WebGreeter™ has previously been using a combination of the more popular existing chat solutions in order to deliver the service. These off-the-shelf software solutions had major inadequacies when it came to fulfilling WebGreeter’s needs. The following is a discussion of the main factors relating to off-the-shelf solutions;
Operators had to pick chats out of a visitor list themselves, while the list itself contained visitor traffic from all the websites receiving the chat service from WebGreeter™. This meant that operators had to be careful when picking chats as they could only pick the ones for websites they had been trained for. Another factor that affected performance was the greeting-wait factor, where operators had to find their chats themselves, greet visitors and then be forced to wait for a response.
With contact centers in Chicago, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, operators could provide 24/7 coverage to websites, with one center overlapping with another so that timing differences did not affect the service delivery. Coordinating these human resources, however, was a difficult and time consuming job. Load balancing (switching human resources to manage higher traffic volumes on client websites) was being performed manually by supervisors who were forced to remain on international calls for much of their time, talking to supervisors and operators at other locations. For this reason, work division was a very difficult task to manage on a day to day basis.
Traffic reports, sales conversion reports, chat-reports and such were generated using individual statistics maintained and updated daily by operators and their supervisors. These reports were of high importance as they were necessary for the improvement of the service and were a major tool required to help WebGreeter™ and its clients review the effectiveness of the service. Compiling and sharing these reports in a meaningful way was a time consuming task.
Operators providing the service had to manually copy and paste chats in a document in order to save them after a chat was concluded. Transcripts of the previous chats that had been conducted with a returning visitor had to be looked up manually. There was no one-click approach to recognize a returning visitor and to retrieve their previous conversations with WebGreeter™ operators.
The processes being used to deploy and deliver services on a day to day basis were mostly manual. There was little or no room for improvement as these processes were already optimized and still showed major deficiencies. WebGreeter™ was forced to deal with limitations which had nothing to do with the company itself, only the technology at hand.
The WG Live Chat Software™ was initially developed for use by WebGreeter™ and has since been licensed to many web-businesses which have benefited immensely from the features provided in the application. The following segment describes how the application has helped WebGreeter™ streamline its service deployment and delivery, reduced their costs and helped the company become a more recognized brand.
The Automatic Chat Routing System connects visitors with waiting operators. The system routes chats to operators automatically from amongst the visitor list and with respect to;
Before the implementation and deployment of WG Live Chat Software™, operators were spending the majority of their time simply searching for visitors on the websites they were responsible for, from amongst the long list of traffic, and then simply greeting visitors and waiting for responses. With the new system in place, the routing system automates this process for the operator.
Managing and coordinating resources is now a simple process of tweaking the routing criteria in the system. WebGreeter™ supervisors now have the ability to monitor operators and make necessary changes using the application’s management panel. Since the routing system is capable of work division on a global scale, it automatically directs the use of available human resources according to the schedule of service, the traffic requirements and international timing differences. This reduces the management’s involvement in the operations aspect to a supervisory and directive level and allows them to benefit WebGreeter™ in other areas in the longer run; saving on time and costs, and leaving the managers at WebGreeter™ free to undertake other projects relating to training and service improvement etc.
Extra costs which were being incurred every month for various reasons have been dramatically reduced with the deployment of the application. Some of these extra costs in terms of time and resources were a burden upon an otherwise efficient and well designed operating process.
• Use of extra bandwidth for internal phone conferences (VOIP was being used to coordinate human resources, a task which is now automated by the application). Extra bandwidth was also being wasted on dead chats; where visitors were not responding but were connected with the operators, meaning that the operators had to spend time, system and internet resources while waiting on responses.
• Wastage of the Management’s time developing reports on the service is now being eliminated as these reports are generated by the system and only require human review. The time spent in solving low level problems is also now being saved as these problems are no longer encountered due to computerization.
• The productivity of Chat Operators at WebGreeter™ has improved by 70%, i.e. WebGreeter™ can now provide their clients with 70% more completed relevant chats (leads generated) on their website as operators are getting more chats with better sales prospects. This has improved the efficiency of WebGreeter’s operators to the extent that the current teams are now managing 40% to 50% more work within the same time shifts compared to pre-implementation performance.
• Changes to chatting scripts and canned (pre-stored standard text) messages are now implemented in real-time (saving the time previously required to download update files and implement them across the board).
• This system is light, that is, it is .NET based and works well in any environment while using minimal bandwidth and system resources, removing the unnecessary delays and hang-ups associated with older versions of Java, PHP or flash based programs.
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