The implementation of live chat software is a great step forward towards improving your customer service. However, the initial training that customer support agents receive is not enough for reaching the best performance. Over time, organizing monthly group discussions and mock practices is necessary to enable your customer support team to move forward and achieve better results.
If you are thinking of improving your live chat customer support through group discussions, these are the things that your customer support agents will become better at.
How to communicate properly?
Yes, the initial training includes all the guides on how to communicate with your customers, however, there is no magic formula that always gets the job done in the best way. With time and practice, all of the agents will pick a specific approach to communicate with clients. Some approaches are for the better, whereas others are for the worse. The group discussion will allow those who excel in the field of customer communication to share their best practices.
Through improved communication practices, your customer support team will be able to increase customer satisfaction, which is necessary for the long-term well-being of your company.
How to handle multiple chats simultaneously?
This is an issue that many live chat agents struggle with in the beginning. However, group sessions can include practicing as well, where agents can simulate circumstances when someone is contacted by several customers at once.
Through mock practices, all of the live chat customer support agents can become significantly better. Practice is important for a variety of business processes, and customer support is no different. With mock practices, you can expect your customer support team to become much more effective, as they are going to become better at communicating with several customers simultaneously, getting more work done for the same period of time.
What is the best approach of probing customers?
Communicating with people is a challenging task, as every single person that shows up in the live chat software is going to be different. However, with a thorough investigation, all of them can be separated in several groups. The result is going to be a specific approach to every single group of customers.
One of the problems that many live chat agents face is creating a natural conversation that will allow them to acquire crucial information for resolving the issue. However, by sharing their experiences, the team can show examples of the probing techniques they are using. Over time, this will enable every customer support agent to become much better at probing users, allowing them to resolve issues much faster.
How to apply the methods of the best live chat agents?
No matter how great your team functions as a whole, there are always going to be agents who simply perform much better than others. The simple reason for this lies in the fact that some people are passionate about customer support and have great communication skills they actively worked on, which helps them perform better than the other team members.
Organizing group discussions is a perfect setting for the best performing agent to share his best practices. This will allow the whole group to move forward, owing to the fact that the rest of the team will adopt some of the practices that the best live chat agent uses.
To give more incentive, find a way to reward those who are the best. It will make it easier for them to share their knowledge with the rest of the team.
How to handle online “trolls”?
This is an issue that is present in all types of industries, and it appeared with the immense popularity of the internet. No matter what business you are in, your live chat customer support agents will face problems with these people sooner or later. This is usually performed by the teenage population, but also by those who are bored and want to have fun.
However, people who do this do not realize that they are speaking with an actual person, and in some cases, the live chat agent can become quite distracted due to the emotions he or she is feeling.
Luckily, organising group discussions will allow the customer support team to devise techniques for dealing with these types of situations. With an appropriate approach, the customer team will become skilled with better ignoring these types of situations, thus helping them stay focused on helping the actual customers who need assistance.
How to be a true team player
Regularly organizing group activities is a perfect way to bring people closer. You can expect your customer team to understand how important knowledge sharing actually is and how it can help them become better agents in the future. Furthermore, sharing ideas, examples and solutions is the perfect way of making the team members feel like they belong to a group working towards the same cause, making them invest themselves more every single time a group meeting is organised.
Becoming a team player is not natural for many people, but with organizing mock practices and group discussions, your whole customer support team will learn how to share and work together on improving their efficiency.
All these things show that organising group discussions and mock practices are a great approach that will make your team become much versatile and ready to quickly solve many customer support requests at once.
Having live support software is not enough without a team of people who do not how to take the most advantage of it. Through group work, your team will continuously become better. If you haven’t yet started organizng mock practices, it’s time to start doing so. I guarantee that you will love the result.
We wish to thank Robin is a Technical Support Executive at ProProfs for his contribution.
Is Work-Life Balance Making Us Less Productive and Lazy?
Striking the right ‘work-life’ balance is still the talk of the town among workers of all ages and experience.
Job seekers, are no longer afraid to mention they have a home life, and that they won’t be married to the job.
