A chat support agent communicates with customers via instant messaging on the company website or mobile app. The chat agent can provide technical support, address customer service issues, or offer additional forms of real-time problem resolution.
Chat support has become the standard customer service channel for businesses selling products or services online. Instant messaging platforms and chat support agents help customers resolve logistical, information, or product issues without delaying an email conversation.
Chat support agents typically work within a customer service platform or chat software that is integrated into a company’s CRM (customer relationship management) system. Customers can contact chat support agents at any time through a web browser or app using a chat popup.
Why are chat support agents important for customer service?
Chat support agents bridge the gap between online shoppers and businesses. It used to be that customers had to walk into a store to talk to a company employee in real-time. Now live chat services and chat support agents allow customers to confidently ask questions, communicate with the brand, or make large purchases on their own schedule.
Other benefits of chat support agents include:
Customers can multitask while chatting with a chat support agent. Similarly, a chat support agent can simultaneously answer multiple customers and resolve questions while other customers share their problems or ask questions. As a result, companies can reduce overall labor costs while adapting their customer service departments to accommodate more customer service representatives.
CONVENIENT CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Customers can use an instant messaging platform to start a conversation with a customer service representative via chat any time of day or night, no matter where they are. Instead of waiting until the end of the day or searching for a quiet place to call, customers can start a conversation at a time that’s convenient for them.
IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
When a chat support agent talks to a customer, the instant messaging platform automatically saves customer information, chat transcripts, site activity, and purchase history. In the process, CRM systems create a detailed profile of each customer. Representatives can then use past interactions to create a personalized service experience, increasing customer satisfaction.
INCREASING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Studies show that companies that offer live chat support see a nearly 50 percent increase in revenue for every hour of live chat interaction. Dedicated real-time customer support and quick response times can even lead to an increase in repeat customers.
INCREASED CUSTOMER SERVICE EFFICIENCY
Finally, chat support systems help make customer service more efficient. Short conversations with customers often use predefined answers from the knowledge base.
In addition, chat support staff can break down an issue into smaller, manageable chunks that customers can clarify or expand on as needed. In this way, staff can more easily resolve technical support issues.
Chat support agent responsibilities
Chat support agents perform most of the same tasks as phone or email customer service representatives. However, rather than switching between the three channels, chat support agents can focus on solving customer problems solely through instant messaging.
Other agent responsibilities include:
Become a brand or product expert
Chat support agents should have an in-depth understanding of the brand and product. With in-depth knowledge, they can reliably guide customers through the buying process or solve any problems that arise.
Maintain best practices for live chat
Best practices for live chat include clear, correct handwriting and professional language. They should also answer all customer questions, make them feel valued, and keep in touch with customers after the chat.
Offer pre-sales and post-sales support
Customers usually feel more confident about making a purchase if they can reach a support representative via chat. With this in mind, chat support employees should carefully answer customer questions, provide clear and transparent product information, and patiently guide customers through the buying process.