Today’s consumers use online self-service more often than they use voice channels. Digital chat agents are a major part of the online experience, coming in to help midway through the customer journey and quickly picking up where customers left off. Web chats help automate workflow and they provide useful insights for the contact center.
Automating Workflow with Digital Chat Agents
Auto-initiated chats and canned replies can begin the customer-agent conversation without using up much of the contact center’s resources. For customer-initiated chat sessions, pre-chat questions gather preliminary information, including a short description of the problem or question. The session is then routed to an appropriate chat agent who will come into the conversation with background knowledge.
Avoiding Problems with Automatic and Canned Chats
Automated chats should never entirely replace live digital agents. Eventually, the agent should take over and customize the conversation. Canned messages should not be overused because they will eventually make the customer feel like they’re talking to a machine instead of an actual person.
Transferring Conversations to Other Digital Agents
Agents have varying areas of expertise and they should be honest with the customer about what they’re able to do. When the conversation starts to fall outside the agent’s skill set, they should quickly transfer the conversation to a new agent and let the customer know that the transfer is occurring.
Taking Advantage of Typing Indicator Technology
Digital chat software can allow agents to see what customers are typing before they hit “send.” This gives insight into the consumer’s thought process and it helps the agent respond quickly. Digital chat agents are also alerted both audibly and visually when the other party sends their message. This ensures that even busy chat agents know when the customer is waiting for a reply.
Metrics That Improve the Customer Experience and Boost Sales
Digital chat software can determine the pages on which customers spend an immoderate amount of time; often, these are also the pages on which a customer requires a live agent. Brands can use this information to improve the website and contact centers can setup an automatic chat box on the problematic pages. The software also collects agent performance data, including the acceptance rate of agent-initiated chats, which help determine the agent’s skill level in this area. Additionally, live chat windows can show up on pages that have high conversion rates and digital agents can then encourage the customer to make a purchase.