Not too long ago, the word “customer support” made us think of customer service representatives with their headphones on, answering customer support calls or replying to lengthy emails. However, with social media and the internet at customers’ fingertips, support channels are more diverse today!
Internet-savvy customers are now more comfortable with tagging the social media handle of a brand or having an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot point them in the right direction.
Of the many new and legacy support channels, live chat has emerged as a fan favorite. This support channel presents a unique mix of the old-school human touch (with access to support reps) and the modern-day need for speed (with real-time chats). It also eliminates a customer needing to wait for days for an email reply.
In this article, we’ll look at seven interesting statistics and discuss some benefits that will build a compelling business case to convince you to implement live chat in your business.
1. Over 85% of businesses will offer live chat support by 2022
Although live chat has been around for decades and steadily swelled in market size, the industry is still witnessing waves of growth. It is because businesses are still in the process of digitizing their operations to improve efficiency and meet customer demands.
Customer expectations have evolved with the evolution of technology. Internet-savvy customers have got used to instant messaging platforms that allow them to contact their friends and family in a snap.
And they expect similar communication channels with the businesses they transact with. Research shows that 79% of customers choose live chat because it gives them access to instant support.
Another reason for the increasing demand for live chat is the ongoing development in other industries. Industries such as ecommerce, travel, and lending are fueling the need for live chat through their internet-oriented business operations. To function more effectively, these businesses are turning to live chat to provide real-time online customer support.
Overall, more than 85% of businesses will offer live chat support in some form by 2022 (full report available to Gartner clients only).
2. Live chat has the highest customer satisfaction level at 73%
Research shows that live chat delivers a higher customer satisfaction than email (61%) and phone support (44%).
A key reason for this is that live chat helps resolve queries faster and meets customers’ desire for immediacy. The first response time (time taken for a customer support representative to respond to a customer query) is far lower with live chat (2 minutes) than it is for social media (10 hours) or email support (12 hours).
Another reason for higher customer satisfaction rate with live chat is the omnichannel nature of live chat services. It means that customers get the same support experience across different digital channels and devices. This provides customers not only the immediacy of support but also the convenience of their preferred communication channel or device.
3. Customers that use live chat spend 60% more per purchase
Live chat positively impacts purchase values. Customers that use live chat outbuy those who don’t by as much as 60% per purchase. It is so because real-time support helps businesses rapidly address concerns customers face in their buying journeys. In fact, after a nice chat session, 38% of customers go ahead and actually make a purchase.
Live chat’s impact is particularly stark for the ecommerce industry. Fifty-seven percent of ecommerce customers say they will abandon a purchase if their queries are not answered quickly. To understand how significant the impact of abandonment can be, consider the fact that over 67% of ecommerce sales are lost to shopping cart abandonment. However, a better-designed checkout experience can increase conversion rates by 35.26%.
Orange, an online mobile store does this beautifully by proactively engaging shoppers who have abandoned their carts. It sends chat invitations to shoppers whose carts contain items of a certain value. Once a shopper accepts the invitation, a live chat agent or live chat operator nurtures the sale to conversion. As per their estimate, this strategy has converted between 10% to 25% leads.
4. Live chat costs 15% to 33% less than phone support
Live chat is more economical than phone support whereas scaling and managing live chat is more affordable than both phone and email support. There are various reasons for this.
The cost per contact (the cost a business incurs to provide support to a contact) is lower for live chat as it is easier for live chat agents to handle multiple queries simultaneously. To put this in numbers, a live chat agent can handle up to six queries simultaneously with ease.
On the other hand, doing so is almost impossible for phone support agents. Therefore, live chat agents can help you save big simply by using multiple desktop screens, multiple browser windows, a repository of FAQs, etc.
5. 63% of customers more likely to return to a website after a live chat
Customers are more likely to come back to a website once they have had a live chat session there and 62% of them could make an online purchase again.
For a business, this translates into lasting customer relationships and greater customer retention. And that is a sleek bargain considering customer retention is significantly more profitable than acquiring new customers (which costs nearly 5 to 10 times more). Customer retention is so impactful that increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can increase profits by at least 25%!
Live chat helps improve retention as it optimizes customer experience and reduces pain points. Online chat can also help you accurately measure customer satisfaction levels, collect customer feedback, and ensure personalization round-the-clock.
6. Live chat increases conversion rates by 3.84%
Successfully converting potential customers is indispensable to the survival of any business. And data shows that live chat can help with this!
Live chat can help you increase conversion rates by as much as 3.84%. It is so because the live chat option provides a golden opportunity for the sales and marketing departments to win easy leads without the cost burden of expensive lead generation programs. Once live chat agents establish a preliminary customer relationship, the sales department can take over to drive the leads-to-conversion phase.
Some businesses also integrate the live chat functionality with customer relationship management (CRM) tools to better support agents in building customer relationships and to maximize conversion.
Live chat can also be used effectively at different stages of the buying cycle to raise awareness, drive early-stage sales development, and offer post-sales support.
7. Over 50% of live chat queries come from mobile devices
Mobile devices are the preferred live chat platform. Between 2018 and 2017 over 23 million chats were sent from mobile devices! And, the trend is likely to continue. Therefore, offering a compelling mobile user experience is going to be of utmost importance.
Here is how Total Gym Fitness used mobile chat to increase conversions. The fitness equipment provider designed an intuitive user interface that catered specifically to the mobile environment and introduced an automated mobile product guide (full report available to Gartner clients only).
The results were impressive. The business witnessed a 2.5% increase in conversion rates from its mobile live chat over the basic live chat design. It also saw five times greater interaction from mobile users in early website navigation with the introduction of mobile guides. Overall, there was a 12% increase in smartphone conversion rates.
How to find the help you need
Surely, these statistics vouch for the effectiveness of live chat, however, when it comes to execution, every business needs a little help. A lot goes on behind the curtain while managing the live chat option for website visitors, such as chat routing, customer feedback tracking, and chat monitoring. Juggling these tasks smoothly requires the right live chat software and an ear to the ground.
However, picking the right software can be overwhelming. There is a list of tasks you need to check off: researching the product features, double-checking the vendor’s reputation, checking user reviews, and other stuff you may not have the time, inclination, or expertise for.
If you feel you need some help with all this, we are only a few clicks away! Simply book the date and time you would want to talk to us. Our software advisors will guide you to find the right tools as per your unique needs and industry.