Chat technology is here to stay, no more a despised stepchild of technology, cast out to languish on the barren moors of indifference. Online chat will continue to enter into its own, slowly but surely, to occupy, if not the master suite, at least substantial room in the contact center. So says a new research report from Forrester Research Inc., which forecasts steady growth in chat-for-service users from 11 million last year to 67.1 million in 2007. And even though chat currently accounts for less than 3% of the total activities of contact centers whose managers were interviewed for this study, all of them report extreme satisfaction with the technology.
From a company’s point of view, chat can help increase order size and keep customers happier. Chat staffers must be able to multitask and work in writing, however, and their work schedules can be complex. The Forrester study makes three predictions: (1) by 2005 new chat technology will connect instant messaging networks and contact centers; (2) small vendors will fill out CRM suite offerings from larger vendors, or large vendors will absorb smaller ones; and (3) workforce management programs will become indispensable in handling the complexities of chat-enabled contact centers.
For more information, contact Forrester Research Inc. at (617) 613-6000 or visit www.forrester.com.