Business Skills

Customer service representatives should have the basics nailed when it comes to handling a telephone inquiry. However, switch them to live chat software and it’s a different ballgame, with new skills to gain in order to efficiently handle an inquiry.


The main difference between handling telephone inquiries and live chat inquiries is that the representative would be only handling one phone call at a time, whereas an operator can manage multiple chats at any one time. This helps the advisor to learn how to multitask, focusing on each chat as they need a response.

Learn your Limits

When multitasking, there are a few reasons why the number of chats an operator can handle may vary. This can include visitors who are slower typers or have more complex or in-depth inquiries.

When a representative has reached their personal limit of chat, in most chat solutions they can change their availability to unavailable, stopping any further chats from being directed to them. Once they are under this limit, they can switch back to available. This allows them to manage their own workload and maximise their productivity.

Speed Typing

When handling multiple inquiries at the same time, visitors can respond simultaneously, therefore, the more this occurs will teach operators to remain calm, and type faster whilst still responding accurately. This ensures the visitor is satisfied with the speed of the reply and is answered correctly.

Reading Tone

With telephone inquiries, the representative can hear the visitor’s tone of voice, with chat the tone can be misinterpreted, depending on how it is read. Representatives can learn how to read tone by seeing if how they are reading it matches the context if the chat. For example, if a visitor is saying they are pleased with something you wouldn’t think they would be feeling angry or vice versa.


Whilst a slow typer will allow an operator to handle another chat at the same time, it will also teach the representative to be patient. There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait 5 minutes for a response, for the visitor to just reply with one word or a very short sentence. Being able to multitask and handle other chats or activities helps reduce any impatience of waiting as they are busy doing something else in the meantime.

Your Own Product / Service

Having multiple inquiries at the same time opens the opportunity for representatives to be asked any question about the product or service. To ensure visitor inquiries are being answered efficiently in a timely manner, they should be trained in all aspects of the company and product or service. Often having to answer these questions rapidly helps to keep the knowledge fresh in their mind; therefore they are on the ball at all times.

It’s not only live chat software that provides customer service representatives with new skills. Each channel has their own characteristics which mean advisors can learn various skills to efficiently handle customer inquiries regardless of the platform used.

Which channel has taught your representatives the most skills? Leave your answers in the comments.