28 May 2014
Calling All Call Centres - Optimise With Web Chat Software
All kinds of businesses add web chat software to their website, but not everyone makes the most of it. B2B organisations that deliver call centre services can differentiate themselves by offering live chat support. Web chat software is convenient for call centre clients as it can increase sales, reduce costs and offer greater functionality than more traditional correspondence, like e-mail and phone.
Exactly how much web chat software benefits a call centre provider will depend on choosing the right system, settings and implementation. As live chat software experts we regularly see businesses that chose the wrong live chat solution, failed to implement it correctly or didn’t explore the solution’s full potential.
Here are our top call centre tips accompanied by some inspiring quotes to motivate you to action!
Reporting, Reporting, Reporting
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein
Comprehensive and accessible reports are the call centres best friend. How do you expect clients to take your service seriously if you can’t monitor your own performance?
Real-time monitoring and an archive of historical data can help you to concentrate your live chat efforts, but tracking this data is only half the battle. Raw data needs to be manipulated into meaningful information that the call-centre and its clients can use to drive action. In the same way that phone operators are assessed based on wait time, number of calls handled successfully/unsuccessfully and customer feedback, live chats need performance management. Thankfully it’s fairly easy and much more cost-effective to track and categorise missed chats, abandoned chats and completed chats.
Call Centres should have an accurate picture of who their best and worst-performing agents are once the raw data has been interpreted. The ability to compress and store customer engagements is one of the biggest advantages live chat has over the phone and allows call centres and clients to identify the best individuals to handle angry customers, operators with the best knowledge about the product/service as well as those who simply need a bit more training. As Einstein points out, anyone can know the data. The trick is having a web chat software provider that can teach you how to understand what it means. Call centres need to remember this when they add live chat to their offering.
Integrate Business Systems
“It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream… But if you pour too much cream in it, you won't even know you ever had coffee…” - Malcolm X.
The human rights activist was fighting against racial segregation but this profound statement is also practical advice for call centres that want to get the most out of their web chat software: Integration.
Automating routine processes allows chat operators to focus on the sale or service they are providing instead of the account they need to access and information they need to retrieve for that customer. Call centres that make the initial effort to integrate web chat software with their CRM system see a 5% or higher increase in sales conversion and reduce the average chat time. For example, Click4Assistance can integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to automatically create new leads, prepopulate variable and retrieve client account information upon initiation of a chat. If this sounds too technical then call centres still stand to benefit from the ability of our web chat software to recognise return visitors through their IP address and location.
The depth and breadth of an integration will vary a great deal from call centre to call centre. It won’t always be a CRM system either. Call centres can receive a quote to integrate any business system they like, including management information, decision support and transaction processing systems. The fact that live chat is rooted in digital means it is easier to integrate with ERP systems than traditional phone communications.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” - Winston Churchill
This blog has actually been making a fundamental mistake by using the term call centres when, really, the addition of email, live chat and SMS has seen them become contact centres. Web chat software itself is not a trend, it’s already here and has been for the last 10 years. This last point is about rolling with the changes. In order to compete with contact centres, call centres need to start offering their clients a multichannel service. So if you work for, are invested in or manage a call centre that doesn’t already include it, your first step towards optimisation should be to add live chat.
One of the key drivers of live chat implementation among contact centres is cost-reduction. Organisations that have deployed the solution and seen the cost-saving benefits are eager to promote customer support via this medium. How is this possible? The majority of customer interaction is classified as repetitive or general, which means that live chat operators can use pre-defined replies. This simply would not be acceptable over a phone conversation. Implement web chat software and pass the cost-savings on to your subscribers!
Share with Customers
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ? Francis of Assisi
The Italian Saint probably didn’t intend for this famous quote to be applicable to the theory of economics, but it’s certainly fitting.
In this multi-device age, customers expect things to be easy – technology has set this precedent by making everyday tasks simpler (just think how much quicker it is to find a recipe or travel to a new location). Live chat gives you the ability to send videos, demos, hyperlinks and/or documentation directly to the customer. By giving the customer objective information they can make an informed decision about their purchase. This professional and non-oppressive sales approach won’t be lost on customers.
As Francis of Assisi pointed out: In order to receive, you must first give. This kind of instantaneous customer engagement isn’t possible over phone or email. If you’re a contact centre without live chat you are effectively handicapping operator performance.