Real time chat can be the most impactful activity on customer experience, especially if your live chat integration aligns with your business goals.

Real time chat can be the most impactful activity on customer experience, especially if your live chat integration aligns with your business goals.

Real time chat is one of the most meaningful ways of impacting customer experience. It is a medium that is fast and convenient for both the customer and the customer service representative. But what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of real time chat?

Last week, Flavio Martin at Win the Customer posted an article about customer experience management, featuring a “Customer Experience Cheat Sheet” from Kampyle.

The content of the cheat sheet is helpful but really the content is secondary to the structure. The sheet breaks the customer experience improvement process down into its component parts: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), touchpoints and relevant data. Chris Frascella addressed something similar earlier this year in his article “What Live Chat Reporting Can Drive Real Improvements?” You can read even more about live chat reporting here. If you’re interested in having an easy, measurable way to improve customer experience, I would recommend you take a few minutes with one or both of those links.

Real Time Chat, Customer Experience and Live Chat Integration

Live chat integration brings to life the promise of using real time chat to impact customer experience management. Live chat integration is what bridges the gap from your real time chat software and your e-commerce platform, help desk software, CRM, etc. This is how you’re able to correlate live chat activities (on both the customer end and the chat agent end) with e-commerce purchases, upsells, customer retention, etc.

The process looks like this: you capture data about how effective you are at achieving your goals (KPIs) using data from the points at which you receive feedback and measure engagement (touchpoints). You compile this information in a centralized database, such as your CRM. By connecting the dots on these data points, the data itself (relevant data, to tie it back to the Customer Experience Cheat Sheet) can help you determine what changes you should be making to improve. At least, in theory. The tough part is actually making this happen in practice.

The four primary obstacles that make customer experience management hard to execute effectively are:

  1. technology
  2. implementation/configuration
  3. staff
  4. expertise

Technology is an obstacle when it fails to facilitate the collection and analysis of customer feedback (and customer engagement) data. Some tools just aren’t built to do this well.

Implementation is an obstacle when your software configuration is not aligned with your goals. Whatever tool you’re using to collect and analyze data must be structured in such a way that it can effectively do its job. There are many instances of companies seeing mediocre (at best) benefits from truly great data collection and analysis tools. This is simply because the company’s systems were not configured in alignment with what the company was trying to accomplish.

Staff becomes an obstacle when employees don’t see the data as essential to the company’s success. They will not be as attentive to accuracy and completeness of data, which will compromise the integrity of the results. A lot of this can be solved with automation, but not all of it. It’s important to get staff buy-in to maximize your ability to positively impact the experience of doing business with your company.

Expertise is an obstacle when a company’s lack of familiarity with the process of managing customer experience leads to counter-productive decisions, for instance starting with too many data-points. You will be drowning in data without any context for how to make sense of it. Similarly, trying to integrate every tool you use is probably not your best move. You can read more about essential vs. non-essential integrations here.

Measuring Customer Experience with Real Time Chat Software

Many of the key data points surrounding the customer’s experience doing business with you are captured automatically in conjunction with your real time chat software solution. These might include referring page, current page, the transcript of the conversation with your chat agent and whatever activity they completed (maybe a purchase, maybe a lead form). This can help you complete the picture of what the customer experience is like. Again, you can read more about live chat reporting here and here. Armed with this data, you should have what you need to frequently, measurably improve customer experience.