Achieving consistent customer experiences

Companies aim to compete through multichannel engagement, and to provide consistent customer experiences, but often fail to meet customer expectations. A 2016 study by Ventana Research revealed several factors that diminish customer satisfaction:

  • responses are too slow (48%)
  • responses are not consistent across touch points (41%)
  • self-service technologies are too hard to use (37%)

On this last note, providing access to information is key to meeting consumers' multichannel expectations. The research also found that a shared knowledge base delivers real business benefits. When a company draws upon a central source of knowledge, customers are more likely to receive consistent, up-to-date, and even personalized information. The same knowledge base can serve each touch point, leading to a better overall customer experience.

Read Ventana Research's "Achieving Consistent Customer Experiences" report now to learn more.

Zendesk on Zendesk: How we expand support beyond customer service

Available On-Demand with Ben Collet, Katherine Cavanaugh, and Dan Bellenbaum of Zendesk

Have you ever wondered how we leverage our own products here at Zendesk? In this series, we’ll provide a behind the scenes look at the many ways we put our own tools to use.

Join Ben Collet, Zendesk’s own Global Director of Customer Advocacy, in conversation with leaders from our sales and finance departments about how they’ve created a seamless cross-departmental experience for our customers, such as fielding:

  • Product questions
  • Sales inquiries
  • Billing adjustments
  • And other operational requests

During this webinar we’ll discuss how unifying these departments within one platform has led to a more efficient and satisfactory experience for our customers while also increasing employee productivity.

We’ll also share a few tips we’ve learned while bringing additional teams into our Zendesk Support instance for you to consider as you do the same.

Watch now!

Getting started with Zendesk Guide: strategies and best practices

Self-service is quickly becoming a need, rather than a nice-to-have, for businesses. According to the Getting started with Zendesk Guide eBook, "When it comes to customer support, 73% of consumers want to solve product or service issues on their own, and 90% of consumers now expect a brand or organization to offer a self-service customer support portal.”

To provide helpful self-service, businesses need to build a knowledge base with relevant content that can address customers’ biggest questions. It’s important to continuously improve your organization’s self-service capabilities with more and more customers seeking to solve issues on their own. That’s why we developed Zendesk Guide, a smart knowledge base for better self-service that's empowered customers and agents.

Getting started with Zendesk Guide covers key tips on how to:

    1. Build a quality knowledge base
    2. Improve agent efficiency
    3. Optimize self-service capabilities


To learn how to provide effortless customer experiences through contextual self-service, as well as how to best use Zendesk Guide, download the Getting started with Zendesk Guide eBook.

Looking for more technical details? Read the article: Getting started with Guide

Fill the self-service gap

More often than not, customers would rather help themselves than reach out to a support agent. Offering a self-service service option can not only provide quick and easily accessible answers to customers, it can also reduce agent workloads. According to Forrester, the “use of help or FAQs on a company's website increased from 67 percent in 2012 to 81 percent in 2015 among US online adults.”

See what Zendesk Guide users had to say about the benefits of self-service and proper knowledge management:

Guided Demo of Zendesk Chat

Download a 30 minute walk-through of Zendesk Chat

During this video we’ll cover:

  • The benefits of live chat: driving higher customer satisfaction, increasing conversion rates, and improving agent productivity,
  • Some key metrics and the ROI of Zendesk Chat based on a recent Forrester study,
  • Chat demonstration: how to implement and customize your widget, chatting as a visitor/agent, the power of proactive chat, and chat analytics and reporting,
  • How Zendesk Chat integrates with Zendesk Support.



Trent Bloom - Product Specialist and Marketing Manager






Abhi Basu - Lead Product Marketing Manager


Complete the form below and get access to the on-demand video! If you have any questions please direct them to support@zendesk.com.

Multi-channel support made-to-order with Zendesk

customer satisfaction

We can't all follow the same recipe for multi-channel success. Every business serves customers with different preferences and needs, and it can be a challenge to find the right channel mix for your customers.

Fortunately, the Zendesk family of products are designed to work together to help you provide seamless multi-channel support, no matter which configuration of channels you choose. Use this ebook to guide you through the channel selection process, taking into consideration:

  • The type and complexity of customer questions
  • How convenient it is for your customers to find help
  • Context—who are your customers and at what point in the journey do they typically need help?
  • The cost of offering one channel over another, in the short- and long-term
  • How particular channels can help you achieve business goals
  • What you can accomplish with each channel using Zendesk products

Download the ebook to learn more about how you can provide multi-channel support with Zendesk.

