Online Chat - the next big customer service & sales channel


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Best Practices: Online Chat in the contact center - the next big customer service and sales channel

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Online Chat - the next big customer service & sales channel

  1. 1. Online Chat: the next big customerservice and sales channel.TELUS International | Global Outsourcing InsightsA well-executed chat offering improves Deliver the best online chatboth Customer Satisfaction and ROI experienceAs consumers continue to move their shopping and customersupport requests online, there’s tremendous opportunity for Online chat meets a broad spectrum of customer needscompanies with a web presence to grow their customer base including rapid, personalized, and timely communicationsand provide top-notch customer service and sales support through direct interaction. Chat is increasingly preferredwithin the online environment. Forrester Research predicts among a rapidly growing segment of online consumers.that U.S. online retail sales will reach nearly $250 billion by This preference may be so significant in those segments2014. Supporting customers online while they research and that other traditional forms of communication are nopurchase a product makes a lot of sense. Yet surprisingly, few longer a factor. That said, leading companies continuecompanies offer online chat specifically to support sales. And to maintain customer service channel choice whilewhen it is offered, there is still a lot of room to improve the simultaneously encouraging customers to migrate tooverall customer experience. online support and chat. There is tremendous opportunity for companies that launch online sales chat well. Here are four things to consider whenClient snapshot – how chat improved optimizing your chat offering:the bottom lineFor a leading global computer manufacturer, TELUS International 1. Migrate your customers to chat – save moneypioneered the creation of an online chat sales channel. Within Online chat is a cost-effective channel that reducesweeks of launching, the client realized that chat was a source overall contact center costs by reducing averageof untapped revenue, completely exceeding their expectations: interaction costs. Enabling customers to easily access support online can reduce future calls. But in order for■ First month alone, chat sales program resulted in $2M online chat to prove beneficial for both customers and in revenue with 50 agents website owners, chat needs to be easy to use, provide■ Chat enabled “assisted” online sales with higher up-sells lots of functionality, deliver near zero wait times, and be and cross-sells accurate—all while properly conveying a company’s personality and brand. Several tactics can be used to■ Revenue margin 30% higher for chat compared to voice promote online chat and attract your customers to this■ Revenue per hour (RPH) and margin per contact (MPC) service channel option. These include: continue to exceed targets ■ Provide incentives for your customers to use or try■ Higher customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores achieved online chat over voice ■ Increase your web chat usability – make it easy to■ Little customer resistance to using chat with high chat find and easy to use volumes during hours of operation ■ Promote your online chat option through traditional■ Better customer feedback; chat customers were more customer service channels such as email or frontline responsive, answering post satisfaction surveys more 1-800 support often than voice customers ■ Understand the difference between reactive vs.■ Now has 4 chat programs (both reactive and proactive) proactive chat and use appropriately in place with TELUS International
  2. 2. 2. Train for chat – deliver on your brand promise ■ Contact resolution rate – gauged by successfully Training for online chat specifically is one the most important closing the chat conversation things you can do to offer an optimal customer experience. ■ Customer satisfaction – gauged via post-contact A good telesales agent is not necessarily a good chat sales surveys (typically email based) agent. Educate agents on the differences between chat and other forms of communication. And be sure to invest in writing skills. In addition to correct grammar, the ability to Benchmarking study for best practices deliver on your company’s brand promise is essential to To enhance our own clients’ use of online chat as a maintain a professional end-customer experience. Whether customer service and sales channel, TELUS International hiring specifically for chat, or training existing agents for chat, commissioned a benchmarking study using independent training should cover: consulting firm, SPOT Consulting. Sixty in-depth chat sessions were conducted with six Fortune 500 companies ■ The company’s web-based customer contact strategy to analyze the qualitative metrics of an ideal chat sales ■ Performance objectives for the chat agent (e.g. how session. The complete white paper is available for will they be measured?) download at ■ The actual chat platform technology used in the call center ■ The company’s policy regarding the use of “canned” vs. free-form responses Learn more ■ Policies regarding chat writing style As a premier provider of contact center ■ Chat-related policies and functions around co-browsing, and BPO solutions, TELUS International document sharing, page pushing successfully manages the customer care and sales support requirements of some of the ■ Corporate privacy policies world’s largest and most respected brands. Backed by a multi-billion dollar telecommuni- 3. Staff for chat – avoid long wait times and frustrated cations company, TELUS International customers has the financial stability and communications Experience shows that well-trained and well-equipped expertise to support your business. agents can handle multiple chats simultaneously due to the time it takes customers to type their questions. When staffing Our track record covers: for online chat, keep in mind that customer expectations ■ Hiring, training and staffing for chat around using online chat is real-time response (answers ■ Sharing and validating best practices provided within 30 seconds). Long initial wait times to reach for chat an agent or delayed responses between answers are often ■ Implementing chat technology in the not acceptable. Other factors to consider when staffing for contact center chat include whether you plan to offer proactive or reactive ■ Measuring and benchmarking chat (or both), your posted days/hours of operation, and the chat success complexity of your products/solutions. 4. Measure chat – find the metrics that really matter Like most contact center metrics, the metrics used to Connect with us today for your global measure chat must promote a balance between productivity outsourcing solutions. and quality. Traditional metrics like average response time Web: (time between customer question and agent response) or the number of agent chats per hour/shift need to be North America toll-free: 1.800.306.1586 combined with other quality metrics that the agent can control. These other metrics can include: Email: ■ Accuracy of response – gauged by the accuracy of Follow us: the chat transcript ■ Quality of response – gauged by a quality evaluation of the chat transcriptTELUS, the TELUS logo and the future is friendly are trademarks of TELUS Corporation, used under licence. © TELUS 2011. 11_00040