HGS UK has commissioned Synthetix, a provider of customer service software, to build a live chat service for the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It will be offered at first to people in the Americas and is launching this week.
The service will deal with passport enquiries and is believed to be the first deployment of a paid-for live chat service of its kind.
Customers follow the on-screen instructions to be taken to a payment screen to purchase their web chat pin number at the flat rate fee of £3. Once they have purchased a Web chat PIN number they can either follow the on-screen instructions to start the live Web chat session immediately, or if they prefer, make a note of their PIN number and return to the chat at a later date.
The Web chat PIN number does not have an expiration date. Once purchased, customers can use it at any time, but it can only be used once.
Once customers have entered the PIN, they click ‘Begin' to start the live Web chat session. After a few seconds customers are connected to an advisor who sends a greetings message. Customers then simply type their questions and click ‘Send'. Customers receive a reply in real time. Customers can ask as many questions as they like and there is no time limit to the Web chat session.
At the end of the session customers are emailed a transcript of their Web chat sessions.
Richard Glanville of HGS UK said: "We chose to work with Synthetix on this because of the need to take an innovative approach and their track record of great applications to support the contact center."
Peter McKean of Synthetix said: "We're proud to launch this innovative live chat application with HGS UK, the first transactional Web chat support system we're aware of. Our enterprise-grade infrastructure and security enable the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to roll out a trustworthy, reliable service for passport applicants in the Americas."
Synthetix has been working with HGS UK for more than two years on customer service projects such as Unilever, Edexcel and the new Green Deal initiative. This is the first time HGS UK has deployed the Synthetix live chat product, one of a suite of Web-based customer service products that Synthetix produces.