Also there’s the realities of harmful stress on health and relationships, it has been a reality check for many of us over the years and now we value more freedom and flexibility often more than our pay packet.
Businesses have been slow on the uptake however that is changing albeit not through altruism but from it’s huge cost savings in operations including less office space and technology required.
Startups can engage staff where they reside not necessarily where the business is located. Still there remains some doubt as to it’s real value to economy.
Are we losing overall productivity? Is flexi-time, more holidays and remote working making us lazy? If you don’t have to go into the office why would you and is this affecting team relationships and the sharing of information?
There are so many questions and no right or wrong answer.
Why is it still a thing some 40 years on? To find out we need to look at some of it’s drivers; namely technology and women. The work-life conflict was first mentioned by workers in the UK in late 1970s and a few years later in the US and here we are today nearly 40 years later still flying it’s flag, women probably more so than men.
Positive female role models and more women in the workforce, has kept the movement alive and well and some might argue it has been the driving influence of better employment terms, and pay. Only recently it was reported Canadian women are investing almost as much as men in the market now and that’s due to the shrinking wage gap, and lower unemployment, among other factors.
The use of systems that allow workers to be monitored while working remotely, has given the power back to the Business. Not only can they keep tabs on their workers and their productivity via software like online chat they can grab the huge savings less office space and services allows.
Hot desks are now the norm in corporate offices. Plus companies can also get away with providing less technology too. Hardware like desktops are less in demand now as workers can use their own computers.
Workers in many industries are now encouraged to use their own hardware and software. This means some may use Apple while others use Microsoft and then there’s also the array of smart devices in use too.
BYODs (bring your own devices) can be secure in the workplace with firewalls and other security systems. They access company systems and software as well as their own personal assets. This technology leap is a big win-win for both the user and the business.
The way we work is forever evolving and technology means we are more connected now than ever before.
Reading emails and texts in the evening or first thing in the morning and on weekends suggests we are probably working more, and we’re more productive with our time now than previously.
What we do know is nothing stands still. Change is inevitable, especially in business, and with technology. Soon everything will be using AI, so you can be sure there’s a lot more transformation in the way we work and where we do it just around the corner.
Work Times Are Changing For The Better
Leaders in business have always had more leeway with their working hours. They have never been restrained by the standard business hours most of us are contracted to do every week. You know what I’m referring to, most ‘wage-slaves’ i.e. employees, need to work Monday to Friday between 8am and 6 pm, for 40 hours a week.
Flexi time for workers has crept in, in many industries, over the years, particularly with startups and more forward-thinking organisations keen to get the work-life balance right. Remote working has been popular with these businesses, but any change to the norm has been slow progress particularly with the mainstream majority. Let’s take a quick look at the adoption curve which explains uptake trends.
The early and late majority is the big peak in the ‘rate of adoption’ curve aka diffusions of innovation. This curve presents the way innovation (particularly in technology) is adopted by us – human kind and the curve is an illustration we can view and instantly comprehend.
Work times are changing but arguably it’s yet to become the norm with the ‘majority’, (the peak in the curve). There is some way to go before we see real change the times we work and for it to be part of our employment agreements.
Slow on the uptake
Business owners and their management have not been quick off the mark with remote working or flex time and there’s a perfectly valid reason for their reluctance.
Trust and accountability
A lack of trust and the ability to keep a watchful eye on staff, when they’re not in the office, is the main reason for the slow uptake of more flexible working hours and working away from the office.
Leaders are inherently naturally driven and motivated to put in the hours due to their status within the business, therefore working from their home or holiday is not a constant distraction. Their staff are likely to take more liberty with their new work environment and a lack of personal oversight has deterred many businesses to the leap of faith until now.
Technology is the game changer and it is empowering businesses, like never before. There are many tools like chat Apps, readily available to assist both staff and management’s trust issues.
Staff can be hired in different locations and remote workers can be part of team meetings via conference calls. Plus there’s the use chat bot software so the power and control is there for the business to watch over their staff.
The natural progression of work is more flexible work times, as jobs also change. The earlier risers can get their work done when they’re most productive, in much the same way as the night owls among us can log on and be equally as productive during the dark hours of the day. Rising early though has gotten a lot of attention lately.
