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Live Chat Benchmark Report 2021

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Chapter 2

Chats per agent per month

From 2019 to 2020, chats per agent per month dipped across every team size, dropping by 56% on average. Given that we saw an overall 7% increase in chats per month, this large drop may seem contradictory.

However, there are two major explanations for this, both of which suggest that it was an intended outcome and strategy. The key driver behind this was an increase in agents. Many companies predicted a surge in chat volume and so grew their team size and hours accordingly. From March 2020, Comm100’s customer success team received requests from companies of all industries and sizes asking to add more licenses to help them manage the rise in live chat queries.

The second major reason for a rise in chat volume but a drop in chats per agent is a greater focus on agent well-being. While chat concurrency and volume have long been the most scrutinized of live chat metrics, throughout 2020 we have seen many managers put less pressure on these stats in favor of improving the agent experience as a proxy to improving the customer experience as well. This is largely due to the growing school of thought that the ability to deliver a positive customer experience is dependent on a positive agent experience.

The emergence of Covid-19 and the stressful environment that came with it fueled an interest in agent well-being. However, it’s worth noting that we have seen this trend over the past few years well before the pandemic, and so we expect it to grow beyond it

Covid-19 has led to an increase in mental health issues, and awareness of this has rightly so trickled down into businesses. We have seen this particularly within customer support as many organizations have begun to show more focus on agent well-being. This can be achieved by providing better tools and systems to help them perform their job, as well as increasing on-the-job training. It’s also important for organizations to build engagement and show their agents the direct impact their work has on the organization’s goals. And finally, as we see in this data, shifting priorities away from workload and towards quality support is central to all of this.

Colin Taylor
CEO and Chief Chaos Officer, The Taylor Reach Group

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