A call deflection lesson from Disneyland

Live chat software is a common choice when you’re looking to optimise your call deflection. Chat diverts customers away from your phone lines, and towards a fast-paced channel better equipped to handle more customers concurrently.

And it’s not just more efficient for businesses. Call deflection means that customers on the phone can have extra time when they need it, and fewer customers get stuck in long hold queues.

But even though you now have live chat on your site, customers that could be chatting are still calling you. Why? To find an answer, we turn to an unlikely source: Walt Disney.


The Disneyland trash can story

When planning and creating his theme parks, Walt Disney thought about everything. Even the un-glamourous world of waste and rubbish.

Rather than call deflection, Walt Disney wanted to optimise the cleanliness of his parks. Part of that meant getting visitors to throw rubbish in bins, rather than on the ground. Just as you’re seeking to convince them to start a chat instead of landing in your call queues.

To this end, Walt Disney worked out that people would carry their rubbish an average of 30 feet. If they didn’t find a bin in this time, they’d drop the rubbish as litter. So, Disney optimised his parks for litter-deflection, by ensuring that guests were never further than 30 feet from a trash can.


Back to call deflection

But what has Disney got to do with call deflection? By taking the time to plan exactly where the trash cans would go, Disney made it the easiest it could be to use them. He removed the hurdle to keeping things clean and tidy by making the solution accessible.

The same goes for using live chat for call deflection.

If you want your live chat channel to reduce call volumes, you need to treat it the same way Disney treated his trash cans. That is, you need to strategically place your chat channel around your site so that it’s accessible. You need to make sure it’s easy to find, and right in front of your online visitors. It should be the obvious choice the moment they realise that they need support.


Treating your chat as a trash can

Optimising your call deflection boils down to effectively planning your website chat deployment. The idea is to make choosing chat as easy as possible — as easy or easier, even, than calling you. This means that you need to do more than linking to your chat on your contact us page, or leaving it hidden somewhere in your footer.

We recommend putting your chat prominently in the bottom-right-hand corner of every page on your site. This is where most people will expect to find it.

In particular, your chat channel should be as prominent as possible on any pages on which customers might need support. For example, pages with high bounce rates, your FAQs and knowledge base, on checkout pages, and so on. On these pages, you can use proactive chat invitations to make it even easier to choose chat over calls.

Beyond your website, you can optimise your call deflection by promoting your chat channel. You should encourage customers to come and chat with you at every opportunity, across your business. Examples here include including live chat links in your email footers, and mentioning live chat availability in your telephone hold messages.


Better call deflection

Walt Disney made it as easy as possible to find a bin to optimise litter-deflection. You can optimise your call deflection by doing the same to your chat channel.

That is, by making your chat prominent and easy to find, you reduce the effort needed for customers to use it instead of calling you.

All you need to do is treat your live chat channel the same way Disney treats its trash cans.


Useful links

Accessible customer service: is your business open?

Customer contact: cat got your website’s tongue?

How to improve live chat usability: a quick-start guide