March 14, 2012
By ASG Software
Let’s face it. Today’s world is one of instant gratification. We expect the answers to everything to be available at our fingertips. So why have so few businesses adopted social or collaborative IT technologies like chat to communicate with their customers?
Security plays a big role. When people get conversational, they relax more than perhaps they would in a more formal email environment. But in reality, that doesn’t need to be a problem. When shopping for a chat solution, make sure any potential vendor uses heavy-duty encryption and adheres to appropriate security standards.
Without a doubt, the business reasons to adopt chat in customer relations present a compelling argument in favor of adopting the technology and embedding it into your organization’s customer-facing DNA both before and after the sale. Here are a dozen ideas to get you started – although there are surely others that would benefit your particular business:
Convert web prospects to sales faster: Visitors to your website who are willing to invest time in chatting with an agent are probably already highly motivated to buy from you. The informal nature of chat can help to create an atmosphere that’s conducive to gathering valuable information to fast-track the prospect through the sales cycle – an approach that’s been very successful for highly customer-focused organizations like Lufthansa.
First impressions that last: Visitors who get quick answers to their questions from a friendly agent stay on your site longer, buy more products, and show more confidence in your company. Live chat software accelerates building relationships with prospects and customers that lasts.
Brand reinforcement: Good enterprise chat software lets you brand your conversations with your company logo and messages.
Global service through a single vehicle: Being able to automatically route prospects to an agent who speaks their language will do wonders for your reputation as a globally savvy business.
Collaboration: Enterprise-scale chat lets agents converse with several clients at once, invite other agents to the conversation to help resolve problems, escalate issues, and automatically configure remote control support sessions – all with a couple of mouse clicks
Provide standardized information without losing the informal touch: Chat software should let you mix “canned” responses to help ensure every customer gets the same facts into personalized conversation to keep things relaxed.
Anywhere, anytime controls: Cloud-based chat software is particularly valuable for distributed teams since it enables geographically dispersed personnel to function as a single team and present a unified face to the customer.
Device-agnostic: Along with anywhere, anytime, instant-response service, customers also expect whatever device they may have to be supported too. All you need for effective chat interactions is a web browser and a little HTML code – no need to train agents to support every mobile device on the planet.
Speak the customer’s language: Globally aware chat technology lets you automatically route customers to an agent who speaks their language and has the right skills to resolve their incident – or invite to the conversation other agents who have the necessary skills.
Instant customer feedback: You can build post-chat session surveys to enable visitors to rate their experience and let you ask questions about how you might improve the service. Much cheaper than a dedicated customer response survey!
Scalability: Another bonus that comes with cloud-based chat solutions is that they can grow with your business, adding agents as the business dictates without sending your license costs through the roof – which is especially helpful for seasonal businesses. No more committing to bandwidth you’ll only use one or two months a year.
Real-time metrics: Incorporating chat into the customer service mix enables you to easily monitor and report on problem resolution statistics, reallocating staff on-the-fly to optimize productivity and efficiency.
Don’t forget areas outside pre- and post-sale service either. Chat can add value to workflow communications in manufacturing, explain unanticipated glitches in online transaction processes, and many other situations where integrating real-time communications can improve communications flow.
Tim Hillison is the vice president of global marketing at NTRglobal, a provider of secure cloud-based help desk, live chat and ITSM solutions. The NTR Cloud safeguards every point in the remote support delivery chain, from login authentication to communication travel over 256-bit AES encryption. NTRglobal’s global network of relay servers supports the strictest international mandates. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of Talkin' Cloud's annual platinum sponsorship. Read all of NTRglobal's archived guest blogs here.
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