Using 'chat' in call centers -- Part I
What is more efficient for handling chats -- having dedicated call center agents that take only chats (possibly multiple chats at a time) but no other interactions or having agents taking different types of interactions?
Your questions about chats are tricky. It is definitely more efficient
to blend agents across media, and to handle multiple chat sessions.
However, that might not be a good business decision! Whether or not you
should do it depends on many factors. The challenge is that different
contact centers have different characteristics of their transactions and
how they handle them. The variations are things like: call volume;
talk/chat times; traffic pattern (peaky vs. flat); frequent or
infrequent queues; complex or easy transactions; and continuous
interactions or situations with some downtime between questions,
answers, and actions. All of these variations create different
situations for the variety of media, and how best to handle them and set
up "skills" for the agents. The other challenge is that not a lot of
call centers have done chat (and few of those successfully), so there is
not a huge base of knowledge to go on. So deciding if you should blend
agents across media, and whether one chat or more is the right number,
takes some careful analysis...
Click here for Lori's list of questions to consider when implementing chat capabilities
This was first published in April 2003