Live Chat Benchmark Report 2019


Live Chat Benchmark Report 2019

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Chapter 3

Chat Duration

11 minutes, 53 seconds

4% shorter than 2017

While wait time increased slightly last year, the average length of a chat continues to decrease. This year shows the smallest drop since 2015 (compared to last year’s drop of 14.5%), indicating that organizations are closing in on the sweet spot between speed and quality service.

While balancing productivity with quality may be a challenge, it is a crucial undertaking. Just like the case with wait time, where shorter doesn’t mean better, we see a positive correlation between chat duration and customer satisfaction: organizations that achieved a 90% or higher customer satisfaction score had an average chat duration of 12 minutes and 26 seconds, 13% longer than organizations with lower scores.

I’ve found that on customer service teams, average chat duration tends to vary much more widely on chat than it does on phone, due in large part to the ability to handle multiple chats concurrently. There are still many opportunities to gain efficiencies in this channel. It’s important to continue to train agents to use shortcuts and macros effectively without negatively impacting the customer experience.

Jeremy Watkin
Director of CX, FCR

When broken down by team size below, our findings show that teams with 26 to 50 agents have the longest chats, while teams of 11 to 25 agents have the shortest.

While freeing up agents’ time can have positive resource implications, organizations need to consider how to execute on their strategy without sacrificing quality, striking the right balance between business and customer needs.

Average Chat Duration by Team Size

It is not necessarily chat duration that is important for customers, as shown by the data, but instead the perception of responsiveness is what is critical in driving customer satisfaction in this channel. If customers have to wait a long time for a response from an agent during a conversation then satisfaction is likely to fall dramatically. As long as agents can maintain conversations flowing smoothly, satisfaction is likely to remain high.

Shane Goldberg
Founder and Principal of CustCore Consulting

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