More than one in five live chat requests to retailers go totally unanswered, according to a new study. And even when responses come through, they often happen slowly.
SuperOffice, a provider of CRM software, made live-chat requests on 1,000 web sites in the US, the UK, Germany, and the Nordic countries. In 21% of the cases, they received no response with 30 minutes.
Further testing the meaning of the word “live” in “live chat,” the study found that the average wait time for requests was 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The longest wait time recorded was 9 minutes. All the chat requests were made within posted support hours, Superoffice said.
“Live chat is failing to meet the basic needs of good customer service,” Superoffice concluded.
Failure to respond to any inquiry is clearly a poor customer experience, but the shortfall is even more glaring given consumers’ increasing reliance on live chat. A September 2016 survey by customer engagement company 7 found that 29% of US consumers preferred to interact with digital retailers via online chat or messaging app while making a purchase, about the same as the percentage who said they preferred phone or email. And perhaps not surprisingly, millennials were even more inclined to use live chat or messaging apps.