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Utilise Live Chat for Microsoft Teams

Live Chat for Microsoft Teams

If you want to use live chat for Microsoft Teams, or perhaps you call it web chat, you can.

Perhaps you’re a contact centre user who needs to chat with back office users? Your current process is convoluted and finding the right person takes up valuable time while your customer is on hold.

You wouldn’t be the only one, that’s for sure.

You might also be a member of internal staff looking to diagnose a specific problem and need the help of a very specific skill set. There’s no example more relatable than needing help from a doctor or nurse but not being able to track down the right person.

The good news is that there are a few ways to find the right support from the right people without having to leave Microsoft Teams.

Everyone agrees that the best part of using Teams is all the functionality baked into and integrated with it. For the most part, you don’t need to leave Teams to action daily tasks on other platforms. 

In 2021, Microsoft Teams call centre functionality was announced. But, it doesn’t include any native features for live chat and the majority of innovation is designed for serving external customers.

Not to fear! You can build custom Microsoft Teams automations relatively easily, whether that's in the form of native tooling or a bespoke business application.

Can you have live chat on Microsoft Teams?

Yes! Your first option is to install native tooling, such as chatbots or Power Virtual Agents (PVA). 

When you install these solutions, you can have access to live chat functionality right within Microsoft Teams.

This means you can access your internal support and expertise when you need it, directly from Teams. There’s no more switching between apps or finding clunky workarounds.

Depending on your tool of choice, you can usually pin the app to your sidebar and access it as and when you need to.

If there’s a group with specific expertise, you can message the group and find an available subject matter expert. Sounds more productive than trying to track down surgeons on their pagers, right?

When you receive a live chat response, you'll typically get a notification just like any other app you install in Microsoft Teams.

So, if you’re using Microsoft Teams already, you can use chatbots and PVA to:

  • Streamline access to internal experts
  • Share knowledge between frontline and backroom staff
  • Enhance user performance 
  • Improve customer experience and satisfaction

Common scenarios for deployment of live chat functions include:

  • User adoption training
  • IT support
  • HR shared service centre
  • Health and wellbeing teams
  • Temporary project support e.g. laptop refresh, new software deployment
  • Second line support service - dedicated specialists to help first line customer service

For example, when you supply a new user with a new headset, they may have questions if they missed a training session or watched an online tutorial. In this case, they can send a message requesting support or resources to help them use or fix their headset. 

Rather than waiting for an IT team to get time to deal with a low priority ticket, they get routed through to someone with knowledge of headsets and their problem gets resolved quickly.

For frontline workers, let’s use the example of approving a large refund in a department store.

The current process is probably one of these:

  1. Customer requests a refund and the sales assistant processes the transaction
  2. Supervisor approval is needed on the till
  3. Sales assistant calls through a list of numbers for supervisors on various floors
  4. Nobody answer so the sales assistant sets about walking around the department store to find a supervisor
  5. Your customers wait patiently (and then impatiently) while you find the relevant supervisor
  6. Supervisor is found and the refund is completed.

With chatbots or PVA, the process looks rather more efficient:

  1. Customer requests refund and the sales assistant processes the transaction
  2. Supervisor approval is needed on the till
  3. Sales assistant messages the live chat with supervisor skills configured
  4. One supervisor takes ownership and processes the refund.

We vote for process #2. And all it takes is setting up live chat on Microsoft Teams.

How do you live chat on Microsoft Teams?

First, you need to install your chatbot of choice or PVA.

Once installed and configured, you can set up intelligent routing of questions to the most appropriate (and available) subject matter expert. When a query comes in, it follows the rules in place and your queries are answered efficiently.

Using the Teams native experience, everyone can stay in Teams while conducting a live chat.

You can initiate a chat by sending a message to a team or person, or you can receive new incoming chats when they are routed to you (depending on your skillset).

It’s also possible to pre-configure default responses for basic questions depending on the tool you're using. This enables your agents to dedicate time to more complex queries.

For supervisors and managers, you will often have ghost listener functionality like you may be used to in other call centre applications. 

Other call centre desirables sometimes include:

  • Agent sign in/sign out
  • Customisable quick response codes
  • Templated answers
  • Configurable opening hours
  • Out of hours messages

What are the other options?

If chatbots or PVA aren't for you, you could go down the route of creating a bespoke business application that would deliver the same functionality. This is typically a more complex and expensive option when compared to installing existing chatbot tools or PVA. 

Power BI reports

Like with any support or customer service tool, reporting is crucial for making business decisions.

Power BI reporting in PVA can show the performance and usage of all instances of PVA deployed in your organisation. These reports can be used to manage the team of agents and identify common themes, based on the questions posed by users.

Instead of losing time tracking down subject matter experts and keeping customers waiting, use live chatbots or PVA with pre-configured groups and automatic routing.

Speak to an expert at Nasstar to find the perfect solution for your business.