Comm100 Live Chat Benchmark Report

Live Chat Benchmark Data 2020

Organizations know that providing great customer experiences (CX) is no longer optional in today’s competitive business landscape. Four years ago, Gartner predicted that by 2019 more than 50% of organizations would invest more money into their CX strategy than ever. While they were right about the trend, today’s numbers signal that even more organizations have made CX a priority.

Your success or failure heavily depends on how you treat your customers. If their expectations are not met, they will simply move on and unfortunately, some organizations do make the mistake of taking their customers for granted. Smart businesses recognize that customers gravitate to organizations that put effort into meeting, or even exceeding, their expectations.

“With higher expectations and more purchasing options, today’s customers are too savvy and empowered to accept the promise of stronger engagement. They need to experience it. But while there are no participation trophies for customer centricity, there are ample rewards for companies that deliver. When companies provide the all-too-elusive frictionless, personalized, predictive and proactive experience, they build lasting loyalty and advocacy. They also enjoy vast operational benefits.”

– Brian Cantor, Principal Analyst & CCW Digital Director, Customer Management Practice

Live chat has evolved considerably since this benchmark report first appeared four years ago, growing into a mature customer communication channel. And chatbots are progressing at a rapid pace. What chat can do to enhance customer service and CX is amazing compared to just a few years ago.

Here’s the proof. At the close of every year our data team puts their heads together to bring you our annual Live Chat Benchmark Report. For 2019 we analyzed 56 million live chats across 14 industries to expose how you can optimize your live chat strategy and exceed customer expectations.

We’ve summarized the key points of the report here, focusing not only on trends from 2019 but also on what we think will happen with live chat in 2020.

Key Takeaways for 2019:

  1. Mobile shows no sign of slowing down: Our data showed that chats on mobile devices continue to experience torrid growth. On average, 74.5% of this year’s chats – that’s over 42 million – were sent from a mobile browser or app, more than nearly 23 points higher than 2018 and 30 points higher than 2017.
  2. Balance is key for customers and agents: We found that teams with over 50 agents have the highest satisfaction rate and the fewest chats per agent, while teams with 26 – 50 agents have a customer satisfaction score more than 6 points lower, more than twice the wait time, and more than double the number of chats per agent. Clearly, these organizations need to be more mindful of the balance between servicing the customer and considering resource implications in terms of agent workload.
  3. Never sacrifice quality for quantity: It may be tempting to look at teams of 11 to 25 agents and draw the conclusion that high per-agent chat volume and the shorter wait times and chat durations that come with it are good for the customer experience – but caution is in order here. Organizations that score 90% or higher CSAT had an average wait time of 1 minute and 32 seconds. As we know from experience, higher agent productivity does not necessarily yield higher customer satisfaction on its own.

Predictions for 2020:

Based on this year’s report findings, we recommend that companies focus on three areas to optimize their live chat strategy in 2020:

  1. Use canned messages wisely. Canned messages are a double-edged sword: What you gain in speed you may lose in personalization. Organizations must strike a fine balance between prepackaging responses and ensuring that their customers still feel loved.
  2. The AI revolution is here. Chatbots are not only getting more popular, they’re also getting better at handling conversations from start to finish. This is a combination of three critical factors: improvements in the way chatbots understand natural human language, deployment scopes and integrations that set them up for success in the first place, and smart handoffs between bots and human agents when preferred or needed.
  3. Omnichannel is required. As your customers get more and more comfortable chatting and co-browsing, they’ll start to engage with you on other channels including SMS and social media. Are you ready?

We’re in an age where consumers have a lot of power. The move to digital has increased competition, and the “Amazon Effect” is real. This means that not only do customers compare the service they receive from you to the best out there, they’re also demanding that service providers be there on the channels that they choose.

Regardless of which channels you choose to suit your customer base, keeping up with customer expectations also means equipping your agents with tools and insights to support your customers better.

While 70% of customers have high expectations for first call resolution (FCR), and 64% demand a low- to no-friction experience, providing quality service on a few channels is better than offering inconsistent customer service on every channel. It’s always better to put quality ahead of quantity.

Free Download: Live Chat Benchmark Report 2020

Free Download: Live Chat Benchmark Report 2020

Download our annual Live Chat Benchmark Report to see how you stack up and for access to live chat insights and best practices from over 56M chat interactions.

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About Lisa Dimyadi

Lisa is the Content Marketing Specialist at Comm100. She is passionate about writing, content creation and project management. In her spare time you can find her taking online courses or planning community events. Connect with her on LinkedIn.