When it comes to live chat analytics, it is important to remember that simply having access to data does not guarantee results. By contrast, it is critical that contact center administrators pay close attention to what they receive, what they do with the information after it arrives, and what they are trying to accomplish.

Live chat reporting needs and requirements vary greatly from organization to organization. Here are three tips for making the most of your company’s live help data.

1. Establish KPIs

Absent of context, live chat analytics data cannot help drive positive change in an organization. Thus, it is critical that clear goals be established, along with key performance indicators (KPIs) designed to indicate progress toward the final objective.

In an eCommerce operation, a typical goal is the reduction of shopping cart abandonment. Cart abandonment is a significant problem for internet retailers; according to Business Insider, some three-quarters of online shopping carts are not converted. That amounts to trillions of dollars of merchandise going unsold each year. Even a slight reduction in abandonment can have a major impact on an eCommerce vendor’s bottom line.

To facilitate such an improvement, the organization would first set a realistic end-state goal, such as the reduction of abandoned carts by 30 percent over the course of six months. Each week, progress would be measured based on KPIs. These could include the number of proactive chat invitations sent to customers late in the buying process, the number of proactive invitations that turn into sales, and each week’s actual abandonment figures. By virtue of having been placed in context, these numbers are truly telling a story; they are tracking the actions necessary to achieve (and the incremental progress toward) a real-world business goal.

2. Steer Clear of Statistical Noise

Depending on the size of your customer engagement or sales team, you may or may not benefit from looking at statistics in the aggregate. If you only take a dozen chats per day on your website, a single anomaly can significantly skew your data. Imagine, for instance, that you are attempting to increase the efficiency of your live chat agents by paying close attention to chat length. If you only field some 100 chats per week, just one outlier – a 40-minute customer service episode for a particularly tricky problem – can make the week’s average chat time essentially worthless. In this case, it likely makes more sense to scan the times of each individual session, or to look at the median chat time instead of the mean.

By contrast, in a large contact center, it is not realistic for chats to be reviewed at a granular level. With a large enough sample size, statistical noise created by a few anomalies does not negatively impact results. In these cases, supervisors are well-served by looking at averages and wider historical trends.

3. Don’t Forget the Individual

When combined with other tools, live chat analytics engines can become powerful solutions for individual agent improvement. With the ability to smartly monitor performance and take corrective (or laudatory) action in real-time, contact center supervisors can significantly accelerate their mentorship efforts.

With Velaro’s enterprise live chat platform, for instance, managers can choose to receive transcripts of conversations that receive particularly low (or high) ratings in post-chat user surveys. These can be analyzed for both best practices, which can be circulated throughout the organization, or coachable moments, which create opportunities for coaching and mentorship.

In this use case, transcripts could also be delivered for chats that last longer than a set period of time, chats that result in a conversion, chats from agents who consistently hit (or fail to hit) goals, or nearly any other criteria. By combining quantitative data with qualitative analysis, managers can turn low-performing agents into good ones, good agents into great ones, and the call center as a whole into a revenue driver.

Live Chat Analytics: It’s More Than Just Data

By itself, live chat analytics and reporting data is little more than numbers. With solid planning and foresight, however, contact center supervisors and managers can efficiently turn those numbers into actionable insights and business intelligence. Whether the goal is increasing sales volume, decreasing cart abandonment, improving customer service performance, increasing individual agent acumen or (most likely) a combination of factors, live chat analytics can be the key to business success.