Overview of Strategy and Metrics For Customer Support using Live Chat

Before you decide to place a Live Chat channel into the support mix, you need to determine how your customers are using the Web site via clickstream analysis. The most frequented pages and locations can quickly benefit from placement of a link to chat where immediate assistance is crucial or expected.  These links and offerings before, during, and after the sale or support interaction maximize the impact and utility of the channel.

The metrics used to measure productivity and ROI of chat are nearly identical to those used to measure other channels of service and support:

  • Average handle time*

  • First contact resolution

  • Average speed to answer

Average handle time (AHT) must be measured according to usage practices.  It must be analyzed depending on whether single or multiple chat sessions are commonly in use. Also keep in mind that dedicated chat agents who tend toward long chat sessions, as with long phone calls, can negatively impact efficiency and queue statistics. Make adjustments according to the need for long chats or calls; either the norm for the AHT must be higher or agents require additional training in handling and ending the session in a timely manner.

*Average Handle Time (AHT) should not be used as a sole metric for productivity as this discourages adequate listening and decreases the chances of first call resolution.

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