Last Updated: August 9, 2020
In business and marketing, customer engagement is crucial at every stage. Whether you’re growing your brand identity or providing customer support to existing, already loyal customers, success is all about prioritizing their convenience and comfort.
That’s why we’ve gathered all the must-know live chat statistics and facts: to show the impact live chat has on consumers and businesses worldwide. Nothing leaves a customer more at ease than knowing that if they need solutions or advice, your business is within immediate reach. Whether through chat representatives or AI chatbots, chat provides consumers with an open channel of communication.
The Top 10 Key Live Chat Statistics
- Live chat has an average response time of 2 minutes.
- On average, a chat representative can solve a customer’s concern in 40 seconds.
- Live chat costs businesses 15% to 33% less than implementing phone support.
- Live chat boosts conversions by 20%.
- 71% of consumers are willing to use messaging to get customer support.
- Of the users who prefer chat support, 79% do so because they can get help immediately.
- The live chat stats show greater satisfaction among the customers who use the feature.
- More than half of customers are more likely to make a purchase when a website has live chat available.
- 38% of customers actually end up making a purchase because of a live chat encounter.
- The live chat market is expected to grow by 87% in the next 12–18 months.
This is just a preview, read a hundred and one more stats and facts in the infographic!
General Live Chat Stats & Facts
1. There are more than 5 billion active users on messaging apps.
Currently, people use these apps more than they do social network platforms. In fact, messaging apps are among the top five most-used apps by consumers. Through live chat and chatbots, customers can communicate and transact with brands easily on a communication platform they already strongly favor. Site builders recommend adding live chat when creating your site, which can be easily done with a website builder like Wix.
2. Online live chat communication has been in existence since the invention of the Talkomatic in 1973.
The Talkomatic is hailed as the first multi-user online chat system. It was invented by Doug Brown and David R. Woolley at the University of Illinois, though it was a far cry from live chat support as we know it today. At the time, no more than five users could use it. However, despite this limitation, it gained popularity.
3. The average response time for live chat is 2 minutes.
The immediate attention customers get through live chat certainly makes them feel valued. It’s an easy way for businesses to convey a sense of reliability and build trust. Despite this, statistics for businesses reveal that 21% of the requests for live chat support go ignored.
4. 70% of the businesses using live chat have less than 5,000 unique monthly visitors on their site.
In line with this, a little over half of the businesses implementing live chat provide support with only one dedicated chat analyst. Meanwhile, 39% employ around 2–5 analysts. Depending on whether or not a business wants to run their service 24/7, the required number of website chat service representatives will vary.
5. It takes approximately 40 seconds to solve a problem using chat.
Phone calls, on the other hand, have an average time of over 2 minutes before a solution is reached. For even quicker results, Acquire suggests that companies make use of co-browsing. Co-browsing allows the customer and representative to see the same screen by giving the representative access to the user’s web browser window. Then, chat reps can highlight parts of the site and guide the customer through it with ease.
Customers Prefer Live Chat
6. 71% of customers have said they’d readily use messaging to get customer support.
(Source: HubSpot / WittySparks)
However, this willingness comes with a tradeoff. As the technology around customer service gets more advanced, consumers have higher standards. This means that whether it’s a live person or AI on the other end, the speed and quality of the responses matter, which is why live chat usage increased by 400% from 2015 to now.
7. Live chat statistics reveal that 63% of Millennials prefer getting customer support through chat.
In general, Millennials are 20% more likely to use chat to seek out customer support than their Baby Boomer counterparts. This young, hip generation represents the heaviest chat users. So if your brand targets a younger demographic, providing chat support is definitely a must.
8. A third of customers consider waiting on hold the most frustrating aspect of customer service.
According to live chat statistics, another 32% cite having to repeat information, while 19% of them are bogged down by slow response times. And when a whopping 80% of customers all say that they stop doing business with a brand because of a negative experience, clearly shorter response times need to be prioritized.
This is especially true as we live in the digital era, where news travels incredibly fast. The latest Instagram statistics show that the average Instagram user has 150 followers. Imagine how quickly the word about their negative experience with the live chat support would spread.
