The customer has spoken – and they want to access brands by chat. According to Inc. magazine, 42 percent prefer live chat because they don’t have to wait on hold. Chat core competencies include the ability to provide responses that are accurate, timely, grammatically correct and demonstrate that the Brand Specialist understands the customer’s problems. The cost is worth it, considering that ICMI reported chat’s annual growth among access channels was 12.5 percent in 2015 alone – second only to mobile growth. Consider these 5 Tips on best practices for a winning chat program design.
Tip 1. Consider offering rules-based chats.
- Triggered chats: When a customer visiting your website spends more than a certain amount of time, a chat button prompts them to ask customer service for help.
- Self selected: An easily accessible chat option appears on every page of your website, giving your customer their choice to engage.
- Configure the chat to make it available on different parts of the site or certain pages to control contact volume. The types of chats that result will be different depending on where on the site you put the chat button. Placement on product pages might generate more customer-service-oriented engagements, for instance, than those placed on the shopping cart page.
Tip 2. Give yourself the ability to meter volumes, pairing incoming contacts with your available workforce.
- Create triggered and chat-available buttons that can be removed as needed until you are fully staffed to handle the volume.
- Think like a workforce manager to staff for volumes. See Tip 4.
Tip 3. Determine the number of chats per Brand Specialist.
- Design your chat program around interaction types, such as sales questions and customer service.
- The right formula considers concurrency, complexity and quality.
- Lower chat concurrency drives higher quality.
- Most programs consider between two and three chats as the optimal blend of cost, quality and service.
Tip 4. Design appropriate forecasting.
- The workforce management team should consider elements including arrival patterns, concurrency, handle time and service level as they design staffing forecasts.
- Know your business and the volume and frequency of chats during work hours and local times.
Tip 5. Develop quality assurance specifically for chat
- The QA process for chats should examine similar experience components as other channels, although there will be differences. For instance, opportunities to build rapport are different in chat than hearing your customer’s voice on a call.
- Use In-house quality assurance review or third-party scoring.
- Use post-interaction customer satisfaction surveys to reinforce QA goals. They can be done instantly within the chat feature or in an email sent post chat.
A good chat program can offer your customers another option for immediacy, increase sales and provide an overall better customer experience. But it is important to apply your brand’s design concepts into the program to ensure its functionality and effectiveness. Take the time, and you will develop another sound channel for your Brand Specialists to give clients and customers the Brand experience they’re looking for.