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Live Chat KPIs are Essential – But How Can You Get Agents Onboard?

While tracking and measuring live chat KPIs is essential, it’s not always so easy to get your agents to understand why this matters and to get them onboard with your targets.  

But it’s completely worth the effort. A decade-long study involving 100,000 teams found that increasing employee engagement can generate up to 18% more sales. 

Here are five top tips to help you get your agents engaged and onboard with your KPIs and lead your team on a journey to live chat excellence. 

1. Set measurable and clear goals 

The first step to getting agents behind your live chat KPIs is to make sure that all the targets you set are clear and measurable for your agents. 

Some of the top KPIs you can track with your agents include: 

  • First contact resolution (FCR): How many issues are resolved in a single chat? The higher the figure, the happier the customer, and the less work for your agents. 
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT): Track a combination of satisfaction metrics to get the full picture, including customer effort, loyalty, and net promoter score. You can also track CSAT on an individual, as well as team, level. 
  • Average handling time (AHT): How long it takes your agents to finish a single chat with a single customer is a helpful metric to track, but it’s important to dig deeper to discover why handling times are longer or shorter than expected. If chats take too long to be resolved, maybe agents need extra training. If they get resolved faster than expected, it’s critical to discover whether they’re sacrificing quality for quantity, or they just have really good skills and tools. Read our Live Chat Benchmark Report 2021 for more insight on AHT.  
  • Number of chats: Knowing the average number of chats per agent is a good starting point to understand agent efficiency and skill-level. It will also help you staff shifts better. 

Recommending reading: Top 5 KPIs Every Live Chat Manager Needs to Track 

Once you’re clear on your KPIs, make sure you have an effective and robust live chat reporting suite so you can accurately and easily track these metrics. Comm100’s reporting suite offers a huge wealth of reports  to help you evaluate agent performance, manage shifts, monitor chat quality and gauge customer satisfaction for both real time and long-term planning. 

2. Involve your agents when setting targets 

One of the challenges with engaging customer service agents with KPIs is that, often with such high attrition  rates in the field, neither them nor their management see their jobs as long term. To keep them from feeling replaceable, you have to view them as partners in setting – and reaching – goals. 

Begin by reviewing the department’s goals and the agent’s performance with the agent. Praise them for the skills and accomplishments you believe will help take their work to the next level. Ask what they think they’re doing great, what they think she can accomplish, and where they need support. Do this regularly – weekly and monthly to stay focused and results-oriented. 

Aim to stretch their initial goals a bit beyond what they think they can pull off, to show them that you believe in them. Yet don’t set the initial goal too high – you can always move it upward gradually as they build their skillset. Agree on the goal together and make a plan for how they can get help reaching it if they face any challenges along the way. 

Then, talk about rewards. 

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3. Provide incentives 

Now that your agents have ownership over their goals, you can amplify their motivation with incentives. 

Incentives can be monetary, and it’s possible this will be your agents’ preference. In this case, offer either bonuses, gift certificates or online subscriptions to services that interest them. Check out this list of creative employee incentive ideas for more inspiration. 

Alternatively, as part of building ownership and showing agents you want them here long term, incentives can be about upskilling. You could provide training that will help them grow into their next role in your company (whether it’s within customer service or in another department), or access to the person in the organization that’s currently doing their dream job. 

And then there’s one of the biggest incentives – show them that their hard work makes a difference. 

4. Regularly share the results with the team 

Since your agents are now your partners in reaching the department’s goals and executing the company’s strategy, it’s important to regularly share the results with them. 

First, speak with them about how well they did on reaching their individual and team goals. Share how impressed management was with how they handled a tough customer, or how they asked for help in a difficult situation. 

If you can, make sure you tell them how their work contributed to an increase in sales – or better still, maybe the company’s ability to give back to an important cause. Tell them how they helped increase customer satisfaction rate, or how a customer came back and praised the support they provided. 

Whenever possible, share the positive feedback that they’d received from customers, which you can easily collect with post-chat surveys

5. Get feedback from your agents 

Throughout the goal setting and execution process, it’s important to proactively ask your agents for feedback. Get information on what works well and what doesn’t from beginning to end. 

Some of the questions you could explore include: 

  • What’s the goal setting process like for them? 
  • What are the ups and downs of implementing the chosen strategy, if there was one? 
  • How supported do they feel from management? 
  • How is knowing – or not – how their coworkers are doing impacting their performance? 
  • How motivating are the incentives you’ve provided? What would motivate them more? 

Consider letting agents submit this feedback anonymously, so they can feel safer being honest. At the same time, emphasize to service managers how important it is to keep building trust with agents. Encourage them to see agents’ mistakes as learning opportunities and to keep treating agents with respect. Over time, agents will feel more comfortable talking to management in person, too. 

Wrap-up 

This is the nutshell on how to set live chat KPIs and get your customer service agents enthusiastic about meeting these goals. If you want to dig deeper into what makes a successful live chat team, check out this free guide. After you read it, make a plan to implement what you learned, and get ready to make your agents, management and customers happier! 

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About Kate Rogerson

Kate is the Content Marketing Specialist at Comm100. She has extensive experience in content creation for technology companies across the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada. She specializes in B2B messaging, branding and soccer trivia.