6 Ways to Improve Live Chat Response Time

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Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

Live chat response time is a key performance indicator directly correlated with conversion, sales, and customer satisfaction rates. It isn't difficult to understand why, just put yourself in your customer's shoes.

Imagine, you have a problem with a product you recently bought, or you are deciding to make a purchase and try to use the company's live chat to answer your doubts. However, there is no live agent to talk to you immediately, and you wait hours or one day to receive an answer. It's frustrating, isn't it?

Would you feel inclined to buy from this company? Probably not. That's the same reaction customers have when live chat response time is slow. They are looking for fast and effective customer support. Therefore, it's fundamental to always try to answer them immediately.

Check out the article to learn more about it and how you can improve customer service through live chat.

What is Live Chat Response Time?

Live chat response time is how long it takes for a person to receive an answer when they start a conversation via live chat. This is also used as a key metric to evaluate customer support and agents' performance.

When you evaluate live chat response time in your company it's important to consider several factors, such as how agents manage their time, the live chat software quality, and the tools provided by the company to enhance productivity.

If the live chat software isn't good, it will slow down your teamwork. A live chat must allow agents to centralize all communication in a single platform, create profiles for each customer, automate repetitive tasks, and redirect messages to the appropriate company sector to answer them.

How Live Chat Response Time Affects Results

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Internet users expect an immediate response when using a live chat. They compare it to the experience using other chat apps, such as WhatsApp, where conversations happen in real-time. The response speed is the basis for providing great user and customer experience.

If customers have to wait too long to receive an answer, it can negatively impact how your brand is perceived and discourage customers from making purchases.

User and Customer Experience

Live chat response time has a strong impact on user and customer experience. 73% of people affirm that valuing their time is the most important thing a business can do.

When they receive answers in real-time, more time potential buyers will spend on your website, and more opportunities you have to straighten the brand's relationship with them. On the other hand, if live chat responses take too long, they may use this time to visit your competitor's website and engage with them.

Conversion Rates

Live chat conversations present valuable opportunities to convert leads into customers and nurture a relationship with your target audience. However, this chance can be wasted if live chat responses aren't given immediately.

A good live chat experience can be what is lacking for your company to improve conversion rates. According to an Invesp, 42% of customers selected live chat as their preferred method of giving contact information, higher than any other lead generation method. Also, it shows that the addition of a live chat to a website usually causes an 8% to 20% increase in conversion.

Sales Growth

The Invesp report also showed that sales growth can be positively influenced by live chat use and fast response time.

  • 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.
  • 77% of customers won't make a purchase if there is no live chat support
  • Chatters spent 60% more per purchase than non-chatters.
  • 38% of customers have said that they have made a purchase due to a good live chat session itself.

Brand's Reputation

How customers perceive your brand is directly linked to your company's success. If they don't have good live chat experiences, for example by waiting too long for a response, it damages your brand reputation.

On the other hand, fast live chat response time increases the number of satisfied customers who are more likely to recommend your brand. Word of mouth remains one of the most effective ways to give visibility to a company and encourage people to buy from it.

Customer Loyalty

When customers have their issues solved quickly via live chat, they are more likely to buy again from your company and become loyal to your brand. They feel appreciated by the company that pays attention to their issues and cares about their satisfaction. This increases the brand credibility and straightens the relationship with the customers.

How to Calculate Live Chat Response Time

Understanding the importance of live chat response time isn't enough, you also need to know how to measure it in your company, to identify if it needs to be enhanced.

Live chat response time is calculated by dividing the sum of response time by the number of customer submissions. Remember that chatbot responses shouldn't be included in this calculation.

If you use high-quality live chat apps, such as JivoChat, you will find analytical tools that calculate average response time. They provide key metrics to analyze live chat performance and identify what needs to be improved.

What Is the Ideal Live Chat Response Time?

The ideal response time in a live chat is immediately, as soon as the person sends a message, they should receive an answer instantaneously, within just a few seconds. Try to keep the first response time at no more than 40 seconds. Communication via the Internet is dynamic, and quick, the same is expected in live chats.

6 Ways to Improve Live Chat Response Time

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1. Train Your Agents

Counting with a team of well-prepared agents is fundamental to providing excellent customer service via live chat. Teach them how to use the live chat software, and how to make the most out of the features offered.

For example, JivoChat allows you to automate multiple actions and create cannon responses for frequently asked questions, saving time.

It's essential to train agents about how to respond to live chats too. They must be cordial, and attentive, and use the brand's tone of voice when answering the live chat. Organize your team and assign tasks, so they know exactly what they need to do, to avoid re-work.

They also must be prepared to know how to answer the questions. Equip them with the necessary material to solve the issues in the best way possible. Also, you should reinforce the importance of checking the customer's previous interactions to not send an answer they have already received.

Ways you can train your agents:

  • Present key products and new releases.
  • Show how to use the live chat software.
  • Create mock-chat scenarios, so they can practice.
  • Give one-on-one training sessions.
  • Run through common issues and resolutions
  • Offer online courses

2. Manage Your Team's Time

Knowing how to manage your team's time is fundamental to enhancing productivity. Create internal systems where each agent can control their tasks and keep track of their progress, encouraging self-management.

Also, analyze the live chat metrics provided by the live chat software of your choice to analyze what activities are taking too much time, and how to remediate that. Identify tasks that can be automated.

Talk with your team to identify their pain points and understand what solutions could be offered to improve communication and save time. Organizational apps, ai-powered live chat can help with that, for instance.

3. Centralize Communication

Use live chat software that enables you to centralize all communication in one place. This means, your team will be able to keep track of the live chat, social media messages, emails, and calls using a single platform.

Instead of opening multiple apps, and checking and answering messages in each one of them, you will have a complete history of customer interactions. This way, when an agent answers the live chat, they already know what has been said before, and if the person has talked with other agents.

If they can't solve the problem, the agent can transfer the chat to another sector, and the professional will have access to all the conversations as well. This avoids miscommunication and misunderstandings.

4. Create Canned Responses

Canned responses help to save time when you receive the same questions frequently. This way the agent doesn't need to type the same thing repeatedly, and they will still solve the problem.

To develop canned responses it's necessary to identify the most common questions by analyzing the message transcripts, then find the best way to write a concise and helpful answer,

5. Set KPIs and Goals

Define what key performance indicators are the most important and the main goals of your company with live chat use. This way, the agents will have in mind what they need to achieve through their work.

Some important live chat KPIs are:

  • Total number of chats
  • Total resolved chats
  • Average resolution time
  • Chat to conversion rate
  • First contact resolution rate
  • Average wait time
  • Customer satisfaction score

6. Set up Live Chat Notifications for Agents

Set up the live chat software to notify your agents every time there is a new message. That's primordial to prevent messages from going unnoticed. Apps, like Jivo Chat, allow you to enable mobile, browser, and email notifications.

Choose the Right Live Chat Software

Using good live chat software is indispensable to improve live chat response. You need to count on a live chat that offers all the features you need to automate repetitive tasks, manage time, access, and analyze key performance indicators.

For example, JivoChat offers essential features to improve response time such as automation tools, audience analysis, monitoring agent's work, performance reports, and customer data collection.

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