Customer Care through Live Chat





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For telecom service providers, href="http://voicendata.ciol.com/content/ContributoryArticles/110041301.asp">customer
care has become key to retain customers and attracting new ones.
After calling the customer care number and speaking to a customer care
executive, an automated message is often sent to the caller’s phone,
inquiring about the service quality, to which the caller can respond
with a toll free text message. Such is the importance of customer care
in India.

However, the customer care race will get even more heated in India
with operators, such as href="http://voicendata.ciol.com/content/news/110061703.asp">Airtel,
Vodafone
and Aircel charging 50 paisa per 3 minutes for calling customer care
for queries and requests in India. However, calls made to customer care
regarding complaints are still free. The telecom regulator TRAI is in
loop regarding this decision of the telecom companies.

Airtel has issued two numbers 198 and 121. 198 is only for
registering of complaints and is free. The executive at this number
will not answer any query for which the subscriber will need to call at
121.

Whenever a subscriber speaks to the customer care executive at 121
he or she will be charged 50 paise per minute. The telecom companies
believe that this step will lessen calls burden on them and reduce
their cost to service the customer.

Taking customer care to a new level and eliminating the need for
calls, Reliance
Communications
has announced the launch of its latest customer care
initiative-Live Chat. This Live Chat service, which has been introduced
for the first time in India, will enable Reliance’s mobile subscribers
with real-time query and issue handling through chat-based online
platform.

In the first phase of the launch Live Chat will be available to
Reliance’s over 1.3 million data customers across the country.
Following the implementation of the service across the data business,
RCom plans to extend the service to other business groups. Initially
service will go live in 15,000 towns and the plan is to cover 24,000
towns by end of first quarter of FY 2010. RCom has established the Live
Chat Contact Center at the company’s headquarters in Mumbai. This
facility will have over 500 dedicated workforce equipped to handle
75,000 live customer interactions in a day.

In the US, Verizon offers customer service to its customers through
a live chat too. The live chat has been met with tremendous success in
the country, where the telecom service provider has been ranked number
one in the JD Power and Associates semiannual survey. Although the
survey was conducted on the basis of how well the carriers service
served their customers through telephone calls with a live customer
service representative or an automated response system, as well as in
visits to a retail wireless store or via the Web, Verizon attributed
the live chat system greatly for their success.

Service providers of all types are investing heavily in this
customer experience. A recent survey, conducted by Frost & Sullivan
and commissioned by Amdocs, found that two-thirds of service providers
responding expected to increase their spending on customer service
enhancements next year. At the same time, cost control initiatives are
driving service providers to create more self-care options to eliminate
costly labor wherever possible. One area of intense competition for
AT&T and Verizon in recent months has been in adding features to
the self-care portals they have created for their valuable business
customers.


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