How efficiently are your agents resolving customer issues over chat?

Carl Schultze

December 19, 2022

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Tethr’s newest chat score can tell you just that, replacing traditional voice-based metrics, like AHT and talk time.

When you talk to your customers, you need to understand everything about those conversations: issues discussed, the customer’s sentiment, customer effort, and the journey they experienced contacting you. 

You need to know all this, regardless of if conversations happen over chat or the phone. But what you pay attention to, and how you measure things, will be different depending on if a conversation happens over chat or over the phone. 

For decades, call centers relied on average handling time (AHT) to measure the average length of conversations. This metric helps show you how quickly your agents solve problems (although we believe that a short call shouldn't always be the goal.) 

However, when you conduct customer conversations over chat, you need to measure customer engagement in a different way. Measuring minutes doesn’t work best for chat because of lag times between responses. That can be a good thing. You don’t have to ask customers to hold for a moment like on a phone call, because during chat sessions, customers understand there will be some wait time between responses. 

Research indicates that customers wait about 40 seconds for a first response from a live chat agent. After that first response, delays can happen on both sides of the conversation. A 40-second pause during a phone conversation would lead most people to think the call was disconnected. 

Some customers toggle between tabs on their browser as they troubleshoot an issue or while completing other tasks. As a result, customer response times can lag. Agents often conduct multiple conversations at once, and so they can’t respond to each one immediately. That’s why AHT doesn’t measure chat conversations well.

How Tethr measures chat effectiveness

Instead of measuring traditional AHT for customer chat conversations, Tethr’s conversation intelligence software platform gives each conversation what we call an Interaction Switch Score. This tells you the number of chat messages sent back and forth between an agent and a customer. This measurement gives you a better sense for engagement and can help establish a baseline for an effective chat conversation.

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What an Interaction Switch Score tells you about chat performance 

Once you know your average Interaction Switch Score for all chats, you can dive deeper to answer other questions, such as:

  • How fast are my agents in resolving issues over chat?
  • What issues cause conversations to take longer?
  • What issues get resolved in one or two responses? Can a chatbot resolve those instead?
  • Which customer support team members have higher Interaction Switch Scores? What is the Switch Score of top performers? 
  • What’s the Interaction Switch Score for low-effort or high-effort conversations?

Other chat analytics should you pay attention to

TTethr, using conversational AI, provides more than just the Interaction Switch Score. Additional information provided by Tethr about your chat metrics, and chatbot performance, can help shape your entire approach to digital customer service. 

These include:

  • Agent takeover rate: This shows you how many chats that start from a chatbot turn to a live agent chat
  • Resolution rate: Your case resolution rate on chat will help you understand what percentage of concerns can be resolved via live chat 
  • Customer effort scores

Want to prepare your company for the future of chat? Download our ebook, which includes a breakdown between what basic chat analytics your chat provider often shows you and the complex conversation intelligence insights that Tethr provides.

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