Zendesk research: analytics

analyticsHigh usage of analytics in customer service pays off: companies that depend more on analytics reports are shown to perform better than those who don’t. These metrics, which gauge important indicators like customer satisfaction and related efficiency factors, can help companies identify their successes as well as areas of improvement. How else can companies take a data-driven approach to customer service? This Zendesk research report explores:

  • Benchmark metrics for customer satisfaction
  • Results of high usage of analytics versus low usage
  • Rankings of the most data-driven industries

Download the full report for full details and insights

If you're a fan of metrics, analytics, and other things with numbers in them, visit the Zendesk Benchmark page to see how your customer support stacks up against the competition.

Zendesk research: customer self-service

customer self-serviceThe popularity of customer self-service is growing faster than ever. Increasingly, consumers are turning to their mobile devices to help themselves, leading to a decrease in direct interactions with brands and their support agents. As a result, companies are realizing that this trend toward self-service is not only cost-effective, but also leading to higher customer satisfaction scores. So how can companies increase the efficiency of their self-service? This Zendesk research report explores:

  • Self-service scores, a way to measure the impact of self-service offerings
  • The rise of the mobile consumer
  • Benchmark metrics for customer satisfaction
  •  
    Download the full report for full details and insights

    If you're a fan of metrics, analytics, and other things with numbers in them, visit the Zendesk Benchmark page to see how your customer support stacks up against the competition.

Zendesk research: live chat

Live ChatThe popularity of live chat for customer service is rising fast. Increasingly, consumers turn to live chat when shopping online, and a growing number of consumers say it is their preferred way to engage with support. So how can companies use live chat to transform the way they engage with customers? This Zendesk research report explores:

  • Benchmark metrics for live chat
  • How live chat changes customer engagement
  • The characteristics of a great live chat experience
  • What to consider when staffing for live chat

Download the full report for full details and insights.

If you're a fan of metrics, analytics, and other things with numbers in them, visit the Zendesk Benchmark page to see how your customer support stacks up against the competition.

Gartner: Knowledge Management Will Transform CRM Customer Service

Knowledge management can make or break your organization’s customer service. Not only can it impact productivity and profit, it can also affect customer and agent satisfaction.

But what exactly is knowledge management? According to Gartner, knowledge management is “a discipline that emphasizes an integrated approach to managing an enterprise’s knowledge assets: the information available to an enterprise about its “best practices,” critical business processes and operating environment.”

Proper knowledge management and self-service can help:

  • Reduce support costs
  • Improve your company’s ability to answer customer questions
  • Increase customer satisfaction

According to Gartner, “Improved delivery of contextual knowledge to an employee or customer reduces a provider’s time to answer by 20% to 80%, raising competency and satisfaction.” In this report, Gartner covers the impacts of good knowledge management as well as KM recommendations, such as how to focus on people and processes.

Download Gartner’s Knowledge Management Will Transform CRM Customer Service and learn how to create a knowledge management culture within your organization.

Knowledge Management Will Transform CRM Customer Service, M. Maoz, 9 November 2016.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Roll out and manage multiple customer service channels

There are a seemingly infinite number of ways to interact with customers these days. Live chat, messaging, SMS—even self-service counts. With customer expectations on the rise, it’s increasingly important to provide consistent support across multiple channels.

However, in order to provide consistent support, your company needs the right resources, training, and channel management. In this eBook, we cover how to roll out and manage multiple customer service channels so that your company has the opportunity to build more, and better, relationships.

Access the eBook, Roll out and manage multiple customer service channels, to learn more about:

  • Supporting multiple customer service channels
  • Anticipating and managing channel volume
  • Staffing for a new channel rollout
  • Training agents to support a new channel
  • How new channels affect the way agents manage their work
  • Managing escalation paths by channel
  • Measuring the success of your new channel

Meeting the fresh demands of multi-channel customers

Customers want service that is both fast and human. Those two ideas might seem at odds with each other, but achieving this is possible with a multi-channel support strategy that factors in the strengths and limitations of each channel, as well as how customers prefer to use them.

The Multi-Channel Customer Care Report

Customers simultaneously want the warmth of human communication and the speed and efficiency of automated service. It’s a paradoxical challenge for companies, one brought about by increasing levels of consumer expectations and the fast changing technical landscape of customer communications.

