Should You Really Be Handling Multiple Chats?

5 minutes, 22 seconds Read

It’s hard to imagine any modern business operating without live support software on their website. Chat software has the advantage of providing instant gratification to the customers as it facilitates a real-time dialogue between the company and themselves so as to arrive at a solution quickly.

But, it is a synchronous type of communication channel; meaning that it works only when both the customer and the chat agent strıp chat are available together. This poses a limitation because if the visitor has a question but there is no agent available to answer, there is friction between the expectations and the reality.

Your agents might be facing regular situations where multiple clients are asking for support at once. This often results in clients waiting for a long time before someone answers or not getting an answer at all.

The final outcome is a damaged reputation of your brand and loss of potential sales opportunity.

Handling multiple chats simultaneously is a necessary evil. It can do wonders for your business if handled correctly but, can ruin your reputation if mismanaged.

Thus, it’s important to understand the mechanics of handling multiple chats simultaneously.

Multitasking in general

Most people often misinterpret the true meaning of multitasking. While you are working on several tasks at once, your brain is focusing on just one task at a time. This is especially the case when the various tasks at hand require consciously thought actions. For example, if you are walking while conversing on your mobile phone, your brain subconsciously works on the walking part while processing what you hear and prompts you to speak accordingly.

But, if you are listening to two conversations at once, it will just be pure garbage and you won’t be able to comprehend anything, unless you focus on a particular conversation.

The gist is that you have to switch quickly between the tasks at hand, focus on it and take action. Handling multiple chats at once requires this skill of toggling between multiple chat windows, understanding each customer’s request and providing appropriate solution.

Multi-tasking Live Chats Can Be Dangerous

When a chat agent is handling more than two clients at once, there are a lot of things that can go wrong if that person is not trained or experienced appropriately.

1. The agent may not be able to fully comprehend the customer’s requirements and provide a wrong solution to them.

2. The customer might get the correct solution, but the language might be off or full of errors due to agent’s hurried typing which hampers the brand’s reputation.

3. There might be long gaps between conversation pieces. Customers tend to get irritated when they feel that they are not being given adequate attention and might get second thoughts on purchasing from you.

4. Chat executive might mix-up the conversations with two clients by posting something to the wrong person.

Handling Multiple Chats is Necessary

Although there are a lot of things that may falter while handling multiple chats at once, no business can thrive without it. Every business aims to increase the number of visitors on their website which means that you’ll have to deal with more queries and provide more support.

Such a situation demands that you increase the number of chat agents too, but common business sense would keep you from hiring a large number of chat agents to handle one customer each. It is just not economically viable.

Even if you go ahead with an army of chat agents, there might be situations when someone has to do multitasking.

Hence, it’s better to be prepared for such situations. Most live support software have inbuilt features that enable the chat executives to smoothly chat with multiple clients simultaneously, but training is important too. Apart from that, there are a few more things that you can imbibe in your team so that they can face such daunting situations with a smiling face.

Efficiently handle multiple chats

1. Use Canned Responses

Pre-defined messages are the savior when dealing with many customers at once. Make sure that you provide your chat agents with messages like “Greetings! How may I help you today”, “is there anything else I might help you with” etc in your chat software.

Moreover, correct usage of such phrases is essential and adequate training must be imparted to ensure the same.

Whenever chat agents require some time to keep the active chat on hold and cater to other clients, they must use messages like, “thanks for the info, let me check it and get back to you in a moment”. This way the executives can buy some time and would not keep the current user waiting in anxiety for a reply.

2. Use a Text Expander Tool

Such tools can help the agents type faster by showing them frequently used words and phrases automatically. There are a lot of such tools available and your chat software might also have it inbuilt.

3. View Chat Summary

As soon as your team members switch back to a chat panel, they must go through the summary of the chat session with that user to refresh the conversation so far and get into context. This exercise ensures customer satisfaction and quick closure of the query.

4. Prioritize Panels

Always keep a track of how long a customer has been waiting for a reply. Many live chat software packages show the waiting time above the panel or color code to display the priority of that chat. Ensure that none of the clients is waiting for a long time.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

Well, there’s no better alternative to good old experience. As the chat agents gain more experience, they get to know more about the product and their confidence increases as well. Also, they can anticipate user’s chat flow and be mentally prepared to serve them satisfactorily and efficiently.

6. Prefer Younger Chat Agents

The younger generation employees with age less than 30 years deal better with multi-tasking situations in general. They have already faced such situations in their lives and can apply their knowledge while chatting with customers too.

All in all, handling multiple chats is mandatory for every serious business in order to remain cost-effective. But it should always be handled with care, so that you are not compromising on the customer’s experience and the quality of your service.

Balance is vital, as it’s always healthier to serve a few customers satisfactorily than many customers disappointingly. As the saying goes, never bite more than you can chew!

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