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The Challenge: Defining world class chat strategy
Consumers are undergoing a customer experience
revolution. Digital channels and the online medium offer
remarkable and convenient new ways to engage and
interact with customers. Companies have an aspiration to
enhance sales and uplift service while improving efficiency
and lowering their cost to serve to mitigate operating
expenditures. As a result, the role of the digital channel is
changing in order to meet rising customer expectations,
moving away from simple information gateway to focus
more on complex, transactional based interactions.
A leading Australian operator realized that any
transformation of its digital strategy would need a strong
customer focus. It wanted to create the optimal customer
experience and leverage chat as a pillar to better engage
customers online. It enlisted the help of Peppers & Rogers
Group to identify best practices in chat programs and to
design a world-class chat program in order to enhance
sales, service, and improve the overall customer
The Approach: Identify leading practices
The evolution of the digital channel from informational to transactional is already underway. To gain a
better understanding of the current situation, and to pinpoint the compendium of leading practices,
the team created a 360-degree assessment based on strategy, process, people and organization,
data and technology and performance improvement.
Peppers & Rogers Group examined the current digital strategy and customer experience based on
customer accessibility, convenience, enjoyability, and consistency. The team also studied elements of
the operator’s current organization, process, information, and technology. It conducted in-depth
interviews and surveys with corporate stakeholders and sales and service agents to identify existing
vision and strategy, and experienced the leading chat practices first-hand through mystery shopping.
The assessment uncovered five critical issues that the operator had to address in its transformation.
First, while the operator already had digital strategy in place, it was focused on product-centric goals.
A chat strategy was created to shift focus from a product-centric platform to a customer-centric
platform to ensure channel alignment and brand consistency.
The Approach: Identify leading practices
Second, the operator did not have a clear standard operating procedure nor a defined customer
engagement guideline in place to ensure a consistent customer experience. From our experience,
chat process is an optimal enabler to sales and alignment. The team created an agent selection
model to ensure the right people are in place to serve the company’s most valuable asset: the
customer. In addition, training, learning and development, data, and performance management
matrices were created to ensure the chat program is staffed with capable agents and has the
proper data and performance guidelines to track and exceed expectations.
Third, chat tools were positioned to differentiate customer experiences across customer segments
and lifecycle stages, from sales, service and tech support where knowledgeable chat resources
deliver consistent, branded chat experiences under an integrated chat experience across multiple
Fourth, a critical path was created to bridge the gap between the operator’s existing capabilities
and its goal capabilities. The firm can activate tangible steps to launch quick-wins around its vision
Finally, Peppers & Rogers Group recommended that the operator prioritize and create a long-term
roadmap to operationalize the new initiatives. By creating a comprehensive live chat strategy
program plan, the operator now has a clearly defined procedure to ensure brand alignment,
holistic sales management and realize customer-centric chat strategy. Together with explicit chat
process, a clear organization and competency model, performance reporting and clearly defined
KPIs, the end result will the launch of a world-class, customer experience-based chat program, with
suitable resources dedicated to ensure the program’s success.
Insights & Outcomes: Strategize and operationalize around the customer experience
Insights & Outcomes:
Given Peppers & Rogers Group’s assessment and
recommendations, the operator is executing customer
experience-based strategy, including aligning
recommendations with live chat strategy and program
plans, and prioritizing initiatives for deployment. The
actionable strategy will be executed to increase online
adoption of digital channels, and customer conversion via
proactive and re-active chat. In addition, the operator
now plans to use real-time data to understand its current
state, as well as an independent set of recommendations
to build the future digital strategy, designed to engage
customers methodically and effectively. All of these steps
mitigate the cost to serve while achieving business the
objectives of uplifting sales, enhancing service, and
encouraging migration to the digital channels.