We are committed to finding new and innovative solutions to deliver on our mandate of public protection and to be responsive to the public, registrants, and other key stakeholders. As part of this work, in September 2019 we implemented a brand-new Customer Experience Coordinator (CEC) Role at our Welcome Desk. In November 2020 we added MyLiveChat (MLC) to our website for an 8-week trial period to determine if it is a useful and viable tool to offer permanently on our website.
What is MyLiveChat?
MLC is an online customer service tool that allows users, like members of the public, registrants and other stakeholders to connect with our Customer Experience Coordinator in real time. MLC enables us respond in real time by answering a question directly or by providing the customer with the contact information for the team member who can answer the question.
Why we added a MyLiveChat.
We added the MLC function to support Shelly, our Customer Experience Coordinator, so she can positively impact the customer experience by reducing delays, directly answering questions, or ensuring the question is directed to the right team member the first time.
The Key Role of the Customer Experience Coordinator
In preparation of MLC, each team within the organization developed a ‘Top 10 List’. The lists include the most frequently asked questions and answers for each department. When a Top 10 question came into MLC, Shelly responded with the predetermined answer. Each Top 10 question had a corresponding answer – and in some cases, a corresponding action. Additionally, each question identified a ‘trigger’ point. This is the signal that the answer requires a deeper conversation, triggering Shelly to forward the customer and question on to the specific team member best positioned to answer it. The Top 10 process has been so successful, we have used this approach to a number of situations beyond departmental specific questions.
Real Time Versus Offline Questions and Responses.
MLC is available 24/7, however the Customer Experience Coordinator only works during business hours. When she is at the computer, she is able to respond immediately or in real time. When she is away from the computer, MLC is placed in ‘Leave a Message” mode. When MLC is in this mode, messages are archived when they are received. The CEC is able to access the archived messages (on-site or remotely) and respond to the question by email.
Archived messages received during business hours are responded to in the same day as part of our Customer Service Standards. Messages received outside of business hours are responded to the next available business day.
Example of A Top 10 Question and Trigger
|Question||Answer||Action (if needed)||Trigger||Trigger Action|
|Can I pay my Renewal fees online?||Yes. We accept the following credit cards. Click HERE to pay your fees.||NA||Wants to pay with an unaccepted CC or with an US based cheque||Refer to finance.|
Issues related to archived transcripts and offline messages were discovered during the pilot. Our IT team was able to work with the vendor to resolve both issues quite quickly.
The Evaluation of the MyLiveChat Pilot
Limitations of the Evaluation: It is clear 2020 was a unique year. As such, we are aware that our implementation of MLC and the subsequent evaluation was not as smooth as we had hoped. Our plans to implement MLC well before the 2020 annal renewal period opened were sidelined by COVID-19.
We launched MLC in November after the renewal period closed, knowing we would be running a plot over the slowest period of the year and the holidays. This was a conscious decision in context of the COVID pandemic and its capacity to impact our best-laid-plans in a moment’s notice and our desire to capture as much data as we could ahead of the opening of the annual renewal process in July of 2021.
Findings: During the evaluation period (November 16, 2020 to January 19, 2021), 234 chats were received.
- 40% of messages were answered by the Customer Experience Coordinator (CEC) through a combination of the Top 10 list or their individual knowledge of the organization.
- The majority of these messages were from internationally educated nurses (IENs) and out of province nurses looking for information on how to apply to NSCN.
- 65% of these messages were ‘off-line’ (meaning the customer used MLC outside of business hours or when the CEC was away from the computer) and 35% were responded in real time.
- 60% of messages were forwarded to other staff members because they required more specific information to answer.
- Again, the majority of these messages were questions about obtaining registration and licensure at NSCN.
- 68% of these messages were ‘off-line’ and 32% were responded in real time.
- There were no periods where customers had to wait in queue while another customer’s chat was in progress.
- There were two situations when more than one person was on the chat, and the CEC was able to manage both interactions simultaneously.
- One staff using MLC is not enough.
- While offline, responses exceeded real time responses. This did not appear to have any impact on the overall customer experience. However, looking forward in context of our customer experience commitment, a second user will prevent future issues and enable NCSN to be agile and responsive to our customer needs.
- MLC was implemented post renewal season and the CEC was able to easily manage it in addition to other accountabilities. It is likely that there will be an increase in the MLC volume when renewal season opens.
- The Top 10 strategy was effective, however, there were a number of frequently asked questions received that were not on the Top 10 list.
- Some customers used MLC as if it were the only way to contact NSCN. As result, there were several attempts to initiate complaints through the MLC platform or request on-site or video consultations.
How We Are Moving Forward with MyLiveChat
The pilot was successful and the evaluation demonstrated that MLC is a unique, effective, and efficient way to engage with our customers.
Based on the findings of the evaluation, we are:
- Revising the communications plan to include more specificity about the most effective use of MLC and other ways to reach out to NSCN.
- Training a second staff member on MLC.
- Developing a process to review, revise and add to the Top 10 Lists of questions, answers, and actions.
- Monitoring functionality and developing a process to connect with the vendor as needed.
- Developing a plan to manage the increase in use of MLC during the upcoming renewal season.