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Chat Best Practices Webinar Panel Aug2011 Slides

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Best Practices for Online Chat in the Contact Center.

Best Practices for Online Chat in the Contact Center.


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  • 1. 5 Proven Strategies to Drive ROI for ChatPanel: TELUS International, Dell & SPOT ConsultingWebinar on-demand at: telusinternational.com/chatSponsored by TELUS InternationalModerated by
  • 2. 5 Proven Strategies to Drive ROI for Chat Panel / speakers: Emily Millar Jeffrey Hutchings Kim Keating VP Client Relations Director, Sales VP Client Services TELUS International Dell Inc. SPOT Consulting2
  • 3. Objectives Why every company should consider chat for care & sales Why effective online chat is important Five proven best practices to drive ROI from chat What the ideal chat session might look like How Dell, a customer service leader & chat pioneer, uses best practices to drive CSAT & sales ROI3
  • 4. Why chat is important?Chat has many well-known benefits:  Serve customers in their preferred communications channel  Address customer issues in real-time in the online environment  Attract a hyper-digital generation that will not phone or visit a store  Reduce shopping cart abandonment by assisting with order forms  Take social interactions into a more private & secure online setting  Reduce expensive calls into the call center  Achieve higher customer satisfaction scores over other channels4
  • 5. Why chat is important? rowing expectation for instant online support; chat gets good reviews:  Once a shopper has used live chat, more than 2/3rds will actively look for sites that provide it – Bold Software survey, 2010  77% of chatters agree that the technology positively influenced their attitude about the online retailer – Bold Software survey, 2010  63% of survey respondents said that they were more likely to return to the website where they had originally experienced live chat – e.Marketer.com, 2009  Reactive chat (or click-to-chat options) earned a 15% ROI whereas Proactive chat (or chat by invitation) earned an impressive 105% ROI – Forrester, 2008  Live chat was the best way to reduce shopping cart abandonment – e-tailing group, 20115
  • 6. Yet, surprisingly… American Customer No Sales Chat  The chat channel is immature Company Satisfaction Index at time of despite benefits, ROI and (ACSI) study consumer preference for it. Industry Leaders in Customer Experience & Loyalty Netflix 87 x  And sales chat, specifically, is not Amazon.com 86 x widely available. Newegg 86 x FedEx 85 x  Still lots of opportunity to interact Barnes & Noble 84 x with customer online. UPS 82 x Costco 81 x Borders 81 x Target 80 x Southwest Airlines 79 x Charles Schwab 79 x Expedia 79 x Lowes 79 x Microsoft Office 76 x Nokia 76 x AT&T 75 x Macys 71 x Time Warner Cable 61 x Disney - x USAA - x6
  • 7. Benchmark study Research methodology:  Team of subject matter experts  60-indepth chat sessions with 6 Fortune 500 customer service leaders  Analyzed a further 150 chat transcripts Customer Experience (CE) based er id ov on three major criteria: Pr  Agent Skills  Chat System  Communications Style7
  • 8. The customer experience can be improved8
  • 9. How?What makes up the ideal chatcustomer experience?9
  • 10. Top 5 best practices 1 Agent Training – don’t underestimate it  Make chat feel like a phone call -- strive for < 60s response rate  Provide up-to-date product training with feature comparisons  Effectively facilitate the sale or resolve the customer issue Training needed: o How to ensure accurate answers (access to knowledge bases) o How to up-sell / cross-sell & uncover needs o How to personalize as appropriate o When to use canned vs. free form responses o How to use chat system features to benefit CE o How to write for chat; construct a conversation flow o How to best represent the brand online10
  • 11. Tip: Strong Agent Skills Can Reduce Effort Most people scan for information while multi-tasking, so keep it simple in online interactions: 1. Skip a wordy greeting; offer help right away: Welcome to [Company] Live Chat! My name is David. Thank you for waiting. How can I help you? 2. Appear seamless. Avoid transferring customers to different departments. If a transfer is required, make it a warm transfer: It sounds like it could be one of several issues, but I am unfortunately not equipped to diagnose the problem you are experiencing. I think the best course of action is to call Technical Support at 1-800-***-**** or e-mail them at support@company.com. I could also connect this chat to their department. Would you like me to? 3. Stick to the point. Support the customer with links to the specific resources they need. Use short and to-the-point answers: Customer: Is your site protected? Agent: Yep! http://www.company.com/shop-with-confidence Customer: Okay, I see. Can you tell me about your shipping policies? Agent: Yes, it is free shipping and free return shipping. Standard shipping is about 4 - 5 business days.   4. Like the opening, the closing sets the tone and supports the overall corporate brand: Agent: Did you have any other questions or anything else? Customer: No. Ill call-in later. Agent: If anything else does come up, we are here 24/7 for you! Have a great day!11
  • 12. Top 5 best practices 2 Improved Chat Writing = Better CRM  Strong writing skills are critical to conveying an accurate message & upholding the company brand  Focus on Customer Effort  Don’t make customers work to understand responses or find answers Focus on: o Brevity & staying on point o Grammar, spelling & sentence structure o Voice & tone o Terminology o Personalization12
