IT Governance

10 Tips to Introduce Web Chat IT Support

Thinking about adding chat to your IT support network? Bomgar’s Jeremy Curley discusses the logistics of integrating web chat into a company’s IT support infrastructure in an article for the SITS Community (formerly Service Desk 360). We thought it appropriate to summarize Curley’s article as a help forum conversation between two IT professionals.

IT Manager (1): How should I begin?

IT Service Pro: You’ll want to understand your baseline impact on overall performance and on channel activity levels so you can establish key performance metrics before diving in.

IT Manager (2): How can I maximize the benefits of chat?

IT Service Pro: I would advise you to review issue types to pinpoint exactly where improvements can be made. “Common issues with repeatable steps or issues that require downtime – such as waiting for something to download or install – are ideal for chat as agents can handle multiple sessions at once.”

IT Manager (3): How will users respond to the new service channel?

IT Service Pro: It all depends on how you communicate the availability of chat. Try not to focus too much on the percentage and types of tickets coming through. For instance, the way you add chat links will inevitably influence ticket type.

IT Manager (4): How should I deal with staffing?

IT Service Pro: Staffing is a typically overlooked aspect of integrating chat. Make sure you are not understaffed or customers will seek help elsewhere!

IT Manager (5): Are my phone agents the best candidates for chat?

IT Service Pro: Not necessarily. Though the service mindset is identical, chat requires the addition of fast (and accurate) typing skills, and an unparalleled ability to multitask.

IT Manager (6): How can the chat process be optimized?

IT Service Pro: One easy way hasten resolution times is to compose canned messages for common statements such as greetings, closings, etc.

IT Manager (7): Can I apply certain phone processes to the chat model?

IT Service Pro: Overall, you’ll need to create an entirely new set of processes. For instance, unlike phone service, there need to be rules for how long an agent waits before cancelling a session–things like that.

IT Manager (8): Will the new chat medium disrupt other channels?

IT Service Pro: Actually, once implemented, the chat channel should streamline the overall system, as it can be integrated with ticketing and remote support, thus enhancing the service experience.

IT Manager (9): How should I handle reporting?

IT Service Pro: To measure trends, you’ll want to revisit those baseline metrics. If tracked properly, these metrics should give you customer satisfaction scores, resolution rates, handle times, and the like.

IT Manager (10): Once it’s implemented, then what?

IT Service Pro: Tracking post-launch results against your baseline is a start. Get down to the nitty-gritty and analyze by issue type, agent, and customer. In order to improve, you’ll need to hold regular service meetings as well.

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