Are you looking for ways to improve customer service chat capacity? If yes, then read on. This article gives you a complete guide to effectively taking charge of your live chat support services. Learn more about: Customer Service Chat Capacity Planning.
Your customers expect immediate responses from their interactions with your organization. These messages must be handled promptly when they send messages or requests through channels such as live chats and social media. You should consider implementing a customer support strategy to ensure that your employees can provide quality customer service at every point of contact. One way to improve customer satisfaction is to increase your live chat support services capacity. Read on to discover the steps to follow to achieve successful implementation.
Implementing effective customer support systems has become necessary for organizations that want to build long-term relationships with their clients. The best part about using live chat support services is that it allows companies to provide real-time customer support without waiting until next week. In addition, businesses can choose from various solutions depending on their preferences.
The Benefits of Capacity Planning for Services
The ultimate goal of live chat support services capacity planning is to help your team make plans.
You’ll better grasp how your team uses their time as you work on capacity planning. You’ll discover how much labor is put into the many tasks, channels, and projects that your team is working on.
You’ll be able to manage your resources as a result better. You’ll be able to devote resources where they’re most needed since you’ll have a deeper understanding of everything happening. Another advantage is that your team’s budgeting will be much more precise, leading to improved planning for the entire business.
Remember that hiring, training, and onboarding new team members requires time.
Hiring extra employees when you need them generally results in running after your own tail. You tend to lag behind the times. Because the workload may increase so fast during peak seasons, this is particularly likely to occur if your firm is seasonal. Planning may be more difficult, but a good strategy will help you avoid these problems.
This is simply the first step in determining the ideal staffing model for your team because forecasting and live chat support services team capacity planning work hand in hand. Forecasting is when you start making predictions for the future, whereas capacity planning is about knowing the work that your team can generate. Creating a staffing capacity model that works for you requires both of these.
How to Do Capacity Planning?
Your capacity planning strategy will rely on your particular objectives and available resources. The following discussion will utilize email as an example, but you may also adapt similar ideas to phone, chat, or social media help.
Three main factors typically affect any capacity planning formula:
- Average time spent per person purchasing tickets
- Per person, the average number of tickets resolved
- Typical handling period
1. Average Time Spent per Person Purchasing Tickets
No one of your support staff will work on tickets every day. You must estimate how many hours per day are spent on tickets to provide a realistic picture of their capacity.
To arrive at this figure, you must estimate the time your live chat support services team spends in meetings, taking breaks, and working on assignments or other activities. Depending on your business’s goals and the team’s organization, the overall amount might range from 60% to 90% of the time spent on tickets.
2. Average Number of Tickets Resolved
Each individual will have a different average number of tickets worked within a given time. It frequently depends on the channels that your team promotes. This measure may be seen for any time frame—day, week, month, etc.—but because it’s an average, selecting a larger time frame can help weed out outliers. As a benchmark, we’d advise starting with a monthly measure.
3. Average Handling Time
You should be able to calculate your average handling time after you are aware of the two things mentioned above.
For instance, if you know that each member of your team responds to 60 tickets in their six hours of work each day on average, your average handling time for each issue is around six minutes (360 minutes divided by 60 tickets). It’s helpful to treat average handling time as a separate variable since you’ll want to keep track of whether this value changes over time.
You should be able to determine your live chat support services capacity using these three criteria. This offers you a fundamental framework for comprehending the capability of your team while you can quickly put in more complexity if necessary.
Let’s see how you combined everything:
Say each agent on your team can handle ten tickets each hour. This can then serve as the foundation for resource allocation and forecasting in the future. You know that you will need to dedicate 300 hours to work on tickets during that particular week if your predictions indicate that you anticipate 3000 incoming tickets. You would require ten agents to handle that workload for that week, assuming each agent worked on tickets for six hours per day or 30 hours per week.
Best Practices to Measure Capacity
Planning for team capacity is pretty easy. The method described above is a simple technique to assess your live chat support services team’s capacity. You should also bear a few best practices while making future selections for the most excellent chance of success.
1. Account For Vacation and Sick Time
Always consider sick days and holidays when estimating your team’s capability.
Even though it could be challenging to estimate sick days with precision, you can start by reviewing team statistics historically. You can also deduct the number of vacation days your employer gives from the total number of days you anticipate working in a given year. This significant element significantly alters how precise your capacity planning is.
2. Regularly Calibrate
Double-checking your anticipated capacity versus your team’s capacity for the whole year is one of the most crucial things to perform when you begin live chat support services capacity planning.
Assuming these variables stay constant after carrying out capacity planning once is simple. That is an incorrect assumption. The time your team spends working on tickets or how long each ticket takes might be affected by new procedures, technological advancements, or product releases. Team size is constantly mutable.
To build the most precise model possible, monitor these figures and make regular updates.
3. Make a Buffer
Generally speaking, including a buffer in your live chat support services capacity planning and forecasts is sensible.
You should leave a little breathing room rather than scheduling a period when your staff will be fully used. Your circumstances, such as the possibility of unexpected events or the impact that these events often have, greatly influence the shape your buffer will take. However, team capacity planning frequently necessitates several iterations, so allowing some wiggle space will typically be beneficial.
Additional Things to Think About
You may need to determine how to gauge capacity across various parameters, depending on your unique requirements and situation. Examples include:
- You must consider coverage if you give help across several time zones. If the volume of incoming traffic fluctuates dramatically during the day, your live chat support services capacity will also need to adjust.
- You must determine each channel independently and comprehend how it affects the others if you simultaneously support numerous channels, such as chat and email.
- Additionally, any language assistance needs to be handled individually.
Given any of the elements above, planning for live chat support services team capacity will be more difficult. However, precise capacity planning becomes much more crucial the more complicated your team’s organizational structure is!
Working with an outsourcing partner like Vserve might be an excellent alternative if you seek a simple and practical approach to growing your workforce. You’ll have support staff who work directly with your clients, but you’ll also get assistance with training, capacity planning, and other things.