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Live webchat is mainstream.

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Live webchat is mainstream.

With 2013 becoming the “hot” year for webchat as a customer support channel, multi-lingual contact centers are planning ahead their strategies and either want too implament it or grow their already existing life web chat teams.

OpsTalent has prepared a list of tips on how to get the best out of webchat and provide the best customer service.

1. Provide a good FAQ.

Provide your customers with a proper Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on your web page, it will greatly reduce the volume of queries for this particular channel. This tip is directed towards those contact center managers that are afraid that their agents or even whole teams will get overwhelmed with the amount of queries.

2. Webchat will lead to a reduced phone call volume.

In most cases webchat won’t decrease the number of email communication for a contact center, but it will lead to s significantly reduced volume of phone calls.

That’s simply because the webchat is live, just like a phone call so that the customers that want to resolve their problem in real time choose it over email.

3. Don’t go in blind.

Opening a new channel, without  a clear strategy is a big mistake most contact centers that want to “catch the wave, when it starts” make.

Going in blind can lead to increased volumes on other channels such as email, phone calls or social media, at times even a huge outburst from the target audience when the quality standard isn’t being met.

Also, what if the quality of service is high but you can’t measure if the conversion has hit the spot and provides revenue to the contact center.

4. Personalize.

Pick a webchat software provider that offers a wide range of features, mainly geolocation, time spent on webpage before initiating contact, if it’s a recurring customer what’s their order history – just don’t get too creepy.

Personalising messages is a small but often a welcome touch, just don’t turn into a stalker.

5. Financial Services and webchat don’t mesh…unless.

Considering the fact that customers need to convey crucial information through a secure channel, implementing webchat when dealing with financial services will only increase the volume of follow-up inbound and outbound calls.

And this is where the common misconception simply evaporates, goes “poof”.

Make the live webchat channel only available after the customer is securely logged into your system, the customer will be authenticated and it will be possible to convey all transactional data and information at ease.

6. You can blend agent skills.

It’s quite common that contact center agents that do well during phone calls, don’t have the skills to deal with email as a form of customer support. It works the other way around, agent’s that have exceptional writing skills done mesh with the voice communication channels.

This is where live webchat comes in, since just with a tiny bit of coaching you can turn your experienced contact center agents into effective and efficient live web chat problem solvers.

Let’s not forget the newest and most hyped up communication channel – social media.

Email, webchat and social media all require a similar, at times almost identical skill set.

Blend agent skills and prepare for the future.

7. Be professional.

Live webchat is considered less formal, but as far as we at OpsTalent know – less formal doesn’t equal not professional. Bad grammar and spelling will reflect poorly on an organisation.

Automated spell checking will help immensely but always write in a professional manor.

8. Problem resolution above speed!

First contact resolution is important for your business and the customer, it leaves a lasting impression – but don’t obsess about it.

Sometimes the problem turns out to be bigger than your contact center agent expected, simply arrange for another session, if you can’t find a suitable time schedule with the customer use email as the communication channel of choice.

Just make sure that the follow up email goes out ASAP, speed does matter but not as much as successful problem resolution!

9. Keep records.

This should be common knowledge, as with all forms of customer communications, keep the recorded, stored and indexed for easy access.

10. Don’t overburden your staff.

This one is quite important as far as staff attrition goes, three simultaneous chat sessions per agent should be the absolute maximum.

Anymore and you will overburden them, thus decreasing the quality of service.

For sensitive matters or key clients, you might want to use a one to one ratio.