Increasingly, online consumers prefer live chat to communicate with ecommerce vendors. As a result, the number of contact centers adding live chat to their communication mix is on the rise. In fact, Contact Center Pipeline’s Multichannel Customer Contact Survey found that two-thirds of survey participants with 500-plus agents responded that they are currently using live chat.

Purchasing live chat software is the easy part. Once you have the software, the real work comes in making sure that you can get the most out of your live chat investment. This requires that you diligently manage your live chat performance so that you can learn what is, and isn’t working, and make ongoing adjustments in your agent training and live chat related processes to optimize your effectiveness. This type of continuous improvement can’t be done without accurate, timely, and easily accessible information. Absent this type of reporting capability, and the willingness to make ongoing adjustments to improve, makes it next to impossible to maximize your live chat ROI.

Here are 3 essential reports that every organization using live chat cannot be without:

Account Utilization

This report is key to monitoring the overall performance of your support agents by providing you with visibility into the total number of chats requested, how many chats were missed, how many chats were placed in a queue and for how long, and the total number of chats taken. This information is critical for establishing performance baselines and measuring ongoing performance.

Agent Utilization

The information in this report provides insight into agent specific performance. It provides management with an understanding of total time an agent is logged in, average response time to a chat request, and average chat duration. Coupled with customer satisfaction feedback, this information is valuable in identifying agent training needs and in making adjustments to staffing volume to improve performance.

Management Dashboard

This is my favorite report. Sometimes referred to as “The Wall” the management dashboard provides real-time access to almost everything that is happening with your organization’s use of live chat. It’s sort of like a live Twitter feed where you can see live chat activity as it occurs. You can watch as chat agents login and logout and when a website visitor requests a chat and when the chat begins. As the manager/supervisor, you can click into an item at any time and view the pre-chat survey, take a chat that is in the queue, or privately view a chat in progress. From a management perspective this is priceless. Without something like this it is very difficult to manage the performance of your live chat team and your implementation of live chat.

 

The Wall also provides a quick glimpse at some important key performance indicators (KPIs) that are important to monitor. These include the number of chat agents available, number of chats in the queue, number of chats occurring and your real-time chat utilization rate.

Live chat can provide your business with substantial productivity gains, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction — but live chat isn’t a magic pill. For you to fully realize the benefits that live chat has to offer there is nothing more important that the reporting functionality that your live chat software provides.