Seven Ways to Deliver More Effective Web Chat Responses - Part 2

24th Oct, 2014
Read time: 2 minutes

In the first part of this series we discussed web chat best practice to support the customer, the agent and the supervisor which can be viewed here.

Web chat is currently within the top three priorities for contact centre investment and new solution deployment (ContactBabel). It is an extremely effective customer communication channel that has high customer acceptance and use.

Agents will need your support to migrate to this new channel, it is real-time and demanding. It is unlike voice in that responses are typed and show a visible record, from which customers have real 'proof' on which to act.

Agents will need the following:

1. A quick 'how to' reference sheet – develop a 'like this' versus 'not like that' style guide that provides appropriate words and phrases for them to use. It should capture the voice and tone that reflect the corporate brand, so everyone can feel empowered to respond appropriately.

Why not make it a live document by adding the best examples of each, every week.

2. A knowledge base of FAQs – perhaps you don't have a knowledge base? Make a positive start by brainstorming the top 20 most frequently asked questions (FAQs) with a team of your top agents. Use their input to create a set of pre-approved or canned responses.

Why not run a competition and add the best new FAQ solutions every week, resulting in a working set of preferred answers.

3. To avoid jargon – every industry has 'jargon' or three letter acronyms. Customers are likely to prefer plain English. Avoid the use of too many technical terms and always use their full description.

Why not provide a dictionary or glossary of terms so that everyone knows what the abbreviations common to your organisation really represent.

4. To provide factual and non-promotional information – provide short direct answers such as one or two ideas per response and avoid sales or promotional speak.

Why not have a practice session once a week at your team meeting. Review the 'best' and 'worst' web chat sessions for team contribution and discussion. This will need to be risk free and suitably motivating to support team engagement.

5. To deliver a personalised conversation – use canned responses cautiously and ensure that they blend with the tone of the non-scripted responses; there is a real person on line.

Why not have a supervisor review a minimum number of web chats per agent per week for the first few weeks to provide effective hands on support.

Why not help supervisors with transition support.

6. Patience – resolving the query is most important. What help does the customer need to close the contact and make the next positive step? Support agents to do this respectfully?

Why not limit the number of chats to a maximum of four, but ideally two to allow agents the space and time to practice patience.

7. To use the correct grammar, capitalisation and spelling – it is important to maintain a practical professional standard to reduce possible confusion and improve customer reading speed.

Why not review common errors and hold short grammar sessions at your monthly team meeting explaining how to resolve a practical grammar fault. Many grammar errors are due to individuals being unaware of the correct way to write. It is also important to highlight that taking the time to read back over what you have typed is essential before pressing send or reply.

Look out for our next blog in this series where we offer seven tips for improved implementation of any web chat solution.

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