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Ask the Experts – January 06

The following are actual questions posed to the TRG experts. You can pose your questions on our website.

Web Chat Considerations

Question:

“We are presently researching purchasing a web chat application, We have several companies we are in discussion with, but my interest is on the impact it had on the call center itself and the staff within the call center. We are a small call center with about 40 full time agents, seasonal bump to about 100.”

Expert Response:

When you are looking to implement web chat within your center there are a number of considerations you need to keep in mind;

-Unless you are integrating the web chats into your ACD queue, then you will not be able to rely on the ACD reports to provide you with good data on agent occupancy and activities,

-Like phone calls, web-chats are ’immediate’ transactions and you will need to establish service standards for these inquiries and report on these daily,

-Web chats allow the unique ability to manage multiple transactions simultaneously. It is not uncommon for a single agent to work on 5-7 web chats at the same time.

-Of course the ability to carry one multiple transactions simultaneously is directly influenced by the completeness and robustness of your knowledgebase. The better constructed and laid out the knowledgebase is the better suited it will be for ’cut and paste’ responses to customer questions.

Other related areas you have available to you and may wish to consider along these same lines would be email (once again you will need to establish service levels, share these with your customers and report on these each day) and community management. The attractiveness of community management is that it allows your own customers to answer other customer inquiries, with the appropriate controls and approvals on the responses. This latter area can, in organizations with a high loyalty level amongst customer result in dramatic saving and efficiencies in terms of total inquiries that need to be serviced by a live agent. Two companies that I am familiar with who are providing community management services are;

Engage http://www.engagecorporation.com
Outstart http://www.outstart.com/portal/index.jsp

Let us know what you think of this response. How would you have answered this question? Let us know at
[email protected].

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