Blog // April 30, 2015
Blog // April 30, 2015
Today’s Communications Service Providers (CSP) are facing a fast-paced evolution in the availability of the products and services they provide. Connectivity and cable TV are considered nearly ubiquitous to customers. As such, the expectation is that the carrier’s services are always there, available and performing as expected.
Unfortunately, it’s often the new devices that create the “wow” factor for customers, not the wireless services or connectivity provided by the CSP.
Digital customer care, offered in the channels that customers prefer, can provide a way for CSPs to improve the customer experience “in the moment,” resulting in increased satisfaction and higher loyalty that helps them stand apart from competitors. One of a CSP’s highest priorities is to increase both customer retention and average revenue per user (ARPU) or account (ARPA).
Chat enables the CSP to offer support for sales and service in the channel the customer is in, reducing the need for them to switch channels or abandon an unsuccessful interaction with the company altogether.
According to research conducted by LivePerson, 58% of calls to the contact center are initiated by customers who tried self-service and failed to achieve their goals. Just as importantly, 62% of Generation Y prefers digital service over calling the contact center. If you think the need for chat is minimal, consider that the research also shows that 83% of customers need some form of support during their interaction and 93% of consumers see real-time help as being beneficial.
The components of a successful chat program must all work interactively to result in a customer experience that serves to delight customers and increase lifetime value. Without a foundation that supports operational excellence, a chat program can backfire, leaving customers frustrated with a fragmented experience.
By integrating team, methods and technology, your chat program is primed for creating successful experiences in the eyes of your customers.
Designing an optimal work environment based on chat support attributes allows improvements to be derived through verbal collaboration among agents since there are no voice limitations with chat. To operationalize this benefit, seating was changed from cubicles to round tables in an open environment to maximize agent knowledge sharing capabilities and enrich program coaching.
This redesign for a chat customer support program also included upgrading to a faster internet connection with low latency, faster memory and processing computers with larger screens to accommodate running chat and web applications in parallel.
An outsourcing contact center provider with domain expertise brings an enhanced operational structure that includes an analysis of agent behavior and skills to identify areas for improvement, analytics and trend identification for consistency in service delivery, and chat-specific KPIs that validate on-target performance, as specified by the client.
Chat is experiencing a renaissance today.
The renewed and growing interest in chat is largely due to the immediacy of interaction that email cannot provide, and the online nature complements very well the growing use of social networks and community forums. Gartner research shows that chat deflects an average of 12% of voice and email contacts, while accounting for 18% of contacts with new audiences.
In a competitive environment where switching is usually the path to new customer acquisition, a successful chat program can add value for CSPs struggling to differentiate a service their customers just expect to be there.