Live Chat Benchmark Report 2018

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Chapter 2

New Insights

Canned Message Utilization

Clients are cautious in their use of canned messages, with less than half of them having used any canned messages in their chats.

Canned messages get a bad rap when agents don’t use them in appropriate situations, or take the time to personalize them to their customer. But when used appropriately, canned messages can be a great way to improve service efficiency, ensure consistency between agents, reinforce compliance measures, or even act as a knowledge repository to help new agents train.

Of those who used canned messages, most used between 2-5 messages within a chat. It seems for those clients who’ve implemented canned messages thoughtfully, they have ended up being helpful enough to lead clients to drive their use extensively throughout chats.

Canned messages can be useful in small doses, but they can never take the place of real human interaction. Make sure that the customer feels like your agent is actually listening to them and their problem, not trying to finish the chat quickly with a canned message that addresses some other problem.

Dan Gingiss
Author of Winning at Social Customer Care and co-host of Experience This!

Proactive Chat Acceptance Rate

Proactive chat continues to be used by companies across countries and industries to reach out to their browsing website visitors.

Overall proactive chat acceptance rates sit at around 7%. However, there’s significant variation over industries: Government & Nonprofits had the highest acceptance rate of 26.46%, followed by 22.98% of the eCommerce industry and 9.92% of the Telecoms industry.

Meanwhile, the Healthcare industry has the lowest acceptance rate at 1.69%.

Industries with the lowest proactive chat acceptance rates could benefit from assessing how to make the most of this feature to boost engagement and provide a more welcoming approach to their customers. In Healthcare, for example, proactive chat could play a part in engaging disadvantaged patients who are cut off from accessing traditional services. There's much potential for proactive chat to help organizations of all kinds make access to their services easier, resulting in better outcomes for customers and companies alike.

Kaye Chapman
Customer Experience Writer & Trainer at Comm100

Mobility Matters: Mobile Chats

Mobile technology has changed the world and transformed how customers interact with businesses, and our data shows that the trend to mobile is continuing.

On average, 43.78% of chat queries were received from mobile devices in 2017. It’s clear that customers are shifting from a desktop experience to one that’s increasingly mobile, so if you haven’t already – make sure that mobile has a place in your customer experience strategy for 2018.

In terms of industries Recreation led the league, with 66.92% of chat queries being received from mobile devices.

Nearly 100% of companies have chat requests from mobile devices, regardless of the country or industry. Only 6 of those companies surveyed received no chats from mobile devices.

The shift to customers using mobile is out of convenience. Why wait to get back to your desktop computer when you can get the information you need, when you need it, and wherever you are, by using your mobile device to connect with the company’s support channel?

Shep Hyken
Customer service expert & New York Times bestselling author

AI in Live Chat: Chatbot

AI is an increasingly hot topic in customer service, and in line with other reports we predict that 2018 will be the year that organizations start to reap real improvements in operational costs through the implementation of AI.

An early adopter of customer-facing AI, Comm100 launched our own Chatbot 1.0 in 2017. Several of our clients have started testing this technology, and our data shows that our Chatbot was able to take up to 20% of their entire chat volume. This means that 20% of all of these clients’ chat requests were handled without the involvement of live chat agents – representing significant resource savings on the part of these companies.

In 2018, Comm100 will be launching Bot 2.0 – a major improvement on our existing Chatbot functionality, with natural language processing, machine learning and significant enhancements to our current Chatbot model. With this more advanced and intelligent Chatbot going live in early 2018, we are excited to see how wider Chatbot adoption will impact how many routine questions are handled successfully by AI.

The metric that stands out most from this report is the fact that chatbots were able to handle 20% of chats from start to finish. Expect this trend to continue as companies explore the types of cases that can be solved without human assistance. That being said, keep an eye on the decrease in customer satisfaction and average handle time. Too much emphasis on reducing handle time either by overuse of canned messages that are impersonal, or encouraging agents to move faster at the risk of not fully caring for customers will most certainly impact satisfaction moving forward.

Jeremy Watkin
Director of Customer Experience at FCR, co-founder and contributor on Customer Service Life

When your chatbot handles routine interactions really well your live agents will start handling a higher percentage of complicated issues. This means your old benchmarks for average chat duration will likely be too short as complex problems typically take longer to resolve. Companies that don’t adjust staffing models to this new reality often experience longer than normal queue times. Agents will also need more problem-solving and de-escalation skills to effectively serve a higher volume of anxious, agitated, or upset customers.

Jeff Toister
Author of The Service Culture Handbook

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