Scripted Chat Test

By Anh Nguyen |

Starting on Monday 11/23, we will conduct a second scripted test where we will guide customers through the question asking process via scripted chat. We are testing to see if this will be an easier method for customers to ask questions.

Currently, customers go through a series of steps to post a question on JustAnswer. Each step collects more information about the customer's question.

As Experts, you see most of the details entered by customers in PQA.

During the Scripted Chat test, we will engage with customers via a chatbox and get information about what they need help with. For customers, it will be like they're talking with a JustAnswer support agent.

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For Experts, you will notice questions in your Question List that will look like this:

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When you open a scripted chat question, you will see the transcript from the chat:

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You are free to respond to customers as you normally would as nothing about your workflow has changed.

We are planning to run the Scripted Chat test for a few days and will notify you of any changes. As always, please refer to the Expert Calendar on the Expert Help Center homepage. If you have any questions, click on the Submit a Ticket button at the top of the page.


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    I can see asking and answering questions about how the JA system works, but I question why you would ask for more details about the customer's issue this way, i.e. before the customer has submitted a question and given necessary credit info. After the question has been submitted, it should be up to the expert to ask for more details about the issue. The expert knows what details s/he needs in order to answer the question.

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    Anh Nguyen

    Hi Irwin, thanks for the comment. The information gathered via this scripted chat feature is similar to the ones we've been asking in the customer question funnel. The only difference is in style. Previously, we've always asked customers to provide any additional information that they'd like to include in their questions.

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    This is a bad idea for several reasons. 1. It makes it much more unclear what their question is. Reading all of this fake dialog serves no purpose for the expert. Much better would be a series of questions that results in a discreet set of data fields. Such as for a printer question:
    Who is the manufacturer
    What is the exact model number
    Is there an errror code? If so, what is it?
    Is the printer connected via cable to the workstation or network or is it connected via WiFi?
    Are you using consumables (ink/toner) from the original printer's manufacturer or from a third party?

    That gets us, in a single paragraph, exactly what we need for EVERY printer question. Considering this "free form" pretend discussion to flow would be a big mistake because based on what I've seen, it makes the customer a much WORSE question asker. If there is something we want to avoid in getting the details of the question, it is this unstructured information that we then have to decipher. We can definitely improve this part of the process, but not this way. But rather by soliciting from truly good experts in each category, "what is the information we need for EVERY ABC category question. That is where we should be heading. Trying to free flow this as stream of consciousness feedback session is EXACTLY the opposite of what we need. Not to mention that one of the few things being asked is if they want to pay less to wait longer. We should be UPselling and telling them they can pay more than the base price if they want to get a higher priority. Why we would instead ask them if they want to lay less to wait longer is a complete mystery to me. It is counterintuitive and serves only the potential of lowering costs, and thereby giving then a very poor chance of their question being answered the way they want. Because we know that from the Expert side, minimizing the time it takes to answer a low priced question is the most important thing.

    This will simply create more stale questions, lower metrics on response times and therefore a lower level of customer satisfaction and acceptance. I think our numbers would show that no matter what a customer should expect, they are not coming back if the answer falls outside of 6-8 hours.

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    Anh Nguyen

    Hi Michael, thanks for sharing your concerns with us. As I mentioned, we are asking the same questions via this scripted chat as the normal customer funnel. This is just a test to see if customers are more receptive to this kind of interaction, but your feedback has been noted.