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Live Chat Metrics Explained in Human Terms

Wojciech Guminski
13 min read
Jan 18, 2023
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Don't you hate it when you're trying to figure out your live chat metrics and all you get are a bunch of confusing numbers? Or spending a lot of time every day looking at Google Analytics and trying to find what data you need this time?

Setting up proper analytics can be daunting on its own, but understanding and using it in a practical way is another kind of struggle. Especially if you’re running a team of live chat support agents and trying to come up with solutions to make their jobs easier while keeping your bosses and customers happy!

If only there was a handy guide at your disposal that would walk you through the dreaded customer service analytics…

Lucky you! In this article, we'll break down every essential live chat metric so that you can easily understand what's going on with your customer service team. We'll also provide some tips on how to improve your key metrics so that you can increase customer satisfaction. 

Let's dive in!

What are the live chat metrics and why should you care about them?

Nowadays, businesses fight over their customer loyalty through any means necessary. One such method consists of measuring important live chat statistics. The metrics in question are set to track how well a company handles chat conversations with its customers. And more importantly, how those chats translate into achieving company goals.

We are talking about measuring things like chat response time and how high the customer satisfaction rate is, which are parts of the cumulative key indicators of your live chat team's overall performance. Those key live chat metrics can:

By setting benchmarks for your live chat service, and regularly assessing how closely your current performance aligns with those expectations, you can in turn improve operational efficiency, personalize interactions, and finally, build true relationships with your product users.

Live chat metrics are an invaluable tool for the success of any business’s customer service initiatives—leverage them today to establish increased engagement between business owners and end-users.

Investing in a few simple tools to measure your chat success could easily give your customer experience the extra touch it needs to set your business above the rest!

How to measure live chat performance

Measuring the performance of live chat is critical if you want to understand how efficient your live chat agents are.

By combining business-level, chat-level, and agent-level statistics, organizations can gain deep insight into their live chat team's performance - enabling informed decision-making that will drive long-term success.

Cumulatively, this information can let you know whether or not using a live chat tool is worthwhile for your business—an important question to answer in today’s digital marketplace.

Bird’s eye view - 4 business-level metrics

Business-level metrics can provide you with perspective and insights on a grand scale. An example of such a metric would be the customer satisfaction score or the ratio of chat requests to the number of website visits.

Measuring overall performance on a macro scale is a good way to keep an eye on general issues you may have with running your company, department, or even a specific team.

1. Website Visitors to Chats Ratio

Have you ever wondered how many visitors a website actually gets compared to the number of people who engage in chat sessions?

Website Visitors to Chat Ratio is a metric that helps you understand that. It shows exactly the level of engagement visitors have on your site and identifies how well you're targeting and servicing them. In simple terms, this ratio tells you what percentage of people who visit your website actually engage in a live chat with one of your team members.

Keeping track of this number lets you know if the front desk of your business needs cleaning, or if certain areas are meeting visitors' expectations more than others. This can help you make informed decisions about changes to your website and content. 

Typically, most websites have hundreds or even thousands of visitors, but only a handful will make their way into an actual conversation. That’s why knowing this key metric can make all the difference in attracting the right traffic and growing your business!

2. Customer Satisfaction Score

Also known as the CSAT score, this is a live chat metric that measures how satisfied customers are with a company or product. Companies typically use a customer survey to get measurable feedback that is countable, resulting in a numerical score ranging from one to ten. The higher the score is, the better quality of service or product a customer experienced. Simple as that.

Collecting Customer Satisfaction Scores is a great way for companies to prioritize improvements that will benefit both the business and its customers as they build long-term relationships together. Earning customers' trust and, eventually, their loyalty is a priceless gain. It will definitely let you stay ahead of the competition.  

Pro tip: Use positive language when talking to customers, and try to avoid saying the word no. Positive communication is key to achieving a high CSAT score.

3. First Contact Resolution Rate

If you work in customer service, then you may have heard First Contact Resolution Rate thrown around before. But what exactly does it mean?

