Customers want solutions, and they want them fast. It’s one of the main reasons why live chat customer service is in such high demand.

Implementing a live chat feature is not easy, but definitely feasible. The real hard part is measuring your live chat’s success. How can you tell if it’s working?

At GetFeedback, we use four metrics to measure the performance of our live chat support. These metrics, which we retrieve through our post-chat surveys, allow us to gauge our customers’ individual experiences with our team. And by diving into this customer data, we’re able to significantly improve our overall brand customer experience.

4 metrics to gauge live chat performance 

If you’re ready to measure your live chat customer success, consider the following four metrics.

Live chat metric #1: number of chats  

One of the simplest metrics to gauge success is the number of chats you’ve had with customers. It gives you a sense of how popular the feature is. Likely, the number started out small and is growing.

How many chats should you aim for? The average number of live chats a company receives in a month is 924. However, this may differ depending on whether you provide live chat support 24/7 or only a few select hours a day.

Nevertheless, 924 is a big number. That means companies have 11,000+ chats a year with customers.

But, this average comes from companies that have used live chat for at least two years, so if your number is lower, give it time to grow.

What makes us so sure that over time customers will use your live chat support more frequently? Data. Research shows that 73% of customers say live chat is the most satisfying way to communicate with a business.

Stick with it. Your number of chats will climb.

At GetFeedback, our case volume climbed by 26% with a live chat feature on our website.

Live chat metric #2: initial response time

If customers have a question or concern, they expect a quick response. How quick? Seconds.

Fortunately, most companies with a live chat feature can cut initial response time drastically. At GetFeedback, for example, we were able to cut our average response time by an hour.

Just how fast are customers expecting an initial response? The average initial response time for a live chat is 56 seconds. So the goal is to make initial contact with customers in a minute or less.

To provide a quick response time, live chat agents should be online when your customers are and make an (almost) instant connection. This means that if you can’t provide 24/7 live chat support, to avoid confusion you must remove the feature as an option during off hours.

While it may take some time to answer a customer’s question or resolve a problem through live chat, the immediate interaction with a customer is key. It shifts a customer’s mentality from, “I have a problem” to “I’m getting help,” and any company looking to retain customers needs that shift to happen quickly.

Live chat metric #3: first contact resolution

Of course, a quick response is only the first step. Ultimately, customers want a resolution. Sometimes, that’s easy to come by.

A customer who asks a question about a product or needs help applying a coupon code, for example, receives a speedy resolution. These customers are part of a group known as “first contact resolution.” In other words, their problem was solved during the first interaction.

How many customers get this kind of expedited care? The majority. Research suggests of the average 924 live chats a month, 876 of them are resolved in one touch.

But, sometimes, a customer has an issue that’s a bit more complicated. In those cases, your company will likely start a “ticket,” or a record of the support a customer requests and receives.

How many tickets are typical? The average is 48 per month.  Again, that’s for companies that have deployed a live chat feature for at least two years, so if you’re fairly new to the live chat game consider it a reference point for the future.

Live chat metric #4: customer effort score (CES)

There are a lot of metrics that gauge customer sentiment, but one of the lesser-used metrics, customer effort score (CES), gives companies unique insight.

A customer effort score focuses on the process customers go through to get help. It essentially asks customers to gauge how much effort they had to exert to find a resolution to their problem.

Ideally, a customer hops on your website, asks a question via live chat, and gets a solution. If that’s the case, the customer’s effort was next to nothing and likely he or she is thrilled.

But, that might not always be the case. Maybe a customer searched your self-serve support content to help her troubleshoot the problem, but couldn’t find one. After that, she called your customer service line only to find out the wait time was 20 minutes so she hung up. After two failed attempts, she went to your website and stumbled on the live chat option. To her delight, she connected with a representative and finally got the help she needed. In this case, the customer’s effort is much greater.

You need to know what kind of lengths customers went through to get help so you can measure just how valuable the live chat feature is.

So, how do you measure customer effort score? By using post-chat surveys.

My team uses GetFeedback for Salesforce Chat, which allows us to send branded surveys that appear directly in our live chat windows once we’ve ended our customer conversation. The CES survey should be quick and easy. See the example below. “Strongly Disagree” scores as 1 and “Strongly Agree” scores as 7.

You can also include a follow-up question that asks for more feedback on the customer’s response. Such as the below example.

CES Comment

How do you know if your CES score is good? An average customer effort score that is more than 5, is good. A score 5 and lower isn’t.  

Conclusion on measuring live chat success

Providing live chat support will help you connect with customers, improve their overall experience, and ultimately, drive sales. To accomplish all of these goals, however, you have to gauge the success of your live chat by monitoring specific metrics. And as the use of your live chat feature grows, continue to rely on your metrics to provide insight and direction.

Interested in learning about the many different surveys you could implement with us? Try GetFeedback for free today.  

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