Some trends don’t stand the test of time, while others catch fire and transcend trendiness to become part of the landscape. Take the trendy flip phones of the early 2000s: Once ubiquitous, they’ve now gone the way of parachute pants and spiral curl perms. Compare the flip phone to the Apple iPhone, once trendy and now in its sixth iterationâ€”but wait; there is no comparison.
Like the iPhone, Live Chat is one of those trends destined to stick around and evolve. Think about itâ€”what did we do before Live Chat when we had to make a sensitive phone call from our office cubicle environment? We spilled our account problems or sketchy medical symptoms, oh-so-softly but emphatically, to the agent on the other end of the line and hoped our nearby colleagues were away on a bathroom break.
Though email offers more privacy than a phone call, unlike Live Chat it’s not a good tool for just-in-time answers. If a customer is lucky, he or she may get an answer to their email on the next business day. But with Live Chat software, the response is immediate. And when customers can see that a customer service agent (CSA) is available and keying in a response, they know help is on the way. This can go a long way towards easing a customer’s anxiety and is more palatable than enduring the aural assault of hold music on one’s ears.
It’s easy to see why customers would rather chat than to pick up the phone and call. But the love is a two-way street; CSAs love chat too. So what’s in it for them?
Sure, calls are recorded. But how nice is it to have a transcript immediately available from a chat session? A transcript provides a handy archive for follow-up and training and canâ€”if neededâ€”cover one’s backside.
Granted, not everyone is a good speller or typist, but a chat message is likely easier to decipher than the voice of someone with intermittent cell coverage (â€œCan you hear me now?â€), a prominent regional accent, or who speaks so softly that a CSA must strain to hear.
With canned responses and prepared scripts, CSAs can move the conversation along quickly with the click of their mouse button. Tools like spell check, autocorrect, and grammar check help prevent embarrassing, (though potentially humorous), errors. It is also easy for a CSA to push content to the customer from a knowledge management system.
When Live Chat is integrated with customer service management software, a CSA can seamlessly open a new ticket, or pull an existing ticket, all while chatting with a customer. If there are standard pages or downloads that are often pushed to customers, a CSA can mark those as favorites to quickly push them to customers in need. And finally, if a chat session requires escalation, the CSA can easily send the chat up the chain with a single click.
Live Chat can make life easier for customers and CSAs, so it only makes sense that companies add Live Chat as a channel in their customer service arsenal. Done correctly, Live Chat can lead to greater customer loyalty, eliminate problems of miscommunication, and lead to increased internal productivity and reduced operational costs. But the operative word is â€œcorrectly.â€ And implementing Live Chat correctly is the topic of our next blog.
Interested in making Live Chat part of your customer support/service program? As a feature of the popular Tracker product from PhaseWare, you can have Live Chat up and running quickly and securely.