Webchat boosts online ordering

Any distributor with an online ordering function could profit from employing a webchat service on their websites, according to customer service technology specialist Sabio.

The consultant has identified eight key factors that can help organisations engage more effectively through their webchat deployments. Webchat is now one of the fastest-growing digital customer service channels, with 37% of customers now regularly using it – a higher proportion than channels such as Facebook or Twitter.

Matt Dyer, head of digital customer service consultancy at Sabio said: “Analyst firm Ovum predicts that webchat will continue to generate 17% compound annual growth through to 2018. This is partly due to its proven ability to provide a seamless transition between self-service and live agent interactions.

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“With customers becoming increasingly comfortable with webchat as a channel, they are now demanding a more comprehensive experience rather than simply using it for basic online support.

“At Sabio we are seeing a growing number of organisations starting to recognise the potential business benefits of webchat and integrating the channel more seriously into their customer service mix,” added Dyer.

“However you can’t just switch webchat on and expect the right results. That’s why we’ve compiled our webchat checklist, detailing the steps that organisations need to take to ensure that webchat operates as an integral part of their broader customer engagement approach.”

The checklist covers: staffing chat channels correctly, recognising what can and can’t be done with webchat, making sure back office systems (such as CRM) are set up to support the ways that webchat agents need to work, only offering a webchat service when the right skills are in place, investing in getting chat invitations right, avoiding blending webchat agents, driving further service improvements by analysing what chat agents and customers actually say and actively seeking opportunities to align chat with online and contact centre activities.

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