Over recent years internet usage has grown at an exponential rate. Since its inception just 22 years ago, Google has grown to become a behemoth and evolved into the world's second richest company.
Internet usage has entered the mainstream and has moved from a niche service in its early days, where those keen to indulge had to frequent special 'internet cafe's' and if you did enjoy internet within your own home, you were part of the rich elite. Even then your internet access would have been dial-up with painstakingly slow speeds.
Today, 4.3bn people are online (57% of global population) with 97% of Northern Europeans online and the latest figures show that 91% of internet users visit online stores. On average, internet users spend 6.5 hours online each day (Bond Cap, 2019).
In short, we no longer go online, we live online.
So with increasing online presence, how does this affect you and your business? Well, as the world continues to move at an ever-faster pace, consumers demand you to have an online support presence speedier and response times to their queries.
Live Chat leads the way for consumer's preferred contact method when they visit your website.
However, despite such an overwhelming demand for Web-chat support, only 29% of companies say they currently use it.
A recent Comm100 report found that companies with satisfaction ratings above 90% had an average chat duration of 11 minutes and 47 seconds. Those with lower scores had an average chat duration of 8 minutes and 42 seconds.
Live chat is an opportunity to have a 10 - 15 minute conversation in real time that might have taken days over email.
You don’t necessarily need to aim for the shortest possible service interactions in order to create truly satisfied customers. Research also tells us that you don’t have to provide an instant answer with live-chat in order to create great customer experience. People don’t mind waiting a little longer for high quality support. 95% of customers value high-quality support more than speed. (Source: Kayako)
Comm100 discovered that 82% of customers were satisfied with their live chat experience. When done well, customers love it!.
However, speed of resolution is different to speed of response. Forrester's Raising the Bar report found that 1 in 5 customers are willing to stop using a company due to slow response times via online chat. The average wait time for live chat support is 46 seconds. (Source Com100.com) and the standard benchmark sees 80% of chats being answered within 40 seconds. (Source: Call Centre Helper.)
So the conclusion we can make from all these studies is that Live-chat is a very welcome addition to a company's communication platform with customers loving the convenience that this offers, but this needs to be fast and efficient and the interaction itself doesn't need to be speedy but it does need to resolve the customer's issue effectively.