August 7, 2003, 12:00 AM

No more one-size-fits-all as retailers learn to allocate live chat staffs

Retailers are dividing live chat reps into specialists in either sales or customer service, says Live Person’s CEO.


Retailers are getting more sophisticated in their use of live chat reps, dividing them into separate groups specializing in either sales or customer service, says Robert LoCascio, CEO of Live Person Inc., a provider of live chat technology. He notes that 25 of Live Person’s major customers, including Hewlett-Packard Co., AT&T; and, have rearranged their live chat staffs, and that they’re experiencing positive feedback from customer service

“This a huge shift,” he says. “At one time, it was click to chat. But live chat reps have different personalities and different skill sets, just like reps in a call center. With more skilled customer service reps, they get more effective live chat customer service sessions. They handle issues more effectively than reps more skilled in sales techniques.”

He adds that while the separation of reps has shown improvements in customers’ rankings of their customer service experience, it’s also helping companies increase sales conversion rates by delegating sales sessions to reps with the strongest selling skills.


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