managing live chat team

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How to build, train and measure your customer service team for peak performance

The Ultimate Guide to Managing a Successful Live Chat Team

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4.2

How To Use Your KPIs As Part of an Ongoing Performance Plan

Before you begin analyzing your KPIs, be mindful that not all of them should be given equal emphasis. Instead, think about what customer service values are most significant to your company and how to go about attaining them. This way you can establish which metrics should be emphasized as your top priorities.

Establish Benchmarks

If you already have at least a month’s worth of data from your customer engagement platform, you likely have enough data to establish what your current averages are for each of the metrics mentioned above. If you don’t have any data and are starting from scratch, this Live Chat Benchmark Report can help get you started. It spans 14 different industries around the world.

Now that you have benchmarks, do a pulse check. Based on all your auditing and reviewing, do these seem too high or too low? This can help you set your team’s goals to align with your corporate KPIs.

Set Clear Expectations

In order for your KPIs to work as they should, your agents must first know what is expected of them. Make sure that the information and benchmarks that you give your agents for each measure are as clear and specific as they can be. For example, instead of telling agents to keep their average handle time “low,” tell them to keep it under fifteen minutes or less (or whatever number is your company’s standard).

You also need to make sure that you are setting expectations that aren’t in direct opposition to one other. For example, telling agents to prioritize both quality and speed might make striking a balance tricky for them. It can even result in role ambiguity which can be stress-inducing and detrimental to staff.

Assess KPIs Throughout the Review Cycle, Not Just at the End

To truly meet your goals, it’s important that you assess your KPIs throughout the review cycle, and not just at the end of the quarter or year. This is because sometimes your agents are not thinking about what metrics they are hitting or missing – they’re just thinking about getting through the day.

Checking your KPIs periodically will help you know which areas your agents need to work on. With this knowledge, you will be able to remind your team of the goal as appropriate.

Catch Performance Slips Right Away

By reviewing your KPIs, you will be able to detect and correct performance slips right away. You can best catch performance slips by using the live chat reports and tools that are available for management.

One key auditing feature that managers have access to is live chat transcripts. By appearing offline and reading agent transcripts live (or right after they happen), you can track metrics such as first contact resolution rate, customer satisfaction rate, and whether average handle time is being achieved at a running pace or with quality assurance in mind.

By being attentive, you can notice any slips in the quality of agent performance and address them right away, so that customers are not affected in the future. This also helps agents learn and grow by avoiding bad behavior.

Set Goals Going Forward

Moving forward, it is important to set goals according to your KPI findings. Consider the following questions when deciding on your next steps:

  • What metrics do you want to improve by your next review cycle?
  • What changes need to be made to improve any of these metrics?
  • Is any additional training required? If so, what sort of training, and for which agents?
  • How can you get all of your agents on board?

The Proof is in the Pudding

By keeping track of your must-watch key performance indicators and adjusting accordingly, you will be able to provide a live chat experience that is easier, faster, and more satisfying for your customers and more profitable for your business.