Trends in live chat and CX Strategies revealed in new benchmarking report

Comm100, a global provider of omnichannel customer experience solutions, released its fourth annual benchmark report highlighting the current state of live chat and its impact on customer experience. As live chat has grown into a mature customer communication channel, organizations have found that it is not enough to simply implement live chat: they must also support it with a strategy that enables the best possible customer experience through optimal resource allocation.

Customer experience will overtake price as a key differentiator for consumers by 2020. To meet these growing expectations, organizations must be mindful of the balance between servicing customers and managing their agents’ time. Based on an analysis of more than 45 million chats through Comm100’s platform, companies are using the following tools to achieve balance:

  • Artificial intelligence:Since adding Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning capabilities to its chatbot in early 2018, Comm100 has seen its bots handle nearly 60 percent of all chat interactions—and they’re getting smarter. Nearly 27 percent of those interactions don’t need an agent to intervene, a nearly 7 percent increase from 2017.
  • Co-browsing:Comm100 customers average 93 co-browsing sessions per month at an average satisfaction rating of 89 percent—six percent higher than the overall 2018 customer satisfaction rating.
  • Canned messages:Adoption has increased to nearly 70 percent. While canned messages can come off as robotic or impersonal if not properly written, when used correctly they can be a significant time-saver for agents.

But organizations looking to use live chat features to make interactions shorter should not necessarily equate saving time with success: as the data shows, efficiency and customer satisfaction are not always directly correlated. Organizations that scored 90 percent or higher for customer satisfaction had an average wait time of 46 seconds, while customers that reported the lowest satisfaction ratings had an average wait time of 25 seconds—and companies that achieved a 90 percent or higher customer satisfaction rating chatted with customers for 13 percent longer than organizations with lower scores.

Customers are also reaching out to companies in increasingly diverse ways. In 2018, the number of chats sent from a mobile device increased to nearly 52 percent, representing an almost eight percent increase from 2017. As customers seek help via the channel most convenient for them at any given moment, organizations must strive to create seamless, consistent, omnichannel experiences regardless of where their customers are and what device they are using.

“Through better use of live chat’s capabilities and finding the right balance between productivity and service excellence, we’re now seeing how organizations of all sizes are learning to take full advantage of what this platform can do,” said Jeff Epstein, vice president of product at Comm100. “Customers are rewarding those that do it right with higher satisfaction scores and deeper loyalty. The data confirms growing adoption across every industry, and in turn, brands are stepping up to deliver improved experiences. Next stop—truly seamless ‘everychannel’ accessibility and support wherever and whenever the customer wants.”