Live chat for I.T. support, good or bad idea?

Almost every website we visit has that live chat bubble down the bottom right of the page. Most of the time its used as a sales tool, but more and more services have started using live chat to support users. So today we ask the question – Is live chat good for I.T. customer support?

Spoiler, it is.

Live Chat – the good

 

Being able to send a customer a link to your screen sharing app or whatever you want is a huge help. Never again will you have to explain how to find the Team Viewer logo in the footer of your website, because they can just click the link you have pasted in live chat.

Level 1 support magic

Those small requests that you wish you didn’t get can usually be handled by live chat – and can keep you from wasting your time on the phone. Reset password? Sure, done. Quick question about the phones, easy.

This sort of support wow’s the customer and saves you from chatting on the phones, which can be a huge time suck.

Hard questions for the pros, easy questions for the juniors

Being able to move a chat around between support agents makes sure that the juniors can handle the simple tasks, and the senior engineers aren’t bothered with such requests. When the question is over the juniors head, it can be seamlessly passed over to someone with more knowledge who can see the chat history and jump right in.

 

Live Chat – the bad

 

Skipping the queue

Without a process, its easy to want to handle every live chat request as they come in. This can lead to your support agents spending all their time in chat and neglecting the queue. Your customers that use live chat will love you, but people that submit a ticket the old fashioned way wont appreciate the lack of attention.

To solve this, you need to create a scope of support for live chat – what you will and wont do over live chat, and what gets turned into a ticket to be followed up soon.

Poor implementation makes reporting harder

Every month you (should) send your activity statement showing the support work that you have provided for your customers. If you just slap in a live chat tool that isn’t integrated with your RMM or CRM, chances are, the simple stuff wont get logged. At the end of the month, you will have a much sparser report than the months before, and that doesn’t look good. Chat can be setup in only a few minutes, but to implement it properly takes a fair bit more work.

Level 1 support only

Complex tasks that take a long time to process cant effectively and fairly be handled over live chat. Save the chat for submitting tickets, and the simple stuff.

Distractions

If you are a one or two man shop, live chat might not be for you. The frequent beeping of a live chat request needs to be dealt with immediately. Whether you are pulling cables in a ceiling or halfway through a customer meeting, you have to answer that live chat, or risk looking bad. Only use live chat when you have someone in the office, ready to answer calls.

Missed chats = less likely to renew

Live chat is great when you are available, but if you cannot respond to a request in a timely manner, your customers will get upset. Most chats need to be responded to within 30 seconds for the customer to have a positive experience.

Wrapping things up

Live chat is a great customer support tool for I.T. service providers, but it needs a rigorous structure that is well adhered to, or you risk derailing your whole support system.

 

Need a hand with your I.T. business live chat or website? Contact us – we would love to help

 

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