9. In fact, a stunning 90% of online consumers value immediacy when it comes to receiving replies to a web chat customer service query.
And when it’s a marketing or sales inquiry, that number only dips a little to 82%. The definition of immediacy varies, of course. In marketing, 46% of customers view “immediate” as “10 minutes or less.” For sales and support, this goes for around 60% of consumers.
10. 79% of users who prefer online live chat do so because they get immediate assistance.
Another 51% stated it was because engaging on live chat allowed them to get other things done at the same time. Close to half simply preferred live chat because they saw it as the most efficient method for communication.
11. Where would live customer chat be useful? When it comes to marketing, 83% of consumers prefer engaging with brands through their website.
(Source: HubSpot / Talk Business)
The same goes for sales. The percentage is lower, but 53% of consumers also consider the business website their go-to preference. But it turns out, not everyone is on board with live chat just yet. Another 39% still prefer engaging over the phone.
However, in the battle of live chat and self-help service, live chat is the undisputed winner with 68% of Americans favoring this communication channel over FAQs and guided support.
12. In the case of mobile online chat, 62% of customers expect to be able to use it.
(Source: REVE Chat)
And a huge 82% of these customers have asserted that they would readily make use of the feature. According to mobile marketing statistics, there are 8.98 billion mobile connections, and over 5 billion mobile device users around the world. Keeping these colossal numbers in mind, having chat available on mobile is practically mandatory to succeed in business online.
Chat Statistics for Businesses
13. A study by Aberdeen Group found that live chat improved annual customer care costs by 2.6 times.
The same report found that customer satisfaction went up by 34%. Chat is less invasive than a phone call. It’s also less disruptive to a customer’s online shopping experience since they can easily multitask while they browse.
14. Research shows that live chat is 15% to 33% cheaper than phone support for businesses.
And it seems that more and more businesses have come to realize how cost efficient websites with live chat support are. Nowadays, businesses take things a step further by enlisting the aid of AI chatbots. This can now easily be added with the help of the most popular website builders. Experts anticipate that 85% of consumers will be getting support without any actual human interaction by the end of 2020. 63% of people are already willing to trust chatbots with sensitive information, the latest chatbot statistics reveal.
15. 38% of consumers wind up making a purchase as a direct result of a live chat session.
(Source: Better than sure)
On the flip side, 57% of customers will abandon a purchase if they can’t get their questions answered right away. As far as brand perception goes, 77% of the consumers using the feature state that they develop a positive opinion of the businesses that make this method of communication available.
16. According to live chat sales statistics from 2017, businesses should see an amazing 20% boost in conversions and a 30% increase in order values when they implement it.
(Source: Better than sure)
The positive impact of live chat isn’t just in the sales numbers either. Gartner found that there was a 12% decrease in phone call queries for companies who use live chat. Additionally, Forrester found data supporting a 70% drop in businesses’ overall cost per transaction.
17. Based on research studying the benefits of live chat for sales, the American Marketing Association determined that live chat has a 305% ROI rate.
As we’ve discussed, live chat agents can solve problems quicker than phone agents. This means shorter queues and waiting times. This, in turn, translates to higher customer satisfaction. And since customers purchase more after a live chat session, more interactions also mean more sales transactions.
Still, email marketing has the highest ROI rates, which, according to email marketing stats, is 4,300%.
18. In one live chat study, a business called Rescue Spa achieved a 30% increase in conversion rates using live chat.
This is a testament to how effectively this communication channel helps people feel like they can rely on a brand. Trust builds loyalty. And once a consumer trusts that a business has their interests at heart, they’ll more readily make a purchase.
19. Another chat study by J.D. Power found that overall satisfaction increased when consumers used the live chat feature.
E-tailing Group discovered that American consumers interacted 59% more with brands using live chat. 52% highly approved of it as an efficient communication channel, and 77% said they were satisfied with the answers provided by representatives.
