2018: The Year of Web Chat Systems
The New Year is underway and many organisations are focusing on implementing plans and projects during the quarter. According to Call Centre Helper, 64% of call centres surveyed are looking to introduce web chat systems during 2018.
Web chat is the instant communication channel that connects visitors to a representative in real time via the organisation’s website. This allows visitors to receive their answers more quickly via text-based messages as they do not have to wait for an email or social media response, or in a telephone queue.
Contact centres are able to route the chats to their operators based on their expertise, whether this is a certain area of operations or trained for specific client enquiries. There are a couple of ways they can achieve this.
A chat button can be placed on a page that already has a team assigned, when a visitors clicks on this button when it is online, they will automatically connect with a representative within the allocated group.
Alternatively, the same button can be placed on the website, however provides the visitor with a choice of departments to select from, depending on which users are available. Both methods allow identical buttons to be placed throughout the website and to help increase the organisation’s first contact resolution rate, as visitors are more likely to start a chat from the page their enquiry relates to or know which department they need to speak with.
Some contact centres can suffer from high turnover and absenteeism rates. When working with skeleton staff, representatives can feel the pressure of meeting targets as the demand level remains the same.
Web chat systems can help ease this pressure as operators can handle multiple enquiries at the same time, allowing them to increase their own productivity and therefore contribute to increasing the organisations. On average representatives can handle 3 chats simultaneously, with many handling more once they are fully trained. Operators have their own user profiles enabling them to log in and out of chat as necessary to help with the workload.
Representatives can also increase their productivity by dealing with enquiries quickly. They can speed up their response rate with the use of Predefined Replies for repetitive or commonly asked questions. These shouldn’t be overused as it can make the interaction seem too robotic. Predefined Replies can be grouped to help make finding the responses easier, for contact centres that handle enquiries for a number of clients; they can separate the replies by customers and then break them down further into subsections.
A staff member can be affected by an irate customer on the phone as they can hear their tone of voice as they vent. An operator can still read a visitor’s frustration however, chat can help distance advisors from taking anything said too personally. To boost morale in contact centres, if representatives are trained up to use multiple channels, they can regularly switch teams between handling phone and chat enquiries, which also keeps their skills up to date.
Just like a phone call that may need escalating, a chat can also be escalated to management. This can be done by completely transferring the chat to a supervisor or as they can be busy, operators may prefer to invite a supervisor into their chat to help where necessary. This allows the original representative to keep control of the chat and streamlines the amount of time management is involved. Alternatively, if a supervisor does not need to be present in chat but needs to provide advice, they can privately message the user and direct them accordingly. Knowing they have this support network behind them can improve a representative’s confidence and their morale.
Chat provides many benefits for contact centres in terms of their organisation’s operations and their employees’ performance. Visitors prefer the instant communication channel and as the world turns even more digital, 2018 is the year to implement web chat systems.
What’s your organisation’s strategy for digitalising customer service this year, is chat a part of your plans?
Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK web chat systems provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.