As we discussed in some of the earlier topics, today’s customer typically has multiple touchpoints with your organization across channels. Among the various channels where you need to ensure you are available to the customer when they need you, live chat is by far the most instantaneous touch point for the customer. Live chat makes it very easy for a customer to initiate a conversation with you. Secondly, with an efficient live chat tool like Freshchat you can personalize your customer conversations by having enough context about them.
While you are setting yourself up for success by investing in the right tools and being on the right channels, you also need to have the right people to enable a seamless customer experience. Let us discuss a few questions that you need to ask yourself while you are staffing your customer support chat team.
You need to ask yourself the fundamental question - what are you looking to achieve with chat. Are you looking at improving customer satisfaction, and thereby want to make your customers your brand advocates? Or is bringing down the cost of customer support your primary goal? Depending on what your goal is, you need to align your plan. For instance, if reducing cost is the goal - then you might want less number of agents and focus on strengthening your self-service.
Depending on how complex your customer support requests are on an average, you may want to decide how you want to staff your chat support team. If you have customers who often tend to reach out with complex issues and requests, your resolution time per customer would be higher. Therefore, you might want to consider adding more agents to them.
When you need more agents to be online, you need to explore and understand the times of the day when you get high volume of requests vs. low volume. Thus, you can break down the chat traffic by hour and estimate the number of agents you need during those hours. Also depending on the geographies you serve to, you need to plan the timezones in which your agents need to be online.
Again, depending on the complexity of issues your support team currently handles and the volume of conversations, you need to plan the staffing of your chat team. For example, a support agent with 4-5 years of experience may be able to handle several conversations simultaneously, while an agent without prior experience would be able to handle fewer conversations.
Once you are clear about the number of people you need for your chat support team, it’s time to go ahead and implement. But, while it might seem like the heavy-lifting is done with - the critical component to follow is to continuously measure the effectiveness of your chat support team and take continuous measure to improve it.
The experience of your customer with your product or organization is directly dependent on the kind of service they receive from your customer support representatives. Therefore when you hire someone for customer service, you need to look for attitude, technical skills (wherever applicable) and soft skills.
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