Live Chat Benchmark Report 2020

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Chapter 3

Chat Duration

11 minutes, 55 seconds

2% longer than 2018

Make sure your agents are spending enough time composing complete, thoughtful, and helpful responses. There’s a world of difference between answering ‘How do I order this product?’ with ‘Go to our website’ vs offering a detailed explanation and a link to take the customer there.

Jeff Toister
Author of The Service , Culture Handbook

While wait time decreased last year, the average length of a chat increased. This year shows a small 2% increase (compared to last year’s drop of 4%) indicating that companies are stabilizing overall and closing in on the sweet spot between speed and quality service.

While balancing efficiency with quality may be a challenge, it is crucial to ensuring that companies aren’t sacrificing quality for quantity. Just like wait time, our findings show that companies that achieved a 90% or higher customer satisfaction rating had a longer average chat duration of 11 minutes and 47 seconds, while organizations with lower scores had a chat duration of 8 minutes and 42 seconds. This points to a potentially negative impact of not spending enough time with customers to ensure satisfactory resolution.

A chat needs to be as long as it needs to be to resolve the customers’ inquiry. The data shows that shorter chats have lower CSAT scores and longer chats have higher scores. This is not a surprise. Organizations need to empower their front-line staff to resolve the issues and not try to artificially reduce or control handle time.

Colin Taylor
CEO & Chief Chaos Officer, The Taylor Reach Group, Inc

Average Chat Duration by Team Size

Average Chat Duration

This data combined with wait time metrics points to a significant issue with organizations prioritizing operational efficiency over customer needs. Companies need to strike the right balance between business and customer needs without sacrificing service quality.

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