Just look at the rising times of some well known Entrepreneurs. BBC has recently done a story on the unorthodox waking hours of successful business owners, celebrities and famous people and questioned if rising early meant more success.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is up at 03.45am and Actor, Entrepreneur, Mark Wahlberg really uses the 24 hours in day to work for him. Rising at 02.30am and going to bed at 7.30 pm.
No longer does it need to be daylight before we rise and get to work and it’s likely this way of living where we elect when we work during 24 hours of the day, will extend to the rest of us non super stars, as evidence suggests, when productivity goes up so to does the revenue and profit.
So as for the early bird does get the worm idiom, yes it’s real but for everyone and that’s why work times are changing as businesses need to be more competitive. The desire to make more money will keep pushing the envelope in all areas of business and with the enabler of technology to track and measure us, it won’t be long before there’s no such thing as standard work times.
Giving Your Travel Business An Edge Through A Call Handling Service
It is clear that the telephone plays a vital role in the day-to-day running of businesses, especially for a travel agency. With the development of digital technology, the telephone can now be carried by anyone in the form of a small hand-held device wherein you can call, chat or video chat with someone located on the other side of the world in real time, and seek and find information on just about anything through the internet, all at the touch of a button or a click of the mouse. This technological breakthrough has made being connected not only easy and convenient but also a must. But what happens when the calls continue to come even after work hours and even during holidays?
If you take a close look at a business such as a travel agency, this is exactly the type of organisation that can really benefit from a call handling service.
The primary role of a travel agency is to make airline ticket bookings, which is a role that a virtual receptionist can carry out from a remote location. Remote bookings are now made easier because of the Internet. The digital platform provided by the Internet makes it possible for a professional receptionist who is remotely located to book flights for clients. Because all travel businesses have to use a cloud-based online booking system, the call centre can easily access this, allowing the receptionist to have up-to-date information on bookings.
By having someone to answer phones for the travel business round-the-clock, none of its clients are left ignored. With just a call at any time of night or day, clients will be confident that a travel business personnel will always be around to book their flights once they decide on the schedule.
When you’re running your business remotely a virtual receptionist service can made a fundamental difference to your customer service.
A virtual receptionist would be able to answer queries about flight availability or enquiries on working out a connection to somewhere on the other side of the world, just as anyone would if they were actually in the travel agency office. This is a skilled job for anyone, yet it does not mean that the person must be located within the premises. In fact, many travel agents use call handling services as this is the most cost-effective way to offer a professional service to their clients.
While some travellers like to book their flight and accommodation separately, there are many who take advantage of the package tours on offer and by using a virtual receptionist who is fully-briefed on all available packages, they can make bookings on your behalf and the customer would assume the receptionist is located at the agency premises.
Holiday season and other festivals are definitely busy periods for travel agencies and if your receptionist is stretched at this time, why not let a call handling provider deal with any extra calls? We all want to get away in the winter months and during the peak holiday season, you can use a call handling service and when things get quiet down again, you can put a hold on the service.
Even people who work in the holiday industry need a holiday sometimes and losing your receptionist for a couple of weeks could really put a spanner in the works. With an established call handling company at your beck and call, you are always assured that your customers will be greeted professionally and your business will not suffer.
If your main goal is to ensure that questions and requests by clients are paid enough attention, then hiring a virtual receptionist will be beneficial for you. A virtual receptionist is trained to handle calls courteously and professionally, so you are rest assured your clients are talking with well-trained people round-the-clock.
With the top-notch quality of service virtual receptionists are giving your clients, you can increase your profit while saving on labour costs. Satisfied clients can bring in new clients through word of mouth. Plus, calls by those who are only available after work hours are also paid attention to.
Unlike in-house receptionists, virtual receptionists are paid only with the service they provide and once they provide it. They can answer large volumes of calls with unwavering amount of attention to every call.
If you run a travel agency, talk to an established call handling provider and they are sure to have a package that is ideal for your business, and if used as a back up to your directly employed staff, this service is an essential requirement for all businesses.
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