We asked our experts for some top tips on handling web chat well.
1. Have a knowledge base of answers to popular questions
Having a knowledge base of answers to popular questions that can be copied and pasted into the web chat dialogue box will help your agents deal with a customer’s query faster.
With thanks to Monika
2. Keep clients focused on the chat by using short quick responses
Keep clients focused on the chat by using short quick responses not exceeding more than a line or two. Even if it is a paragraph that needs writing, send your statement at each full stop.
This will stop clients becoming distracted or losing interest in the conversation. It will also ensure that the clients receive quick resolution and that your agents are working at maximum productivity.
With thanks to Paul
3. Schedule your agents around ‘golden’ browsing hours
Schedule your agents to handle web chat between 7pm and 10pm each night, as these are ‘golden’ browsing hours.
With thanks to Carl
4. Don’t let your agents do web chat and phone calls side by side
Be careful not to create opportunities for an agent to handle a phone call and a web chat at the same time. It does not go well, especially as the customer on the phone can hear the agent typing away in the background.
It is best to enable your agents to receive both channels, but only operate one at a time. For example, if a chat comes through then the advisor will make themselves unavailable to take a call and vice versa. This can be done using routing prioritisation.
With thanks to Seana and Isabelle
5. Offer the customer an alternative to web chat where necessary
If the chat is proving to be very complicated, then offer the customer an alternative, e.g. a call back or to continue the conversation via email.
With thanks to Monika
6. Try using read and write phrases like “read you soon”
Try using read and write phrases like “read you soon” instead of “see you soon”, and do not be afraid of using emoticons.
I have done it for months and have received no negative feedback from customers so far.
With thanks to Jana
7. Blend email and social media skills with web chat
When blending your agents’ skill sets, try primarily to introduce web chat to agents with similar skills (e.g. email and social media skills) rather than those with voice skills.
With thanks to Jurg
8. Don’t rush a customer when engaging in a web chat
Don’t rush a customer when engaging in a web chat. A quick turnaround time might work well for traditional sales calls but might frustrate a customer on a web chat.
As such, you may need to reconsider the metrics you use for assessing web chat agents. For example, prioritising first call resolution over average handling time.
With thanks to Kerry
9. Treat chat transcripts in the same way as a call recording
There are usually legal requirements for recording chat transcripts, as there are for recording voice calls.
If you do need to record the transcript, the customer must be notified at the beginning of the conversation.
With thanks to Bogdan
10. Try to keep long ‘silences’ to a minimum
Make sure that you let the customer know what is happening at every stage of the web chat journey.
This should help to keep long ‘silences’ to a minimum.
With thanks to Russ
11. Watch out for the ‘back door’ on your website
Watch out for the ‘back door’ on your website. Use google search for ‘Contact Us’ pages and check that web chat is presented as an option when available.
With thanks to Steve
12. Let agents decide on how many chats they want to handle
Let agents decide on how many chats they want to handle, and allow them to alter their individual settings, as long as it is within certain limits.
With thanks to Fredrik
How do you make sure that web chat works well in your contact centre?