Last week, I had the pleasure of co-presenting at our ININ Annual User Conference with Jim Borum, SVP Client Services with RDI Marketing, on a presentation titled, "Win BIG with Chat!" It was a very well attended session, which surprised me since we have not seen a great deal of interest in text chat over the last few years. Even the analysts have been telling us that text chat just isn’t being adopted by contact centers. But the numbers in the audience proved otherwise and they came loaded with excellent questions. And I had a few of my own.
I had always wondered why text chat (aka web chat) had never taken off in the contact center – it isn’t as if it is a brand new technology. Was it because customers didn’t know how to use it – a cultural gap, if you will? Was it because issues coming into the contact center were too technical and required voice interaction to resolve? Or was it a technology issue where contact centers couldn’t deploy it along side their existing voice infrastructure? What about agent training?
During Jim’s presentation, he brought up another idea, that it might be that the contact center managers and executives just didn’t want "some silly chat toy for their customers and agents to play with" and that "it didn’t represent a professional image."
Whatever the reasons, it appears that text chat is starting to make its way into the contact centers and Jim outlined several reasons why:
- Expectations are increasing – to compete, you must meet the demands
- Desire the ability to decide when and how they will communicate with your firm
- Must improve customer service
- Find ways to reduce costs
- Retain customers
- Increase revenue
William Randolph Hearst, famed newspaper magnate, was once quoted as saying, "Give the customers what they want and give it to them regularly." In other words, "If they want chat, give it to them!"
But how do you go about doing that?
Jim outlined his "Top 10 Steps to a Successful Text Chat Implementation" that I will share with you on my next blog. In the meantime, tell me what you think:
- Why haven’t text chats taken off in the contact center? Customer reasons? Cultural reasons? Agent reasons? Organizational reasons?
- Have you deployed text chats? If so, how is it working for you?
- Are you wanting to deploy text chats but don’t know how?
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