Some conversations can’t wait.
Moreover, you may not realize the value in some conversations until you have them. The live chat movement, made possible by live chat software, helps create new opportunities by initiating dialogue with website visitors. This can translate to in-the-moment sales or upsells and stronger client relationships, in addition to the speedy resolution of issues that previously took tedious amounts of time.
The rise of live chat goes hand in hand with that of social networking communities. Both are empowering businesses to engage with customers and prospects from anywhere, at any time. This enables the timeliest of interactions and a deeper level of customer service for brands across the globe, by letting customer voices be heard and problems be answered from the convenience of their keyboards, at the sites they were already browsing.
Now that we’ve all tasted the sweet nectar of instant communications, there’s no going back to the time of “business hours” and on-hold muzak. Live chat — paired with the emergence of chatbots software, which further automates digital conversations — is fast becoming a standard feature of business websites, regardless of industry.
Do we dabble in live chat here at G2? You bet your booper.
What Is a Chatbot? Read our introductory guide on the G2 Learning Hub.
Studies show that phone, and even email, support are on the decline. The speed and convenience of live chat is only fitting for the swiping, scrolling times we inhabit. It also caters to our realistic schedules (read: all over the place). Whereas calling by phone is usually limited to certain waking hours, live chat allows us to make late-night queries when we actually have the time and desire to shop or resolve issues.It’s like sliding into your favorite brands’ DMs. Or, in some cases, your doctor’s or landlord’s.
The benefits are manifold for all parties involved. And until the next big breakthrough in customer service, live chat is expected to be the status quo for years to come.
Don’t just take our word for it. We’ve compiled some impressive statistics on the matter, which should serve as evidence of the space’s mass appeal and forward trajectory.
33 live chat statistics
- 92% of customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature when dealing with businesses, more than any other communication option. (Forbes, 2016)
- 50% of consumers say that having a live person answer questions in the middle of a purchasing decision is one of the most important features a brand can offer. (Forbes, 2016)
- 51% of consumers say a business needs to be available 24/7 for support. (Inc., 2017)
- 51% of customers prefer live chat because it allows them to multitask. (Forbes, 2016)
- 21% of customers like live chat because it helps them shop while they work. (Forbes, 2016)
- 42% of consumers say they prefer live chat over other support functions because they don’t have to wait on hold. (Inc., 2017)
- In the U.S., customer service interactions via legacy channels like phone and email fell by 7% over the course of 2016 and 2017. (Business Insider, 2018)
- 41% of customer service interactions in the U.S. in 2017 involved voice, down from 51% in 2015 and 45% in 2016. (Business Insider, 2018)
- 59% of consumers would rather go through additional channels to contact customer service than use their voice to communicate. (Business Insider, 2018)
- At least 54% of retailers were offering live chat features on their website as of 2017. (Forbes, 2017)
Social messaging statistics
- 51% of U.S. and U.K. consumers say they’re more likely to be a repeat customer for brands that provide customer service support over social messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. (Business Insider, 2018)
- 41% of U.S. and U.K. consumers say that customer support on social messaging platforms are somewhat important to being a repeat customer. (Business Insider, 2018)
- 8% of U.S. and U.K. consumers say customer support on social messaging platforms isn’t important. (Business Insider, 2018)
- Over 2.5 billion customers use at least one of Facebook’s portfolio of social chat apps. (Business Insider, 2018)
Customer satisfaction statistics
- In 2018, the aggregate customer satisfaction rate of live chat experiences based on post-chat surveys was approximately 83.1%, an increase of 2.5% from 2017. (Forbes, 2019)
- Live chat satisfaction scores are highest for the transportation industry, at 93.2%. This is followed by health care and government, at 92.9% and 92.4%, respectively. (Forbes, 2019)
- The lowest live chat satisfaction scores belong to the banking/finance and telecommunications industries, at 80.7% and 81.1%, respectively. (Forbes, 2019)
- In 2017, 54% of consumers stopped doing business with a company due to bad service, up from 49% in 2016. (Business Insider, 2018)
- 59% of live chat interactions in 2018 involved chatbots in some way. (Forbes, 2019)
- Nearly 27% of live chat scenarios in 2018 were handled by chatbots from start to finish, without the need for an agent. (Forbes, 2019)
- 45% of consumers don’t care if they interact with a live agent or a chatbot, as long as the service is effective, accurate and fast. (Business Insider, 2018)
- At least 49% of all consumers contact customer service using automated channels, including nonhuman interactions like intelligent assistant and chatbots, at least once a week. (Business Insider, 2018)
Check out some recent chatbot statistics that illustrate the rising technology's prevalence and impact.
- 66% of millennial consumers interact with automated customer service channels at least once a week. (Business Insider, 2018)
- 33% of all consumers and 52% of millennials would like to see all of their customer support needs serviced through automated channels. (Business Insider, 2018)
- 80% of marketers plan to use a chatbot in one way or another by 2020. (Forbes, 2019)
- The chatbot market is estimated to reach $1.25 billion by 2025, up from $190.8 million in 2016 — meaning a compound annual growth rate of 24.3%. (Forbes, 2019)
Live chat duration and wait time statistics
- The average wait time on live chat before speaking with an agent increased from 37 seconds to 48 seconds in 2018. (Forbes, 2019)
- Organizations that scored 90% or higher on live chat customer satisfaction had an average wait time of 46 seconds. (Forbes, 2019)
- Organizations with the lowest live chat customer satisfaction scores had an average wait time of 25 seconds. (Forbes, 2019)
- Organizations that scored 90% or higher on live chat customer satisfaction had an average chat duration of 12 minutes and 26 seconds, 13% longer than those with the lowest scores. (Forbes, 2019)
- Nearly 52% of chat queries were initiated from a mobile device in 2018, an increase of around 8% from 2017. (Forbes, 2019)
- Nearly 69% of organizations use canned responses in their live chat interactions. (Forbes, 2019)
- Interactions that involve co-browsing, or a live agent accessing the customer’s browser in real time, have customer satisfaction scores more than 6 points above the average. (Forbes, 2019)
Live chat is an unstoppable force in the customer support game, whether you run a gift shop or an insurance office, or fall anywhere in between. But there is more to customer service than simply plopping a chat window in the corner of your homepage. There is an art to grabbing your customers’ attention at the right time and with the right message, following through with the optimal playbook, and also staying out of the way of the user experience. But once you refine your technique, your chat window will become an indispensable part of your business.
Take a look at our Overview of Customer Support and Service Software to learn more about the different options for your support team’s software stack and how each tool can contribute to a winning operation. And always remember that these customer service tools are only as good as the team behind the screens.
If you’re looking for additional help in launching and managing your company’s live chat, consider working with a managed live chat provider, which can take the work off your plate and address your customers’ needs around the clock.