Leading live chat implementation on the CRC

by Romuald CETKOVIC

With more and more customers switching online and using various devices to do so, it is no coincidence that yesterday’s call centers are now becoming contact centers which offer multiple touch points to customers. Within this Omni channel environment (multiple consistent channels, with real time switch from one to the next), chat is becoming one of the major touch points used by customers to interact with brands, as it is a media favored by customers for its reactiveness and convenience.

In addition, recent researches show that the chat channel generates higher satisfaction than any other channel (when professionally managed) showing how well adapted it is to customer demand.

Furthermore, chat has a specific role in the touch point strategy, as it provides assistance to the customer during their web journey, in the context of the of “web-store” experience and on the same device. It is therefore strongly linked to its context, the website, which makes its missions similar to a salesman in a Boutique: Advice on products and services, assistance in navi¬gation, support in doing any action (selection, purchase, follow-up, etc.).

The chat is therefore the efficient tool to humanize the web channel, and assist those customers requiring support, while not disturbing those favoring self-service. Live Chat has become a key communication tool, allowing businesses to offer the same level of sales and customer service online as they would in face to face situations and at the same time to provide additional revenues - as B2C and B2B chatters are up to eight time more likely to buy than regular eCommerce visitors. This is why chat is one of the most impactful and sensitive customer touch point: it’s where i have the opportunity not only to offer a top quality customer service but also to shape and influence the brand identity.

Your objectives should be

1. Leading the implementation of the liveChat and driving the digital change management
2. Reducing the operating costs without sacrificing the quality of the customer relationship or making the lives of the employees more difficult.


- Driving the Customer transformation : Expectations, needs, website and mobile sites adaptations, communication, tone of voice, services, omnichannel strategy.
- Driving the organization transformation : Service and engagement levels, opening hours (Managing 24/7), CRM.
- Driving the HR transformation : Training, abilities, change management
- Driving the company transformation from Strivers to Digital Differentiators


Path to transformation


Before launching Live Chat support, you must assess the CRC capacity to handle the flows.

• Is there CS available with the right skills for Live Chat ? Or am I able to recruit and train ? How to drive the transformation ?
• Is there a budget available for training? Tool implementation ? Recruiting ?

12 to 18 months are needed to perfectly master the Live Chat activity internally. As Live Chat is a real time, but also a sensitive touch point because of its written nature, the CRC has to follow the ramp up phases to successfully master this activity internally and then externally.
The ramp up of the outsourcer (massification) will take a few additional months.

The key steps you should lead are described hereunder:


Thinking around the project

- I’ve got to #Focus my project only on the Chat Part
- I’ve got to be aware of the #2nd and 3rd order consequences of my Chat project: HR ?, Digital inequality ?, downsizing ?, need for a physical CRC ?, relationships with our boutique network ?. The intended results of the initial decision can become a challenge for the company.
- Risks of #substitution and/or modification of inbound channels: How will the Chat channel impact the inbound calls and emails ? I specially need to take email volume seriously and reevaluate the channel activity.
- Using the #Chat for the retail channel: I must focus on fulfilling customer orders at any time, through any channel, with complete alignment between CRC and Boutiques. Chat channel can be a usefull and strong support for the retail.
- The biggest challenge is to #unlearn (constantly): In order to transform the company into a digital differentiators company i need to explore new paths. I have to forget the old habits and try something new and innovating.
- Leading transformation: #conviction, conviction, conviction. The first challenge is that employees and executives need to believe that this is the right thing to go forward. So I need to convince them that this is the right and new way to take things across.
Second, my company just don’t have the right skills to think of new activities and conduct the right analyses to determine what to do in this fast-changing environment.
Third I’ve got to get a quick win strategy to keep people involved and to demonstrate the relevance of the new channel Fourth is to make it fun and interesting.
- From management to #collaborative leadership: I’ve go to be a confident and effective communicator, able to work and bring together different teams and make successful business cases to executives. - This is about #evolution > The market is changing very fast: Your company has to keep inventing the future if you want to stay in the run.

Romuald CETKOVIC -Exerpt from HEC certification essay 'Leading the digital transformation-