02 September 2013
The Challenges of adding Live Chat Software and How to Deal With Them
How to Handle the Challenges of Adding Live Chat Software
Live chat is becoming more and more common within modern customer service environments, with companies looking to both save money and increase productivity.
However, as with any form of customer service, it comes with its own unique challenges. That’s why we’ve put together this piece looking at some of the main potential issues, and how to deal with them.
It can be distracting
Multiple studies have shown that multi-tasking rarely actually works. However, with live chat software it’s quite natural for a couple of chat boxes to appear on one person’s screen during a busy period. One of the most effective ways to deal with this issue is to ensure that the customer assistant keeps both chat boxes open at all times. Typically, the biggest issues will arise when the boxes are being consistently minimised and then re-opened; it’s extremely easy to open the wrong one without thinking and type in the answer from a different conversation. It’s also important to emphasise quality service above speed to those working. If your employees feel the need to rush when they have two calls open, they’re more likely to make a mistake.
Customers aren’t always reliable
Just as employees can become distracted if they’re not allowed to take their time and focus, customers can become easily diverted, and on some occasions forget about the live chat box altogether! On these occasions, leave a reasonable amount of time for a customer to reply (usually around fifteen minutes, as some older users might not be too quick in navigating and typing and it’s necessary to allow for this). If that time has elapsed with no reply, then send a gentle prompt, and once again allow a reasonable period of time to pass. If no further communication is made, then one final query asking if the customer needs assistance is a good idea. If there is no communication from the customer for an hour or so, but the ‘customer has left the chat’ notification hasn’t arrived, then leave your contact details before you leave the chat so the customer can re-contact your company if or when it suits them.
Customers will call in surges
All forms of customer service centre will have to deal with surges in query volume at certain times. It’s important, therefore, to plan staff hours around when the busiest times are. After a month or two of the new system going live, you should have a decent indication of when this is, and will be able to tailor shift patterns accordingly. This will typically be early mornings, lunchtimes, evenings and weekends, so varying patterns should be common.
The service may quieten down after launch
This is usually due to some customers preferring to hear a human voice, feeling that they’re being treated more as individuals. The key to this is to allow your employees to express themselves using the chat. The very best customer service assistants on the phones are the ones who are friendly, efficient and can build a rapport. If you make your live chat employees stick to scripted replies, then they’ll sound too robotic. Allow them to be friendly, and to add colour to the conversations – you’ll retain more customers this way.
If you have enjoyed this blog on The Challenges of Adding Live Chat Software and How to Deal With Them, why not check out how you can Deal With Impatient Customers over Live Chat. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter, so check us out to receive all our updates first!