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The best way to manage your chat team

You have integrated live chat into the communication mix of your company. So if all goes well, you already know that you have to thoroughly train your new chat agents in order to use your live chat as effectively as possible. Then comes a new challenge: managing your team as it grows. How do you ensure that your department works optimally and that you use all chat agents efficiently? There are all kinds of different tools available for live chat software. Below you will see how you can use them.

Continue to train your staff

Managing a team starts with ensuring that everyone knows what to do. What a person’s role is in the team and what is expected of them. In addition, all chat agents must be fully informed about the company, the objectives, mission and vision, and, of course, all products.

This requires good training of the employees and good training regarding information on the company itself and its products. When new products are added, it is therefore important to plan new training for this. In this way, you ensure that all your staff are fully informed and fully prepared for chatting with your customers. It may be useful to repeat certain information annually.

Specify the waiting time

Just as it is useful to keep your website visitors informed of how long the response time is on average at that time, it is also important that your chat team can see how long the waiting queue is. That way they know how large the workload is and they can help the customers faster and, at times when it’s not quite so busy, can take more time for those customers who need it. For example: instead of discussing everything with the customer, they can share a knowledge base with the customer if that is sufficient. When it’s not so busy, they can go into more details, should the customer ask for it.

Add a division of roles

With good chat software you can assign your staff different roles. In this way, you can assign one manager certain functions that not every chat agent needs or maybe even has. For example, there are usually 3 different distinguishing roles, one of which is for a ‘regular’ chat agent. So, you can safely give these to all your agents without running the risk that they can adjust certain settings or view reports. The other roles have different rights and can therefore view and/or adjust other things, with one role with all the rights.

Put in the experts

It may be that you have a few chat agents on your team who have specific experience and are therefore experts in a certain area. It is then useful to specifically use these agents for certain projects or products. For example, your other agents wouldn’t spend too much time searching for certain information that the experts already know or can tell you immediately. It is also possible that staff members who have been on your team for a long time have developed into experts in the course of time because of the experience they have gained in your company. Maybe in one area, or maybe on several.

Use your more experienced chat agents for complicated situations

You can choose to use your experts on specific products or topics, but you can also divide them into difficulty of the problem. Your most experienced chat agents usually know exactly how to solve a particular problem because they are fully familiar with the company’s policies and the opportunities they have. Sometimes they have also been given more rights in the chat software and can therefore simply do more. They have enough experience to be able to make the right decisions.

An efficient division of roles saves

In order to use your experts efficiently, it is important to have them accept only referred chats. That way you can be sure that they can use their expertise and knowledge for your organisation. If you use them right at the front end of the chat tunnel, there’s the chance that they’ll have to spend their time on mostly small and easily-solved problems, which could then leave someone with less knowledge having to try to solve the complicated issues. Ultimately this would take longer and therefore unnecessarily cost you extra time and money.

Divisions within groups

Do you want to be able to use chat agents only for certain departments? This is useful when you have a specific chat team, such as a sales team. By dividing your chat employees into certain groups, they can focus solely on sales, for example. You can use a certain team for a specific department. Larger companies often benefit most from dividing different departments within the live chat department. This also applies to the chat experts described above, which you can also divide into a separate group. It’s that easy if you want to distribute the work well.

See what your staff do

With some software, it is possible to see what your team is doing in real time. You can literally look in on chats and thus be able to check randomly whether the quality of service you give your customers still meets the requirements. Your staff does not need to know this, because it will not be shown in the chat screen.

Give instant and live tips while chatting

Not only can you look on live with your chat team, you can immediately give tips to your staff, which is especially useful for new employees. These will be shown in the chat screen itself, so you do not have to worry that your employee will overlook it. Indicate what kinds of good tips there are to tell your customers, for example, about a discount action that is coming up. Other advice can, for example, be about a return policy, or referring to a specific knowledge base article.

Limit the number of chats

In order to ensure that your chat staff do not get lost in the number of chats, and are able to take a break on time, you can set a limit for the number of chats. For example, by setting this to 3, an employee won’t be able to handle more than 3 chats at the same time. This is a useful function, especially if you have a very specialised company for which you need to be more informed, or when you have customers who usually need more time. And let’s not forget the new, less-experienced employees. They will slowly have to build up the number of chats they are able to deal with at the same time.

Make sure your staff does not overwork

You can also ensure that your staff don’t linger for longer than the allocated working hours by setting established working hours. This means your employees can never accept new chats when they are almost ready to go home. You can set services on each of the days and times of the week, even at night. The service can start and end at different times each day. By setting working hours, you ensure that your team does not overwork, and is always relaxed behind the computer.

Optimise your team

Reporting can also be a good tool for this, usually you can have it generated automatically with your software, for example, weekly, and at fixed times. By keeping an eye on the right areas, you can see exactly how your team functions, but also at what times and on which days it is usually busier. See which agents perform better, and also look at the circumstances, such as busier or quieter periods or times. This way you can optimise your team.

All these tips help to keep your team of chat agents working as efficiently as possible and working well together as a team, and these tips also help to keep the waiting queues short. If your team continues to grow but you’re finding it difficult to handle properly, consider partially outsourcing your live chat. That way you control the live chat how and when you want it.

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