Zendesk recently commissioned research firm, Loudhouse, to explore this important and perplexing challenge. The research conducted illuminates four key trends of which important conclusions can be drawn:

  • Multi-channel customers are less patient and expect more than they did five years ago.
  • Multi-channel use has increased considerably in three years, with more diverse channels available to customers.
  • Customers are developing distinct expectations for each support channel.
  • Higher expectations are balanced by a more relaxed approach to sharing personal information—but only if doing so improves service.
  •  
    This report explores these key areas further, providing deep insight for businesses keen to stay ahead of their competition through improvements in their customer service strategies.

Delivering SMS support with Text from Zendesk, featuring rapidly-growing startup Favor

On-Demand with Evan Aldrich and Ryan Nichols

With the growth of mobile apps and the on-demand economy, consumers now expect to have the ability to text companies for support. In fact, 52% of consumers would prefer to text for support instead of their current form of communication.

Favor Delivery provides on-demand delivery services in 20 cities across the US and Canada, where it is the best rated delivery service. And text messaging—a quick, convenient way for their busy mobile customers to get help—is Favor's most popular support channel.

Join Evan Aldrich, Head of Customer Support at Favor, and Ryan Nichols, General Manager of Zendesk Talk, to learn:

  • Why text support is an essential support channel
  • How Favor provides text support at scale
  • What to expect when your team introduces text support

Making Multichannel Support Simple and Successful

Email. Phone. Chat. Messaging. Customers want to connect with companies over a variety of channels. And regardless of channel, they expect a seamless experience.

Join Matt Price, Zendesk’s SVP of Emerging Businesses, to learn more about how businesses are improving the experience for their customers and reducing costs by integrating new channels into their support operations.

We’ll also be joined by Matthew Grossman, co-founder and COO of Dorm Room Movers, the industry leader in college student storage and shipping, who will talk about how Dorm Room Movers is boosting agent productivity and reducing costs by integrating email, phone, chat and SMS support over one platform.

During this 60-minute webinar, we’ll cover:
● How to boost agent productivity through integrating new channels
● How to improve customer satisfaction with more seamless support
● How to set up new channels quickly with just a few clicks
● Tips and tricks for support leaders to successfully manage multiple channels


Matt Price is Zendesk's SVP of Emerging Businesses, overseeing Zendesk Talk, Chat, Message and other emerging product lines. He founded the Zendesk Europe office in 2011 and regularly comments in the press and speaks at conferences on the future of customer service in a multichannel world.


Matthew Grossman is co-founder and COO of Dorm Room Movers, the industry leader in college student storage and shipping. Since launching Dorm Room Movers in 2007, right after graduating from college, he and his partner Leor Lapid have scaled operations to over 150 campuses, moving over 20,000 students.



Josh Frank is a Product Marketing Manager at Zendesk where he leads go-to-market activities for Zendesk’s products. He is passionate about helping companies build better relationships with their customers.

A Retailer’s Guide to Getting Omnichannel Customer Service Right

Retail Omnichannel eBook

Retail and omnichannel customer service

With consumers shopping in more channels than ever, retailers have been forced to evolve. It's all about aligning your business to ensure the shopping journey is as seamless, quick, and hassle-free as possible.

Still, we all know there are going to be issues as consumers transition from mobile devices to in-store experiences to the web—and back again. That's when having the right omnichannel customer service program in place becomes so valuable. Being able to efficiently and effectively serve your customers in the channels they choose will make them happier, breeding loyalty in the long run.

Download this ebook to learn:

  • How to perform a customer service audit
  • Steps for executing and delivering an omnichannel strategy
  • Tips for optimizing omnichannel service levels
  • From brands doing it right

Engaging with Students in the Modern World

In today's digital world, prospective students and learners prefer an instant answer over having to wait for a pamphlet to arrive in the mail. Whether navigating through a Help Center of school-related content or engaging in an on-the-spot interaction via live chat, being able to respond immediately is paramount to providing a great support experience.

Many educational organizations use Zendesk to offer efficient, direct communication channels to their current and prospective student, faculty and staff. In this on-demand webinar, learn how Coursera and the University of Nevada, Reno used Zendesk to scale and innovate their support organizations by using multiple channels in Zendesk.
 
