How to use multi-way Web Chat – The strength of contact centre agents is that they’re always available; the weakness is that they’re not technical experts. The strength of field-based engineers is that they’re technical experts; the weakness is that they’re almost never available – they’re always out in the field either travelling to customers or busy with those customers. And that is how it should be.
In an ideal world, your customers would be able to fuse together those two sources of information and assistance. They would be able to reach the expertise and technical knowhow of the field engineer as easily as they can access the contact centre agent.
This has been virtually an impossible dream until recently. Web chat is no longer just seen as a cheap and convenient way to handle simple enquiries. Through multi-way web chat sessions, contact centre agents can bring their company experts from any department into conversation directly with customers and, when that web chat is taking place through a mobile app, those experts can be the allusive field-based engineer, no matter where they are at the time. This sort of ‘contact centre strength’ mobile service app, complete with web chat capabilities, can transform both the quantity and quality of advice a company can offer its customers.
The scenarios for multi-way web chat coming into its own for the service sector are myriad, but one which most of us will recognise is where we need to book a maintenance visit – either planned or of the I-need-you-here-now variety. The enlightened facilities service company provides customers with an app through which they book an appointment slot, let’s say for a plumber because there’s a drip in the ladies’ toilets. It’s quick, simple, convenient for the customer and the service provider can track where the plumber is and when he’s likely to arrive on site courtesy of GPS. If that drip then becomes a more urgent gushing, the customer initiates web chat with the contact centre where an agent sees all the information the customer has previously entered into the app and can quickly bring the plumber into the conversation to provide assistance. Which will probably be along the lines of ‘try turning the water off’ and ‘that sounds expensive’ but the point is, the customer isn’t left alone with gushing water and no idea when the plumber is going to arrive and the contact centre agent has been able to positively help.
So, whilst multi-way web chat through mobile apps might not able to reduce our need for service and maintenance visits – leaks will still happen and pipes will still burst – it can certainly help us find a quick solution to those problems when they do occur.