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What are the key metrics to track with live chat?

In 2014, experts are saying that companies should improve their computer interfaces, and staff-up with reps from different time zones that can handle customer calls and inquiries, 24/7. One of the best ways companies can reach customers 24/7 in real time is through live chat online. According to a Quick Poll performed by ICMI (International Customer Management Institute), participants said they viewed web chat primarily as a sales tool by 57%, over the 43% who said they viewed it as a customer service tool. This being said, ensuring your live chat functionality is set up properly isn’t the only necessity, nor is training agents on the technology as well as chat etiquette; what is vital is reporting on and understanding live chat metrics so the tool can become an increasingly effective sales channel.

Here is a guide to key live chat metrics every company utilizing this online technology should be measuring:

Live Chat Conversion Rate

Learning how many active chats convert the visitor into a paying customer is an important metric that can be measured behind live chat technology. A BoldChat white paper reported that people who chat on ecommerce websites “are 7.5x more likely to convert [into buying customers] than visitors who don’t chat….Chatters buy, on average, 24% of the time.”

Chat Engagement

Engagement metrics focus on actual live chats that occur between an agent and a site visitor. BoldChat says “the average percentage of website visitors who engage is 1.7%.” Knowing how many visitors utilize live chat against total site visitors will help you forecast sales, once you know your average live chat conversion rate.

Proactive Chat Invitation Acceptance

Most sites that offer live chat have an image at the top of their site, or a window that will pop up during a visitor’s browsing experience. Live Chat invitation buttons are widely accepted in the world of ecommerce, and help the company be proactive on ensuring the visitor is finding what they need and ultimately assists them in making a purchase.

Live Chat Volume

Understanding chat volume against visitor volume will help companies staff agents during the right time of day, and especially get enough agents online during higher seasons of ecommerce, like Black Friday for instance. Having proactive chat invitations will increase chat volume on any site.

Chat Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction can be measured post-chat, same as it can post-phone conversation and post-purchase. Once a chat is complete, companies can use survey technology to ensure that the visitor/chatter received good service, answers to the questions they had, and direction to the products they were ultimately looking to buy. BoldChat reported that sites with a high chat satisfaction rate have a 266% greater chance of converting chatters into buyers than an average site.

Chat Analytics

Having the big picture for live chat usage also contributes to the overall success of the technology on any website. Knowing impressions, clicks, click rates, number of chats and answered chats will help managers encourage their agents to stay on top of their live chat performance.

Understanding that live chat is increasingly contributing to the company’s bottom line will boost the leverage of live chat online in the next year. Knowing how live chat works within your company is paramount, and utilizing these metrics to ensure the live chat technology is optimized and successful.

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