Live Chat Benchmark Report 2020 Covid-19 Edition

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Chapter 4

Chat duration

Chat duration was flat or down across every team size except for teams of 26+. On the surface, this drop in chat duration appears to be largely purposeful as managers and agents recognize the need to resolve chats quickly and shorten chat duration in order to manage the increase in chat volume and keep their heads above water.

Chat duration can be significantly decreased by using the efficiency tools and features within Comm100 Live Chat. For example, advanced routing ensures that chats get to the agent best equipped to respond, based on the topic, location, customer profile, and a range of other custom attributes, resulting in faster resolution.

During the conversation, agents can use shortcuts and canned messages (pre-defined replies) to significantly cut down on typing time. Agent Assist, Comm100’s AI-powered virtual assistant, also helps agents to respond faster by monitoring inbound messages in real-time and suggesting the most relevant answers to the agent – so they don’t need to type the whole response out or spend time searching for the correct information. These tools all help to reduce chat duration and resolve customer queries faster, and as the data implies, they can be used by teams of any size and industry.

Teams of 26+ had the largest increase in chat duration, as well as by far the longest chat duration of any team size, 40% longer than teams of 11-25 for example. This can often be the result of longer wait times (which we’ve seen teams of 26+ have the longest) because agents feel compelled to spend more time apologizing to and placating customers who may have become irritated at waiting so long to connect with an agent.

However, it’s important to note that this longer chat duration isn’t necessarily an issue, and in fact may be a key driver of high CSAT scores. Teams of 26+ have the best CSAT scores for 2020, managing to achieve an 87% positive customer satisfaction rate from April to August. This may well indicate that longer chats are the key to superior customer experience (CX). More on customer satisfaction in the next section.

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