Live chat reporting does not need to be complicated to be actionable.

Live chat reporting is most useful when it’s clean and unambiguous.

Live chat reporting is most useful when it’s clean and unambiguous.

Any performance management expert will tell you that you don’t want to actively monitor and respond to more than 3-5 metrics at a time, or you will get hopelessly lost in the data, especially if you’re just starting off in tracking how you’re doing. Initially, it might even be best to start with one key metric.

That having been said, if the live chat reporting you’re working with is too limited for your organization to make actionable use of now or in the future (after you’ve grown and different metrics have taken priority, for instance), that’s effectively the same as not having live chat reporting at all.

So how do you balance simplicity with extensive usability in live chat reporting?

The best of all possible worlds is to have a wide variety of dashboard-style reports that make it immediately clear how you can improve, along with a set of more advanced reports for when you’re ready to take the next step in optimizing engagement for your website visitors.

What Should I Be Tracking in My Live Chat Reporting?

Live chat reporting, like most performance monitoring, can largely be broken into two categories: real-time reporting and more long-term assessments of progress.

Real-time reporting is useful for managers and/or team leads, optimizing resource allocation and identifying and resolving issues as they arise.

Long-term progress assessment is more comprehensive and longitudinal – insofar as there is a science of live chat, this is where it happens. Through well-documented trial and error, your organization can see where to initiate proactive chat to best impact conversions. Through chat agent-level, organization-level, and visitor-level live chat reporting, you can evaluate what’s working and what’s not. This allows you to identify your top-performing agents, so you can figure out what they’re doing that makes them so exceptional, then scale that across your entire team.

What Metrics Are Most Important in Live Chat Reporting?

Agent-level live chat reporting should be able to capture what chat agents are responsible for the highest number of conversions and what agents demonstrate the highest rate of conversion, as well as the dollar amount associated with those conversions. It should also be able to track agent availability in real-time and provide the ability for managers to supervise and transfer chats when necessary. Agent-level reporting should also include a breakdown of average wait time, chat length, handle time and customer satisfaction data.

Organization-level live chat reporting should include average wait time, chat length, handle time and customer satisfaction information, as noted above, but should also include stats about what volume and percentage of chats were abandoned and what overall utilization looked like, so you know when you need to adjust staffing volume. This utilization information is valuable on a daily and weekly basis as much as it is a seasonal basis, as many e-commerce sites could tell you.

Visitor-level live chat reporting should include real-time visitor monitoring, so agents can tell where customers or prospects have come from and what they’re looking at while the chat conversation is continuing. On the broader scale of progress monitoring, live chat reporting should make it easy to track basic information about your visitors via live chat integration with your CRM (e.g. SalesForce, NetSuite, SugarCRM).

As I mentioned initially, you want to start small and simple, or you can easily overwhelm yourself (and your team!). Maybe tracking staffing volume vs. demand is the easiest place to start, or maybe you are having a serious customer satisfaction issue and that’s Priority One for you—so long as you are always paying attention and responding to data points that matter, you are always making progress. You can learn more about currently available live chat reporting here.