This webinar is facilitated by Ryan Kunkel, an enterprise account executive at Zendesk, and panelists include:
 
- Mike Robichaud, Manager of Support Products at Coursera
- Ana Fittrer, Admissions at University of Nevada, Reno
- Greg Dreyfus, Embeddables Product Manager at Zendesk
- Kristin Kwasnik, Senior Account Manager at Zendesk
 

The Power of Integrated Phone Support, Featuring Dorm Room Movers

Phone support is a powerful way to help your customers. But standalone phone systems, separate from other support channels, can negatively impact support operations. Agents are forced to switch between systems, which makes it difficult to keep track of customer interactions.
 
In this on-demand webinar, hear how Dorm Room Movers, a fast-growing shipping, storage and moving company, switched from a siloed phone system to Zendesk Talk. By making this move to integrated phone support, they created a single, seamless platform for customer communication.
 
Matthew Grossman, co-founder and COO of Dorm Room Movers, and Ryan Nichols, General Manager of Zendesk Talk, discuss how Zendesk Talk helped Dorm Room Movers to:

  • Consolidate software systems, boost agent productivity, and reduce operational costs
  • Gain full visibility into the customer journey and provide more personal service
  • Centralize reporting for comprehensive analytics and improved forecasting

Matthew Grossman

Matthew Grossman is co-founder and COO of Dorm Room Movers. Since launching Dorm Room Movers in 2007, right after graduating from college, he and his partner Leor Lapid have scaled operations to over 150 campuses, moving over 20,000 students nationwide. Building on the success of Dorm Room Movers, Grossman and team have launched SpaceShip, providing by-the-box storage and shipping for anyone, anywhere in the country.

Key Benefits of Integrated Phone Support

Phone support
Despite the rise of newer channels like social media and email, many customers still prefer the immediacy and real-time interaction that’s possible with the 1:1 interaction of a phone call. According to Forrester Research, 73% of consumers have used phone support in the past 12 months.

While many companies are adopting strategies and infrastructure to provide great customer service via newer channels, they are still making the investment in phone support. That’s the good news.

The bad news: too many companies are using phone support solutions that are separate from their other support channels, creating a silo around phone support. Treating phone support as a standalone support channel creates major problems, for everyone involved:

Agents: impacted productivity

  • Agents must switch between separate platforms for different support channels, slowing time to resolution
  • Agents must deliver phone support without a complete view of the customer’s cross-channel experience, making it difficult to provide personalized service
  • Agents must manually enter the details of a phone call or not log the call at all

Managers: limited visibility

  • Managers lack visibility into their phone support operations if agents don’t log calls
  • Managers cannot easily gain insight into how their phone support fits into multichannel support strategies without centralized reporting

IT/Owners: additional set-up and management

  • Setup can be costly and may require additional integrations or equipment
  • IT must work with multiple vendors

Customers - negative experiences

  • Customers are kept waiting as agents switch between systems
  • Customers receive inconsistent service across channels, as agents don’t have visibility into customers’ complete cross-channel interactions

The solution is simple: integrated phone support

Benefits of integrated phone support

Luckily, all of the above issues are mitigated or outright solved by taking phone support out of the silo and integrating it with other support channels. With integrated phone support, customer service teams can manage all support channels from a single, centralized support system.

Let’s take a look at the three main problems and address each one:

Agents - boost productivity

If agents need to switch through several systems for each support channel might, those seconds add up throughout the day, greatly hindering an agent’s overall productivity. A consolidated customer communication system solves this: now agents don’t need to switch systems when responding to different support channels. It also give them full visibility into the customer’s activities across all channels, enabling the agent to provide personalized service.

Integrated phone support should include automatic ticket creation, call recording and customer history, so agents aren’t forced to manually take notes or search several systems of record for information about the customer. Everything happens automatically and exists in a single location, so agents have the context they need and the freedom to truly focus on the customer call. Plus outbound calls from existing tickets automatically update that ticket, keeping all multi-channel interactions in one place.

Managers - improve visibility

Managers require clear visibility into their customer service health—both of individual agents and the department as a whole—to improve performance and plan for the future. This is not feasible when phone support is managed through a system separate from other support channels.

Two distinct systems of record that don’t “speak” to each other—one for a call records (which only include phone and provides insights like average call time and number of calls each agent handles an hour) and a ticket record—make it impossible to gain comprehensive insights into all channels and plan accurately for the future.

