How many times have you left an online store, mid-purchase, after trying and failing to find the answers you needed?
According to Baymard Institute, about two-thirds of carts end up abandoned. Luckily, live chat can help convert those customers — providing well-time customer service at the height of buying intent.
Companies that leverage live-chat tools on their websites provide a stronger customer experience, maximize the efficiency of their customer support agents and see bigger gains in revenue and customer retention.
Plus, it has exploded in popularity recently and continues to grow. Even if you don’t have live chat enabled on your website, there’s a good chance your competitors are in the 85% of companies projected to be using it in 2022.
In this article, we’ve listed 22 live chat and chatbot statistics that show just how beneficial these tools can be for your company and customer support team.
1) 79% of businesses say offering live chat features has positively impacted sales, revenue, and customer loyalty
This data point drives home the win-win nature of live chat for companies and customers. If your company is going to invest in new technology and take the time to train your customer support team in how to use it, you’ll want to make sure it’s worth it.
If you’re still not convinced: In 2021, brands using the Gorgias chat widget generated an average of $38,702 from conversations involving chat.
2) Adding live chat to your website can improve conversions by 12%
Converting website visitors to customers is key to any successful ecommerce business, so most companies will do whatever they need to in order to boost their chances of a conversion. Recent statistics show that adding live chat can increase conversions by 12%. This data also tells us that visitors who chat via live chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who do not engage in this form of communication.
This is much more attainable when you combine automation and a human touch in your chat strategy. (Not sure of the difference? Read our post on live chat vs chatbots.)
3) Organizations that used chatbots in 2019 saved an average of $300,000
Leveraging chat tools on your company’s website can help save your company money on staffing and the costs of high churn, and can improve overall customer experience — which often leads to customers spending more money while on your site.
Keep reading with our list of 60+ customer service statistics you should use to inform your team’s support strategy.
4) Approximately 66% of customers expect an immediate response to their inquiries
Nearly two-thirds of buyers report that they expect an immediate response from a support team (“immediate” is defined as within 10 minutes). This may be partially because many customers are used to old-fashioned phone support, which usually results in an immediate solution to the problem.
This statistic should also tell you that when your customer success team is providing live chat support, they should either respond immediately, or set up an automated message that is sent immediately that states when a team member will be available to assist them.
With some live chat products, you can also provide a self-service solution. We have found that it can deflect up to 30% of tickets and provide your customers with immediate responses at any hour. You can see an example of the Gorgias self-service chat below.
5) Most problems on live chat are resolved in 42 seconds
Speed doesn’t mean much for live chat customer service if the issues aren’t ultimately resolved. The good news is that a recent industry assessment shows that most customer issues brought to a company via live chat are resolved in less than one minute, once the agent gets to the ticket.
At the end of the day, your customers want to know they can rely on you and your team to help them out in a reasonable amount of time — especially if the issue is simple and straightforward.
6) 42% of customers prefer real-time online chat as their communication method
There’s no question that real-time support via chat is taking over traditional phone support. But it’s not just phone support that is losing to live chat — there are other forms of digital communication that are no longer preferred among customers. Only 23% of customers report preferring email communication for support, and 16% report social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and forums as their preferred mode of support communication.
If a customer has a question, they’re more likely to visit your company’s website and try to engage with a live chat agent. But the real takeaway here is that different customers have different support needs.
It’s important to choose a solution that unifies your support operation across all channels, so you can meet customers where they are without keeping 15 different tabs open.
7) 29% of customers report that scripted live chat experiences are the most annoying
Most people can agree that talking to a robot with scripted responses can be a negative and even entirely unhelpful experience. Furthermore, 38% of companies agree that their customers are most annoyed by scripted responses on live chat.
At Gorgias, we have found shoppers are less bothered by self-service features if they are fast and, more importantly, helpful in getting them to the right agent more quickly. But if you’ve ever typed “I need an agent” five times in a row in a live chat window, you know firsthand that those experiences can be rare.
8) 69% of companies use canned responses in their live chat service
As we discussed earlier, many customers are still turned off by auto-scripted chat bots. Even though many companies agree with this notion, more than two-thirds of companies continue to use canned responses in their live chat services.
It is important to recognize that there is a distinction between a bot that provides automated responses, and a live customer service agent who refers to a script. Your customer support agents should be able to bring in their own personalities and styles when chatting with customers, but it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel for each response.
For example, a script at Disney might look like this:
The above script is called a Macro, and it’s an example of how we strike this balance at Gorgias. Agents can use Macros to quickly respond in a way that is personalized and in line with your company’s voice. This allows for a warmer, more natural support experience. Plus, all the information is pulled in automatically.
9) People who spend more online are more loyal to companies that offer live chat
When the pandemic started, online shopping increased dramatically. A household can easily spend $250 per month online — especially if they’re ordering groceries or items they would have normally bought in person.
Statistics show that, out of consumers who spend between $250 and $500 a month online, 63% are more loyal to companies that have live chat services. They are also more likely to be repeat customers.
Live chat services can help customers feel seen and heard, so regular customers feel comforted knowing that someone from your customer success team is one message away. This level of service will keep them coming back time and time again.
10) 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support
Even if customers don’t necessarily take advantage of your live chat support feature, over one-third of consumers report they are more likely to make a purchase from an online retailer if they simply have live chat support as an option. Live chat can help show customers that your company is available for any question they have, and that the company cares about their experience.
11) More than 30% of customers expect live chat on your website
To further support the fact that many customers in today’s retail landscape prefer live chat, close to one-third say that they expect to see a live chat option on a company’s website. Similarly, almost 50% of mobile device users visiting your website expect to see a live chat option. To ignore live chat is to ignore a large portion of your customers’ expectations, leading to a poor ecommerce shopping experience and ultimately, less revenue.
