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When it comes to hiring agents for live chat, the necessary skill sets may be somewhat different from hiring a voice agent. A phone agent may not be a great candidate for a chat agent as they may not have the required skills required such as excellent typing, multitasking ability, or written grammar skills necessary for the position. A web site visitor expects to be connected instantaneously with a live chat agent when looking for customer service. They also expect the live chat agent to reply quickly. A large motive behind utilizing chat is the visitor’s personal time management.  A website visitor engaging in chat typically doesn’t want to take the time to call the customer service number.  That’s why it is crucial for a chat agent’s speedy and excellent typing skills as they respond to the engagement quickly and accurately.

Typical live chat agents handle between 2-4 concurrent chats at all times.  Therefore, a chat agent must have the ability to process several tasks simultaneously. They must possess the skill to pay close attention to detail while handling multiple customer accounts, researching account issues, and responding to customers in a timely manner. In some live chat deployments agents may need to convert a customer service engagement to an up sell as part of the job goal.  Visitors that come into live chat don’t have the ability to hear willingness to assist or enthusiasm through hearing a voice. As a result, the importance of conveying eagerness to help through effective wording is vital. Even then, positive words do not guarantee a successful chat interaction.

Successful chat agents manage to engage the customer in conversation and form a personal connection, while following basic procedures and limiting handle time. By doing this, the customer feels valued and is less likely to feel like “just a number.” Agents who have the ability to express their personality over a chat interface are more likely to create satisfied customers.

The same expectations placed on phone agents to listen, probe, identify needs, and recommend a solution would be expected from chat agents. The main difference is the emphasis on exceptional typing skills, both fast and accurate, while also multitasking to find information and create a solution. The winning pedigree in a live chat agent is someone who can successfully balance process with personality, all while using only text to complete the tasks. Below is a summary of the required skill sets to become a successful chat agent:

The top 10 skills required for a successful live chat agent:

  1. Excellent typing including speed and accuracy
  2. Ability to multi-task managing multiple conversations simultaneously
  3. Manage customer time / responsiveness
  4. Outstanding customer service
  5. Create a meaning connection / Rapport- personalize the chat conversation
  6. Understand the metrics behind chat / CSAT, NPS, ART (Average Response Time)
  7. Appropriate usage of canned messages
  8. Professional grammar
  9. Ability to offer additional products or services when applicable
  10. Attention to detail