Chat Operator Extraordinaire – Roles & Responsibilities

A quick search online for live chat solutions reveals a myriad of available options. They all possess and share sets of great, useful features to help you reach your goals. The thing is these widgets, for the most part, aren’t autonomous. How well they perform greatly depends on each and every chat operator delegated to work the mouse and the keyboard. What personal traits, then, should a chat operator display, you may ask? Well, you’re just about to find out, read on!

A live chat operator is an important cog in your organization. He often serves as the first point of contact for multiple existing and potential clients. Thus, he should be equipped to handle both groups well.

As a business owner, you may be looking to add chat operators to your team to provide customer support or manage your growing online community. If that’s the case, you can use this post as a sort of a checklist for you to run through while you’re holding interviews with potential candidates.

So, what duties and responsibilities rest on chat admins’ shoulders? And more importantly, what can a chat operator do to best serve people on the other side of the line? How can he create excellent user experience and/or build lasting relations and/or help the on-site community to grow?

The breakdown below aims to answer these questions and help you understand the importance of a chat admin, as well as for chat moderators, if any are reading this, to become more self-appreciative with regards to the work they do, which certainly isn’t easy.

Chat operator has to… build and manage the image of the company

Here, the roles and responsibilities of a great chat operator include:

► providing answers to questions and managing complaints

Really the bread and butter of any chat operator out there and pretty self-explanatory.

► identifying customer needs and pain points

This requires the chat operator to be a good and empathetic listener, who also understands well the ways in which customers use the product or service.

► holding a proactive conversation

Having an extrovert type of personality would definitely help. The agent has got to be able to come forth, control the flow of the conversation and ask the right kind of questions to elicit the needed information.

utilizing chat features effectively to achieve the desired goal

Which in practice means solving the customer’s issue, making a sale, etc. These can be supported by features such as file sharing or media previews. Also, achieving some of the goals may actually be easier via live chat, as opposed to telephone, due to the very nature of this kind of communication.

Chat operator has to… work on building long-term relations with customers

Here, the roles and responsibilities of a great chat operator include:

► asking the right questions to help the customer reach final decision

This is somewhat related to identifying the needs and pain points of your interlocutor. Essentially, an effective chat operator is able to point the customer into the right direction by asking relevant questions.

putting some personal touch to help create WOMM and convert the customer into a returning one

Here’s where the chat operator’s personality really comes into play. You need your agent to be able to deliver this elusive value to the customer, that makes him feel good after the conversation is over and tell his friends about it.

Chat operator has to… be good with words

Here, the roles and responsibilities of a great chat operator include:

► being concise, yet informative

The nature of the communication medium that is live chat often requires agents to provide extensive information using as few words as possible, obviously while remaining coherent.  

adjusting the tone of voice

By tone of voice I mean adjusting to the way the other interlocutor types. If it’s rather informal and friendly, the chat operator can assume the same angle, walking the thin line of sounding like an actual human while remaining professional.

explaining any necessary silences in advance

At first glance, this may seem like a trivial issue, but it certainly helps the chat agent control the flow of the conversation and is a sign of good manners. Phrases like ‘it’ll take a moment, please stand by’ or ‘sorry to keep you waiting’ can be real difference makers in terms of the overall customer experience.

Chat operator has to… manage complaints well

Here, the roles and responsibilities of a great chat operator include:

► not taking things personally

This trait is crucial for a successful chat operator to have, although it may take some time to develop it. What one has to remember is that most of the times complaints are aimed at the business or product in general, and not the particular person.

recognizing and following company policies

Having rules and regulations and sticking to them helps keep businesses in operation. Your chat agent will have to have a certain level of discipline, however, you should make room for exceptions in unusual customer cases instead of being completely inflexible. Trying to resist the pressure may one day break you. It’s better to sometime bend the rules.

working towards some kind of a solution

What I’m saying here is that the chat operator has to be oriented towards solving customer issues, and not merely a communicator of company policies. What’s important, despite varying levels of problem complexity, is not leaving the customer to himself, without suggesting any kind of a way out.

Final word

Alright, that’s my breakdown of traits and attributes that a great chat operator should display. The person providing customer support or handling your online community must keep the brand’s image in mind while chatting with people, and he also has to work towards building long-term relations with existing customer seeking help.

On top of that, the agent must have a good command of the language to communicate efficiently and be resistant to complaints, while providing actionable solutions.

If you’re looking for a chat agent right now, use this post to guide you through the recruitment process. Good luck!

One more thing before you go…

Thank you for showing interest in my post and making it to the end. What you’re reading right this moment is a little easter egg, a treat for the most patient of readers. To show my appreciation for the time you invested in reading the post, I’d like to offer you an extended, 30-day trial (it’s normally 7) of the Ultimate plan of Chatwee or Chatwee 2.0

If you don’t have an account with us yet, and you’re curious to test our tool, please sign up with no strings attached at Chatwee.com and claim your extended trial by contacting me at roman.kozlowski@chatwee.com referring to this post.

Looking forward to hearing from you!