January 21, 2015
In the never-ending quest to stay one step ahead of the competition, keep customers happy and deliver a satisfactory “customer experience” all at the same time, progressive call centers are pulling out the stops. The seemingly next logical step in this ever-escalating carousel of “one-upsmanship” is now apparently offering live chat – and there seems to be evidence to support it.
WhaTech, a global information technology resource, took a close look at the results of a recent survey undertaken by business publication Contact Center Pipeline, and the findings were impressive. The industry publication said that “…more than 66 percent of contact centers surveyed were using live chat.”
WhaTech notes that this “is significantly higher than usage estimates in the past and clearly leads us to believe that live chat adoption is on the upswing. We can probably hazard a safe guess that the scenario is applicable to smaller organizations as well that do not operate large, well staffed contact centers 24×7.”
So, given this knowledge, how can a smart contact center manager leverage the information to their advantage, while keeping costs down and interest high? It’s a fine balancing act, but it can be done mostly through a conscientious effort and by being proactive about a live chat offering. WhaTech mentions a few ideas on how to successfully execute this initiative by assuring there’s:
- A short message on your homepage, announcing the presence of live chat on your website and the benefits of clicking on the chat icon;
- A reference to live chat and its presence on your website in all your marketing collateral, including your newsletters, product alerts, auto responders and other transactional collateral if your website happens to be engaged in Internet commerce; and
- A quick mention of live chat during phone-based support calls if you provide phone support.
But once you have live chat up and running, you need to back it up as well. WhaTech notes that a fast response to any inquiry is critical.
“Customers like promises that are delivered,” the site says. “If your chat reps have promised to email a customer a Web link in response to a product inquiry, a how-to PDF manual which explains how to use one of your products, or a link to your YouTube ( – ) channel which features a product demo, that link should be emailed to the customer within the hour if it is not readily available with your chat reps immediately, for reasons beyond his or her control.”
In short, live chat can help give you the edge you need over your competitors. Just make sure that the promise made is also the promise delivered.