Are you considering chat as a service channel?


Chat has increased in popularity as a service channel on the websites of many companies and organizations. A chat service offers real time presence and, when organized well, a cost-effective way to manage contacts and be closer to the customer.

This trend got me wondering the things to consider when starting to plan a chat service deployment.

Basically, chat is suitable for all companies and organizations that serve their customers online, but for cost-effectiveness it is not for everyone.

Chat suits best those companies who have a reasonably high number of visitors (customers and potential customers) on their website or have an active webstore. As part of a webstore chat is often a good, even essential service channel. As a means to acquire new customers chat provides a good opportunity to give additional information about products, to listen to the customer and this way to create a deeper understanding for supporting the purchase decision.

Organizing the chat-service is the most important thing

Launching chat because ”competitors have it ” or ”the software wasn’t that expensive” are not good enough reasons. Badly organized chat on the website can easily ruin the service experience of the customer and the image of the company. A well-functioning chat service comes mainly from organizing the resources of the company and not so much about acquiring a technical tool.

Resource allocation is a key factor. If I was the customer I wouldn’t want to face a chat service that is only open randomly when someone might have a moment to serve.

That’s why my tips for those companies planning a chat service are:

  • Decide when the chat service is open and convey this information in an easy to follow and visual way to customers
  • Inform which languages service is offered through chat
  • A picture of the people serving in chat and special areas of expertise are also useful and means the visitor trusts the service and lowers any barriers to communication.

The general service promise of the company must also be taken into account on the chat channel. This way it is an equal service channel among the others.

When a company or organization is considering to launch a chat service, decisions should be made on the following topics as a minimum:

- What service does the company want to offer through chat?

- To whom is the service offered?

- How contacts can be managed with high quality and cost-effectiveness in all service channels?

- How the customer and service information chain can be kept unbroken when the customer uses many different channels including for example telephone, email, and chat and interactions with different co-workers?

Get the most out of the chat experience and provide your customers a positive user experience by planning it well!

If you would you like to hear more about chat service contact us, we are happy to help!

The blog is written by Digital Marketing Manager of Benemen Ville Purontaus