Chat-Only Agent

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Chat-Only Agent

What is a chat-only agent?

A chat-only agent is a customer service representative that handles customer queries and issues only over live chat software, and not over calls or emails. The agent’s responsibilities can be configured within the live chat software.

What benefits do you get from chat-only agents?

What benefits do you get from chat-only agents?

Here are three major benefits that chat-only agents bring to the table:

1. Simultaneous conversations

Chat-only agents are not limited to handling just one customer conversation at a time like agents who provide customer support over phone calls.

Using live chat, they can have simultaneous conversations with multiple customers, handling as many conversations as they are comfortable with at a time. This allows them to serve more customers and handle more queries than a regular agent could over a phone call.

2. Eliminates hold time

Since live chat allows chat-only agents to handle multiple conversations simultaneously, customers would not have to wait on hold as they would on a phone call. This helps reduce customer frustration and increase customer satisfaction.

It is also much faster than email customer support, because your customers won’t need to spend hours restlessly waiting to get a reply to their email. And if the reply asks them to send more information over, then it can be even more frustrating, because they now have to spend even more time waiting for the next email. And the fact that the customer might be running on a deadline and need the issue resolved quickly, you’ll be able to see why they wouldn’t be too happy about that situation.

3. Seamless experience

Phone interactions may be intimidating to some customers. Sending an email causes them to wonder when they’ll receive a reply. Live chat creates a quicker, seamless experience for them.

If your organization deploys a chatbot to answer customer queries, the bot would usually be able to answer around 80% of the customer queries. But if there is a complex query that an agent needs to handle and you ask your customer to send an email or call your support team, you’re disrupting the customer experience. With live chat, you can just transfer the conversation from the bot to a chat-only agent seamlessly over the same platform, creating a better customer experience.

How to improve the productivity of chat-only agents?

How to improve the productivity of chat-only agents?

Here are some ways for you to increase the productivity of your chat-only agents:

1. Routing

If your customers have to converse with multiple agents before they reach one that can help them, you’re wasting their time as well as the time of all the other agents who conversed with them. You need to be able to route customer queries directly to agents who are in a position to handle and resolve them. You can use contextual routing to derive context from the query and assign it to the right agent.

2. Message templates

A lot of responses that your chat-only agents have to send are repetitive in nature. They do not need to type them out every single time.

Allow them to use pre-saved message templates that only need to be mildly personalized before being sent.

3. Post chat surveys

Collect feedback from customers after the live chat interaction is completed. This can be automated with post-chat surveys on Engati and can be used to improve your agents’ interactions.

4. Training

Train your agents continuously to reduce their dependence on other team members and, to some extent, even on your tech team.

5. Empower your agents

Sometimes productivity is reduced and the resolution of issues is delayed, not because the agent does not know how to resolve an issue, but because they do not have the authority to provide the kind of solution that the customer needs or is requesting.

In this situation, they need to escalate the issue, and if their superiors are busy, the customer is left waiting in limbo even longer, wondering why it's taking so long to get their problems solved.

You need to empower your agents to take decisions in situations like this. Trust them to take decisions that are in the best interest of the company as well as the customer. It might even be a good idea to empower them within certain limits. You could take a page out of the RItz Carlton’s handbook and empower your chat agents (as well as your other customer service agents) to offer solutions that have a certain monetary value tied to them, without needing to seek authorization for that.

6. Agent analytics

Track metrics around agent performance and use them to find areas for improvement. You could even use them to identify and reward your top performers, thus incentivizing your entire team. You can check first response SLAs, resolution SLAs and other metrics for individual agents, as well as entire teams, and even track metrics for specific live chat channels, allowing you to find gaps that you need to fill.


How do you train your chat-only agents?

Your chat only agents need to be able to serve all your customers in the best way possible, and speed up issue resolution. Training them on your product would make this happen since they’d have the solution without needing to reach out to your product team or transfer the conversation to another agent. Here are some of the things that you can do to train them:

  • Create a comprehensive knowledge base for your agents to refer to. You could even have a chatbot specially built for your agents to get answers to complex product queries.
  • Have regular brainstorming sessions for your agents to share their issue-resolution experiences with each other.
  • Get your agents to keep a record of new complex queries that they encounter so that they can be added to your knowledge base or even to your chatbot.
  • Conduct frequent product training sessions for your agents.
  • Organize training sessions for your agents whenever you launch new products or release new features and updates.
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