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Call Centers 2.0 is focused on business software solutions serving call centers and contact centers, including Help Desk applications, Customer Service Systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and Social CRM systems. This website includes market research, expert insight, peer advice and independent business software reviews and comparisons.

 

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Want To Increase Customer Engagement? Lets Chat About It

Consider Adding Online Chat To Your CRM Toolbox

Your contact center may already have a great Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, motivated call center staff and proven business processes which collectively maximize every customer experience. So is there anything else that you need? Maybe.

Have you considered online chat to respond to customer inquiries?

In a fascinating review carried in Government Technology magazine, call center staff from the Virginia Department of Taxation described how they installed a $1,000 online chat program to their Web site and how it's helped slash the volume of call center inquiries from Web site users by approximately 70% while speeding up response times in answering questions. This customer communication channel effectively allows the call center agents to handle multiple chats at the same time as they can answer one customer while another customer is typing their query.

Sharon Kitchens, the assistant tax commissioner for Virginia's Office of Technology, explained the chat pilot project began using PHP Live and has since been expanded. "This was the best $1,000 we've ever spent," Kitchens said.

Seldom do information technology (IT) or social media investments require so little financial outlay - and present an opportunity to better serve your customers while making your customer service agents more productive. Surprisingly, online chat has been around for more than 15 years however has not incurred overwhelming adoption by call centers or companies alike. Perhaps it should be.

Online chat offers a lower barrier, simple to use tool which can be quickly trialed for review. Customer service representatives and customers both already know how to use chat thereby reducing learning curves and accelerating a go to market customer service opportunity.

The ability to help multiple customers at once and reduce wait times is a benefit that will create goodwill from customers. They'll appreciate that you are respecting their time by reducing the time it takes to contact a real person inside your company.

If this is starting to pique your interest, talk with your agents and ask them how'd they feel about having the ability to "chat" with customers to answer their questions online rather than from the phone. If your customer service operation is not using online chat, it may be time to evaluate this not so new customer communication tool. For some, online chat may be a hidden feature in your existing CRM software application, or possibly a component in another existing social media tool. Should you find that there isn't a chat client in your CRM package, it won't be hard to find one elsewhere.

Online chat has a very useful place in today's customer contact center. It may not be the next big thing, but it can help you better serve your customers and keep them coming back. Certainly that's something worth chatting about.

 

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