06 May 2014
Online Chat Software - How to Evaluate Operator Performance
Whether it’s the number of sales, new customers or website hits – business is all about hard numbers. It’s about narrowing information down to as fewer manageable variables as possible. This means getting the most out of your resources, including your employees (while still providing an enjoyable work environment). At Click4Assistance we have invested time in developing online chat software that can measure operator performance through both quantitative and qualitative data.
Post-chat surveys, time spent in chat, time available, conversion tracking and chat transcript storage are all features that can be used to measure operator performance. But hang on, whether you are talking about online chat software or something else, the first thing you need to do is narrow down your variables. Ask yourself these important questions before you embark on a comprehensive performance management process.
Q.1) How well-trained are your operators? How familiar are they with your products and/or services?
There’s nothing wrong with performing a good old-fashioned in-house exam. Employees may not like it, but it’s an effective way of testing their knowledge. Many Click4Assistance clients have taken advantage of our professional service and invited their Account Manager to come down and provide training.
Once live you can keep track of operator knowledge by asking visitors for their opinion through a customised post-chat survey. Just ask them the question directly: “How knowledgeable was the operator”. For greater detail, perhaps a one-on-one review, you can drill into the data and sample chat transcripts. Look closely at how your operator communicates with the customer and give them some constructive criticism.
Q.2) How many customer queries did operators handle?
Account for the number of chats answered and missed. This will help you identify potential bottlenecks and your most efficient operators. Try to encourage a balance between the number of chats answered and the quality of customer support provided. There’s little reason to focus on a higher number of chats if customer queries are not being resolved.
Look closely at the unanswered chats and figure out what went wrong. Click4Assistance’s routing feature and automated allocation system will spread the workload out evenly unless otherwise configured. Consider passing on more chats to your most efficient operators.
Q. 3) How many chats are concluded successfully?
Quality online chat software should give you a method of categorising chats. Click4Assistance allows administrators to define their own categories; one for query type, one for outcome. You can then produce a report that breaks down the results of customer chats by query type. This allows you to define your own rules for a successful chat and see how well your operators perform against it.
Q. 4) How many chats result in a conversion?
If your live chat operators are performing a sales function then the extra motivation from a commission scheme can go a long way. Online chat software can keep track of which operator the visitor spoke to and then attribute credit to them when they make a purchase, request a brochure or perform any other administrator-defined action.
Q. 5) How well do operators follow up call-back requests?
Integrating your online chat software with your CRM system will give you even greater performance management capability, such as being able to see how well operators chase up a call-back request. Fully integrated online chat software will help identify operators that need training in resolving call-back requests .
Q. 6) Do you use post-chat survey forms?
Hard numbers are well and good when looking at an operator’s performance, but they don’t tell the whole story. The Click4Assistance online chat software lets you devise your own post-chat survey. This provides a more qualitative analysis and can help to explain quantitative anomalies. For example, if an operator doesn’t answer as many chats as expected, or takes too long to conclude chats, the surveys might point towards a superior quality of service. The questions and comments in a post-chat survey are a good way to gauge chat quality without having to drill into individual chat transcripts.
It’s important to remember that these tools are designed to enhance, not replace, your operator training programme. When preparing your team of operators you will still need to consider intangible outside factors like what tone you want to represent the brand with, e.g. conversational or formal? You should also look at how often operators rely on a canned message and how quickly they respond. Then there are less manageable operator related performance issues to examine, such as the average time customers have to wait for a chat. This can actually be customer-dependent, so it’s important that you can pull out chat transcripts to identify where the bottlenecks lie.
At Click4Assistance our professional services, like bespoke reports and on-site training, can help you build the ultimate operator team. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about managing the performance of your live chat operators.