One of the examples I tend to give where both telephone and IM can work together is when interacting with a support department.
My router broke over the weekend and rather than this being a painful and time consuming experience, it was actually quite pleasant and ultimately I got a resolution quickly.
It all started with me moving my router. For reasons unknown, this resulted in the router no longer being able to boot and manifested itself in a continuously flashing power light which I quickly discovered is a bad thing :-S. After looking on the Linksys website I came across ‘LiveChat’ where I entered in my details and clicked on ‘submit request’. After 5 seconds I was greeted by an engineer on the other side of the chat screen :-). 5 seconds … no ‘green sleeves’ hold music … no ‘You are 32nd in the queue’ … not even a ‘press 8 if you have a problem with your router and you are currently wearing blue shoes’. Not having to wait in a queue was brilliant but perhaps the more subtle but important thing was that while he was typing and thinking, and while I was typing or running through troubleshooting steps, we could carry on with other work we were doing. Excellent and efficient usage of both our time and all-in-all a great experience.
Alas, this wasn’t something that could be fixed over the phone so he suggested I call the support number so I kept him on the chat while I did this. After phoning the number and a short ‘press 1 for router support’ I was straight onto another engineer, again no 30 minute wait, no ‘You are 48th in the queue’. While I was on the Live Chat to the first engineer I got my reference number and passed it to the person on the phone. After a short piece of troubleshooting they agreed to send out a replacement and hopefully I should be back to normal within a week :-).
What should we learn from this?
- Online ‘live chat’ allows your engineers to deal with more than one person at a time
- Online ‘live chat’ shortens the amount of time people have to wait to be helped
- Online ‘live chat’ gets over language barrier issues
- Online ‘live chat’ allows your customers to work on other things whilst getting support
- Online ‘live chat’ reduces the length of the queue on the phone, resulting in improved customer sat.
All in all, a great example of how combining traditional telephone support with other new modalities can make huge improvements to your business and how people perceive it.
Well done Linksys … another happy customer!