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View Poll Results: How many live support chat sessions do you have on average per day?
0-5 17 54.84%
5-10 7 22.58%
10-20 3 9.68%
20-40 1 3.23%
40-70 0 0%
70+ 3 9.68%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
  Post #16 (permalink)   10-05-2004, 06:56 AM
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As Simon has said, Live Support chat is very hard to maintain with a lot of clients, not to mention can become expensive.

Most all professional live chat applications are charged per seat. You'll usually get a particular number of seats (number of techs that can be online at once) with your basic monthly fee.

However, the larger your client base becomes, the less efficient those initial seats become.

For example, if you have the ability to have 3 techs on live support at once....this is fine, until your have a client base too large for 3 techs to handle at once. This means you'll generally have to purchase and pay monthly for additional tech seats for the software. So this already adds more overhead.

Keep in mind, I'm not talking about freeware scripts. I'm talking about professional business class software.

We started offering live support, as we did not even get many tickets, and if we do, it's typical "How do I....?" type questions, answered completely and quickly within a few mins. So we figured, we'll offer live support, as we didn't feel that too many folks would use it, but those that would would have questions, generally in the same above mentioned genre. The 6 tech seats that came with the software was just fine for that scenerio.

However, once we began our datacenter migration to Peer1, it became an instant bombardment, as soon as the first DNS issue struck. We then realized that the 6 techs on online support were not going to be able to handle them all efficiently, and ordered them to go into "away" mode, until they finished their current calls, then to logoff completely.

Still at this time, while our migration is still being completed, Live "support" is offline.

We have been forced to re-evaluate what this tool is used for, as far as our company is concerned.
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  Post #17 (permalink)   10-06-2004, 06:12 AM
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We have a live chat support feature on our website for sales and technical support. Daily we had to attend 10-15 chats. Through live chat we can answer and solve our customer's problems instantly. From their response I understood that live chat is very useful for them...........
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  Post #18 (permalink)   10-10-2004, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
It's fine when you have ~50 customers, but when you're talking 3, 4, and 5 figures, then it's an impossible model to sustain, and will actually make the company look worse (imagine 50 people, all with a small issue. 50 x 5 minutes = too long a wait for customer #50).
That is why you have more than one person on the live chat system.
If you have say ten people, then the maximum one needs to wait if a chat session takes five minutes is twenty five minutes. But if you have so many clients, you're going to have more than ten support people [Or at least should do].



My company however no longer offers live chat support. The reason being that people did not use it; and it became too expensive for its use. You have to pay someone to be on line, and when no one is using that support system, it's money going to waste.

Occasionally a client would contact live support, however no often. Pre-clients did not even contact live support that often. The reason being that they all found it much easier to simply submit a ticket or send an e-mail.

Submitting a ticket is very easy, and very quick - It does not take much; and at times can be quicker than live chat.

If you have a demand, then supply, however if there is no demand it is silly to supply.

I may re-introduce live chat support, however it is very unlikely. Having support handled by a ticket system makes it a lot easier for everyone - the clients, the staff and me.

Also, what you should do is go over the support chat logs if you hire someone else to respond so you know that they're doing their job. I found it easier to go over tickets then to go over chat logs; however that is just me.

Also another hassle was that live chat support was offered also via AIM, MSN, ICQ and YIM. Making it more difficult to check up on the support logs.
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  Post #19 (permalink)   10-11-2004, 03:15 AM
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Having ten people on live support chat is non-sensical.

I can not, for the life in me, understand the business knowledge or sense behind such a decision.

Live sales? yes, most certainly. Sales is as sales does. Many sales reps will work on partial commision basis, so it's their choice.

Live tech support? not a chance. It's just a waste of man power to put 10 tech support agents ($20000+ per month) on a live chat system, when their work would be more optimized on; 1: Phones. 2: Ticketing systems.

Keep in mind, for every live support agent on live chat, there needs to be at least one "off". That one who isn't on live chat, I can guarantee you, has a faster, more efficient resolution time and rate.

To suggest that putting 10 live technical support agents on live chat is sensible, one would have to presume you have never been in a position of authority inside a company in the IT world, or business world.

The numbers don't crunch, and when that happens, you're missing a link somewhere.

Simon
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  Post #20 (permalink)   10-11-2004, 09:46 AM
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Hmm... it really depends on the size of the company, the pricing etc. I would say that almost everything is possible for the right amount of money. Also, we must take into account the costs and the function of live chat support. Having highly qualified $50000+ per year system admins standing by waiting for a chat session is one thing, having moderately knowledgeable staff from developing countries is another thing. It all depends on the business model, target market, projected company image etc.

I agree that live chat is not exactly efficient. I would say that a properly manned ticket systems allows both the customer and the hosting company to use their time in a more efficient manner.
 
 
 


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  Post #21 (permalink)   02-17-2005, 10:26 AM
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My experence I have worked on an companys live chat support with nearly 200 chats a day and really that helped the company growth by large extent...

Only thing is you got to have every chat taken care properly...
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  Post #22 (permalink)   02-18-2005, 09:50 AM
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20-40. Our customers are not exactly shy, nor are the "to be" customers. Its very important to make them feel comfortable so shyness wont be a factor in conversations over the internet or phone. Another key thing is... dont have one person doing live support via phone or internet... you will loose your noodles. Multiple people for support staff is kind of a needed thing!
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  Post #23 (permalink)   02-19-2005, 05:06 AM
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Correct you need to have correct no. of techs so each chat is handled and helped out that quickly thats what it is for so that simple issue rather than spending time on emails with first autorespond and then looked upon ,its always good to get them sloved right there on chat ... so correct chat techs and there no. also matters..
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  Post #24 (permalink)   02-19-2005, 05:44 AM
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for me, mostly of my customer like phone support, i think its beacuse mostly customer i have locally. Customers from other countries and cities mostly use Ticket system, few use live chat even during office hours we are online.
 
 
 


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  Post #25 (permalink)   03-01-2005, 09:39 PM
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Our live chat system is rarely utilized. I do believe it is because people are shy, bad typers, don't want to be pressured into a sale, feel "live chat" has a bad condatation. I am sure there a lot more reasons. I wish we could ask them, somehow.
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  Post #26 (permalink)   03-01-2005, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
I wish we could ask them, somehow.
Why couldn't you? You're more than free to survey your clients regarding the utilization of your live chat.

Most companies should be doing this about their services or products...it's called consumer research.
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  Post #27 (permalink)   03-02-2005, 02:19 AM
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We use the well known messenger services, aol, msn, yahoo and ICQ. We get about 5 requests per day. We used to have a live chat software on our first web site but it came to the point of not being used enough to keep it up, so we decided to remove it.

I guess some people are shy or not interested to chat with someone via live chat. I must that tickets system works better.
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  Post #28 (permalink)   03-02-2005, 06:05 AM
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A few points to make about live chat.

If you offer it, then make sure you have it "live" most of the day. It's a real negative to offer the service, and display the "offline" image for most of the day. If you're going to offer it, offer it.

A real turn off for me is seeing a popup window inviting me to chat. These windows are usually timed to appear after a set number of seconds after you hit the site. Personally, I find them intrusive and annoying.

You need to make it clear as to the purpose of your live chat. Is it for sales? For support? For both? I can imagine that it would be a real nightmare if you had some server/connectivity issue, and then suddenly dozens ( or hundreds/thousands) of customers hit your live chat to find out what's going on with their site. Logistically, there would be no way for you to handle the queries via live chat.

Vito
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  Post #29 (permalink)   03-02-2005, 12:12 PM
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Good post Vito. Happy 100 as well!
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