Best Practices in Chat Customer Care

So, what’s the secret to delivering exceptional live chat support? Signs.com is leading the way, and their stellar work earned them the recognition from industry leaders and analysts.

How do they do it? There are many keys to their success, but three best practices stand out above the rest: customer-centric design, collaborating with departments outside the contact center, and using metrics to support ongoing improvement.

Customer-Centric Chat: Giving Customers Peace of Mind

To make any new channel implementation successful, you have to start with a clear goal and purpose in mind. For Signs.com, that mission was simple: make the purchase process less stressful for customers.

Case in point, Signs.com now offers custom proofs via live chat. That way, customers know what they’re ordering and how it will look when they receive it. “We can answer questions about the material, usage of our products, and installation, all online! Our clients don’t have to go searching for answers,” says Page. “We have knowledgeable, friendly staff available to help them however they need!”

Collaboration for the Win

According to Page, the entire Signs.com team thrives on and believes in collaboration. This collaborative spirit allows their contact center to drive success and process improvements that benefit the entire team. The free design services Signs.com offers, for example, sometimes lead to customer questions. While the customer experience team is trained to understand the ins and outs of the process, as well as the day-to-day role of the design team, customers sometimes have specific design questions that a support team member can’t address. That’s why open communication is a priority at Signs.com. The design team and customer experience team work together to make sure that clients are taken care of promptly. If a customer experience representative receives a design related question, they can chat with the designer in real-time using an internal chat system to check up on the design. The result? The customer gets an immediate response instead of a transfer to another department. And according to Page, customers love it!

“Our clients tell us time and time again that having a team that works so closely together is incredibly beneficial. We think so, too! We strive to make sure our entire team has great communication! Further, our customer experience representatives even communicate with the development team to troubleshoot website issues on the spot!”

It’s a smart approach. After all, the frontline support team often gets a firsthand look at any product or website “bugs.” Empowering the support team to report those issues immediately allows for quicker resolution. That’s exactly how the Signs.com team sees it, says Page. “This type of department to department communication is virtually unheard of in large contact centers. Dealing with a contact center often means getting switched from one department to another to solve a problem. This type of nonsense doesn’t happen at Signs.com. We believe that interdepartmental communication, although nontraditional, is the best way to serve clients most effectively.”

Relentless Improvement

While this team has accomplished a lot over the past few years, they’re still relentless in their pursuit to improve. Signs.com hired a Customer Experience Officer to oversee their customer experience team. Before this hire, their COO oversaw the day-to-day operations of the customer experience department but hiring a dedicated CXO set them up for greater, more focused success.

The CXO made time for learning a priority and began training representatives to answer customer questions quickly and correctly, making it easier for them to help more clients. With a wider range of training and better-developed tools and processes at their disposal, customer experience representatives are now able to finish chats faster and get to new chats in a record time of 7 seconds, which is 7 times faster than the industry average of one minute. Perhaps even more impressive, those stats are translating to revenue for the business. Since implementing live chat, website pages viewed per session have increased by 263%, the sales conversion rate rose by 679%, and the average order value has increased by 14%.

Would you like to replicate this level of success? Page shares this advice and encouragement:

Final Advice

As you deploy chat, be careful not to do it in a silo. Agents need access to all context from the chat so that they can apply that knowledge to conversations in other channels. With a complete view of the customer’s journey, agents can respond more personally and reduce effort. For example, if a customer later calls in after chatting, the agent should be able to answer, “Hi, Sally. I noticed you were last chatting with us about the new iPhone. Would you like to be routed to a specialist who can help you with that?”

Whether you build it or buy it, a customer service platform that allows a single conversation across all channels will enable this sort of seamless, integrated experience. Cloud versions are easy to deploy and enable the flexibility to add new channels at any time.

For other integrated contact center best practices on social, chat, email, mobile, and omnichannel cloud, download our complete ebook guide “Top 10 Keys: Creating, Measuring, and Improving Omnichannel Journeys”.

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Top 10 Keys: Creating, Measuring, and Improving Omnichannel Journeys

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