Implementing digital processes into your business like Live Chat on your website can generate valuable data about your customers, while also giving them more ways to interact with your business.
But, like the introduction of any new digital solution in your business, there are a number of key things to consider before taking the leap.
Have you considered the change management process required to get the business behind a chat or automated solution? One of the typical pain points of introducing any type of chat solution into the business is around job or role security, and ownership of the new processes involved in making your solution a success.
This can be manifested in the subject matter experts tasked with responding to the queries not having the right documentation or processes in place to be successful. Or, they might not have been communicated to correctly about the expectations of the solution, or are working in a high-pressure environment. All these considerations lead to people not necessarily understanding the real impact of introducing Live Chat.
How can we alleviate this?
Backed by data, we have seen that taking a customer experience first approach to your Live Chat will prove the value of a digital medium for answering low impact questions. These solutions will have a positive impact on customer experience, will improve your acquisition and retention cycle, and bring customers closer to your brand.
So to tackle the change management concerns, we need to;
- Present the customer experience benefits and impact; which should be presented in the scorecard to increase revenue, increase job security and other key metrics for the business.
- Breaking down the barriers of documentation to get the subject matters out of your experts and onto paper – including putting in a content process that allows you to get that documentation onto a system that is accessible to all.
- Document the top 50 questions that the call centre get on a regular basis and develop stock answers that can be fed into a technology system.
All of the above will require a standard content audit process to extract information from SMEs, and make sure your Live Chat support staff are set up for success, and have a sense of ownership over the Live Chat process.
Daily tasks will change
Another key part of the process is helping your support staff understand what their day-to-day is going to look like once a digital solution is in place. Questions to answer might include;
- Are they going to be splitting their time between telephone calls and digital live chat calls?
- Do we need to provision a dedicated resource to respond to just the technical queries?
Our recommendation is to look at a skills transfer-based approach, where existing resources who have the human skills and empathy to deal with queries in person or on the phone, are also dealing with those on a digital medium. This will yield a better result, and can also reduce the friction in the change management process. Once you have identified the staff who will be looking after your digital solutions, documentation and training is imperative to onboarding them into the system effectively.
For effective onboarding, put together a warm-up plan that puts your chat solution on only a limited area of your platform, mobile app or website. This will help segment the types of questions you are receiving and give you the power to respond only to certain types of queries – putting you in control. This will ensure that while you’re getting started, you will have low impact on the existing customer experience.
Now that your live chat approach is embedded into the organisation, it’s time to focus on automating some of those common queries.
Once the business is confident that the digital solution is serving the customer as well as the audio-based solution, those stakeholders will be less reluctant to let go of that process, and will be more forthcoming and more helpful in designing some of the automated responses.
For example, a Superannuation Fund might be servicing customers asking, “How do I make a contribution” and are requesting for bank details. In a Home Care organisation, you might have customers asking, “Can I bring pets when I move into a residential aged care home?”
Creating question and answer sets that can be answered automatically by the solution will create the ability for your organisation to scale both your solution and your business. There is no need to boil the ocean when it comes to your solution; the most effective Chat solutions we see are very simple. It asks a question, it detects an answer, and it provides a relatively accurate hit rate on the answer.
Are you ready for AI?
More advanced systems like the cognitive AI platform can start to detect intent and understand the language and lexicon of your user base. Using AI and Machine Learning, it can then suggest the answers or next steps, while the user interacts with a solution.
As you can imagine, the more automated those solutions, the more intelligent they become, and the more they require input from the user. When we get to this point, it's critical to get your change management processes in place, and ensure your stakeholders are really on board with designing how those conversations work at a business level.
If it's just left to technologists and marketers the message might not be quite right, and the potential results for your solution will not be as good as they could be.
Even if you get all the above considerations right, there will be no ongoing business case if you can’t prove your success. It’s important to make sure that everything that you do in your solution is mapped back to the scorecard; understand which customer experience and which business metric we're looking to try and drastically improve, and make sure that all decision making is based around the results on your scorecard.
Take an operational approach and make sure you’re measuring on a daily, weekly and monthly operational cadence. Make sure that you have an escalation procedure for when a customer experience is clearly not being serviced and make sure that you have senior stakeholder buy-in across the core groups, including your Call Centre team.
Secondly, it's important not to overcook the solution. If you have an IVR or an automated telephony system that offers a chat-based solution – that might work for your business and very well could be the right solution for your long term. Don’t invest heavily in implementing a complex live chat integrated solution into the business, or into your CRM when you could sensibly implement something like HubSpot, which is a less effort and low impact into the platform - just to test the water and understand the experience that it would provide.
If you’re considering a Live Chat solution for your business, chat to us today – even in person if you like!