25 Reasons to Integrate Live Chat into Your Business [Infographic]

I don’t know about you, but one of the worst things that can happen when shopping online is spending way more time browsing than you originally intended. Having to spend forever looking for the right information is one of the main culprits why online shopping sometimes ends up becoming even more stressful than store shopping.

Customers want their online shopping experience to mimic that of in-store buying in terms of customer service. The same way a shop assistant is physically present when you are shopping in stores and ready to answer all your questions, so does online customer service need to be personal, engaging and efficient.

If a website is too confusing to navigate through, or has a slow and unresponsive customer service, not only are the shoppers more likely to become frustrated and abandon their carts, but they are also much less likely to return to that same website.

Solving Problems with Live Chat

When you are shopping online, you often need just one simple piece of information before you finalize your purchase, and yet you can’t find it anywhere. This is especially the case with online stores that do not have a fast and efficient customer service like live chat.

Live chat is becoming a popular medium for online businesses to increase conversion rates, build long-term customer loyalty, and maintain a strong relationship with buyers.

Chat usage has been on the steady rise over the previous years. In 2009, 38% of online stores had an integrated live chat service. In 2013, 43% of companies used live chat, and in 2014, that percentage grew to 58%.

Companies everywhere are realizing that their customers prefer live chat to other communication channels due to its convenience and speed. Today, live chat is already being used by over one third of Older Baby Boomers (ages 57 to 67), as well as the Golden Generation (68 and over) of online business owners.

The Growing Popularity of Live Chat

Due to its convenience and the ability to solve all types of customer issues, live chat has become a must-have feature of e-commerce businesses across different industries. Since it takes no longer than 42 seconds on average for live chat to answer a customer’s question or resolve an issue, it’s no wonder both customers and business owners are singing its praises.

Live chat comes with a host of benefits for both customers and online business owners. Customers prefer live chat to other channels because it is the fastest way for them to get pointed in the right direction and receive straightforward answers without wasting precious time.

Business owners are becoming more enthusiastic about the prospect of using live chat to increase customer satisfaction and turn casual viewers into regular customers.

How Can Live Chat Help Your Business

Every online business wants to give their customers a reason to keep coming back to the website and become regular shoppers. This is precisely what live chat service does: it raises customer satisfaction rate and encourages customers who use it to return to the site. In fact, 63% of customers who use live chat report being more likely to return to the same website.

Live chat is also a great way to foster solid personal relationships with your customers. Customers are satisfied when they get the sense they are being listened to and that their questions are being approached individually. A satisfied customer becomes a loyal customer. Reports on live chat usage show that almost half of online shoppers who use live chat are more likely to make regular online purchases at least once a week than 22% of shoppers who never chat.

Did You Know?

  • It takes 48 seconds for an average company to answer a live chat query.
  • A company deals with an average of 1,143 chats per month.
  • The average number of chats an operator handles in a month is 274.
  • The most popular time to live chat is between 10am and 3pm local time.
  • E-commerce industry has the longest wait time at 1 minute 13 seconds.
  • In 2015, the customer satisfaction rate of e-commerce industry was 87.50%.
  • Global customer satisfaction rate in the first quarter of 2015 was 95%.

Where Is Live Chat Used the Most?

Live chat is used by businesses around the world and across different industries. The most successful country when it comes to live chat is Mexico. Agents in Mexico who use live chat have the most chat conversations out of any other country, managing the highest volume of chats.

As a proof that customer satisfaction is directly correlated with live chat use, Mexico has also received the highest customer satisfaction rate in the world. According to Mexican live chat leader, the customer satisfaction rate in the country is an impressive 94.11%!

The second place in terms of live chat usage goes to Australia, where customer satisfaction rate is at a close 93.59%, while Canada takes third place with a rate of 88.36%.

While Mexico, Australia, and Canada might handle the highest number of chats, the fastest repliers are operators in Denmark. Owing to the renowned Scandinavian simplicity of efficiency, agents in Denmark deliver the quickest and most concise replies.

Wait Time vs. Customer Satisfaction

For wait time and customer satisfaction, you might be led to believe faster is always better, but that is not the case when it comes to live chat. Customers who use live chat want to have their problems solved quickly, but also want to receive high-quality relevant information, which can often take a little longer.

If a customer waits between 0 and 50 second to get their question answered, the customer satisfaction rate will be at 86%. If however, it takes an operator between 50 and 100 seconds to get back to the customer, the satisfaction rate drops to 84%. And yet, the optimum wait time is between 150 and 200 seconds when customer satisfaction rate reaches 90%. When it comes to live chat, customers do not mind waiting a little longer if it means they will get a right answer.

Chat Duration vs. Customer Satisfaction

In terms of chat duration, live chats have to hit the right balance between being long enough to consider the problem and provide in-depth answers to being short and concise enough to not waste customers’ time.

Chats that receive the highest customer satisfaction rate (88%) are those that last around 15 minutes. Any shorter or longer than that and customer satisfaction rate drops to 83% at 10 minutes, and 85% and 86% for chats that last 20 and 25 minutes, respectively. Half an hour long chats have a customer satisfaction is 80%. If a chat lasts just 5 minutes longer than that, the rate drops by almost 10%.

Chats per Month vs. Customer Satisfaction

A company that handles an average of 1,000 chats per month receives the highest customer satisfaction rate of 87%, followed by companies that handle 4,000 chats (84% rate), 6,000 chats (83%), and 7,000 (81%).

Companies that try to handle as many queries as they can do not always receive the highest customer satisfaction rate. An operator who has to deal with an unrealistic number of requests can not approach each question with equal attention and give precise answers to every customer. So if a company handles an average of 8,000 chats per month, it receives a not-so-great customer satisfaction rate of 68%

Communication Channels Comparison

According to customer ratings of communication channels, live chat receives the highest satisfaction rate of 92%. As opposed to other channels where customers provide their ratings through an email survey submitted to the client, live chat ratings are given immediately after the chat finishes.

Voice customer service is the second most popular channel with a satisfaction rate of 88%, followed by Web Form service and E-mail with rates of 85%, Facebook with 84%, and Twitter which has a customer satisfaction rate of 77%.

Top Companies That Use Live Chat

Between 2013 and 2014, live chat-using online travel agent Orbitz reported a 40% increase in US consumer brands chat traffic, of which 7% originated from mobile device. All the while, Orbitz maintained its high customer satisfaction rates.

According to technology giant Dell, 30% of their website visitors engage with customer service through live chat, which generates as much as 40% of revenue. Dell has also reported an increase of 30% in chat usage over the previous years. At the moment, a third of Dell’s sales in the US are made through live chat alone.

American retailer Sears saw a 20% increase in revenue after using predictive chat service. Sears has an enviable customer satisfaction rate of 90%.

Training equipment manufacturer Total Gym is another success story of live chat. During the fourth quarter of 2014, almost 40% of Total Gym’s online orders came from buyers who had interacted with customer support through live chat.

25 Reasons to Use Live Chat: the Infographic

For more on live chat, do not miss this beautifully visualized data-driven infographic from Skilled.co with 25 reasons on why you should introduce live chat to your business.

Live chat for eCommerce businesses

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