Business Chat with Customers

How quickly should I respond?

People like prompt replies. If someone calls your business, you probably pick up within 4 rings - or 20 seconds. Texting customers are slightly more patient and are typically engaged for 2- 3 minutes after their first message. So a quick response ensures faster replies from customers.

To help ease the burden of fielding customer inquiries, OpenCity’s Virtual Assistant can automatically respond to customers’ FAQs. Now you can take care of the guests inside your business while our Virtual Assistant handles the rest. Many businesses even reduced labor costs along the way.

Since 98% of all Text Messages are opened within 2 minutes, you’re fairly assured that the customer will receive your message whenever you reply.

What if I can’t answer the question right away?

Be honest with the customer and let them know what you are doing and why. Do not leave them unaware and waiting. They will be happy that you recognized their time is valuable, and they will continue on with their day in the meantime.

Plus, OpenCity’s virtual assistant can automatically respond to customers FAQs -- so you can take care of the guests inside your business.

Since 98% of all Text Messages are opened within 2 minutes, you’re fairly assured that the customer will receive your message whenever you reply.

How is talking to customers different on chat from other communication channels?

At the end of the day we’re all humans, and we enjoy connecting with pleasant, happy people. In a recent study by Harris Interactive, 73% of consumers expect the customer service agent to be friendly, and 55% expect to receive the information they need. That means it’s more important for customers to have a friendly experience than a helpful one. So just try to be positive and helpful in all situations.

Set the tone early, with a pleasant greeting. Each business is unique, so your greeting may range from fun and playful to formal and professional. Try several variations and see what works best for your business.

What should I do if the customer doesn’t reply?

Check in with them. With the nature of texting, your guests (like many of your friends you text with) may be multitasking or just consumed with an article detailing the 25 best ways to spend their weekend. They may have already gotten the answer they were seeking -- so don’t be persistent if you don’t get a response after checking in.

How should I conclude a chat conversation?

End the conversation on a pleasant note. Thank them for their chatting and invite them to reach back out if they ever need further assistance or have any questions/concerns.

What if I have bad news to give the customer?

Always stay positive. If you have to deliver negative news, say it first - being clear and concise - and end with positivity.

How it Works

How many employees can I have responding to customers?

An unlimited number of employees can be active and available to respond to your customers at any time. This increases internal communication while also reducing the response time to the customer. Also, don't worry about multiple employees trying to respond at the same time; you will always see when an employee has replied or is in the process of typing a reply.

Employees can chat via a Website on a computer or through the OpenCity Manager Application on a mobile phone. Both receive push notifications from your customers so you can respond in real time.

What if a customer or employee tries to send sensitive information through the system?

Do not provide or request sensitive information during a chat with customers. Sensitive information includes things like:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Social Security numbers
  • ID, Passport or other government identification numbers
  • Login credentials, like passwords

Avoiding sensitive information during chats keeps you and your customers’ information safe.

For your protection, we intentionally block credit card numbers from being entered into the system by your staff or your guests. If they attempt to do so, the person will receive a message indicating the credit card number is being blocked.

Do my customers need to download or install anything to chat with me?

No! All they have to do is text you like they would a friend. OpenCity will provide you with a unique phone number specifically for Texting. We give you a widget you can place on your website that lets customers live chat or transfer the conversation to SMS.

OpenCity also integrates with social media platforms. You can message your customers across Google, Facebook and other platforms, -- all through one, easy-to-use solution.

No downloads or installs are ever required by your customers!

How do my customers find out how to chat with my business?

Integrate your new Texting number and the OpenCity Live Chat widget with your business.

To maximize your reach and engage more customers, it is necessary to build those cross channel connections. It is going to benefit both your social media marketing and your live chat conversions, bringing more quality customers. Follow these 3 simple steps to ensure success.

1. Make your Text number as visible as your Phone number. Add it to:

  • Website
  • Receipts
  • Menus
  • Business Cards
  • Pamphlets
  • Newsletters
  • Email Signatures

2. Add the OpenCity Live Chat widget to your website

  • Our developers will help you if needed. It only takes a few minutes.

3. Post your Text Number on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  • Let your customers know that you are more convenient than ever to reach.

4. Connect your business Facebook account with OpenCity

  • Receive Facebook messenger communications along with all your other messages.

5. Register your Text number with your Google Business account

  • Activate SMS from your Google business pages on mobile devices and maps.

Virtual Assistant

Do I have to use your Virtual Assistant?

No. The Virtual Assistant is active by default for industries that we have already trained it on. Currently this includes restaurants and nightclubs -- but we are adding new industries all the time.

If you want to answer all your customers’ questions manually, you may completely opt out. If you’d like to limit the number of questions that are handled by the Virtual Assistant you can turn it off or only provide answers to the topics you want the Virtual Assistant to respond to.

How does it know what to say?

Your customers are speaking to a Natural Language Processing Virtual Assistant. This means that it converses with your customers like a normal person would. This is significantly different from talking to a “bot”. Your customers can ask complex questions and interact with the Virtual Assistant like they would normally interact with a person.

Do my customers know they are talking to a Virtual Assistant?

We don’t try to hide that they are talking to a Virtual Assistant, but we also don’t try to draw attention to it. We want the Virtual Assistant to reflect your business’s personality when chatting with your customers...so the interaction should seem as natural as talking to someone on your staff.

What if the Virtual Assistant can’t answer the customer’s questions?

No worries. If the customer’s question cannot be answered by the Virtual Assistant, it will escalate the issue to your staff. In doing so, it will tell the customer that they are seeking additional help and you will be notified through our app that a customer is waiting for assistance.

Can I see what the Virtual Assistant is saying to my customers?

Absolutely! The Virtual Assistant’s conversation is noted by the lightning bolt icon and becomes part of the conversational thread with your customer. If you are logged into our console, you can even see the conversation in progress.

Can I take over a conversation that is in progress?

Yes. At any time during a Virtual Assistant’s conversation with a customer, you can enter the conversation and take over. Just start typing and the Virtual Assistant will stand down, allowing you to finish the conversation.