12) By 2022, about 85% of businesses will use some form of live chat support
Recent data shows that by 2022, the majority of businesses are expected to incorporate some form of live chat experiences to their websites or mobile apps.
In addition to the statistical benefits of live chat, other benefits include an overall increase in customer satisfaction rate, better customer experience with personalized interactions, and fewer costs while providing simultaneous support to multiple customers.
Source: Software Advice
13) More companies use live chat for sales than for customer support
Live chat is most commonly used among B2C businesses for customer support and to further enhance the customer experience. According to recent data, more companies are using live chat for sales than support. Among B2B companies, 85% are using live chat mainly for sales and 66% are using it mainly for support. Among B2C companies, 74% are using live chat for sales more, while 67% are using it mainly for support.
Keep your business ahead of the curve: Read about 8 must-know customer service trends for 2022.
14) The global live chat software market is set to hit $987 million by 2023
Perhaps one of the most important statistics on this list, the global live chat software market is set to grow at unprecedented rates over the next year. The live chat software market is also registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% from 2017 to 2023.
As a business leader or owner, this is excellent news for your company because it means that you will have multiple options for live chat products. All live chat software is not created equal, so researching companies and asking questions to make sure a product can meet the unique needs of your business is key.
For example, you should consider:
- Website performance and loading time
- Front-end customization options
- The ability to use templated replies (we call them Macros)
- How easy it is to integrate other tools
- Availability options, if you don’t offer 24/7 support
Source: Allied Market Research
15) 95% of customers value high-quality support over speed with live chat
Research shows that almost all customers (95%) value higher quality support over speed when it comes to live chat apps. This isn’t to say that customers are content with long average wait times. Rather, it reveals that consumers prefer slower, more personalized live chat support when it leads to higher quality service.
Luckily, with a combination of live chat and a chatbot, you don’t have to compromise between speed and customer experience.
Source: Finances Online
16) 86% of live chat tickets end with a satisfied customer
According to recent data from the Gorgias platform, the majority of customers are satisfied with their live chat experiences for support. In fact, we found 86% of live chat conversations on the Gorgias platform end with a 4- or 5-star CSAT rating. There are a number of issues that can arise with any type of digital customer communication method, but based on these statistics, it’s fair to say that live chat offers a clear path to customer satisfaction.
17) Most customers prefer live chat because of the shorter wait times and added convenience
Among the reasons customers prefer live chat over any other form of customer communication are the lack of wait times (34%) and the increased convenience (26.9%). The data also shows us that customers appreciate that they can privately engage with a brand, express their concerns, and receive quick solutions to their issues.
In this case, live chat is a critical tool for building trust with your customer base and establishing long-term customer relationships.
18) Online chatting with a human provides the quickest solutions
The time spent talking to a customer service agent is often cited as a reason customers prefer live chat over other customer communication options. In one study, chatting online with a human came in first place for the shortest chat duration, resolving an issue in just 24 minutes. This is compared to email (157 minutes), social media messaging (58 minutes), and online chat with a bot (27 minutes).
19) When initiating a live chat, 40% of consumers are skeptical they’ll receive help promptly
Although customers prefer live chat sessions over email, phone, and social media support, two-fifths of them lack faith that they’ll get the support they need in a reasonable amount of time.
While this lack of confidence isn’t ideal, it provides an opportunity for you and your customer success team to prove to your customers that your company’s live chat is fast and helpful. This is also a key reason many of our customers use self-service features in their live chat experiences.
Building trust with your customers turns them into lifelong customers, helps with your company’s churn rate and lead generation, and can ultimately boost your customer success team's morale as they successfully resolve tickets.
20) Millennials prefer live chat for customer service over every other communication channel
When it comes to younger generations, speed and convenience are priorities. Among millennials specifically, live chat tools are the preferred method of communication when contacting a company.
According to a report by Software Advice, the top reason they prefer live chat is because it can dramatically decrease holding time. Even more, 71% of those surveyed between 16 and 24 years old think the customer experience could be drastically improved with quicker response times. That percentage drops only slightly (65%) for those between the ages of 25 and 34.
21) 29% of customers say they’ve shared a positive live chat experience with friends
As much as marketing and sales have gone digital, there’s still something extremely powerful about word of mouth. People are more likely to share positive customer service experiences over “just okay” experiences. Among younger generations like millennials and Generation Z, talking among friends and sharing experiences about online retailers is the norm.
Online shopping experiences have become even more widely discussed since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, as many people have defaulted to shopping online instead of making trips to brick-and-mortar stores.
22) 58% of millennials want access to brands anytime, anywhere
Following up on how millennial customers prefer to communicate with brands, more than half expect to be able to engage with a brand whenever they choose.
To be available to them across all platforms, you need to ensure your live chat integrates into a customer support solution that can bring those channels into your dashboard. Otherwise, you’ll be clicking back and forth between different windows for every new ticket.
It may seem easier to just make them come to your preferred channels, but overlooking the preferences of millennials and Gen Z can negatively affect your business as their buying power grows.
Gorgias brings live chat to ecommerce businesses
Now that you’ve explored the latest data on chat tools, you can see why a live chat tool is a worthy addition to any ecommerce business. But as we mentioned earlier, all live chat solutions are not created equal.
Gorgias live chat integrates into our leading platform for ecommerce customer support. You can handle live chat tickets alongside those from email, phone and social media to more easily serve your online customers. Then automate your most repetitive inquiries to make time for the conversations that matter to your business.
Our tool was specifically built to work seamlessly with major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce, and our integrations go deeper than any other platform. Sign up today to see how our chat tools can help your business grow.