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Balancing Strategy to Avoid Cherry-Picking

Content Coordinator

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Many will judge your brand based on their first engagement with care agents, who are in that very vital moment, the face of the brand. Utilizing and understanding the strengths and shortcomings of agents couldn’t be more critical in this environment, but how do you pinpoint through metrics where adjustments are needed? A common concern to acknowledge is cherry-picking, which is essentially claiming requests in a less productive order.

Cherry-picking can be harmful to both the agent and the brand itself

Like most things, cherry-picking can be beneficial in increments with examples like ramp-ups, highly technical requests, or rest intervals to avoid burnout. Habitual use of this action is where managers should be concerned and consider making adjustments. It severely dampens the growth of the agent and could give the customer a false sense of neglect from the brand itself.

How to spot signs of chronic cherry-picking? 

Khoros Care comes equipped with a collection of different widgets to measure agent performance; here are a few quick metrics to consider when recognizing cherry-picking.

App Utilization

  • Out of focus/ Inactive time
    • How long is the agent logged into the tool but on a different screen: High numbers here can be a sign of focusing on a different window or tab with the tool in the background. 
  • In focus/ Inactive time
    • How long did the agent go without claiming a conversation, even though the queue is active with open requests: High numbers here show the agent could be actively waiting for easy requests.

Handle Time

  • Conversations handled vs Conversations engaged
    • How often agents view a conversation and close it without engagement. Depending on the severity, higher handled numbers than engaged could be a sign of cherry-picking.

Agent Performance

  • Agent Unassigned
    • This is the number of items the agent unassigned from themselves and put back into the "Available" queue.

Analytics View

  • Responses per Conversation per Agent
    • The average number of responses an agent provides to conversations. Low numbers here can be a sign of the agent choosing requests they can finish quickly.

Tips to prevent, avoid or curve cherry-picking

  • One of the most impactful things any brand can do to prevent cherry-picking altogether is implementing Claim Next or Push Next
  • Consider implementing or increasing added incentives resulting from a favorable ratio of closed conversations to engagement.
  • Ensure incoming and current agents are well informed on the importance of engaging with customers and why it is crucial to the brand.

Every brand has its own unique cases when it comes to how to approach cherry-picking.

Tell us about your approach or ask the community about how you could utilize Care Analytics.

Huge shout out to Product Coach Lindsey Fortner (@LindseyFo)  and Customer Success Manager Jayme Hunter (@JaymeH)  for providing details. 

Need some more info on using Care Analytics? Check out these resources.

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