2 Reasons why more HR Service Centers are offering Chat

Tier-zero resolution (TZR, if you’re into acronyms) was, and in many respects still is the Holy Grail of HR Service Delivery.  An instance of TZR occurs when an employee goes to the Self Service Portal (called “Tier Zero” while the Service Desk is “Tier One”), searches the knowledge base, finds the answer they’re looking for, and doesn’t have to contact HR.   The employee’s question was answered, without the involvement a service center agent.  That’s a big time productivity boost for the service center.

But that’s not the case with Chat:  every time an employee uses chat to contact the service center, a live agent is required to participate in the chat session.  Therefore, adding chat to your intake channels will naturally reduce the percentage of inquiries that can be resolved through Tier Zero Resolution.  giving employees a “Chat option” will reduce service center productivity.  And for years, that’s the main reason why Chat wasn’t offered.

But times, they are a-changing. 

So, what’s different?  What’s changed?

The Digital Workplace

In our lives as consumers, we’ve become accustomed to – if not spoiled by – a very high level of user experience with technologies.  Those consumer-oriented companies that are fighting for our business are doing so through technology and superior service.  If you ask the CIO of one of these companies how they make technology decisions, their answer is likely to focus on the customer experience.

The customer experience that we’ve come to expect outside of work has raised the bar on our employers to provide similar digital experiences inside the workplace.  And this dynamic is causing more service centers to realize that it’s ok to offer the use of Chat, even if it does compromise overall productivity.  It’s ok, because it’s what the internal customers want; it provides a better customer experience.

Technology improvements

Chat has been, and in many service centers, still is a separate software application from the case management system.  This has meant that after an agent completes a chat session with an employee, the agent must create a case record, and either copy and paste the chat dialogue into the case record, or manually attached the chat record to the case record.  These manual steps further reduce productivity.

Fortunately, in addition to death and taxes, we can always count on improvements in technology.  Some vendors now integrate chat to case management.  When an agent accepts a chat conversation, a new case is automatically created.  And the chat conversation takes place inside that case.  Further integration to the knowledge base means that the agent can select an article to answer the employee’s question, and a deep link to the article will be placed directly into the chat session.  The employee can click the link, and view the answer.

These kinds of improvements, or integrations between chat, case management and the knowledge base enable the agent to be more productive while using chat, and enable the employee to receive a better customer experience.

In Summary

The phenomena of the digital workplace and technology improvements have caused more HR Service Centers to add Chat as an intake channel.  And both the employee and the service center are reaping the benefits.  For a “chattier” list of the benefits of Chat, please see the info gram below.

7 Benefits of Chat