Integrated phone support lets managers understand the performance of the entire channel mix, including:

  • What percentage of support tickets are through the phone
  • Which types of issues drive phone calls vs. emails vs. chat, etc., enabling managers to strategize ways to reduce calls or divert support requests to other channels, reducing costs and improving efficiencies
  • How to best train, hire, and distribute staff. If managers know they need more top-notch phone support agents, they can plan accordingly

Owners/IT: consolidate systems and reduce costs

With integrated phone support—specifically a phone support solution that’s built into a customer support platform—IT is able to work with one trusted vendor for all support channels. Furthermore, phone support systems that integrate with other channels are typically VoIP solutions, which come with the additional benefits of reduced equipment and maintenance costs, portability and flexibility.

Customers: better experiences

The most important reason to adopt integrated phone support is because it’s better for customers. It allows companies to provide customers with exactly what they want: quick, consistent, personalized service.

First and foremost, customers want customer service to be fast. As mentioned earlier, the seconds can really add up when agents are forced to switch back and forth between different systems to reference interactions while on the phone with a customer. Integrated phone support means agents will have ready access to that information, leading to faster service. Integrated phone support means agents don’t have to keep customers waiting or worse, put them on hold while they search for information that straddles different systems.

Customers also want service from knowledgeable agents, and they want it to feel personal. When phone support lives in a silo, agents lack access to previous interactions with the customer and other context. But with integrated phone support, agents will not only know who is calling (thanks to CTI screen pops), they can also see if the customers has any outstanding tickets in other channels, previously closed tickets, purchase history, and more. All of which makes it easier for the agent to treat the customer like an individual.

Selecting a vendor

Now that you’ve made the decision to give your customers the best possible service with integrated phone support, here is a quick primer to help you choose the best vendor:

Support platform integration

Look for a phone system that fits into your agents’ workflows, complementing other channels. Agents should work from a single platform, and managers should have a full-view into support operations. Seek a telephony system that is built in to the support platform, limiting need for any custom integration work and reducing the number of software vendors.

Inbound screen popping

For inbound calls, receiving pop-up alerts with a link to the contact’s record in your CRM puts essential information at agents’ fingertips. This is especially useful for organizations focused on customer service and support so that you can provide a personalized experience.

Customer history

Contact details, including custom user and organization fields, as well as full multi-channel support history, should be at the agent's' fingertips during a call for easy reference. Knowing what other issues a customer may be facing leads to faster resolution and consistent cross-channel support.

Automatic ticket creation

It is essential that you choose something that keeps track of calls and voicemails with automatic ticket creation, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Plus, tickets can serve as a data source for quality assurance, agent training, and customer feedback.

Call analytics

Call activity reporting with real-time performance analytics and dashboards are essential to monitor productivity. You will also want to make sure that it is easy to do historical reporting and analysis across your channels.

Call recording

You should have the ability to record all inbound and outbound calls made from any device associated with the system. These recordings should be easily accessible directly in the contact record and easy to share with other agents for training and quality assurance.

Routing and automatic call distribution

Ensure your phone support system will route callers to the right agent or department with routing tools like IVR (interactive voice response) systems and group routing. Round robin call distribution will ensure that calls are always routed to an available agent and evenly distributed among support team members.

Flexibility & customization

It’s important to seek a vendor that offers the flexibility to work with the systems you have in place and doesn’t require purchasing any additional software or hardware. It should be easy to customize for your team’s specific use cases and workflows, without the help of consultants or technicians.

Ease of use

Since agents and managers will work with this tool for many hours at a time, it’s mandatory that you choose something that’s simple to use and designed with the user in mind.

Ready to get started?

Zendesk Talk is a phone support solution built right into Zendesk, making integrated phone support easy. Learn more Zendesk Talk.

6 Steps to Deploying Chat on Your Website

6 Steps for Deploying Chat on Your Website

Live Chat is a faster and more personal way to engage with customers. But to make the most of live chat, you'll need to learn how to properly deploy and manage it.

This comprehensive guide will provide the necessary resources for successfully implementing and deploying chat. You'll learn how to:

  1. Align chat goals with your business objectives
  2. Manage customer experience and chat volume
  3. Determine your staffing requirements
  4. Train agents to chat effectively
  5. Build a chat workflow
  6. Monitor and iterate on your success

The guide brings together the Zendesk Chat team's collective live chat knowledge and experience into one comprehensive resource, offering high-level guidance, as well as best practice tips for support managers and administrators implementing live chat on their site.

