Improve Live Chat Efficiency: Perform 120 Days of Support in Only 30 Days

August 31, 2015

Improve Live Chat Efficiency_Perform 120 Days of Support in Only 30 Days 30


Live chat can help your company save on support costs in so many ways that it’s hard to count them all.


While low implementation and usage costs and lower phone bills are certainly good reasons to use live chat, the efficiency of live chat is what will help your company save the most money in the end.


In fact, live chat is so effective and efficient, you can perform three or four times the amount of support possible with other methods.


If you think that sounds unrealistic, continue reading and I will tell you how this is anything but impossible.


Limitations of Phone Support


According to a CallCentreHelper report, the best phone agents spend about 40 minutes out of every hour assisting customers or providing support.


Of course, the number of calls a phone support agent can handle in an hour will depend on the average length of each call.


Now, if we “guesstimate” that the average support call takes about 10 minutes, that would mean a good phone support agent could handle about 4 calls per hour.


Since a good phone agent can support about four customers each hour, that translates into helping 32 customers a day, 160 customers in a 5-day workweek and 640 customers in a month. Not too bad, I suppose.


Even new live chat agents can usually handle many more than four support sessions per hour. In fact, live chat agents can generally handle many more than that.


The simple fact that a phone agent can only assist one customer at a time limits the productivity of telephone support considerably.


If you want to see just how much more productive live chat agents can be, keep reading.


Live Chat Multiplies Sessions


As I mentioned above, a good phone agent can help about 640 customers a month. Nevertheless, would you be surprised if I told you that live chat agents can assist 2500 customers a month or even more?


Well, it’s true. In fact, really good live chat agents can probably help nearly double that number.


Let me explain. If the average chat time is the same as a phone support call — about 10 minutes — then you might think the numbers would be the same. And, if a live chat agent only works with one client at a time, they would be the same.


However…live chat offers one significant advantage over phone support – concurrent chat sessions.


Concurrent chats are one of the biggest advantages to a live chat system and enable operators or agents to engage several visitors simultaneously.


With concurrent chat capability an average live chat agent can communicate with 3 or 4 customers or site visitors at the same time; a really proficient agent can chat with many more.


In fact, I have personally seen one agent chat with as many as 16 customers at once and never miss a beat.


Of course, most agents won’t be able to handle anywhere near 16 chats at once. Still, even average agents can handle four at a time.


So, let’s do the math – using the numbers from the CallCentreHelper report.


Let’s assume the following: Live chat agent handles chats for 40 minutes per hour; Agent can handle four chats simultaneously and each chat lasts for an average of 10 minutes.


With those numbers, a busy live chat agent could handle 16 sessions per hour, 128 in a day, 640 in a week and 2560 in a month.


Wow! Big difference in productivity, I would say. Your agents can only handle three chats simultaneously; no big deal. That’s still three times the number a phone support agent could manage.


Improve Live Chat Efficiency


With practice and training, your live chat agents can learn to handle 3, 4, 5 or even more chat simultaneously.


In order to make your chat agents as efficient and productive as possible, train them frequently and consistently.


Show them how to use features of your live chat system such as canned links and messages to help speed up replies and answers.


Create informative help and knowledge base articles that your agents can push to customers or visitors to help them solve problems quickly and avoid repeat support sessions.


When it comes to an efficient and productive support platform, nothing comes close to live chat.


If you’re not already taking the advantage of the power of live chat, sign up for a free trial to begin learning how chat can help make providing support much faster and effective.

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