Online chat software is an important component to any customer service organization that takes pride in its response time and efficiency.

Online chat software is just a piece of exceptional customer service.

Online chat software supports customer service, but without the right processes and strategy in place, it can only take your customer service organization so far.

Apart from the key metrics it supports for a customer service team, online chat software also provides a means of reaching customers in a way that’s more convenient for them: in terms of timeliness, proactivity and preferred channel. You can read more about the benefits of online chat software here, as well as here.

But good customer service doesn’t stop at online chat software. While proactive chat and click to chat software functionality can be convenient, not every customer will want to engage via live chat. Some customers may prefer a self-service channel, some may prefer hearing a human voice (i.e. using the telephone) even if it means they need to wait longer to be engaged by a support or sales representative.

Great Customer Service from Online Chat Software to Phones, Email, etc.

Ultimately, good customer service—regardless of channel—is driven by communication skills, by expertise in your company’s offerings, and by setting and managing customer expectations.
In their most recent publication, “Looking Back on 2014 Customer Service Trends & Looking Forward to 2015 Customer Service Predictions,” Impact Learning Systems covers many of these issues: self-service technology, personalization, authenticity and customer knowledge. While they do discuss online chat software as a channel for customer service, the primary focus of the e-Book is the continuing changes in customer expectations.

Some choice excerpts from the publication include:
• “Even though customers largely prefer to self-serve, that doesn’t mean companies are off the hook for providing exceptional customer service. In fact, customers value the quality of customer service over price. A survey by Vision Critical found that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer service experience, and 70% of buying experiences are based on how a customer feels when making the purchase. As more demands are placed on our time, we are hungrier for meaningful and authentic interaction and are willing to pay for it.”
• “Through researching the product and competitor products online, customers are often more product-savvy than the employees themselves, and that has profoundly changed the way customer care is delivered.”

The free e-Book (registration required) also includes 8 Self-Service Best Practices. For instance, making sure that the self-service tool is easy to find and that the tool promotes multiple channels of communication, to be more responsive to customer preferences.

While a customer service organization cannot reach peak performance without online chat software, online chat software will not get you there without the right strategy and processes in place. Give Impact Learning Systems’ e-Book a read for what other elements will help you raise the bar for your customer service team and meet that higher expectation.