How do you become the best? How do businesses deliver a great customer experience using live chat? In an era where customer experience is critical, we sought out to understand how businesses deliver remarkable service. To find the answer, we analyzed the top-rated Pure Chat customers. When website visitors end a conversation with a Pure Chat user, they have the option to rate the experience by clicking either a happy or unhappy face. We took a look at all the smiles and all the frowns and stack-ranked the ratings. This is the third post in our three-post series in which we learn how these businesses became the best. Read our first and second posts for more stories of great customer service.

Today we hear from yet another of the top rated Pure Chat customers–ITHAKA! The delightful User  Services team at ITHAKA ranks in the top 10 of Pure Chat customers for their “happiness” rating!

ITHAKA is a not-for-profit organization that provides three different services: JSTOR, a digital library of academic journals, books and primary sources; Portico, a preservation service for digital publications; and Ithaka S+R, a research and consulting service. The ITHAKA User Services team uses Pure Chat to support the use of the JSTOR digital library by librarians, faculty, and students across the globe!

ITHAKA originally found Pure Chat to cut down on other forms of communication–especially email. They realized that so many forms of communication (like social) are more and more focused on instant answers. They knew that in order to provide great service, they needed the ability to respond to customer questions immediately.

The client services team of 12 responds to all incoming questions via chat, email, phone and their support Twitter account. The team maintains a schedule for responding to chat messages. They rotate “owners” for chat because it takes such focus and responsiveness.

“Chat is one of the best ways we know to introduce new people to communicating. It’s much less terrifying than being on phone. You can say you’re going to go ask co-workers a question and instead of putting someone on hold, it’s much less awkward to pause a chat conversation. There’s no awkward silence on chat,” said Website Support Specialist, Quinn Davis.

“Chat is much less terrifying than being on phone. There’s no awkward silence on chat. - @JSTORSupport Click To Tweet

So, we asked the ITHAKA team how they get such high chat ratings from their website visitors. They focus on delivering personalized service for everyone they engage.

“We focus on talking to the users the way they talk to us. Users have varying degrees of internet literacy, and so we want to make sure we’re speaking to them in terms they’ll understand,” says Davis.

Another way that the team delivers stellar service is by responding to all incoming chats quickly. They respond to each incoming chat under 10 seconds on average. “We have one Pure Chat account set up on a big screen with speakers so that when a chat comes in, the whole room can hear the notification sound,” shared Davis.

In addition to speed, they ensure quality with every response. No matter who writes in, they always answer questions as well as they can even if it means giving contact information to someone else. “Even if we don’t know the answer, we’ll find the answer for them even if it’s someone outside of the organization,” said User Services Manager, Erin Mann.

The good thing about chat is that it’s less formal and each person can bring their own personality to it,” Mann continued. “You can talk just how you would normally talk. With email or on the phone, the tone is different. With chat, you have more freedom to show who you are as a person. We use exclamation points and smiley emojis. That’s super important and helps with good ratings!”
What’s their advice for other small teams using chat? “Set expectations and be very transparent. Mistakes happen. Don’t beat around the bush, if people feel like you’re telling them the truth, they may find you more trustworthy. We’re very, very honest,” said Mann.

Set expectations and be very transparent. Mistakes happen. Don’t beat around the bush. #customerservice Click To Tweet

Want to improve your customer experience with live chat? Here are the top five tips from our most successful customers!

5 Ways to Create a Remarkable Customer Experience with Live Chat Infographic

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