Live Chat Benchmark Report 2017

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Chapter 5

Live Chat across Countries

Of the ten countries that we chose to represent our global customer base, six got a satisfaction rate higher than the average of 84.06%.

We did a comparison of the main live chat metrics in 2015 and 2016 among these countries and the result is as the table below shows:

Global chat volume increase

Except for a slight decrease of chat volume in Canada, all other countries had more chats to handle in 2016 than in 2015. Australia has gained a startling increase of 1532.53%, which might be due to the extremely high chat volume from some individual clients. Even taking this into account, this increased rate shows that there has definitely been increased interest in, and adoption of live chat in Australia.

US was still the largest participant

As in 2015, nearly one third of companies in our 2016 sample are from the US. US companies had a steady monthly chat volume increase of 54.74% and visitors’ wait time decreased by 32.67%. Yet the shortened wait time didn’t result in higher customer satisfaction, as we noticed a slight decrease of 0.85% in the average satisfaction rate.

China has experienced similar trends to US in the past year.

As U.S. consumers become more sophisticated, their expectations are higher. This may explain the slight decrease in customer satisfaction in this study by Comm100. Since several recent studies point to the importance of a human connection, live chat remains a critical part of the customer service mix.

Teresa Allen
Author of Common Sense Service

Wait time affects customer satisfaction greatly

We found a strong relationship between wait time and customer satisfaction: lower wait times are associated with higher customer satisfaction.

Customers whose chats are answered quickly are more inclined to rate their experience positively, meaning that the quicker that chats are answered, the more chance there is to ensure your customers walk away happy.

I would agree that wait time can have a significant and negative impact on customer satisfaction. But, what customers dislike more is not knowing how long they will have to wait and how their time is improving. Therefore, if a customer has to wait for whatever reason then having a clear idea of how long they may have to wait and how that is progressing over time will allow them to make a decision about whether they want to wait or call back/chat later. It’s the not knowing that really messes with our heads and customer satisfaction.

In addition, a quick response rate with a low problem resolution rate is equally problematic.

Adrian Swinscoe
Author of How To Wow

Customers of all demographics expect their time to be valued. At Forrester, we find that an overwhelmingly 77% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing that a company can do to provide good customer service. Yet, customers also expect effective service interactions – they want their question answered or their issue fully resolved without a need for follow-up. In addition, they want their answer or resolution personalized to who they are, and contextualized to their particular situation. This means that customer service organizations must balance delivering a fast response, with one that is perfectly solved – and the balance tips to a well resolved answer or fix instead of an answer that does not meet a customer’s needs.

Kate Leggett
Customer service expert & VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research

This is consistent with Twitter's findings that Response Time is critical to customer satisfaction. Customers are willing to wait on a resolution as long as they know that the company has heard them and is working on their issue. With live chat, that suggests an opportunity to be as transparent as possible about wait times and/or offering the customer a “call back” time (where the company could reach out to the customer at a specified time, either via SMS or a messaging app) or a “come back” time (where the customer agrees to return to the website at a specified time when an agent will be guaranteed to be available).

Dan Gingiss
Host of the Focus on Customer Service podcast

Mexico’s companies got the best result

Despite a slight drop, Mexico’s companies still lead the league in 2016 in terms of customer satisfaction, with 93.26% of their customers leaving positive ratings for the chat service they received.

Compared to the situation in 2015, over the year of 2016, Mexico’s companies had much more chats to handle, agents were much busier, and visitors had to wait longer. This may be the reason for the slight drop in customer satisfaction rate.

Malaysia gains the most in customer satisfaction, India sees the biggest drop

The chart below shows the comparison of customer satisfaction among countries.

As you can see from the above chart that Malaysia gains the most and India loses the most. When looking through our metrics for the reason, we found something interesting: the biggest decrease of 65.9% in wait time belonged to Malaysia’s companies and the biggest increase of 72.77% in wait time for India’s companies.

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