Published on February 22, 2014
What to Consider Before You Implement Larisa Reilly Thomas
What We Did When We Implemented Contractually obligated to offer Live Chat. Customer Service department was not prepared to offer Live Chat. Started from scratch with a fast approaching deadline for compliance.
Is it Right for You? Ask yourself the following questions: Is it right for your organization? Will it save you time and money? Can you use canned responses or will each response have to be unique? Do your competitors use live chat? Will live chat differentiate you? Or are you just catching up with the rest of the industry?
Focus on Your Customers Is it right for your customer base? Will they use it? Are your services already oriented to the type of customer who is likely to use newer technologies?
Create a Plan for Success What are your organizational goals for live chat? Does live chat easily integrate will your already established customer channels? Will your customer service center be able to easily adapt to live chat? Is there a real business need for live chat?
Who has the Best Solution? Do any of your current vendors offer a live chat solution? Have you done the research to find the best in class providers? Does the solution support multiple languages? Is this important to you? How long has the vendor been offering a live chat solution? Does the solution allow for multimedia queuing? What monitoring is available?
Soft Launch Roll out to a select group of agents. Limit the hours live chat is available. Consider limiting to premium customers only if this is feasible. Training, training, training . Don’t implement until your ready.
Help Your Agents Succeed Put the emphasis on quality of communication. Get feedback from the agents during the transition period. Provide an adequate canned response database. Keep agents motivated.
Track the Success & Failure Create your own best practices. Set metric goals that are realistic. Report and give constant feedback to your organization. Ask your customers for feedback.
Test & Monitor Fully test before deployment. Overstaff for initial launch. Monitor the interactions to make sure they meet quality standards. Be prepared to make changes.
Market Live Chat Promote it prominently on the website. Include link to live chat in emails. Direct customers to live chat via the IVR of your phone system.
Look for New Ways to Apply Live Chat to Business Practices Provide service during nontraditional hours of operation. Add tools to canned responses that agents can push to customers via live chat. Use chat to help customers navigate website via cobrowsing. Use it internally to aid communication between supervisors and agents.
Is Live Chat the Right Thing For You? It’s not just a cute marketing idea. Used correctly by your customer service representatives, live chat can be a powerful tool for communicating with customers. It’s also cost effective. If done properly, your employees can handle more customer interactions in the same amount of time than they can via the phone. It can improve your resolution of service questions - it’s especially perfect for quick and easy FAQs.
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