Implementing live chat software is anything but a set it and forget it tactic. If you’re not measuring live chat metrics, it’s almost impossible to understand the impact it has on your business.
The exact metrics you use will depend on your business, but certain ones are key for providing insight into agent performance and the happiness of your customers — vital elements to any company’s growth and success.
So, if live chat is already part of your customer experience strategy and you’re ready to get a deeper understanding of how it’s working for your business, start by measuring these 10 metrics.
1. Total number of chats
This live chat metric measures the number of chats handled at any given time and represents a high-level view of opened, missed and resolved conversations. It may also clue you into potential customer challenges.
A low number of chats during a typically busy time of the year, for example, could mean your live chat tool isn’t easily accessible. Meanwhile, a high number of chats might indicate people are having trouble finding important information.
Of course, depending on the number of successfully resolved chats, either situation could indicate that your customer needs are being met and all is well. Measuring the data, not guessing, will give you the clearest answers.
2. Average response time
A recent report found one in five consumers will stop using a product or service completely if live chat response time is over two minutes.
Long response times could mean agents are struggling to find answers or that they’re overwhelmed with the number of chats coming through — meaning more training or resources may be needed. On the flip side, quick response times lead to lower abandonment rates, increased customer satisfaction, and less stressed agents.
3. First contact resolution rate
Closely linked to customer satisfaction and loyalty, this is one live chat metric you don’t want to miss. The first contact resolution rate (FCR) measures the percentage of live chats resolved the first time around with no follow-up needed.
FCR will depend on how efficiently agents work as well as product knowledge. However, the type of information requested before a customer connects with an agent plays a key role here too. On average, resolution times should be around 70 to 75 percent. A low resolution time could mean agents need more thorough customer information or perhaps they simply need more training and guidance.
4. Average handle time
Even when issues are solved the first time around, the exact amount of time it takes for that to happen can vary considerably. This is where average handle time comes in.
Related: Live Chat for Contact Centers: 9 Strategies for Success
Average handle time varies by industry, but using the data of over 190,000 companies, Call Centre Magazine has calculated the global standard to be six minutes and three seconds. Long handle times can indicate agents need more training, uncover workflow barriers, or mean a tool like cobrowse or video could be better suited at certain touchpoints.
5. Number of interactions per ticket
Knowing the number of interactions it takes for agents to resolve customer issues is crucial when it comes to improving efficiency and customer experience. Although quality trumps speed, the aim is still to have the least amount of interactions possible.
Fewer interactions mean agents have sufficient product or service knowledge, are asking the right questions, and can problem solve quickly. The less back and forth, the happier the customer tends to be — a win-win for all.
6. Chat to conversion rate
Live chat isn’t just great for customer support. It’s a powerful driver of sales, too. An impressive 38 percent of customers are more likely to buy from a company that offers live chat.
If you’re already using this tool to generate leads, it’s easy to see whether or not it’s working. The definition of conversion will vary by business, but chances are if sales increase as the number of chats increases, your agents are putting their product knowledge to work generating revenue. Or you’re using chatbots incredibly well.
7. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
Customer feedback, whether positive or negative, paints a clear picture of where service can be improved and where your team is already thriving. Using a simple post-chat survey, you can directly ask for feedback and generate a customer satisfaction score (CSAT).
Typically based on a five-point scale, these post chat surveys include questions that address how satisfied customers are with a product, service, or specific agent interaction. Measured regularly, CSAT scores can help you analyze consumer behavior, collect real-time feedback, and improve the overall customer experience.
8. Net promoter score (NPS)
We’ve all heard that gaining a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. That’s why metrics like net promoter score (NPS) are so important — they reveal valuable data around customer satisfaction, loyalty, and how likely people are to recommend your brand.
Using a 10-point scale, NPS scores categorize customers into detractors (0-6), passives (0-8), and promoters (9 or 10). Knowing how to calculate where people are on the scale can help you gain useful feedback, open conversations with unsatisfied customers, and understand exactly what satisfied customers value.
9. Website visitors to chats
Comparing website visitors to the number of chat requests received shines a light on customer engagement.
For example, when website visitor to chat ratio is low, then you might need to update your website with more strategically placed chat widgets to encourage visitors to interact with agents. Or perhaps there’s an opportunity to be proactive by automating live chat triggers to initiate customer conversations after a few seconds.
If you want even more valuable information, combine this data with the average time spent on site to better understand how these dwell times are impacting chat sessions. Longer time on site might indicate people are struggling to find what they’re looking for and therefore need help through live chat, for example.
10. Customer wait time
Nobody likes playing the waiting game. So it’s no surprise that 24 percent of consumers say long wait times are their biggest live chat frustration.
The availability of your agents directly correlates to live chat performance and customer happiness. The longer someone waits, the higher the chance they will abandon your site — and potentially never return. Compare customer wait time to queue data and then review how it correlates with customer action.
Lengthy wait times could be a sign that agents are overwhelmed, highlight workflow inefficiencies, and cue you into certain days, times, or seasons when you need to up the number of agents available. When agent availability increases, you’re likely to see a corresponding boost in sales and improved engagement with your customers.
Measure to improve
The only way to truly evaluate a business tool’s effectiveness is to look at the data. When measured properly, these live chat metrics can help you identify areas of improvement and understand both your agents and customers on a deeper level.
Which live chat metrics do you use? Let us know in the comments.