Have you ever encountered a situation when you would click the live chat button on a website promising instant online help and you would not reach anyone? I did. At other times, I would contact live chat support and instead of finding an answer to my question, I would be escalated to another person who would say that they will check the information and email me later.
I do understand that some questions take research and some issues take time to be diagnosed and fixed.
And still, I feel frustration in many such situations, especially when I have to explain the issue over and over again to another agent or repeat the same things in email later. As a customer, I want to be helped here and now while my question is still relevant and the issue is current.
Perhaps similar customer experiences are the reason first contact resolution remains an important metric in customer service. According to the Customer Experience Executive Report by CCW Digital, 70% of customers consider first contact resolution the most important factor when interacting with a company, yet only 10% of companies believe they excel at its delivery.
Below are my five tips for achieving first contact resolution and making your customers happy.
1. Equip your customer service team with professional tools
How fast an agent can pick up an incoming chat depends on the live chat tool a lot. When selecting live chat software, you need to make sure that the tool offers notifications for different live chat events, such as incoming chat, user message, system message. It is also important to have options for how the agent is notified, either there is a sound alert, visual popup, text message etc. This will allow the customer service team to carefully monitor all incoming and ongoing chats and not miss new customers or their replies.
2. Offer quality training to your customer service agents
Support team needs to understand what is expected of them and know how to arrive at those results. It helps to outline all the procedures and teach support agents to follow certain steps when approaching different customer situations. They need to have both the understanding and strict procedures to follow in order to provide good results and answer effectively. If they are not certain what to go in a particular situation, it is less likely they will be able to give the right solution to the customer.
3. Set realistic customer expectations
First contact resolution is closely tied to the response times that your company offers to customers. Not every company can afford to hire a big support team and have it monitor all conversations 24/7 and pick up live chats within minute. Still, it is ok if you cannot do it. The most important thing is to set the right expectation from the start. If you typically answer your live chat within several hours only, let your customers know about it in your system messages and they will not be worried if you did not reply to their question right away.
4. Take proactive approach to live chat
Monitoring your customer’s behavior on your website helps a lot in achieving better first contact resolution. You can spot the trends, notice how customers react to certain pages of your website. Based on this information you can then put together customer service scripts which help the agents to proactively approach customers. This will help to prevent any possible issues or questions customers may have.
5. Ask for customers’ feedback
It is difficult to know if you are doing things right without having feedback. For this reason it is important to integrate feedback collection in your customer service routine. This information will help you understand the pain points, what sort of issues usually take longer time to be resolved and how you can address them better. You can collect feedback from different channels, live chat, email and social media. It will give you different perspective on your interactions with customers and new ideas how your team can perform better in live chat.
Would you add anything else to this list based on your experience? I will be glad to read your comments, please feel free to share them below.