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Should You Really Be Handling Multiple Chats?
It is hard to imagine any modern business without live support software on their website. Chat software has the advantage of providing instant gratification to customers as it facilitates real-time communication between the company and themselves so that solutions can be found quickly.
But, it is a synchronous type of communication channel; This means it only works when both the customer and the chat agent are available together. This creates a limitation because if a visitor has a question but an agent is not available to answer, there is friction between expectation and reality.
Your agents will regularly face situations where multiple clients are asking for support at the same time. This often leads to customers waiting a long time before someone answers, or never getting an answer at all.
The end result is a damaged reputation for your brand and lost potential sales opportunities.
Handling multiple chats at once is a necessary evil. It can do wonders for your business if handled properly but, if mismanaged it can ruin your reputation.
Thus, it is important to understand the mechanics of handling multiple chats simultaneously.
Multitasking in general
Most people often misinterpret the true meaning of multitasking. When you are multitasking, your brain is focusing on one task at a time. Especially when the various tasks at hand require consciously considered actions. For example, if you are walking while talking on your mobile phone, your brain subconsciously works on the walking part to process what you hear and prompt you to speak accordingly.
But, if you are listening to two conversations at the same time, it will be pure garbage and you won’t be able to understand anything unless you focus on the particular conversation.
The gist is that you have to quickly switch between the tasks at hand, focus and act. Handling multiple chats simultaneously requires the skill of toggling between multiple chat windows, understanding each customer’s request and providing the right solution.
Multi-tasking live chats can be dangerous
When a chat agent is handling more than two clients simultaneously, many things can go wrong if that person is not trained or has the right experience.
1. An agent may not fully understand the customer’s needs and may give them the wrong satisfaction.
2. The customer may get the right solution, but the language may be off or full of errors due to the agent’s hasty typing that harms the brand’s reputation.
3. Conversation fragments may have long gaps. Customers get irritated when they feel they are not being given enough attention and may have second thoughts about buying from you.
4. Chat executives can mix up conversations between two clients by posting something to the wrong person.
Must handle multiple chats
While many things go wrong while handling multiple chats simultaneously, no business can thrive without it. Every business aims to increase the number of visitors to their website which means that they have to deal with more questions and provide more support.
Such a scenario demands that you increase the number of chat agents as well, but common business sense will prevent you from hiring a large number of chat agents to handle one customer each. It’s just not financially affordable.
Even if you go ahead with an army of chat agents, there may be situations when one needs to multitask.
So, it is better to be prepared for such situations. Most live support software has built-in features that enable chat executives to easily chat with multiple clients simultaneously, but training is also important. Apart from that, there are other things that you can imbibe in your team so that they can face such difficult situations with a smile.
Handle multiple chats efficiently
1. Use a canned response
Pre-defined messages are a lifesaver when dealing with multiple customers at once. Make sure you give your chat agents messages like “Greetings! How can I help you today”, “Is there anything else I can help you with” etc. in your chat software.
Moreover, such phrases must be used correctly and adequate training must be provided to ensure this.
Whenever chat agents need some time to put an active chat on hold and attend to other clients, they should use “Thanks for the info, let me check it out and get back to you in a moment” message. This way the authorities can buy some time and not have to wait for the current user to reply.
2. Use the text expander tool
Such tools can help agents type faster by automatically pointing out frequently used words and phrases. There are many such tools available and your chat software may have them built-in.
3. View chat summary
As soon as your team members return to the chat panel, they must go through the chat session summary with that user to refresh the conversation so far and jump into context. This exercise ensures customer satisfaction and prompt closure of queries.
4. Prioritize the panel
Always keep track of how long the customer is waiting for a reply. Many live chat software packages display the wait time above the panel or color code to display the priority of that chat. Make sure none of the customers wait for long.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Well, there is no better alternative to the old experience. As chat agents gain more experience, they gain more product knowledge and confidence. Also, they can anticipate the user’s chat flow and be mentally prepared to serve them satisfactorily and efficiently.
6. Prefer young chat agents
Younger generation workers under the age of 30 generally deal better with multi-tasking situations. They have already faced such situations in their life and can apply their knowledge while chatting with customers.
Overall, handling multiple chats is mandatory for every serious business to stay profitable. But this should always be handled carefully, so that you don’t compromise the customer experience and the quality of your service.
Balance is important, as it is always healthier to serve a few customers that are satisfactory than many customers that are disappointing. As the saying goes, don’t bite off more than you can chew!
Proper agent training and choosing the right chat software will definitely make the job of serving multiple customers at once easier.
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