This question pops up frequently, not surprising in the current economic climate in which the search for a better return on investment rules. It’s a fact, customer service via Chat requires time.
However, giving time to customers should not be perceived as a cost, but rather an investment which will increase sales and customer loyalty. Take extra care of your customers and they will not forget it!
Agents dedicated to the chat channel
The organisation of your customer service teal as well as the size of the teams depends to a large extent on the number of incoming calls. Indeed, if the volume of incoming calls is big enough, it may be interesting to set up a team of customer support agents working only via the live chat channel.
We have observed that an operator working on chat only can process, on average, 20 chat discussions per hour.
The organisation of a team of agents dedicated to the chat channel is similar to that of a contact centre, with a Supervisor and a Centre Manager.
Each key position must have a back-up solution with a replacement system prepared as soon as Click to Chat is implemented. This way, if an agent is absent, he can be substituted by the Supervisor. If the Supervisor is absent, the Centre Manager and a senior operator can stand in for him. This organisation means that all positions are supported and that the service is guaranteed no matter what.
Managing different accesses
Your agents will only have access to the chat panel and the agent interface. Your supervisors will be able to access the real-time supervision tools, statistics, the history of chat discussions as well as administrative tools which will enable them to manage canned responses and user accounts. Finally, your managers will have access to the whole solution including the tool’s advanced settings.
Implementing a live chat solution does not necessarily require having agents available at all times, waiting in front of their screens for a user to start a chat discussion. Indeed, alerts can be sent as soon as a visitor starts a chat discussion. Sound notifications or visual alerts mean that agents can carry out their usual tasks and be ready to respond to user queries if they arise. However, it is better to associate chat with email rather than with telephone, or with data management such as CRM data entry.
Synchronise connection time with periods when users are online
However your company has chosen to organise the customer support team, it is important to make sure that the time periods during which agents are logged-in match user purchase behaviour. The way customer relations are managed can be optimised by identifying the time slots which correspond with high online traffic. For example, in the case of a B2B website, operators should be signed in during the companies’ usual opening hours. On the contrary, operators should be available in the evenings or during the weekend when it comes to B2C websites.
Save time with communicating vessels
If you think that implementing another channel will mean an extra workload, it is key to realise that a visitor who begins a conversation with an agent via chat may otherwise have contacted the customer service by phone or email. Therefore, giving visitors the possibility to exchange via chat can consequently reduce the amount of incoming calls and emails by 10 to 30%.
Part of the time which is already devoted to answering calls and emails will simply be transferred to the chat channel.
Furthermore, when you consider the fact that one operator can chat with three people at once, whereas he or she can deal with only one customer by phone, the chat option stands out as a tool which will save time when it comes to customer relations, more than a tool which will require extra time.
Indeed, thanks to chat, we can observe an increase of the first contact resolution rate.
However, visitors who start a conversation via chat may be those who don’t, as a customer, instinctively pick up the phone or write an email. They will therefore generate an additional amount of incoming contacts.
In conclusion, Click to Chat does not automatically reduce the number of incoming calls and emails; on the contrary, this channel enables you to interact with customers who you may not otherwise have contacted you.