Essentially, First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR) is a measure of your customer service team’s performance. It benchmarks how often customers have their issues resolved on their first contact with customer service staff, whether through an online ticket or on a live chat. A customer that has their issue resolved without having to call back or provide additional information is generally happier - and the higher your FCR rate, the better a customer experience your company is providing.

Striving for a high first-contact resolution rate means creating a smoother experience for customers from the very beginning!

4. Engagement metrics

Knowing how engaged your customers are with your products or services is an important process for any successful business. Engagement metrics provide a valuable way to measure the effectiveness of online greetings across various digital platforms.

By interpreting these metrics, you can better understand which engagement strategies are working and actively make changes to create an optimal welcoming experience for your customers. This leads to identifying extra resources that may be necessary to better serve potential leads and meet their expectations.

Additionally, these statistics can also be used to measure the success of campaigns and marketing initiatives, giving an idea of how well-received they are by customers on a wider scale. With so much riding on engagement metrics, it is clear why businesses must have access to these analytics in order to stay competitive in today's digital landscape.

Pro tip: Check chats started intentionally by customers to spot possible spaces for improvement in your product. Check the results of your engagement campaign efforts to update it and attract more and more traffic with each iteration.

The core - 5 chat-level metrics

Conversation-level metrics focus more on individual live chats, offering insights into things like average response time, average queue wait time, and response accuracy.

Those reports measure specific individual interactions with key live chat metrics, like post-chat customer satisfaction, resolution accuracy, and engagement level. These metrics focus more on team procedures and general conversation handling.

1. Total chats

Ever wonder how your business is doing with its chat volume and what to do with the number?

Meet the parent of all chat-related data, the total chats report. It's usually an easy-to-read chart that provides you with the most important chat metric - the number of chats your company is facing each day. Depending on your reporting tool, you may have access to different time/data ranges, like weekly, monthly, daily, or even heatmaps.

It's basically the big picture of overall performance. Like with a crystal ball, you can try to foresee incoming surges of chats or notice chat window issues based on lower-than-usual numbers of conversations coming from your website.

Understanding these metrics will ensure your business is ahead of the curve and prepared for any changes - intended and unintended alike.

2. Chat to Conversion Rate

Chat to Conversion Rate (CTCR) is an excellent goal-measuring tool used to track sales and evaluate live chat effectiveness in this field. It is calculated by dividing the total number of website visitors who engaged in chat by the number of visitors who completed their purchase during or after the said chat session.

This gives you a benchmark for how successful your business is at converting chatting visitors into paying customers. Without this metric, it would be difficult for business owners to identify trends in sales chat-influenced purchases, and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns supported via chat.

By tracking CTCR, businesses are able to understand whether their goals are being met and if more people are attracted to buying products thanks to chat influence rather than just buying products on their own. As a result, businesses have a powerful tool they can use to measure their progress toward reaching sales goals.

Pro tip: Think outside the box. You don’t need to set sales goals specifically. Your goal can be something like: “A visitor finished filling out the application form.” Set goals that will benefit you the most.

3. Missed Chats Report

Unlike the traditional telephone call or in-person conversation where communication is synchronous (meaning, both speaking parties are active at the same time), asynchronous communication like messenger chats, is prone to leaving you with unanswered questions and missed opportunities.

A Missed Chats Report helps with this issue. It tracks all your unanswered chats in one place, so you know how many conversations need your attention after your chat line comes back online. With this report, you’ll not only save time but also be able to provide superior customer service by never missing out on an important chat.

[Messaging mode yt video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVX9PqG7Usc]

Additionally, having access to such data visualization will help you identify any issues or weaknesses with the offline parts of your customer service channels, allowing you to cover shifts with your team members more effectively.

Pro tip: Use the staffing prediction tool, or enable Messaging Mode to never lose touch with a customer!

4. Total Number of Tickets

A Total Number of Tickets report is an invaluable tool for providing a data-driven overview of your customer service center's efficiency. This type of report gives you detailed insights into the number of incoming tickets, their nature, and most importantly their origins.

It’s easy to grasp, comprehensive, and provides a one-stop shop for understanding your customer service team's output.

