Michael Barbagallo is senior manager of member services at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Tips from a veteran member-service center director for integrating web chat into your association’s customer-service operation.
It's a multimedia world, and your members want to communicate with you through any number of channels. While the telephone is the oldest and most popular communication channel and social media gets the most buzz, online chat is still a viable and popular way to serve your members.
Online (or web) chat has been used by customer-service centers for more than two decades. It still provides some excellent service opportunities, such as enabling members to connect with your agents immediately if they have questions about something on your website.
Over the years, call centers have developed several best practices. Here are a few examples:
[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Live Chat Lessons."]