Article | 3 min read

Setup your agents and end-users for success with Chat

By Sam Gervolino

Last updated September 21, 2021

It’s no secret that Chat as a channel has become increasingly important to customers seeking support. You’ve made the important step of deciding to implement a new Chat channel, but now what? There are many things to take into consideration, from where you place the Chat panel to how you’ll staff your Chat agents. Don’t worry! I’ll show you an implementation path you can follow to make this transition a pleasant one.

Today, we’re leading this discussion in our Zendesk Support Forums. Join our customer success consultants to learn more about getting started with Chat, including:

Part 1, 8 am Pacific time: Testing the waters
“We want to offer it, but we don’t know where to begin,” is an all too common response I hear when speaking with customers about their chat support strategy. Rolling out a new channel, especially one that has an average first reply time of 23 seconds, can be daunting. In this first section, I’ll explain a few strategies you can adopt to make this implementation as seamless and worry-free as possible.

Part 2, 11 am Pacific time: Implementation and workflow
Once your team has determined where and to whom you’ll be offering live chat support, it’s time to implement. To some, this exercise may seem even more daunting than determining where to provide the channel in the first place. So let’s cover the three most critical stages of implementation: determining staffing requirements, training agents, and building a chat workflow.

Part 3, 2 pm Pacific time: Measuring success
Although most of the heavy lifting is now complete, quite possibly the most critical piece is just underway-measuring the effectiveness of this newly adopted support channel. In this section, I’ll be diving into tools and techniques you can use to dig into your Chat metrics.

How to participate:
No matter when the information drops, join in anytime throughout the day to read through the best practices and to leave a comment, ask a question, or share your own best practices and workflow-building strategies. I’ll be available to answer your questions and discuss your strategy.

Sneak preview:
When customers are just getting started with chat support, the first piece of advice I give them is to start small. Whether it’s for retailers on their checkout page, internal help desk teams on their employee portal, or business-to-business organizations on their product plan comparison page, this technique can be applied to most every use case.

And if you notice the examples I just used, they all have something in common. Can you spot it? Yes, that’s right! All three suggestions involve a business-critical point of the customer journey that each of these teams are supporting. By implementing this same idea, you’ll provide your users with not only a support experience proven to be higher in satisfaction than any other channel, but also when and where your customers need it most.

Another technique that can be used when first rolling out the chat channel is to limit the user base who can access it. Similar to restricting this support experience by location, doing so by user will limit the number of requests being sent, thus decreasing the burden of not having enough staff to handle said volume. Check out our Help Center article, that explains how to embed the Zendesk chat widget in your own website experience.