare is predominantly a face-to-face issue, I was really impressed with my experience online and Clinique have maintained my trust.
What I liked about my Clinique live chat experience:
- A photo and brief biography of the consultant you are speaking to is available for you to see before your Clinique live chat experience starts.
- Two types of chat are available on Clinique’s website – one with experienced online Clinique consultants for skincare queries and one with the customer services team for technical issues and order queries.
- Unique answers! I quizzed Sam about the product she suggested and her response was unique to my situation.
Have you used live chat software before? Which brands are doing it ‘right’?