Increased customer satisfaction, higher agent productivity, savings and more closed transactions. The use chat in contact centres is getting more and more popular around the world.
According to the report by Global Contact Center, the use of chat in the call/contact centres worldwide will increase by over 100% over 12 months. It is the fastest growing communication channel in the departments of sales support and customer service, ahead of mobile applications and social media. What is the reason?
1. Customer preferences
Customers like to chat. Chat is assessed better by users than any other channel of communication with the company. In a British survey of customer satisfaction by eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark of March 2014, 73% of respondents were satisfied with the communication with a company through chat, 61% through e-mail and only 44% through telephone conversations. The test group included 2 thousand people.
Chat “wins” over e-mail for two reasons – it allows for real-time communication and is more personal.
Time is the key to keep the customer interest – potential customers, when they do not receive answers to their questions at once, are likely to give up the purchase. A US survey (Forrester Research) indicates that almost half of online shoppers who abandon their baskets would not do that if they had the opportunity of immediate consultation with the shop staff to clarify information about the offer, compare products or to facilitate site navigation.
Chat “wins” over telephone because it is less absorbing.
During a chat conversation, the customer can view other websites, check his/her Facebook status, or even take a break for tea. A phone call is more absorbing and sometimes annoying when it makes the customer hold the line (waiting for a chat response is less annoying).
While chatting, customers do not feel too embarrassed interrupting the conversation to reflect on the offer or the solution, which gives them more comfort when making purchase decisions.
2. Advantage of contact centre – higher productivity of agents
Experienced agents can handle three or four chats simultaneously, which considerably increases their efficiency in relation to communication with customers using the most popular telephone communication.
In the case of helpdesks, chat allows to add ready answers to the most frequently reported, common problems – and these are usually approx. 80% of inquiries. The ability to “paste” a ready answer further improves agent productivity.
The chat also allows for an easy transfer of the conversation, with all its history, to a more experienced consultant when the qualifications of the one currently conducting the dialogue are insufficient. The customer does not need to be informed about such a transfer and will not have any negative impression which would happen in the case of information of the lack of knowledge of the previous consultant.
Implementation of chat in the contact centre usually means shorter time of waiting for an answer by the customer, which also means less workload for the team of agents.
3. Advantage of contact centre – savings
Chat generates lower cost than phone calls.
Savings are also a simple derivative of a better use of working time of agents.
4. Higher conversion
The use of chat in online sales increases conversion from a few to as much as 40% (according to the American survey). The increase in the number of closed transactions depends on the industry and the manner of use of chat, including the competence of consultants and co-browsing tool, which is common browsing by the customer and consultant. However, increasing sales is almost a rule.
Customer expectations make the chat channel now becoming a “must have” for call/contact centres, by the way allowing greater productivity and cost savings. The efficient use of chat by agents, which we will discuss soon, remains one of the key issues.
Chat on Focus Contact Center platform
For customer satisfaction and to facilitate the work of the agent, the chat in FCC it is fully integrated with other channels of communication within the system. In this way, knowledge about the customer acquired during the chat can then be used during the next chat session, telephone call, SMS or e-mail correspondence. The customer since the beginning of the conversation is identified according to the data in the database. If the data are already there, they are displayed to the agent, and another collected information is added to this record. If it is the first contact, a new record is created.
During the chat, the agent receives information from the system on where the person who wrote to him/her is on the website, which allows for a conversation with regard to the content viewed by the chatting person and translates into higher probability of closing the transaction in the event of sales activities. The system also allows for entering own greetings tailored to the interlocutor category – whether the person visits the site for the first time, the person is again present on the site, the person is on the website for a specified time, and to determine the appearance of the chat.