Jim Iyoob is Chief Customer Officer for Etech Global Services. Jim has 20+ years of contact center outsourcing experience in inbound, outbound, chat and social media operations, and is a respected speaker, author and subject-matter expert for call center solutions.

4 Ways to Improve Consistency Across Live Chat Services

Live Chat Services-Jim IyoobTo have the greatest impact, your live chat services must be of consistently high quality. The first step in making this happen is checking your live chat software stability and making sure it is free of glitches and bugs. Once you know your software is solid, you can go on to make other changes that will allow your customers to enjoy a consistent service experience no matter which agent they contact.

1. Create a Training Program
The most important way to ensure reliability with live chat is to establish a consistent training program for all your operators. Lay out exactly how to use the software, how to greet customers and how to escalate issues if needed. As training modules are updated, remember to have your current agents review them so everyone is on the same page.

2. Develop Scripts
Using scripts is an easy way to create consistency for your clients. You can craft basic opening or closing scripts, such as “Hello, how may I help you today?” as well as more complex scripts to use when selling a product or addressing a common concern. If you do not know where to begin, ask your most productive agents for their usual pitches, and then study and combine their responses to craft a new, universal script.

3. Employ Carefully-Crafted Canned Responses
Canned responses are similar to scripts, and address issues that come up repeatedly. For example, if customers often ask about shipping speed and pricing, and you have a chart that explains it very well on your website, you could create a canned response that includes a link to the chart. This type of pre-written response will be pasted into the chat, so it should include formalities and a friendly explanation of any information or links that are included. Company-wide canned responses help create a consistent support voice among chat agents, whereas private canned messages are created by individual agents for their personal use.

4. Practice and Monitor
Your agents will no doubt benefit from mock chat sessions, where a trainer plays the role of the customer and the agent responds within the chat software. The kind of feedback received in this kind of exercise can be extremely valuable. The agent gets to learn what he or she is already doing right, along with where improvements can be made. The trainer gets to assess how well each agent is learning to use the chat software and effectively reflecting the company’s brand voice and service values.

Depending on the software you use, you may be able to monitor agent and customer interactions in real time without visibly being part of the chat. This enables you to ascertain whether or not your guidelines are being followed and in what areas your agents may need further training. You may be able to enter the chat at any point, visible either to the agent or to both parties, to provide assistance.

Creating a high level of support quality and a consistent brand voice are key factors in providing the best live chat experience for your clients. Take the time to train your agents well, and it will pay off in the long run.

This blog post is first published on LinkedIN

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