Chat it up: A panel discussion about the channel with the highest customer satisfaction

Providing a great customer experience is critical to building relationships that last. Retailers know better than anyone that the ease and friendliness of the customer interaction is at the heart of every transaction. This is easy to see in-store, but harder to deliver digitally. That's where live chat comes in. For retailers hesitant to make the investment, consider that live chat offers the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Join us for a moderated panel webinar with customer experience leaders from UGG®/Deckers and Burton Snowboards. At the end of the webinar, you’ll learn:

● Why chat is a useful and important channel
● How retailers benefit from chat
● The common pitfalls of deploying chat
● How to measure the success of chat

Hilary Milnes

Hilary Milnes is the lead retail reporter at Digiday and will be moderating the webinar with panelists from UGG®/Deckers and Burton Snowboards.

Ty Volante

Ty Volante is responsible of Customer Service at Burton Snowboards.

John Goodwin

John Goodwin manages Customer Experience at Deckers.

Delivering high-impact phone support with Zendesk Talk, featuring DonorsChoose

Effective phone support can have a powerful impact, especially for non-profit and community organizations. Whether guiding valuable donors through questions or delivering in-the-moment support to students and volunteers, the immediate, personal touch of a phone call goes a long way. Zendesk makes phone support easy with Zendesk Talk, a VoIP phone support solution built right into the Zendesk Support ticketing system. Easy to set up, easy to use, and cost-effective—it's a perfect fit for non-profit organizations.

DonorsChoose, a leading nonprofit that allows individual donors to contribute directly to teachers in high-need communities, initially used Zendesk only to support contributors and teachers via email. After noticing that many members of their community were eager to speak directly with a DonorsChoose employee, they introduced Zendesk Talk for phone support. Now, they are able to assist high-value donors and nurture projects in new regions, while maintaining their commitment to organizational transparency and efficiency.
 
You'll learn how DonorsChoose:

  • provide 2 million + supporters and 680,000+ project leaders with seamless, multichannel support;
  • guide teachers and donors through complex project lifecycles; and,
  • maintain operational efficiency as they scale phone support operations.

This on-demand webinar also includes a live demo of Zendesk Talk.

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols is General Manager of Zendesk Talk, joined by Kristin Kwasnik, Senior Customer Account Manager for Zendesk's nonprofit and educational customers.

Risa Ward

Risa Ward is VP of Operations and Customer Service. She's joined by Katie Vallas, Operations Associate for Teacher Relations, at DonorsChoose.

Download: The best hold music since 'Careless Whisper'

Did you know that the average person will spend 43 days of his or her life waiting on hold? It's true, scientific fact.

That's a lot of time spent waiting to speak to a customer service rep, listening to some third-rate cover of ‘Careless Whisper.’ When we found out about this we were like, “Now just hold on a minute…” (pun totally intended). Tormenting people with saxophone Muzak is no way to treat customers. That's why we hired a professional musician to compose a new song, one that the hold music-listening public voted as the best hold music.

Here it is, give it a listen:

This award-winning jam can now be yours—for your phone system, or for your ongoing listening pleasure.

Gartner: Best Practices for Making Live Chat a Must-Have Engagement Channel

Edmunds.com, a customer of Zopim (now Zendesk Chat), was featured in this Gartner report. Read on to find out more about Edmunds.com’s 24x7 multi-channel support.

There are so many ways people can chat or message each other every day: through Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or apps like WhatsApp, SnapChat or WeChat. That's why it comes as no surprise that live chat, as a digital customer service channel, is increasing in both popularity and usage.

According to an October 2015 report from Gartner: "Live chat is increasing in popularity as a preferred customer digital engagement channel, today representing 2% of overall interactions, and growing to 10% in 2018. By 2018, over 80% of companies will offer some form of live chat on their website or on mobile devices to interact with their customers." However, implementing chat as a long-term strategy can be challenging.

In this report, Gartner analyst Brian Manusama makes the following recommendations:

  • Craft the customer service journey and find the moments of truth in the digital touchpoints to proactively offer personalized live chat on your website and within your mobile apps.
  • Position live chat as part of an overall long-term customer engagement strategy.
  • Set up a comprehensive knowledge base to provide consistent responses and support multiple simultaneous chats.
  • Articulate how you want to organize the handling of live-chat sessions in your customer engagement center.
  • Understand the importance of the UI design for both customer and agent window alike.
  • Start small—limit the number of scenarios where live chat becomes active, and continuously measure the performance of chat agents and their impact on customer experience.

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

You might also like this Gartner report about CRM customer engagement centers, which is available for complimentary download via Zendesk.

Gartner Best Practices for Making Live Chat a Must-Have Engagement Channel, Brian Manusama, 29 October 2015.

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