Monitor Customer Responsiveness
The next step is to use the customer’s responsiveness to determine if a conversation should be actively assigned to an agent and if so, how it should be prioritized amongst its peers.
Let’s consider priority first. Obviously, any conversation awaiting a response from the agent should be prioritized above conversations that are awaiting a response from the customer. But among all of the conversations awaiting a response from the agent, how should we sort? Prioritizing the conversation that’s been waiting the longest is an obvious solution, but can we do better? Imagine two customers interacting with your business:
- Marcus – Sitting alone at a coffee shop checking with his bank on new car loans and fully engrossed on his mobile device
- Sophie – Texting during breaks in her workday about new car loans
It doesn’t make sense to prioritize Sophie ahead of Marcus, even if she’s been waiting longer. Each customer has a different expectation of responsiveness from your business, based on their own urgency and needs. So conversations should be sorted with the customer’s recent responsiveness in mind. This is the thinking behind Quiq’s Adaptive Response Timer feature which automatically prioritizes highly engaged customers higher than customers who aren’t as responsive.
In addition to prioritizing an agent’s active workload, a customer’s lack of responsiveness should result in their session being forfeited, temporarily, for the benefit of other customers who are more active.
Suppose a conversation was progressing rapidly and is clearly not concluded. The customer has gone dark for the last 30 minutes, perhaps because they stepped into a meeting. What should we do with this conversation? We can’t throw it away because we know it’s not done yet, but it’s wasteful if it continues to occupy an agent session and keep the agent from helping others.
A messaging system needs to be able to pause such conversations, making room for other customers, while being ready to handle it immediately when the conversation comes back alive. Quiq’s product calls these “inactive” conversations.
When an inactive conversation is reactivated by the customer, it should be routed to the same agent if possible. The possibility for inactive conversations to come back alive requires the system’s routing capabilities to understand the difference between an agent’s preferred degree of concurrency and their maximum load.