So if you’re looking to keep track of how well your customer service is running and find out how many chats turn into tickets on a weekly or monthly basis, this is the report for you!

Pro tip: Teach yourself and encourage your agents to use chat supervision. You can whisper messages invisible to customers and solve troublesome cases together. Decrease the number of tickets and increase the first contact resolution rate at the same time! 

5. Queue Reports

Support queue reports are an incredibly useful tool for those in the customer service industry. By analyzing average wait times, queue abandonment rates, and how effectively live chat is being utilized, you can gain a better understanding of how your customer service operation is performing.

Knowing average wait times helps you independently assess whether staffing meets customers' expectations while also allowing additional insights like the times of a day when you can expect higher numbers of incoming chats.

Seeing queue abandonment rates gives you visibility into how many customers are choosing to abandon their queue versus waiting in it. The higher the number, the more you should focus on either decreasing the wait time or providing self-service and replacement contact options for customers to pick from.

With this data collection at your fingertips, you have the opportunity to make changes that can greatly improve the overall customer experience for your users!

The foundation - 3 agent-level metrics

Agent-level metrics allow organizations to measure their customer support team performance individually by tracking the average time spent on handling chat requests, resolution rate, how many chats they had, and other key indicators for each individual agent.

Finally, agent-level metrics look at how individual agents are performing relative to each other which can help point out any training needs for certain staff members.

1. Live chat response time - first and average

It's important to have a handle on your first and average response times, especially for customer service for products and services. Delivering support quickly is so essential because it can demonstrate to customers that they are being taken seriously and can depend on your company. This builds customer loyalty and trust like nothing else.

It is important to note that average response time alone is not enough – you need both metrics to effectively understand how quickly users can access your help. First response times detail exact reaction speed, while average response time lets us measure how well your agents provide attention and lead customers to their destinations — valuable metrics that should be tracked to ensure your customer service processes are up to par.

Pro tip: Can’t keep up with chatty customers? Try ChatBot if you like automation and prepare canned responses for live agents. Make your job easier by making a good first impression.

2. Average resolution time

Extremely valuable in the customer service industry, an average resolution time metric is key in determining how efficient teams are at resolving customer issues.

The idea is pretty simple; the resolution time is calculated as the difference between when a first visitor message was sent, to when a live chat session was completed (preferably without a ticket at the end). This metric gives better insights into performance across departments and allows comparison of times throughout different channels. It’s often seen as a barometer of customer satisfaction.

Ultimately, you want to aim for shorter resolution times as it translates directly into customers' happiness. If it is too long, canned responses or 'copy-paste' replies might come in handy, resulting in a faster experience.

Pro tip: If the average resolution time is high, customer satisfaction may suffer. You should analyze chats and see what may be the root cause of it. For example, if at the same time, the first response time rate is high, it may mean that agents handle too many chats at once, and you need to hire more staff to keep up with all the inquiries.

3. Agent performance report

The truest measure of agent performance is how they handle a live chat session. Thankfully, there are certain metrics you can use to keep an eye on the effectiveness of their conversations. From customer satisfaction ratings to the speed of response time, a mix of all quantitative and qualitative measurements is essential for making sure that agents are performing well in their field.

An agent performance report is precisely that, a chart combining the top live chat metrics targeting your agents' work directly.

Keeping a close eye on these metrics along with feedback from customers helps to ensure that customers have the best experience throughout the live chat session.

With up-to-date reports like this, feedback from agents and customers allows organizations to capture bottlenecking problems ahead of schedule and make necessary changes for a better future.

Measure to improve

With live chat software metrics, measuring customer support performance has become easier and more efficient than ever before. You can now compare agent performance metrics against customer satisfaction, sales leads, conversations per hour, or other relevant data points with the click of a button. 

Measuring customer support agents differently allows organizations to ensure that their agents are providing top-notch service in every possible way. This leads to increased customer satisfaction which can result in not just a healthier bottom line but also greater brand loyalty and growth.

With the ability to measure agent performance comes the ability for managers to deeply understand how the team is doing and advise them on where they need to improve to succeed. And such a data-driven path could easily apply to all areas of your company. So start with live chat and grow!

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