Consumers who engage in text chats with online retailers using vendor LiveChat Inc.’s platformreport a satisfactory experience 86.21% of the time. That’s slightly below the 87.05% average for all industries analyzed. The overall satisfaction rate was up from 85.60% from the company’s previous report in 2012.
LiveChat analyzed 14 million live chat interactions from 3,300 companies over a three-month period. Only data from companies with an established live chat program were included; companies testing live chat were excluded. The analysis also excluded companies that had less than 100 chat interactions with consumers each month. The analysis includes chats from such industries as health care, education, government, finance and e-commerce. This is the second edition of the report.
About 20% of the companies included were from the retail industry. “Live chat is a natural pick for every online retailer as it allows for quick contact with customers who visit the said retailer’s web site,” the report says.
Online retailers using Live Chat’s platform had an average chat length of 11 minutes and 29 seconds, about five minutes shorter than the average chat length across all industries of 16 minutes and 15 seconds. But that’s an increase of more than 2 minutes from the previous report in 2012. “An increase in this category could be attributed to the way customers use live chat,” the report says. “Visitors can ask questions on various pages during their stay on a web site—they don’t have to ask all the questions immediately. This is much more comfortable than phone, where you get all the information at once and you need to call again if another problem pops up.”
The average time it took a retailer to respond to a chat was 1 minute and 5 seconds, slightly slower than the multiple industry average of 1 minute and 3 seconds. The overall average response time was seven seconds faster in 2014 than in 2012. The report notes that some companies respond in less than 30 seconds on average, which shows there’s still room for improvement for most companies.
In addition to analyzing companies by industry, LiveChat also reviewed the data by country, company size and audience. Companies in the U.S. had an average chat length of 13 minutes and 27 seconds, a response time of 1 minute and 5 seconds, and a satisfaction rate of 90.24%. About a third of companies included were based in the U.S. Companies in the United Kingdom (8.13%) had an average chat length of 13 minute and 5 seconds, a response time of 1 minute and 28 seconds, and a satisfaction rate of 82.99%.
More than half of companies included in the analysis use live chat for business-to-consumer sites, while 22.66% used live chat for both B2C and B2B. “The most popular and, at the same time, the most successful group consists of B2C companies,” the report says. “They make for more than half of all the studied companies and reach the high satisfaction scores of 86.18%. These companies also manage to handle the most chats on an average day.”