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Should Your Contact Center Platform Provide Chat Support?

Our recent Five9 Customer Service Index 2021 surveyed consumers about their communications channel preferences when contacting a business. Turns out that voice is still king with 51% of respondents indicating using phone as their preferred contact channel. Email came in second, with 23%, and chat third at 17%. For younger customers, chat is increasingly preferred. Many contact centers are deploying chat in response to increasing demand from their customers.

Key Features Of Call Center Chat Software

Here are some key features you should look for when considering chat vendors:

  • Seamless transition to voice – chat is good for a wide range of customer interactions, but some issues may be more complex and better handled with a phone call. It should be easy to escalate an on-going chat interaction to voice with no more than a single click to place an outbound call to a customer.
  • Unified messaging interface – originally “chat” meant web-based chat software. Today however, there are many other message-based communication options like SMS/text and social messaging apps. Agents should be presented messaging interactions within a single unified interface, as opposed to dealing with different interfaces for each messaging source. Unification makes it easier for agents to interact with customers and doesn’t require how to use multiple interfaces.
  • Seamless transitions to live agents from chatbots – chatbots can handle a wide range of interactions but there are times when customers need to work with a live agent, either in chat or on the phone. When this occurs, it should be easy to do. More importantly, the context of customer interactions should be provided to agents they are transferred to avoid the need to start over or repeat information already provided.

Benefits Of Call Center Chat Software

Sometimes it just isn’t practical to pick up a phone and call a business. You may be in a noisy environment or in need of some privacy. Supporting call center chat provides a great option for this. It’s a better option than email in many instances due to the real-time nature of a live chat interaction.

A blog post from Zendesk has shown that chat also has a very high level of customer satisfaction of 85%, second only to voice at 91%. Links embedded in a web page or smartphone app make it easy to initiate a chat interaction, reducing customer effort.

Finally, live chat has a lower cost per interaction than voice, especially when agents handle multiple customer interactions at a time. This serves to make agents’ work more interesting, which leads to higher agent satisfaction.

Once live chat has been implemented, there may be options for deploying automated chatbots. This can create a new digital workforce for your operation that supplements your live agents. Recent technology advances in artificial intelligence have greatly expanded the use cases, along with their results. Chatbots are always on and available 24/7 and are significantly less costly than live agents.

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Cloud-Based Agility

Moving to the cloud will allow for faster, easier deployments, seamless upgrades, flexible scalability, and reduced capital expenditures associated with on-premises systems.


Connected Journeys

The contact center should support customer journeys across web chat and social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others.


Omnichannel Unification

Shoppers will be coming in from many different channels, so it will streamline the customer experience to route interactions using the same logic.

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Customer Context

Agents must begin the conversation right where the customer left off online. When the customer’s needs are transferred to an agent in real time, your brand is creating a seamless transition from web to contact center. Remove customer stress, unneeded customer repetition, wasted time, and deliver a world-class customer experience



Customer relationship management (CRM) system integration can improve the shopper experience by using CRM data to find the last person spoken to, use shopper purchase history to find the best expert, etc. In addition, once the connection occurs, your staff can access past interaction history and CRM information to understand the customer’s journey and deliver a more personalized experience.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI can deliver next- best-action recommendations and assist in responses that will improve conversion rates, increase shopping cart value, and speed up responses.

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Real-Time Management

Supervisors should monitor messaging interactions in real time and assist if needed, even if they are not in the same location.


AI & PCI Compliance

Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) can automate payment processing across digital channels and reduce your compliance risk by collecting sensitive customer data without revealing it to a human agent. Make sure that the IVAs can easily integrate with your payment gateways.


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