To GIF or not to GIF, that is the question. With Help.com’s customer service software, the choice of whether to use GIFs is up to you. Sending GIFs to customers is a great way to break the ice and keep things casual and friendly, but it’s important to understand that, if used incorrectly, it could have a negative effect on your customer’s experience. Here are a few rules to consider when incorporating GIFs into your customer service live chat.
Don’t be controversial
Treat your GIF game like you would an interview. Not only do you want to impress the person you’re talking to, you also want to keep your relationship non-controversial and focused. Even if you find a specific GIF funny or relevant to the conversation, it’s a good idea to stay away from subject matters related to politics, religion, and other polarizing topics. Otherwise, you may be in for a conversation that can quickly turn negative.
Don’t be insensitive
Your customers are reaching out to you because they have questions they want answered. Their needs could be urgent or particularly important to them; therefore, it’s necessary you take this into account when considering whether or not to send a GIF. Avoid sending images that seem to make fun of their situation--this can come across as insensitive and unprofessional.
Keep GIFs work appropriate
GIFs are used to lighten up a conversation and keep others engaged. Because their purpose is playful, it can be hard to know when a GIF crosses the line. Remember, anything you don’t feel comfortable showing your grandmother (or an authority figure) probably won’t fly with a complete stranger, either. That includes cursing, super obscure memes that require explanations, nudity or sexual content, and anything else that would violate your company’s HR policies.
Use GIFs to celebrate wins
GIFs are best implemented when the experience is already positive or nearing a resolution. Instead of using a GIF to relate to a customer’s frustration (which they could perceive as making fun of their situation), using GIFs to celebrate a positive moment, progress, agreement, or a conclusion is a useful way to keep the mood happy. It’s also an easy way to end a conversation on a friendly and visual note, which customers will remember long after the chat closes.
Don’t overdo it
While it may be tempting to add GIFs to every blurb you write, inserting too many into your conversation can be overkill. GIFs work a bit like highlighters; if you choose to highlight the whole page, you’re not actually highlighting anything. Overuse can also be distracting. In order to make the most of GIFs, use them thoughtfully.
Tell customers how to use GIFs
The best part of using GIFs is letting customers in on the fun. With Help.com’s live chat, both customers and agents can use GIFs to keep interactions fun and silly. If your customer wants to know how to use GIFs in chat, teach them how to do it. Empowering your customers is one of the easiest ways to create positive, lasting customer service experiences.