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CCW Disruptive Technology Report: Live Chat

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Chapter 5

Disruption Goal #2 - Agent Centricity

The agent experience impacts the customer experience, which is bad news for many organizations. The typical contact center subjects its agents to frustrating performance bottlenecks. Not simply demoralizing for agents, the challenges trickle down to customers.


Unable to devote the appropriate time or gather the necessary information, agents struggle to deliver the fast, simple, attentive experiences customers are demanding. A silver lining does, however, exist in the fact that many organizations are aware of their shortcomings. They have a clear sense of which factors can improve their agent experiences, and in turn their customer connections:

80% of organizations say agents typically have to access multiple systems when supporting customers.

Discontent with their existing knowledge capabilities, organizations identify 'improving the knowledge base" as the #2 priority for 2019.

57% of organizations value agent productivity rate as a cornerstone contact center metric.

Most view bots as a way to augment or reallocate human labor, not as a way to replace employees.


Agent Experience Is A Key Part Of Chat Strategy

To accommodate all forms of customer engagement in chat, it is imperative to create an empowering agent experience. If agents struggle to understand customer needs, locate relevant information or sufficiently focus on the conversation, the experience will suffer.
The ideal chat agent experience encompasses numerous tenets. It involves a user-friendly platform that makes it easy for agents to communicate with customers. It features tools that help agents make the right decisions in key moments of truth. It boasts a robust training strategy that readies agents to understand human emotion even in text-based conversations. It leverages bots and automation to simplify tasks and augment performance.

It, most notably, provides agents with a 360-degree customer view. With real-time, seamless access to knowledge bases and customer data, agents become capable of making connections and demonstrating accountability.

"Our agents loved it when we added live chat to our service model. They found it so easy to build personal rapport, and so much more scalable than phone and email," celebrates Holly Langenfelder. "It helped that we put energy into training — like any technology, you get out what you put in. We were able to make live chat a core part of our culture because we worked on getting buy-in across the board, from management and the CSR team."

Holly Langenfelder
Export & Domestic Customer Service Manager, National Accounts, Dixon Valve

Accountability is an important goal for a disruptive chat program. More than 70% of customers still identify the phone channel as a preferred customer service option, and the belief that it is their easiest pathway to a resolution is the #1 reason for that preference. If chat agents can demonstrate clear recognition of customers, communicate wholly accurate information and quickly provide valuable resolutions, they will provide assurance that customers can use the digital channels they prefer in their everyday lives without decreasing the likelihood of resolution. Customers will no longer have to miss out on chat-centric benefits like multi-tasking or private conversations.


Leading chat platforms position agents for success. They provide a comprehensive view not merely of a given customer’s journey but of overarching enterprise systems and processes. With a real-time sense of operational and customer needs, agents can more productively impact the experience.

To further boost productivity, leading platforms leverage artificial intelligence for agent assistance. Through next best action recommendations, risk assessments and CSAT predictions, this Al-driven data enables agents to stop stressing over what to say and start focusing on how they communicate.

In addition to arming agents with actionable intelligence, disruptive organizations have a thorough snapshot of the chat platform itself. Leading tools provide organizations with insight into wait times, customer abandonment, individual agent performance and satisfaction ratings. Collectively, this information uncovers training needs and broken processes.

Disruptive platforms also leverage seamless bot interplay. They allow for frictionless transfers and collaborations between agents and bots, empowering agents to focus on the issues that truly require a human touch.

"Thanks to a smart and seamless escalation path from bot to agent, you'll make it easy for customers to talk to a live person if they want or need to," explains Gao. "At that point your bot turns inward, helping agents suggest answers and provide links to resources related to the topic being discussed. It doesn't matter which channel the customer is using; the bot can 'whisper' suggestions and help the agent respond faster and more accurately."

 Kevin Gao
Kevin Gao
Co-Founder, Comm100 Network Corporation

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