New Feature: Chat Ratings for customer feedback on live chat

chat ratings boxes.jpg

Here at Olark, you may have noticed we've implemented a new reporting system, which includes feedback on how visitors feel your operators are doing.

We'll ask your visitors 4 questions:
  • 'How satisfied were you with this chat?'
  • 'How knowledgeable was the chat agent?'
  • 'How responsive was the chat agent?’
  • 'How friendly was the chat agent?'

We wanted to create a survey that would help all of our customers elevate their quality of customer service. Net Promoter Score is often seen as the gold standard for customer satisfaction. NPS asks one simple thing, "How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?"

This question is used in many contexts, and while it’s great for learning how customers feel about your company, it doesn’t explain why they feel that way or how to change it. We wanted to do more, and created a survey that helps our customers take action to make improvements.

To do this, we started interviewing our users from companies of many different sizes and industries. We asked their chat operators and administrators

  • how they measured success using chat
  • what made their operators great at their jobs
  • what made customers who chatted with their operators most satisfied with their experience.

We then talked to our own operators, who had been hearing from Olark’s customers, and asked them the same things. We also looked into how other companies measured support satisfaction.

Using our findings, we crafted a set of questions that focused on what users told us were the most important aspects of a high quality chat. We made sure to choose qualities that operators could take action on to improve. At last, we were ready to craft a survey where the customers’ feelings about the company or the product would be kept separate from their ratings of the chat.

The qualities we chose were:

Overall Satisfaction

How happy was the customer overall with the chat? This is a simple way to get an overall understanding of how things went.


Do your operators know what they're talking about? A visitor that's talking with an uninformed operator is likely to leave the chat unsatisfied.


How responsive are your operators, or better yet, how responsive do they feel to customers? This is different than average response time because it takes into consideration both the users' perception of how complex the problem is, and how the operator communicates progress and attentiveness.


How friendly was the operator? Did they adopt an approachable, professional, warm tone? It's easy to be informative, but to really build rapport, visitors need to feel that they have a relationship with your company. A positive connection with your visitors is your first step to building repeat business.

Using these qualities, we wrote four different versions of the survey, ranging from a bare-bones star rating scale to a wordy academic-level survey. We tested these surveys with our own customers, collected 200-300 responses to each, and compared the response rate, as well as the variation in how customers answered each question across all four surveys.

We used this data to pick best of the bunch, and then then took feedback from users who graciously volunteered to test drive it on their own sites (in the future, if you see us using something new and you're curious about it, let us know and you could be part a beta testing group helping us build and improve it!). From here, we needed to make some practical judgement calls, from shortening questions so they would fit in the chat box to only labeling the end points on each scale. In the end, we came away with a survey we felt confident would accurately measure important qualities while still being easy for customers to use and understand.

We've been building and testing Chat Ratings for many months and many of our users have given feedback as we've tested on our site. We want to say thanks for all your input. It's helped us build a feature that we think will help you build relationships with your visitors for years to come! By keeping the wording consistent, our customers benefit from the work we put into making a survey that gets the greatest possible number of accurate responses. Currently there is not an option to change the questions. We hope that by pooling all of the responses together anonymously, we’ll be able to create a library of insights into how everyone can make chat better. A rising tide lifts all chat boats.

At the end of the day, we're still learning too. Like you, we work hard every day to make sure our customers are happy, and hope we can help you make yours even happier tomorrow. Where will this feature go in the future? That will be a collaboration between your feedback and our elbow grease. 

Tell us how it works for you, how your visitors are responding, and whether your operators are improving as a result of the feedback. We’re eager to hear what you think.

Check out relevant topics on: Olark Essentials

Nick Oliverio

Read more posts by Nick Oliverio

A transfer from the support team, Nick O now works with the marketing team to help users best understand how to use Olark in the most beneficial way for their organization. He uses his time away from work to organize local events and practice martial arts.