  • 13. Tip: Chat Etiquette stablish a chat etiquette up front & measure via transcripts  Agent is polite & ‘speaks’ positively about the company, products & competitors  Agent offers empathy when appropriate  Agent is energetic, engaged and upbeat with the customer  If needed, agent asks permission to put customer on hold (explains reason, sets timeframe, thanks customer)  If needed, agent asks permission to push urls to the customer  When transferring a chat, agent explains where chat will be transferred & why  Agent responds to customer within 2 minutes of customer/agent last response  Agent checks in with customer within 2 minutes if customer is unresponsive13
  • 14. Top 5 best practices 3 Be Human!  Maintain the human element online Open- with appropriate (short) spiel  Know how to construct a conversation flow: Answer initial concern- Ask if customer was satisfied  Most important info up front with the given information.  One or two ideas per response Offer additional help (e.g. configuring their system)  Multiple back & forth exchanges If customer agrees, proceed to “Question”  Use the right balance between free form vs. Question- Collect more Customer Info, canned responses: Budget, Question for Needs, Probe and Position.  For efficiency – aim for 50/50 use of hot keys (continue the conversation to close)  Personalize using customer provided info14
  • 15. Top 5 best practices 4 Optimize Customer-Facing Features  Hours of operation  Entitlement process Avoid the dreaded question:  Queue position o Are you still there?  Wait times  Typing notification  Encryption of sensitive info  Ability to change font size  Post-chat transcripts available (via email)  Added features: co-browsing, page pushing15
  • 16. Chat features help set expectationsPersonalize withname, if desired Chat transcript easily obtainable Increase or decrease font sizeHyperlink to security/privacy statement 16
  • 17. Top 5 best practices 5 Right Metrics = Right Agent Behavior  Metrics need to promote a balance between productivity & quality  Traditional metrics like Average Response Time or Chats/Hour need to be combined with quality metrics the agent can control E.g. Metrics for quality Measured by: Accuracy of response Quality of chat transcript Quality of response Quality of chat transcript Contact resolution rate Successful close of chat conversation Customer satisfaction (CSAT) Post-contact survey (usually email)17
  • 18. Best Practices: ROI Within weeks of launching chat queues, our customers have realized chat as a huge source of untapped potential:  Quick & convenient for customers  Efficient: agents handle multiple chats at one time  Up to 1/10th the cost of voice  Up to 10 to 15 points higher in CSAT over voice  Up to 30% higher revenue margins vs. voice18
  • 19. Putting it into action Dell chat sales19
  • 20. Dell | chat sales Looking at best practices, three key areas emerged where we could improve the chat customer experience: 1. Improve chat training with a heavier focus on CE 2. Revise current metrics to foster the right agent behavior 3. Reduce Customer Effort in the chat channel20
  • 21. Dell | chat sales1. Chat Training Curriculum Focus – Before & After More emphasis on customer experience & salesmanship21
  • 22. Dell | chat sales 2. Revise current metrics to foster right agent behavior  Original curriculum focused heavily on efficiency metrics: AHT, Chats/Hr  Needed to increase emphasis on CE to drive right agent behavior  More time to build rapport, uncover needs, cross-sell, up-sell  CSAT took priority alongside other chat sales metrics  CSAT  Close Rate Scores  Revenue per Chat  Margin per Chat  Transcript QA Scores22
  • 23. Dell | chat sales 3. Reduce customer effort in chat  Focus was on improving the conversation flow to engage customers, make them feel secure & ideally, uncover further needs / opportunities  Use chat flow diagrams to guide agents (pre-crafted scripts of important questions as the chat progresses) Conversation flow sample: After a standard opening statement followed by addressing the customer’s initial concern, the chat agent should uncover a customer’s budget and purchase timeframe. The chat flow suggestion might look something like this: Customer’s Budget: Rep asks about customer’s budget either in monthly payments or total cost. Agent: I can help you get the biggest bang for your buck; what sort of budget are you looking to stay within? Purchase Timeframe: Rep asks the customer for a general or specific timeframe in which they are looking to purchase. Agent: I can check which promotions will be available to you. How soon are you looking to purchase your new system?23
  • 24. Dell | chat sales Measure and QA post-chat:24
  • 25. Dell | results To measure results of new chat training curriculum:25
  • 26. Dell | results The results were impressive: Results Milestone Improvements In Program That Was Already Meeting Goals  CSAT Increase  Close Rate Increase  Revenue Per Chat Increase  Margin Per Chat Increase26
  • 27. Summary / Q&A Chat has many benefits (customer preference, cost, efficiency) Take a measured approach to implementation  Hire & train for chat  Model of control  Consistent focus on customer experience (CE)  Leverage the technology to make customers feel secure  Set customer expectations upfront27
  • 28. Questions  Voice vs. Chat comparisons  Chat popularity  Rise of video chat  Hiring for chat  When to use canned responses  Transactions more suited to chat vs. voice  Role of social media + chat  Maximizing chat efficiency28
  • 29. Connect!Learn more about our chat & contact centeroutsourcing practice:TELUS International SPOT Consultinginformation@telusinternational.com kim@spotconsulting.biztelusinternational.com spotconsulting.biz Download white papers. Questions: webinars@telusinternational.com