The Live Chat Agent job at The Chat Shop really caught my eye when I was searching for suitable openings. As I browsed through the website and read the outline and expectations for the position, it was clear to me that this could be just the opportunity I was looking for. An opportunity to work from home (providing additional flexibility) for an organised, reputable and innovative company. The fact that the position included chatting with people as it's main duty was just the cherry on top of it all, I love to chat!
I could tell that The Chat Shop was a company I would feel proud to be a part of from the moment I applied. The evaluation process began with the application itself...all applicants are required to submit their CV, along with a detailed response to 4 open-ended statements found on their careers page:
- I would make a great part of the team because…
- I am most interested in learning…
- I think I can teach you…
- A perfect live chat is one which…
These statements help The Chat Shop to determine: if I’d fit the culture of the team, my level of written communication, my creativeness, existing customer service and business knowledge and whether I just wanted “a job” or something more.
Shortly after submitting the completed statements I received a response with some additional questions, as well as a link to a typing speed test. This was later followed up with two separate interviews, 1 via live chat and 1 over the phone. Finally, a few days later, the good news arrived. I was officially welcomed on board.
At this point I was sent a series of logins and instructions regarding what training would entail. Within the logins provided, I spotted one that was for a website called Slack. Slack I soon discovered is a cloud-based team collaboration and messaging tool. Slack allowed The Chat Shop to create a virtual community for its team - one that connects everyone, no matter what part of the country they live in. It helps us to stay aligned on key goals and makes sure that important information remains transparent within the business.
It was through Slack that I was officially introduced to all of my new co-workers by the Team Manager (Amy), and welcomed to the team by nearly each and every one of them. I felt relieved to know that I would still be part of a team (family even), despite the distance between some of my co-workers and the online environment we communicated through. The warm welcome from my new team members also assured me that support was easily accessible and available, should I need it.
I took a peek at the intricate in-house training software that I would be using, before I began the series of calls, quizzes, test chats and chat archive analysis that was being scheduled for me. The Chat Shop had decided to have their training software custom built as they only work with technologies that perfectly fit their needs. That’s also why our founders chose to use LiveChat’s software - they researched many providers and on the face of it they all seemed to have very similar capabilities but having delved deeper into each, found LiveChat fit their needs perfectly.
It was easy to feel overwhelmed by the immense amount of information displayed in the live chat training software and other resources. Each client has what is referred to as a 'Knowledge Base'. Each Knowledge Base is very extensive, including information about the client's goals and expectations, FAQs, tags and more. In a nutshell, everything you need to know about the client and about what their customers could inquire about. It is pretty impressive. In fact, there’s over 200 points of information on each of our clients.
As I began to listen to my Team Leader (Elliot) explain the details of the Knowledge Base during my initial training calls, and I had a chance to review the chat archives from past chats, it all started to click. Once the extensive amount of information was explained to me and I was able to see how it was put into action in the chat archives, suddenly it didn't seem as daunting. I was gaining the skills, resources and support of a fantastic team that really did know what they were doing. It was clear that everything I needed in order to be successful was laid out for me. It would just be a question of practice to get it right.
As well as the training calls, the analysis of existing chats and the Knowledge Base, each client had it's own quizzes that needed to be completed before going live (each with a 100% passing grade!) Several test chats were also scheduled for each individual client, to ensure that I felt confident and familiar with the chatting environment, the client’s business and how to meet their goals...before accepting live chats from real customers.
Time to chat
My time to “go live” as I like to call it, is now very near (after completing over 100 hours of paid training). Just as they have throughout the entire process, The Chat Shop has been very accommodating in the preparation of my first assigned hours as a Live Chat Agent.
I was presented with a proposed chatting schedule and encouraged to share my opinion about it (and encouraged to make any requests before it would be finalised). I did make one small request, and it was delivered, without question. It's the small details like these that have caused me to already feel like a valued part of this company, which is hard to find nowadays. And I think that, to be motivated to work hard and strive to be your best, you need to feel valued and part of something bigger.
Communication is key and it is what The Chat Shop and its Agents and Team Leaders specialise in. Of course, during my training, I have realised the vital importance of communication between Live Chat Agents and clients’ customers, yet I've also had my eyes opened to the effectiveness and benefits of being part of a company that masters the art of communication internally.
Within easy reach, I have all the information for any situation I may encounter as a Live Chat Agent. I also know that if I were to require more assistance, there is always someone who is available and willing to lend a hand.
I have also realised that a Live Chat Agent is so much more than a customer support link. Becoming a Live Chat Agent for The Chat Shop is becoming an expert representative of your assigned clients and an expert in customer service.