Is it Possible to Maintain Good Customer Service when Engaging with More than One Customer?

Live chat operatorThese days we expect everything to be fast; travel, food and customer service to name a few. Gone are the days where sitting for hours on-call waiting was the norm; days where a customer service operator only spoke to one person at a time resulting in a backlog of who knows how long. We’re pretty sure none of us would like to go back to that.

So in a world where your customer service operator is interacting with numerous customers, how many is too many?

In an ideal world, you’d have operators balancing as high a chat concurrency as they can. But hold up – you can’t expect chats per hour to increase and your quality to stay the same. Something is always going to slip.

Luckily, the guys at FM Outsource love measuring whether chat capacity has an impact on response times so we can set the story straight once and for all.

The buzz on the street is that most customers will wait a whole 50 seconds in a chat queue before their satisfaction drops. We found out when operators had a concurrency of 3,4 and 5 chats they all maintained a response time of under 50 seconds – 45 seconds to be precise! Move the chat capacity up to 6 and then things start to go wrong, which at first glance seems surprising. There’s no massive difference between 5 and 6, until you see that the response time rises to 70 seconds! Not good, take them back down to 5.

Impact of chat

Customer service advisors are kings at multi-tasking, they cope with endless requests and we are thankful for that, but there’s only so much multi-tasking a person can handle.

Upon observation, operators with a chat capacity of above or below 5 struggle to get through as many as their friends on a cap of 5. An operator on 6 will be on their first set of chats, when an operator on 5 is already on to the next set. The operator on below 5 is, in the meantime, sitting around, twiddling their thumbs. Not ideal.

Operators on a cap of 3 and below causes them to lag a little, and starts to affect customer satisfaction.

Chat caoacity

So the zone of satisfaction is between 4 and 5 chats, making that the magic zone when it comes to balancing multiple conversations. The zone which allows customers to feel that they are getting their operators whole attention, whilst keeping management happy for getting through a vast number of chats! Cake for all!

About the Author

Elena Lockett works for FM Outsource, who provide outsourcing solutions for businesses of all sizes across customer services, digital marketing and IT development.

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