By Jared Cornell
Customer Support Manager at ProProfs Chat
Live chat support is critical for every business – no matter small or large. Whether the customers need help in choosing the right product, applying a discount coupon or raising a support ticket, they have a quick word with the chat executive and get it resolved instantly.
This means that your live chat agents are not just mere employees, but the whole business and brand for your customers. A good chat executive can make your brand stand-out with high customer satisfaction, while a bad experience can dent your brand value as well as sales.
Hence, simply downloading a live chat app and calling it a day is not enough. You need to ensure that your live chat executives are the best in the business. Once you hire the right candidates through your selection process, you need to take these new employees on board.
It is essential to have an effective live chat onboarding program so that your live chat agents feel comfortable in the new environment and give their best possible output. Moreover, it’ll also make them stick with your company for a longer time.
Importance of Effective Onboarding Program
for Live Chat Agents
A great onboarding program would help you increase employee retention as well as customer satisfaction because it:
Aligns New Chat Agents with Your Company’s Vision
A majority of employees quit their new jobs quite early because they don’t feel satisfied. This is a critical concern for employers as they have to start the whole hiring and onboarding process again.
If you ensure during the onboarding process that your new recruits are aligned with the vision of your company as well as know their role in reaching that vision, they’ll never feel dissatisfied again.
Introduces Them to Your Company’s Culture
Effective onboarding process acts as a buffer for the new agents before being laden with responsibility. It helps them in bonding with their colleagues and seniors so that they can be approached for help when required and also to maintain a healthy and fun work environment.
Helps Them Understand Your Business
Understanding the vision and culture of your company is vital for new agents. But without a solid knowledge of your business, they won’t be able to do a good job at fully satisfying the customers.
A good onboarding program helps you successfully impart a complete training to your employees so that they gain a fair understanding of the product or service that you offer as well as the standard practices that need to be followed as part of the job.
How to Design An Effective Live Chat
Schedule A Roadmap
You need to chalk out a roadmap for the new chat agents, complete with milestones, checklists, and a timeline. This is the most critical part of your live chat on-boarding program and defines the success or failure of it.
The pace of the program should be comfortable for both the employees and the instructors. Trying to cram a lot of activities within a short span of time defeats the very purpose of such a program, that is to make employees a part of your organization.
Prepare an OnBoarding Kit
If the planning of your onboarding program is thorough and proactive, you’ll already have a list of collaterals that you can hand out to your fresh recruits at their joining. These would include important materials like operations manual, standard flow charts, company policies, HR policies, product brochures, client videos, training videos and
Ensure that you provide this kit to all the new members of your organization on the very day they join. This kit doesn’t necessarily mean a hard copy of documents. You can simply provide them the login credentials to their account on your LMS (learning management system) software.
Appoint a Mentor
It can be a really difficult period for new members to get acquainted with a new work culture, new people and the pressure of learning. That’s where a mentor can help in their progress.
Mentors are the one-stop advisors for ensuring that the new chat agents are able to complete the program as intended and on time. They should ideally be the senior members of the live chat team, as they would be able to share their knowledge and experience with the new chat agents quite efficiently.
Track and Measure Progress
Any onboarding program is incomplete and ineffective if it doesn’t track the progress of those taking the program. You must define clear goals and objectives of the program that can be defined quantifiably in the form of KPIs and KRAs. This becomes really easy if you are using an e-learning software to create the program.
Make these metrics a part of the milestones that you crafted as part of the program’s roadmap and measure progress at set intervals to gauge whether the employees are able to learn or not. Moreover, you can analyze the data of your program to gain deep insights into the efficacy of your program and improve it further.
Maintain Communication and Exchange Feedback
Regular communication is vital for making a live chat onboarding program effective. You need to keep in touch with the chat agents throughout the program to ensure that they are able to benefit from it. Besides, the qualitative feedback that you get from them can be used in addition to the quantitative data from KPIs and metrics to improve the program in the future. Hence, ensure that there is always room for effective communication among everyone.
Ensure Sufficient Practical Experience
Lastly, nothing can replace first-hand experience and practical learning. An effective onboarding program ensures that new agents get their hands on the live support software and handle a few customers under the supervision of their mentors. Such an experience is invaluable and goes a long way in building a foundation of that employee.
Live chat agents face your customers on a daily basis to help them out with any problem that they are having. The reputation of your brand lies on their shoulders. You must create an effective onboarding program to warmly welcome them in your organization and become an integral part of it.
About the Author
Jared is a customer-support ninja and a marketing evangelist working with ProProfs.com for more than 5 years. After wearing many hats as a sales specialist, a content marketer, and a brief stint as project manager; Jared found customer support to be the passion-fueled calling while working with ProProfs Chat. Being an avid book lover, he regularly visits the library and is always keen to develop new strategies to help customers seeking live chat assistance for a delightful experience.