We recently asked our customers how they prefer to contact Modwest technical support. Two answers quickly rose to the top: email, and online chat.
The problem was, we didn't offer online chat at the time! So, last month, we started looking in earnest about how to do it.
Our requirements were a little unique in that our support team uses Mac OS X, Windows, and Ubuntu, so we needed to find a solution that worked for everyone. After reviewing some of the many options out there, we settled on ProvideSupport.
Once chat was deployed (look for the little "Live Support" icon in the left-hand menubar of our site), we discovered we still had some things to iron out.
- Customer Service Priorities: our priority is to answer your phone calls as promptly as possible. And, we pledge not to be chatting with another customer while on the phone with you. So, when the phones get busy, we log out of the chat system. That means our hours of chat availability will be intermittent, at least at first, but will include some evenings and weekends.
- What is chat good for? Any time you have a quick sales or support question for which you can't find an answer in the FAQ, try us on chat. Chat is also great because it makes it easy to copy-paste error messages, web addresses, and so forth.
- What is chat not-so-good for? We can't accept or transmit sensitive data (passwords, credit card info) over chat. For complex issues that can't be asked in a single sentence and/or require a lot of explanation and/or research, email may be a better choice. If you need a walk-through configuring an email or SFTP program, consider picking up the phone and calling our toll free number.
- Talking to an empty room: Something funny happened the first week after we launched chat. One of our team members was helping a customer, when the customer was called away for a phone call. After an hour, he still hadn't returned, and we wondered... now what? Do we just "hang up" on him? The answer is yes. It's simple enough to start up a new chat when the customer's ready.