50 Live Chat Statistics You Need to Know for 2021
Are you interested in the state of digital marketing in 2021? Then look no further.
Customer buyer behaviors and communication expectations are changing. Today, consumers expect real-time communication, on the channel of their preference. Live chat is one of these channels — 41% of customers expect live chat on your website.
In this article, we'll share 10 live chat statistics that show how live chat can help improve the customer experience, lower costs, increase revenue, and ultimately deliver a positive ROI for your business.
PSA: No one likes waiting for an answer.
What makes live chat so popular among customers is the real-time factor. Customers can connect with service reps quickly and get their questions answered immediately.
This is a lot more convenient than, say, sending off an email and waiting for a reply, or making a phone call and being stuck on hold.
- 41% of consumers prefer live chat support, versus 32% who prefer phone support, 23% who prefer email support, and 3% who prefer getting support via social media. (Kayako)
- 79% of consumers prefer live chat support because they can get questions answered immediately. (Econsultancy)
- 20% of the shopping population prefers using live chat to contact a retailer over any other communication method. (e-tailing)
- 51% of consumers are more likely to stay with or buy again from a company if they offer live chat support. (Kayako)
- Live chat has the second-highest customer satisfaction ratings at 85%, just behind phone support at 91%. (Zendesk)
The average customer will choose live chat over other communication methods like email or phone because they’ll get real-time support, are able to multitask, and it’s more efficient. Consumers will also be more likely to buy from your company again and be overall more satisfied.
Offering live chat for your customers isn’t as simple as adding a live chat button on your website. Customers have high expectations when it comes to the service they receive through all channels, and live chat is no exception. To unlock its full potential, you need to know exactly what those expectations are.
- More than 41% of customers expect a live chat window on your website. (Forrester); The same percentage think companies that offer live chat are more trustworthy than those who don’t.
- 62% of customers expect live chat to be available on mobile devices, and if possible, 82% would use it. (ICMI)
- 51% of customers want businesses to be available 24/7. (Inc)
- 51% customers prefer live chat for multitasking purposes, with another 21% preferring live chat so they can shop while they work. (Inc)
- 70% of customers prefer human chat agents to AI or chatbots. (Zoho)
- 29% of live chat users hate scripted responses. (Kayako)
Adding live chat to your website is only the first step. You need to make sure your chat window is easily accessible, hours are clear, you are using proactive triggers to personalize the experience, and have real humans behind the screen, as often as possible.
Lead generation is a critical aspect of any business. Live chat is a great way to get as many quality leads as possible and ultimately, higher sales conversion rates.
And those customers are more likely to return too. 63% of consumers who used live chat on a website are likely to return to that site.
- Live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate. (ICMI Report)
- 40% of buyers who use live chat are more likely to make online purchases (versus 22% of buyers who had never chatted). (Emarketer)
- 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. (Forrester report)
- 79% of businesses say that offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty. (Kayako)
- 94% of customers who were proactively invited to chat were satisfied with the experience. (Vtldesign)
- 53% of customers are likely to abandon their online purchases if they can’t find quick answers to their questions. (Forrester)
- 38% of customers said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. (Digital Marketing)
- Chatters are 85% more likely to convert into customers. (Intercom)
Make it easy for customers to reach you. If your team is limiting itself to just email, phone, or social media, it’s nearly impossible to track and communicate with every visitor that comes onto your e-commerce site.
With live chat, you can approach your customers the moment they appear on your website with proactive triggers to send the right messages at the right time. Connect your live chat tool with your CRM so your sales team can follow up with each new lead, and quickly access chat histories in the future.
Live chat is the platform with the highest customer satisfaction rates.
- 73% of customers are satisfied with their live chat experience, compared to 61% of email users and 44% of phone users. (Econsultancy)
- 73% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do when providing customer service. (Forrester); As the most efficient means of support, live chat meets this expectation.
- The average customer satisfaction rating for live chat globally is 83.1%. (Statista)
- 48% of consumers favor companies with proactive support. (Zendesk)
Customers prefer live chat over email or phone, and most leave their live chat conversation happy. Because they’re able to get their questions answered immediately, multitask while chatting, and aren’t stuck listening to hold music on the phone, it’s clear live chat is a must-have for any looking to improve their online customer experience.
We know that live chat can boost sales and revenue, but it can also help lower costs and boost productivity, making it that much more profitable. By replacing a chunk of the phone support you’d otherwise provide, live chat cuts down on customer care costs, increasing businesses’ revenue per hour while lowering cost per transaction.
Plus, because reps can talk to multiple customers at the same time, it boosts their productivity as well. They can even share rich content via chat they wouldn’t be able to do over the phone, making it easier to troubleshoot and find solutions to customer questions.
- Live chat is 15% to 33% cheaper than phone support for businesses. There was a 12% decrease in phone call queries for companies who use live chat. (Gartner)
- Live chat improves annual customer care costs by 2.6x. (Aberdeen Group)
- Live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate. (ICMI)
- Live chat implementation resulted in a 70% drop in overall cost per transaction. (Forrester)
Live chat will lower customer care costs without compromising—and even boosting—customer satisfaction. This is because your reps will be able to be more productive, handling multiple chats at one time and serving customers in a more efficient way versus if they were on the phone. Wins all around.
It’s important to keep in mind that live chat doesn’t need to be used exclusively as a customer service support tool. According to Startus Magazine, live chat has a return of about 300% on investment, which makes it one of the best values for a customer service channel.
