How Many Things Can You Juggle?

[24] | August 12, 2014

We all multi-task. You’re probably considering texting while you read this. I don’t know about you but I find that walking and chewing gum at the same time can be a challenge. And talking on a phone (hands free, of course) while I’m driving… well, I generally miss my exit and end up lost.

It’s not easy to juggle multiple tasks, especially complex ones. Yet, in the chat market, many vendors will tell you that increasing concurrency – the number of simultaneous chat sessions that an agent can handle – is the Holy Grail. If you can increase the number of concurrent sessions that your agent is handling from two to four, you’ve cut your cost in half and doubled your productivity and ROI.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Research done by [24] shows that while concurrency is one of the factors leading to efficient chat interactions, it is only one factor and there is a limit to how far you can stretch concurrency. More important, that limit is nowhere near as high as many chat software vendors would like you to believe. The problem is that as concurrency increases beyond a point, other critical success metrics such as CSAT, First Contact Resolution, and Agent Satisfaction scores start nose-diving.

Improving concurrency shouldn’t be ignored but it should be done intelligently by making chat agents more effective and giving them better tools.

The key to a high performing contact center is to find a balance between efficiency and effectiveness. Instead of forcing a chat agent to flip between screens to find notes, canned responses, and chat sessions, why not design a chat system that makes it easier for chat agents to get their jobs done? By adding prediction and intelligent design to a chat system, you can manage effective concurrency rates while maximizing customer satisfaction metrics. For example, if the chat system anticipates what the customer is trying to do and provides that information to the chat agent, it makes it easier and faster for the agent to resolve the customer’s question and then move on to the next chat. The customer is happier because the chat is done quickly and satisfactorily, while the agent is happier because their job is easier and less stressful.

Read Chat and the Concurrency Myth and find out more about our research, including what the most optimal concurrency ratios are and how you can implement a more effective chat solution.