Outsourced live chat is nothing new and as long as there is no law passed requiring live chat personnel to answer the questions being asked and not just read from a script, its value will be limited. But one veteran provider of these typing services has been toying with an interesting twist. Live Person is now pushing a database-driven process that automatically pops up a live chat session when it concludes the customer is having some difficulty, such as with an abandoned cart or he/she seems to be waffling between two similar products.
But the interesting part is that the software looks at the nature of the products involved in the confusion and assigns an appropriate product specialist to handle that query, to allow--in theory--a much more sophicated and specific exchange. Said one company exec: "If you're buying a snowboard, you're matched only with a snowboard gearhead." This is an effort we're going to be watching.