I just posted this on twitter and thought to provide some personal observation when I encounter a chat feature on some website.
I love using the chat feature on any site that it offers, because I just find it more personal and get my questions answered faster than calling or emailing.
A few days ago I had some questions for my bank, usually, I call them, however, this time I wanted to chat with them as I had some other work to do + the question was pretty generic.
Story: Popped open the chat, asked the questions and hit submit button. The next thing I know is that I was 6th in line with 12 minutes of wait time. So I set a reminder for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes I pop open separate little window and found out that the rep was asking me for response 5 minutes after I submitted my request.
Problem: I thought the chat had sound enabled or sound feature, meaning that when rep connects with your session and says "Hello" I get the sound on my laptop.
Solution: I think it's self-explanatory, enable the sound feature.
While ago, there were few sites I was on and encountered mildly infuriating issues.
Story: I was looking into this tech product, and wanted to know more about it. Saw in left corner a chat with "ONLINE" tag, so I thought to give it a try.
I put my name in, fake email (because I do not want to be subscribed to their mailing list) and I entered my question.
Hi, my name is Joe and I really like the demo that you have on the website, would you mind telling me how does product X integrate with product Z? ENTER
Right after I hit enter, it said:
Thank you for contacting our support, your ticket has been sent to our support team, one of our representatives will reach out to you via phone or email
Problem: Don't have a chat feature enabled if it serves a purpose just so you can get my email, phone or company I work for. If it says Online I expect that a representative on the other end will connect to the session and be able to answer my question right on the spot.
Solution: Either disable that chat future or tag it as OFFLINE when there is nobody to answer questions at that moment. If a site in the story above would have OFFLINE chat and said something like: Open ticket, you would get my Name and my Email address.
Story: "AI" Chatbots. And chats that for most questions lead you to call the company rep anyways.
Problem: It's not "AI" Chat, it is you who generated most F.A.Q, and provided answers to those quetions.
Solution: Either don't call it AI or add the ability to talk to a real person via chat.
I hope some of these stories I've encountered, help some of you to think about how your future or current clients think about chat experience.