Chat and its future in contact centers

Today’s customer service is very different from what it was twenty years ago. While responding in person, via snail mail or the occasional long-distance call was what once defined customer service; today’s contact centers have a lot more options to choose from. With telephone and email being the sought-after avenues, and social media rapidly making its way, businesses can step up their customer service with another channel: live chat.

Live chat is an application for communicating information instantaneously through text or voice. In the world of business, it’s an accessible channel for customers to communicate. But what impact does it have on customer service? We can assess this through two aspects: internal and external.

Internal:

Chat is an important tool for communication within a contact center. Here are a few of its advantages:

Improves collaboration between teams: When an issue pops up, you want to notify your colleagues about it. When you can’t reach them in person, there’s no need to worry — you can notify them through chat.

Prepares agents to face customers: When there’s a troubling bug, you have to prepare your team to face some really unpleasant questions from customers— and you need to do it instantly, since not everyone will be caught up with the Team Feed. Use group chat to discuss the next course of action and stem the tide of questions.

Makes meetings simpler: Meetings involve a lot of work and planning. You need a headcount of available people, a suitable place to conduct things, and someone to take the minutes. But what about the occasions where you have to arrange everything at short notice? Or when you want to connect to teams that are scattered across the world? In situations like these, team chat is the quickest way to make sure everyone is on the same page.

External:

Ever noticed a tiny chat widget when you’re looking at a customer service portal? That widget can do a world of good for your business. Here’s what can happen when you enable chat as a channel:

Your business becomes more reachable: When customers visit the portal to find solutions, the unobtrusive chat widget can be their first point of contact with support. It helps them to resolve the issue as soon as possible, without having to wait for a call or an email.

Customers feel more comfortable: Some people aren’t at ease with contacting agents over the phone. They may be more comfortable texting than talking. For these customers, live chat might be exactly what they need.

Capturing potentials gets easier: If a potential customer is checking out your product and has a question, they can instantaneously reach out to you by chat, instead of searching your contact center for details.

Improves efficiency of agents:  Customer service agents can access the chat window from anywhere within the help desk. They can even handle multiple chats at the same time, closing tickets faster and more efficiently. Additionally,

You can get these benefits and more out of chat by following some simple steps: 

  • Customize your chat button to suit your website’s design. It should be noticeable, but not overwhelming.
  • Compose a fun welcome message to create a killer first impression.
  • Set realistic waiting times. Agents should try to create a balance between a rapid response and a thorough answer.
  • Have a set of pre-written answers for common inquiries. The solutions should be concise and clear.

With these simple steps in your hand, make the best use of this tool to do what you’re good at: provide amazing customer service.

Background vector created by Blossomstar – Freepik.com

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