- Proactive chat earns 105% ROI. (Forrester)
- There was a 10% increase in the average order value of sales from customers who engaged in a chat before making a purchase compared to those who didn’t. (Forrester)
- Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies (that include live chat support) retain an average of 89% of their customers. (Aberdeen Group)
- 22% of surveyed companies recorded a 5-10% increase in revenue because of live chat. (99 Firms)
- 79% of businesses that implemented live chat reported increased customer loyalty, sales, and revenue. (Kayako)
- Website visitors that engage with your company via live chat are worth 4.5 times more than those who don’t. (ICMI)
Live chat has a higher ROI than any other communication channel. This is not only true for customer service teams, but marketing, sales development, and post-sales customer support as well.
To integrate live chat into your sales processes and use it to guide customers through your sales funnel, consider each customer’s needs and pains to offer the very best solution. Also, make use of upselling and cross-selling strategies to boost your average ticket size and sell more.
Live chat as a communication channel is nothing new, and while it’s the preferred method for many customers, it varies across different demographics. As a business, it’s important to understand which of your users are the most—and least—fond of using live chat.
- Millennials are 20% more likely to use live chat to seek out customer support than their baby boomer counterparts. (ICMI)
- 63% of millennials prefer to have their basic customer support questions answered through a live chat widget vs. traditional channels. (ICMI)
- 36% of Gen Z users would use live chat when contacting a company with a customer support question. Unsurprisingly, they’re also more likely to use not-so-mainstream messaging channels like Whatsapp or live video support. (HubSpot)
- 61% of customers under 24 admit that they purposely avoid calling companies, and 60% of millennials prefer live chat to traditional channels. (WhosOn)
While most customers prefer live chat over other communication channels, not all of them do. It’s important to be mindful of this and ensure you’re catering to all of your customers both live chat and your business’s other channels as well.
According to Comm100’s 2020 Live Chat Benchmark Report, the average wait time between a customer initiating a live chat request being connected with a rep was 46 seconds. This number is based on a review of more than 56 million live chat instances.
46 seconds might sound high, but Comm100 also found that companies with these higher wait times also had the highest customer satisfaction ratings. Fast service doesn’t always mean better service.
- 73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing companies can do to provide them with good customer service. (Forrester)
- Businesses that score 90% or higher for customer satisfaction have an average wait time of 46 seconds while those with the lowest customer satisfaction have an average wait time of 25 seconds. (Comm100)
- 95% of people say they would prefer slower support if it meant the quality of help was higher. (Kayako)
- Businesses that scored 90% or higher in customer satisfaction had an average chat duration of 12 minutes and 26 seconds, 13% longer than organizations with lower scores. This could be because customers appreciate the individualized attention from the service rep during these longer conversations. (Forbes)
While the majority of customers prefer live chat over other channels for its immediacy, this isn’t the only factor that delivers a positive customer experience. At the end of the day, the quality of the chat is what makes the biggest difference.
Customers appreciate the individualized attention the rep gives them to help solve their issues. Customers just want their problems solved as painlessly as possible, even if that means the conversation takes a little longer.
There are many reasons why a live chat experience could, well, suck. Scripted canned responses, delays because the information from prior chats isn’t readily available to reps, and having customers repeatedly explain their queries over and over again to multiple reps are some of them.
Your live chat software should be integrated with a CRM so that reps can access previous chat history as well as notes from other reps, eliminating the need for the customer having to repeat themselves and empowering your reps to provide the best service possible.
Here some stats to back up the importance of a solid chat experience:
- 29% of live chat users hate canned responses. (99 Firms)
- 80% of live chat reps had to access multiple systems to find the information they needed. (CCW Digital)
- 11% of website users dislike proactive chats (Econsultancy).
- 20% of consumers spread negative word of mouth about poor live chat experience. (Kayako)
It’s important to have a live chat solution that accommodates personalized, proactive chat messages that are triggered based on things like browsing behavior, past website visits, location, and the content being viewed.
It’s not enough to only provide live chat, you need to offer a top-notch experience to make it count for your customers.
With all the data out there supporting the importance and value of live chat, many companies surprisingly have been slow to adopt. If you’re one of them, it might be because you’re not sure if live chat is here to stay. The stats below show it most definitely is, and is only getting bigger from here.
- The global live chat software market size is projected to reach $987.3 million by 2023. (Knowledge Based Value Research)
- 71% of businesses believe that online chat will be the most popular communication channel by 2021. (99 Firms)
- Companies report approx. 2.4x greater annual increase in revenue from cross-selling and up-selling when live chat is in use. (ICMI)
- Live chat is a popular channel for B2B businesses. 61% of B2B businesses report offering live chat, versus only 33% of B2C businesses. (Zoho)
- 87% of companies adopted live chat to connect with web visitors in real-time. (Zoho)
Live chat isn’t going anywhere. More and more companies are investing in this technology to improve support and increase conversion rates. If you haven’t added live chat to your communication arsenal yet, the time is now.
Harness Live Chat for Better Sales and Support
Live chat is a powerful tool that many consumers have now come to expect businesses to offer. Companies that invest in live chat reap many benefits, including a boost in sales and revenue, lower costs, increased brand loyalty, and an overall better customer experience.
If you’re interested in seeing what live chat can do for your business, try JivoChat’s free trial today.
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