How to Avoid Common Errors in Web Chat Deployment - Part 4

13th Nov, 2014
Read time: 2 minutes

In the third part of this series we discussed seven ways to improve the effectiveness of your web chat implementation which you can view here.

Launching a new functionality within a contact centre will usually have a full project plan and many interested stakeholders. The technical realities of getting the solution to 'go-live' can overshadow the need to plan just what happens afterwards and how it will be used by agents and customers.

Below we provide answers to help you identify any areas for improvement and some suggestions on good practice.

Visibility of chat

Is your chat request easy to find? Is it possibly on the right hand side margin, in an unobtrusive colour, or is it bright and demanding? While a bright or invasive chat pop-up will get noticed, it may soon annoy the browser. Consider limiting the use of proactive chat (offering chat before being requested) to specific pages where it would add value to the customer and prevent contact via another channel. For example, if the customer has been on the basket or checkout page for longer than the average browse time, perhaps due to concerns over delivery options, you could proactively offer help, which if it resolves their concerns, could lead to a completed purchase.

Skills based routing

Web chats that receive inadequate answers increase customer frustration. Contact centres need to route the customer's chat to the correct agent. Their journey needs to be planned as carefully as it would for phone calls, in order to ensure that the agent answering has the highest chance of success and the customer has the greatest possibility of resolving the query in the first contact.

Priority of pages

Not all web chat conversations are of equal priority. Customers on certain pages may make critical decisions to buy or not; or similarly to continue searching or leave the site. Converting or retaining customers at these times is very important; priority pages should be added to an accelerated route or journey map so that the customer receives the most prompt and specific attention possible.

On or off line

If you are currently failing to make it clear when web chat is not available, you may consider a signpost for when the service is offered and provide an alternate contact such as an eForm or email for a later response. When agents are online, increase the personalisation of the experience by indicating the likely queue time, or an activity indicator such as 'agent typing'.

Tip: test the interaction yourself; experience how it works and understand what you are asking from the customer throughout the process. Mitigate any possibility of frustration by making small changes. This attention to detail will support you to reduce customer effort and thereby increase customer satisfaction.

Look out for our next blog in this series where we discuss how to keep the human factor of web chat.

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