Live Chat Benchmark Report 2018

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Takeaways in 2018

Every year, we compile our benchmark report to provide you with new insights into your live chat implementation and what you should watch for in 2018.

Off the back of our data analysis, here are some of our suggestions for you to make your live chat strategy even more successful in 2018.

Customer Centricity Will Drive Customer Satisfaction

Our data shows that the live chat market is maturing. More customers are choosing live chat as a channel of their choice, shown by rising live chat adoption numbers. To meet this demand, organizations are refining their operational strategies, shown in a trend of falling chat durations and wait times.

In the midst of this though, customer satisfaction is falling – indicating that while organizations are aiming to serve live chat customers better, they’re still not hitting the mark.

Customers choose live chat for very different reasons than other channels. We know that live chat is a channel of choice for customers who value the ability to get queries resolved straight away, in real time. And we know that customers value live chat because it allows them to multitask, not requiring an exclusive chunk of their time and attention. Both of these factors, along with our data, indicate a possible trend away from speed of interaction mattering most to customers.

Fast interactions don’t always equate to customer satisfaction. This becomes even more true when customers value other factors more highly than speed – like comprehensively resolved interactions, or interactions dealt with in a semi-asynchronous, multitask-friendly way.

Organizations should return to their one steadfast source of information on what their customers want – their own customer base – when looking to improve customer satisfaction in their live chat strategy. It may be that traditional KPIs appropriate to other channels, such as handle time, are less important to live chat customers – and an emphasis on different operational KPIs may be needed to increase customer satisfaction through live chat.

Expect to Handle More Chats

Our data continues to show that live chat is being adopted globally by more and more companies, and customers are increasingly choosing live chat as a referred method of communication with companies. In some industries like Government & Nonprofit, average monthly chat volume took a 150% jump, showing consumer demand within these sectors.

But just the presence of live chat doesn’t necessarily drive its uptake. The way organizations promote live chat and ensure its visibility will continue to accelerate its adoption by consumers.

For businesses looking to ensure increased live chat uptake, having a customer service strategy that promotes live chat adoption will position organizations to maximize the cost and resource savings available through live chat.

Get Mobile-Ready

In 2017, 43.78% of customers accessed live chat from mobile devices. It’s clear throughout the customer experience field that consumers are increasingly choosing to contact organizations through mobile devices, and organizations cannot afford to look at live chat as a desktop-only endeavor any longer.

For organizations with a live chat channel, it’s crucial to ensure that service is as accessible on mobile as it is on desktop. Failing to ensure that live chat is mobile-ready means that almost half of customers could be excluded from live chat services, limiting the possibilities for successful live chat adoption.

Most customers will do anything to avoid calling you on the phone - if chat agents are actually empowered to get things done for the customer, you have a win-win. It's a cost-effective channel, and the customer loves it!

Blake Morgan
Customer Experience Author & Speaker

Data and Methodology

We gathered the data for this report from the 1st of January 2017 to the 31st of December 2017.

The data sample covers 40,149,888 chat conversations from companies all over the world and represents 13 industries which use live chat either for customer service and support or online sales.

The criteria for selection within the report were:

  • Only customers with established live chat services were included.
    We filtered out trial accounts that aren’t representative of normal business-customer interactions.
  • Only customers with 30 chats or more per month were included.
    We filtered out customers with fewer chats than this, again as they may not have represented normal interactions.

This approach has allowed us to produce a report with comprehensive and accurate insights to help you create a stronger, more successful live chat strategy for 2018.

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