This article is part of a larger series on Customer Service.
Live chat is a crucial customer service channel because it provides real-time, immediate assistance to customers, is easy to use, and is highly accessible. Customers simply go to a business’ website and click on the live chat button, start a conversation, and wait for an agent to attend to their queries. Here we share eight interesting live chat statistics about how using the channel makes a difference in your customer service activities.
1. 42% of customers prefer to use live chat because they don’t like to be put on hold
Live chats provide immediate answers to most customers—without needing to listen to call-hold background music that takes a long time to finish. While some live chat does include waiting time, it doesn’t require customers to exert a lot of effort by picking up the phone, being transferred to multiple departments, or having to repeat the call due to a wrong button pushed.
Live chat lets customers simply go to your website, start a conversation, and get instant answers. On occasions where they have to wait in a queue, they can continue browsing other websites while waiting for their turn to talk to an agent. Some live chat tools also show customers how far they are in the waiting queue, allowing them to wait it out or try again another time.
If you’re utilizing a live chat service on your website, make sure you have enough agents to handle the number of queries your business typically receives. Do this by looking at the average number of tickets you process a month and the average wait time of your customers.
Customer service software providers, such as Freshdesk, show these kinds of data. According to HubSpot, most customers are willing to wait for two to three minutes. So, if your average waiting time is more than that, consider hiring more agents to manage your customer service queries.
2. Live chat provides a 13x faster resolution rate compared to emails or online forms
Customer service tools that work in real time, such as live chat, significantly expedite case resolutions by as much as 13x compared to other types of support like online forms or emails. These live support channels provide both customers and agents with an interactive platform where questions and answers are exchanged in real time. Through live chat, customers don’t have to wait for a few hours or even a whole day to have their questions addressed.
To help your agents further expedite the process, create a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document where they can easily pull up information when talking to customers. You can also save agents from talking to a customer for simple queries by automating answers to common questions through chatbots.
3. 57% of consumers will abandon an online purchase if they don’t receive answers to their questions
If being able to talk to an agent through live chat increases the chances of a sale, not being able to do so results in the opposite—an abandoned sale. Customers use live chat to get immediate answers to help them make purchasing decisions. Therefore, if their queries are left unanswered, there’s a high chance that they won’t complete the purchase.
Another interesting live chat statistic is that 63% of consumers who successfully used live chat on a website are likely to return to that site. This emphasizes the correlation of immediate and effective communications to customer loyalty. When customers receive a positive experience from a business, it leaves a good impression, and they will likely return to browse for more products or make another purchase.
Remember, it is not enough to simply attend to customer queries promptly—it is equally important to provide them with the answers and information they need. To do so, create information resources agents can easily refer to when dealing with customers. Besides having this information ready for live chat queries, consider creating a resource page that provides information to frequently asked questions on your website.
4. 79% of businesses said that using a live chat tool helped increase customer loyalty, revenue & sales
Effective communication is key to building strong customer relationships, and this is something live chat can help with. It provides an opportunity for two-way communication in real time. When businesses attend to their customers’ queries right away, they can build trust-based relationships that encourage sales and ultimately contribute to revenue growth.
When attending to customer needs, make them feel you’re genuinely interested in addressing their concerns. Treat each query as an opportunity to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers instead of treating it as a one-time transaction.
5. 1 in 5 customers are likely to stop using a product due to slow live chat responses
Customers use live chat tools for a reason—quick responses. Hence, it defeats the purpose of using a live chat service if they can’t get answers right away and can even reach a point where they will stop supporting a business because of poor live chat response time. According to Super Office, the average resolution time for queries done through live chats is two minutes, versus 12 hours for emails and 10 hours for social media.
As highlighted above, ensure you have a proper customer service team in place. This allows you to attend to all live chat requests in a timely and efficient manner.
6. 63% of millennials prefer using a live chat system over traditional channels like email or phone
According to Comm100, millennials—or those born between 1980 and 2000—prefer to use live chat due to its speed and convenience. Millennials are early digital adopters and are used to logging into their laptops or phones when they need something, whether that is Googling information or signing into apps. They consider technology part of their identity, and 30% use four or more devices daily.
Unsurprisingly, live chat appeals to 63% of millennials because it offers what they want most from technology versus traditional channels like email or phone. It is convenient to use, they get immediate results and assistance, and they don’t have to pick up the phone and converse with an actual person.
Some customer service providers, such as HubSpot, provide a breakdown of your customers’ age, allowing you to see if a substantial amount of your customers are millennials. If so, it’s an excellent idea to add live chat as a support channel since this is a preferred platform for this particular age group.
(Source: Thrive My Way)
7. The average company received 8,423 chat messages per month in 2020
As people spent most of their time at home in 2020 due to the pandemic and in front of their computers, the likelihood of companies receiving more live chat messages compared to previous years is unsurprising. It is also during this time, from 2019 to 2020, that live chat on mobile dropped by 0.5%, which is probably because people spent more time in front of their desktops rather than their smartphones, as they are mostly at home.
While things are returning to normal and moving toward the post-pandemic era, remember that some customer habits acquired during the pandemic will stay on. Take a look at your customer software dashboard and observe monthly trends, especially the number of live chat messages your business receives.
Depending on the data, identify if you have enough agents to attend to customers’ messages. If you see that the number is steady, retain your current team size. If there’s an increase or decrease in the volume of messages, then adjust accordingly. You can easily see this data on your customer service software dashboard.
(Source: Thrive My Way)
8. 56% of consumers cannot recall an exceptional live chat experience
Despite all the benefits live chat brings, it is unfortunate that many customers are yet to experience exceptional support through the platform. This highlights the importance of having enough resources—both agents and information materials—before deciding to use the channel. Businesses shouldn’t use live chat for the sake of having one. Instead, they should consider it a significant commitment and a way to provide quality support to their customers.
While live chat provides remarkable benefits to a business’ customer service strategy, it requires a commitment to maintaining the channel to maximize its benefits. To be able to make the channel work for you, make sure that you have the proper team and resources in place. Use these live chat statistics as a benchmark on how to maximize the use of the platform to improve your customers’ service experience.