20. In fact, 51% of customers are more likely to make a purchase on a website with live chat integration.
Another 48% would be more likely to return to a website with chat support, and 41% trust the brand more when this option is available. According to 29% of shoppers, they’re also more likely to make a purchase when they see that a business offers live chat at all.
21. Overall, research finds that live chat has a 92% consumer satisfaction rate.
Stellar customer support leads to nothing but good things. Specifically, the live chat stats show 42% better retention and 32% more up-selling in cross-selling, according to Genesys. In contrast, if the overall customer experience is poor, the latest ecommerce statistics reveal, 80% of consumers will stop doing business with a brand.
22. Experts in the industry anticipate an 87% growth within the next 12 to 18 months.
With the high ratings from both customers and businesses, this projection isn’t at all hard to believe. So far, the numbers are quite clear. If your business hasn’t made use of this feature yet, it’s best that you do so ASAP to maintain your competitive edge.
How Do Chatbots Stack up Against Live Customer Chat?
23. 1.4 billion messaging app users are willing to engage with chatbots.
When you think about how comfortable we are talking to AI like Siri and Alexa, this huge number shouldn’t come as a surprise. Indeed, over 35 million people in the United States alone use voice assistants. In this age of convenience, live chat companies have also begun advocating for well-developed chatbots to support live agents in providing a frictionless customer experience.
24. Chatbots can be divided into two categories: utility bots and informational bots.
The latter provide updates or relevant news to users. A utility bot, on the other hand, is designed to provide solutions to customers. They can schedule meetings, add items to users’ shopping carts, or help book vacations. The most important function for both, however, is still the ability to realistically chat with people.
25. By 2017, Facebook Messenger’s chatbot population reached 100,000 unique bots.
To prevent users from being spammed with messages, communication between bots and consumers is still subject to certain rules on the platform. For example, chatbots only reply when prompted by a user. And if a user fails to opt in within the first 24 hours, there will be no future interactions.
26. By 2016, 5% of companies around the globe were already actively using chatbots to power chat support.
Don’t be fooled by this seemingly low percentage. Chatbots were already generating interest then. An additional 20% of companies had begun piloting chatbots, and another 32% had future plans to use them.
27. Within the next decade, the chatbot industry is expected to reach a high of $1.2 billion globally.
Chat statistics for businesses reveal this to be equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of over 24%. With further research and improvements being made in artificial intelligence and deep learning, chatbots are getting smarter in conversations. If Salesforce’s Einstein AI is any indication, AI in general is becoming more efficient in gathering and sorting customer data.
28. This year, a quarter of customer support operations is expected to integrate chatbot technology across different channels.
In line with this, organizations who’ve implemented chatbots or virtual customer assistants (VCAs) report up 70% fewer queries by phone, chat, or email. Customer satisfaction is also reported to have increased.
29. Developing an app is nearly three times more expensive than instating a bot.
App development costs anywhere from $300,000 to $1 million. Instating a bot to chat online with people costs a third of that and would require less maintenance for users. Another report by Gartner supports this and predicts that 20% of brands will abandon mobile apps altogether this year.
30. Chatbots can solve 80% of chat queries.
With AI and deep learning continually advancing, chatbots are becoming smarter and more responsive. And they can gather data at lightspeed. But one thing they haven’t yet mastered is empathy. Human live chat representatives are still the best when it comes to handling sensitive situations that require a human touch.
With chatbots becoming smarter as AI and machine learning advance, there are rumors abuzz that these bots will soon replace live chats. However, no matter how efficient or quick chatbots are, they’re still unable to replace real human empathy. More importantly, chatbots still get easily thrown by misspellings. The best approach for a 24/7 chat support strategy would be to support live chat representatives with chatbots that answer manageable queries that don’t require a ton of soft skills.
There’s no doubt about it. Live chat is here to stay. Despite it being a years-old phenomenon, a quick look at the live chat statistics proves its worth as a cost-effective way for companies to care for their customers. It creates a great balance between the high involvement of phone calls and the more impersonal vibe of emails. Plus, its proven ROI and desirability to users make it a must-have on any website or mobile platform in 2020.