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When you’re chatting with a customer, client, or other business professional over chat or over the phone, you always run the risk of becoming disconnected. The internet goes out suddenly, or you hear silence on the other end of the line, or you’ve been away from the chat for a few minutes and don’t know if the other person is still waiting.
Added to these scenarios is the high likelihood that the customer will simply hang up on you rather than wait for you to come back. According to a recent Arise survey, two-thirds of respondents indicated that they would typically hang up the phone after being placed on hold for 2 minutes or less.
2 minutes or less is not much time for you, the customer support or sales agent. It’s even less if you get one of the people that made up 13% of the survey and who said that no hold time was acceptable. Period.
That’s why if you think you’ve been disconnected, either by accident or on purpose, you need a polite way to confirm it.
A phrase such as “Are we still connected?” or “Are you still on the line?” or “Are you still on the chat?” is extremely helpful in these situations. It’s quick, it’s simple, yet it’s still professional.
In this guide to using “Are we still connected?” phrases, we’ll go over some of the common motivations for asking this type of question, tips for writing up a script to use for chat and phone purposes, and finally, 20 templates you can copy and paste for your own professional use.
Here are 3 common situations where you will want to use the phrase, “Are we still connected?” or a variation of it.
The average hold time for a customer calling into a call center is 13 minutes. We already know that most customers will hang up during that time.
While you should always try to keep your holds with customers as short as possible, you must be prepared for the possibility that they will not be on the other end of the line when you return.
When you return from a hold on the phone, your first words should include, “Are you still on the line?” This gives the customer, if they’re still there, an opportunity to wrap up whatever they were doing while they were waiting and respond.
If they don’t respond after you’ve repeated the phrase 2-3 times, you are free to use a closing statement or whatever disconnection protocol your department has set up.
The same steps apply when returning to a customer in a chat. If you have to leave them for a few moments, upon your return you should check that they are still in front of their screen. Saying, “Are you still on the chat?” is an easy way to do that.
Sometimes, the customer will stop responding while you’re talking to them on the phone or via chat. You may hear them start talking to another person, or you may not see any chat messages from them for several minutes.
It could be that the customer was distracted by someone or something else in the environment. Or it’s possible that their internet went out or they hit a dead zone in their cell phone coverage.
In any case, it’s a good idea to confirm that the customer is still there. If they’re not, you’re just wasting company time talking to no one. If they are, they need a gentle reminder that you are still waiting for them to respond. It’s a perfect opportunity to use a polite but direct “Are we still connected?” phrase.
Everyone, including your company, experiences technical difficulties now and again. One such difficulty is the internet going out.
If the internet goes out while you’re on the phone, you will need to call the customer you were speaking to back later. If you are on a chat, then you may be able to rejoin the chat as soon as the internet becomes available again.
When returning to a chat that you were disconnected from, it’s always best to open with, “Are you still online?” This way you can confirm that the customer is still waiting and afterwards you can apologize for and explain the delay.
As a customer support or sales agent, you will often experience the need to use an “Are we still connected?” phrase. That’s why it’s useful to write a script before you get on the phone or enter an online chat with a customer.
Here are 3 tips for using an “Are we still connected?” chat or phone script.
A timer - either one in your customer relationship management (CRM) software or another program - will help you stay on top of the length of time you’re putting the customer on hold. It’s an effective way to remind yourself to check back in with your customer periodically, and it also keeps you from staying away too long.
You’ll also find it helpful to time how long the customer hasn’t been responding. This way, you can tell them, “It’s been [X number] of minutes and I haven’t heard from you. Are you still connected?”
Why would you need to time the customer’s length of silence? It’s a smart move because it protects you from liability, should the customer call back or open a new chat and say that you disconnected from them deliberately. You now have a record with times that shows that’s not the case.
Just because the customer isn’t responding, doesn’t mean you’ve lost them completely. You still have one more opportunity to get them to call back or open a new chat.
After you send them an “Are we still connected?” phrase, follow up with a closing statement and instructions for how to get back in touch. This way, whether or not the customer meant to no longer respond to your voice or your messages, they now have the details on how to reconnect when it’s more convenient for them.
If the call or chat has been completely disconnected on the customer’s end, you may still be able to follow up with them via a text message or email. It depends if you have this information in your records. If so, you can send them a quick message letting them know how they can get in touch with your department again in the future.
This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it’s all part of making the customer feel valued and not losing their business. When you express interest in reconnecting with them, they will be impressed and may give you a call back or open a new chat to resume your previous conversation.
Below are 20 “Are we still connected?” quick responses for chat and phone conversations. Copy and paste these into your snippets so you can use them across your messaging platforms.
For chat “are we still connected” phrases, you want to make them quick. But at the same time, there is room to close with instructions on how to reconnect. This way, when the customer reads the chat record,, they will see those closing instructions and may follow up at a later date.
When you’re talking on the phone, once again, you want to keep your “are we still connected” phrase brief. You can also still provide the customer with different methods of getting into contact with you if talking on the phone is no longer a good option.