Live Chat Benchmark Report 2020 Covid-19 Edition

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Chapter 3

Wait time

As a result of the overall decrease in chats per agent per month from January-March to April-August, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the average wait time also dipped across team sizes as they had more agents to handle the rush of queries.

The notable team exception in this dataset can be seen in the 26+ band whose wait time increased by 12% to 155 seconds. This is explained by the fact that they were also the only team to experience an increase in chats per agent. (See Chats per Agent for more detail.)

As we discussed in Chats per Month, another cause of this was the shift away from phone and toward live chat as more organizations were forced to work remotely from April onward. Larger teams tend to have more traditional call center setups which were unable to function smoothly, or even at all, when offices were closed. As a result, calls were pushed to live chat and wait times surged. This was compounded by the fact that many formerly phone-based agents were new to the software and to live chat so were unlikely to be able to handle several simultaneous chats like experienced live chat agents can.

Another explanation for this long wait time can be seen in its positive correlation to chat duration. While teams of 11-25 have the lowest wait time and chat duration, teams of 26+ have the highest wait time and chat duration. More on this below.

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