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Managing and turning off new tools like online chat

We need down time, even from our favourite things.

Young boy holding new tools and a mobile phone

Like a young child playing with new toys, we all like to play with our new tools and gadgets. Are we also like young children that we need a rest from our toys/tools?

Having done the research into online chat, I was introducing it to some of my client’s employees the other day.

One of the employees – let’s call him Simon for simplicity – liked the idea of offering it to their customers but asked some really good questions.

Won’t we need a dedicated person to manage the online chat? None of us have time to take that on.

What happens if the online chat person is on the phone or something when someone wants to chat?

 Managing a new feature

There’s no doubt that adding a new feature or tool can create extra work in the short-term. It takes time to set up and learn how to use it, and you may have to explain it to a number of people before it becomes fully effective.

I don’t think adding online chat means getting an extra person into the workplace. Even in a busy customer service business, the online chat should reduce the number of phone calls and emails which would free up the time needed to answer chats.

For Simon, I was able to explain that a little pop up window will show to all relevant staff when someone wanted to chat so any available staff member could answer.

Ability to turn the feature off

Another reassurance for Simon and his team was that online chat doesn’t have to be on all the time.

While there are variations between online chat systems, my client will have a choice between making the chat feature invisible or showing as offline to collect an email address when staff are unable to accept chats.

I think that’s important.

So many great new tools are offered to businesses but we need down time – to do our work, to undergoing training, to have a break and so on. Whether it is joining social media, online chat, a eShop or other tool, we need to be able to turn it off in some way.

How often do you turn off social media, emails and similar communication tools?

What if you had online chat on your site – would you turn it to offline even if you are physically present? Turn it off out of business hours, even if you can use it while mobile?

* Image courtesy of 123RF

4 Responses to Managing and turning off new tools like online chat

  • Gavin says:

    Hi Tash,
    I think it’s worth pointing out that many live chat options have offline chat forms that can still capture enquiries/leads and email them to you when you’re not online monitoring. Having used live chat for a couple of years across many different websites I can tell you that the offline forms are great for capturing leads when you aren’t there.
    I think you need to assess your options though, if you install live chat but are very rarely online (during business hours) then it doesn’t reflect well on the business – just my option 🙂
    Cheers,

    Gavin

    • TashWord says:

      Your opinion is welcome, Gavin 🙂

      yes, the offline option for chat is a good feature – as I said in the post, being able to switch to offline gives the business more control of their time without loosing opportunities for people to get in touch.

      I agree that online chat is not for every business as you do have to be able to actually be online a reasonable amount of time to be worthwhile.

  • Easy ABN says:

    I guess it’s one thing that site owners do, to take down or turn off their chat tool if they only keep it always on offline mode.

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