How to Deliver Great Customer Care with Live Chat

Live chat became the norm for customer care delivery but no matter the support channel of choice, customer experience must be positive. 

One of the benefits for the client is the ability to multitask during the session which allows those with busy schedules to continue with their daily tasks and routines.

Though the quality of the service itself can be less than favourable since at times the agent will overuse scripted lines, fail to personalise comments and ask irrelevant questions.

When moving agents from the traditional channels of communication to live chat you should consider training them in proper etiquette.

Be Proactive

Smart companies know the benefits of live chat. Tough you need to keep in mind which method of delivering the service you should pick. You have two options; either include a button on your site that opens up a session or set a timer that will automatically open up a session after a prolonged browsing period. The second option can be a little annoying for the customer. Remember that instigating communication is a proven method of increasing revenue.

Customize Messages

Most life chat sessions begin with a scripted welcoming message. Those are a time saver but frequent overuse can lead to negative interaction with the customer simply because they might make him will unimportant. Be understanding, show the empathy you have for your customers’ needs and be sincere about the desire to help. This is the first step in building brand loyalty.

Don’t Over-Personalize

The information most systems let you gather on your customers should never ever be revealed to them, use the data only to add real value to the conversation. If the client gets the feeling of his privacy being invaded he will consider going to your competitors.

Communicate Clearly

The style of communication matters, this might be the customer’s first glance at the company. Pay attention to grammar, be precise and don’t ever use emoticons. Keep in mind that when hiring for a web chat position the agent has to be able to express empathy through writing. The safe approach would be monitoring your employees for the dozen or so first sessions.

Be Positive

The two key elements are positive attitude and service knowledge when these two are combined they form the perfect customer service experience. Be responsive and reassure the customer that you’re here to help him.

Use those five tips and you’ll quickly notice:

  • Happier customers.
  • Reduced cost of operations.
  • Improved profits.

These simple, yet effective guidelines provide a steady framework for your customer care team; a base which can be adapted and modified according to your personal observations and for the best outcome. Now go out there and deliver exceptional customer care!

Turn Your Hiring Program Into a Powerful Retention Tool

Multilingual contact centre managers realise the key to success is having skilled, engaged and fast thinking agents manning the front lines of each campaign.

This is where the hiring program methods distinguish the great contact centres from the decent ones. If you want to provide excellent customer experience with highly engaged agents you need to treat the recruiting process like an agent retention tool and not like the usual agent acquisition process.

The widespread myth of “high turnover rates” is to blame.

Take your time

Careful and precise selection of the most qualified and committed candidates is the best way to reduce attrition among contact centre agents.

Customer service requires a plethora of soft and hard skills and it would be highly unwise to rush the whole recruitment process. Trying to quickly meet the contact centres staffing requirements will only be a waste of time and precious resources.

Screening and filtering are essential steps – don’t skip them.

Overconfidence will get you nowhere

Many contact centre managers make this rookie mistake, overconfidence is your biggest enemy when it comes to turnover rates. Even if your contact centre has an empathetic corporate culture that attracts many candidates, so many that there is always a line of “soon-to-be” agents waiting just outside the door to fill in for your front line “grunts” – it’s not the time to boast.

Having a long line of applicants doesn’t mean they’re all highly qualified and engaged.

Use the numbers to your advantage

Simply “stack the deck” in your favour, a large pool of candidates provides no advantage unless you have tools in place which will help filter out the real talent from replicas.

These tools include:

  • a focused recruiting process
  • screening and assessment techniques and technologies that pinpoint which candidate possess qualities to succeed in the dynamic multilingual contact centre environment
  • realistic job previews, be clear on what is required from potential candidates

Having overbearing numbers of job applicants isn’t anything to brag about, especially in this economy. If you believe that long lines of candidates outside the office are a valid metric of how special your company is we’ve got bad news for you – it’s time to get off your high horse.

If agents are quitting despite the situation of the current job market it might be a sign of poor management

In order to form teams of highly engaged agents and forming a customer-centric climate, you need to view your hiring program as a powerful retention tool.

Reducing Costs While Maintaining Efficiency & Versatility

When operating a multilingual contact centre, customer service costs can add up fast, and over a short period of time they will quickly add up to A LOT.

If you are looking to improve your business’s bottom line, or provide better customer service, you need to implement these methods to reduce customer service costs without sacrificing the support part, and still providing exceptional customer experience.

Equipment

Re-evaluate your equip­ment, it could be cost­ing you more money than you think.  For example, automat­ing your contact centre’s tele­phone sys­tem for the less used cus­tomer ser­vice func­tions could potentially save time and reduce cost on pay­roll and train­ing. Cloud-based technology can also centralise your whole contact centre into one consolidated customer service centre.

  • Phone Sys­tem: Find an appropriate calling system that will streamline the process. An automated attendant or system that reroutes calls to correct contact centre agents quickly can be a life saver, especially during customer service peaks
  • Soft­ware: Is your CRM software integrated with your calling and scheduling systems? If not, make it your top priority.
  • Stor­age: Most on-site systems can be moved to the cloud, especially if they take up valuable space and resources. Evaluate if doing so will help you save on utility costs.

Multi-Channel

Embracing the multi-channel approach, implementing it and then aligning all your communication channels is what all contact centres should aim to achieve in 2015.

It’s not only about the technology, it’s about the people. Your contact centre is as strong as its core employees – the front line grunts, contact centre agents.

Make sure that your teams can handle multiple communication channels, be it email, phone call, live web chat or social media. Assigning two people per campaign to each communication channel might seem a reasonable choice, but in the end, it might cost you more.

Remember about attrition and turnover rates, which despite the efforts of contact centre managers still plague the industry to this day. Train each representative, they need to provide exceptional customer service on each communication channel – versatility is essential.

Also in the case of returning customers, if the same agent handles the quarry throughout all communication channels, it adds a new depth of personalisation thus creating a compelling experience for the customer resulting in increased customer satisfaction.

Cutting customer service costs is not about blindly “swingin’ the ole axe”  and reducing budgets, it’s about making your business more efficient.

Upgrading software, as well as hardware, will lead to increase in employee efficiency while embracing the multi-channel approach and centralising all communication channels will lead to increase in customer satisfaction, both of which will in the long-term lead to better customer retention.

Evaluate budgets, look for ways to increase efficiency, and only then cut costs.