According to Customer Contact Week Digital’s latest Disruptive Technology Review, 96% of organizations agree that creating smooth omnichannel experiences is a priority, but only 20% of them are getting live chat right. Clearly, there’s a disconnect here.
There’s so much more to live chat than just reactive, customer-initiated conversations. With the ability to route customers based on their unique parameters, rich media capabilities using audio or video, and a range of features that make your agents more productive, live chat is a customer experience secret weapon waiting to be unleashed.
We’ve summarized the key points of the report below, focusing on how to take full advantage of everything live chat has to offer for your customers, your agents, and your business.
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- Four Tenets of Modern Live Chat
- Five Key Objectives for Disrupting Live Chat
- Six Strategies to Disrupt Live Chat
Four Tenets of Modern Live Chat
- Chat encompasses three phases of engagement: Not just limited to real-time conversations, live chat also encompasses asynchronous messaging and bot driven interactions.
- Chat is not limited to text: A robust, modern live chat program empowers customers to connect with companies through rich media like audio, video, and screen sharing.
- Chat is not a low-touch channel: From answering simple FAQs to processing transactions to technical troubleshooting and complex conversations, live chat is equipped with the functionality to handle high-touch interactions anytime, anywhere.
- Chat is driven by the will of the customer: While a good live chat platform seamlessly integrates into other customer communication channels (like email or social), deflection and channel pivoting is not part of any successful disruptive live chat strategy. Customer-centric by nature, live chat has all the capabilities needed for high customer first contact resolution (FCR).
Five Key Objectives for Disrupting Live Chat
- Personalization: Live chat is more than just messaging. Organizations can personalize their conversations and address specific needs through robust capabilities like intent-based routing and segmentation based on geography, language, interaction history, shopping cart status, and more.
- Agent-centricity: The agent experience is a key part of any successful disruptive chat strategy – evidenced by 98% of respondents reporting they believed that live chat’s AI capabilities would enhance, rather than replace, agents. Organizations need to be using chat’s AI capabilities to help agents make the right decision in key moments of truth.
- Customer experience versatility: Customers reported that a high FCR, low wait times, frictionless experiences, and 24/7/365 support are some of the top signs of a great customer experience. Live chat contributes to every single one of those metrics, but only when done right. With its inherent flexibility to adapt to any technology stack through customization options, robust features, and AI-powered capabilities, organizations not taking advantage of these key functions are missing out.
- Conversation quality: Customers want friendly, accurate, and fast service in their preferred channels, on their terms. Organizations need to make sure they’re taking full advantage of live chat’s unique capabilities – file sharing, screen sharing, and more – to provide quality interactions through tactical, interactive experiences that fuel greater customer satisfaction.
- Customer Security: Safeguarding customer data will always be non-negotiable. Disruptive chat platforms feature multiple layers of data protection and compliance with data standards like ISO 27001, GDPR, PCI, HIPAA and more.
Six Strategies to Disrupt Live Chat
- Develop a customer education roadmap: Customers understand the concept of live chat but aren’t necessarily aware of its full capabilities. Build access to live chat into key areas of the customer experience journey.
- Set performance parameters: While conventional, industry-standard metrics like CSAT, NPS, and FCR apply to live chat, consider diving deeper into its unique KPIs. For example, the acceptance rate of proactive chat invitations or how chat-specific features like screen sharing are impacting customer satisfaction.
- Improve enterprise systems: The chat experience is dependent on fast and sometimes completely automated interactions. Organizations should make sure the knowledge base or CRM system that live chat pulls information from is always up to date.
- Leverage data: Live chat offers access to a plethora of new customer intelligence data points. Leverage this data and direct customer feedback from live chat to create better, more personalized experiences and make more informed business decisions.
- Consider partnerships: While technology takes center stage, you may want to outsource your training, integrations, or customization work. Vet the chat vendor you’re partnering with and make sure they can seamlessly integrate into your technology stack so you can optimize workflows and make the most of valuable customer interaction data.
- Create a continuity plan: Chat is not a tool that you can set and forget. A successful chat strategy accounts for regular updates to canned messages, compliance with new regulations, updates to agent training, etc.
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