Live Chat is no longer just “nice to have.” This support channel started as an alternative to email and phone, but lately, the use of live chat in customer support has been snowballing. The proliferation of live chat in recent years has been astounding, with numerous businesses adopting this support channel to meet the growing demands of their modern customers. If you plan to invest in a new live chat software or maximize its ROI to your business, you must have an in-depth understanding of this space. We have compiled some of the most critical live chat software trends and statistics to abbreviate your decision-making process.
Live chat was not the customer support channel of choice initially, but in the last decade, live chat has wrestled competition from phone and email to claim the top spot, and its growth is not letting up any time soon. An in-depth look into the live chat usage statistics reveals some glowing trends. The usage of live chat apps may vary based on the company and industry. Some companies even use live chat to improve their sales organization. However, any business, regardless of its size, sector, or market, can reap significant benefits by implementing live chat.
The global live chat software market size is projected to reach $987.3 million by 2023. 
A whopping 56% of organizations adopted live chat when they had less than 100 customers. Additionally, 74% of organizations implemented live chat when they had less than ten employees. 
Even more, 25% of businesses adopted live chat when they were less than one year old, while 30% of organizations implemented live chat when they were more than ten years old. 
According to a live chat market analysis, the demand for live chat increased by 8.29% in 2017 compared to the previous year 
85% of businesses in the B2B sector and 74% in the B2C industry use live chat for sales. 
67% of companies in the B2C sector and 66% in the B2B sector use live chat for customer support. 
54% of businesses in the B2B sector and 31% in the B2C sector use live chat for marketing. 
Live chat has helped increase a travel and hospitality company’s revenue by $16 million, 2019. 
Live chat has helped an insurance company save $1 million in 90 days from call deflection, 2019. 
54% of US online consumers expect interactions with chatbots to negatively affect their quality of life, 2019. 
Only 14% of US online consumers expect a positive effect by interacting with chatbots, while 8% expressed that they expect a very positive interaction with them, 2019. 
Some have found success with human-intermediated chatbots, Dutch airline KLM, has seen a 50% reduction in handle times because agents don’t have to type everything, 2019. 
There were more than 45.7 million live chat sessions in 2018. 
39% of companies are behind the curve when it comes to rolling out AI chatbots and messengers, 2019. 
53% of companies are on their way to rolling out AI chatbots and messengers, 2019. 
38% of companies struggle to provide excellent customer service because of the lack of cross-department collaboration, 2019. 
73% of North American businesses feel that bots and automation will be somewhat important in the near future. Also, 74% of companies in Europe feel the same way, 2019. 
A shocking 26% of businesses feel that they are not prepared to offer live chat support via public social media apps, 2019. 
It is vital to start using live chat when a business is young as it doesn’t just streamline conversations but also helps a company understand the preferences and needs of its customers. Live chat makes it easy to personalize support experience, especially for customers who ask more questions or have longer research processes. By addressing customer concerns, live chat can give you leads as well. The channel also allows you to create an omnichannel window, where all customers get answers faster without being inconvenienced or feeling frustrated.
Most Popular Live Chat Software
Zendesk. Zendesk offers flexible plan structures that include chat, call center, and knowledge base solutions so all your bases are covered. Learn more about the platform by reading our Zendesk review.
Freshchat. Freshchat lets you distribute contextual messages, capture leads, and collect customer info, all from one platform. Our Freshchat review details the benefits of using the platform.
Salesforce Live Agent. Salesforce Live Agent can be embedded into your website and apps so your customers can reach out to you anytime. Get more details on the software by checking out our Salesforce Live Agent review.
Zoho SalesIQ. Zoho SalesIQ allows you to not only provide live chat support but also collect information on website visitors. Check out our Zoho SalesIQ review to find out more about the platform’s features.
LiveChat. LiveChat offers chat and help desk features, along with tools for sales, marketing, and web analytics. Find out more about the platform through our LiveChat review.
Customer Preference Statistics
The instant communication offered by live chat has transformed the way brands interact with their customers. Live chat is no longer a cost-centered customer support channel. It has become a revenue source, an indispensable support channel that has the potential to grow a business. Because of this, many brands have already taken the lead to funnel the potential of this system.
79% of companies say that live chat have had a positive impact on customer loyalty, sales, and revenue. 
38% of consumers will more likely buy from a business that offers live chat support 
51% of customers are more likely to stick with or purchase again from a business that provides live chat support. 
63% of consumers who spend $250 to $500 per month online are more likely to buy from and remain loyal to a business that offers live chat support. 
In 2017, the customer satisfaction rate was 83.54% down from 86.35% in 2016. 
95% of customers value high-quality and thorough customer support more than speed 
52% of customers are likely to repurchase from a company that has live chat support 
41% of customers prefer live chat, but 42% of businesses believe that customers prefer phone interactions 
29% of consumers find it frustrating to receive scripted and impersonal responses 
40% of customers are not confident that they’ll get the needed support from live chat 
83% of customers have already given up on live chat because they get frustrated at slow response rates or poor replies 
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Consumers’ Live Chat Experiences & Inclinations
Consumers’ Live Chat Experiences & Inclinations Prefer high-quality support than speed: 95
Prefer high-quality support than speed
Consumers’ Live Chat Experiences & Inclinations Likely to repurchase from company with live chat support: 52
Likely to repurchase from company with live chat support
Consumers’ Live Chat Experiences & Inclinations Told others of positive live chat experience: 29
Told others of positive live chat experience
Consumers’ Live Chat Experiences & Inclinations Long wait times are biggest frustration: 29
Long wait times are biggest frustration
Consumers’ Live Chat Experiences & Inclinations Told others of poor live chat experience: 20
Told others of poor live chat experience
However, one alarming trend revealed by live chat facts in 2017 was the drop in customer satisfaction levels. According to research by Live Chat Inc., there was a 2.81% decrease in customer satisfaction levels compared to 2016. This vividly shows that having a live chat channel isn’t enough. Businesses must wield it properly to meet ever-rising customer expectations.
Live Chat Response Time Statistics
Let’s face it: today’s consumers hate waiting. The longer a consumer waits for an agent to become available, the more they become frustrated. And this has been the major drawback for phone and email support. Speeding up the response time means adopting an efficient customer support channel such as live chat. Numbers don’t lie; live chat is undeniably an ideally perfect channel when it comes to response times:
24% of consumers recognize long waiting times as their ultimate source of frustration. 
19% of businesses have noted that their customers are frustrated by long waits. 
According to one report, it takes an average of 52 seconds for agents to respond to a customer question on live chat. 
On average, it takes live chat agents 11 minutes and 34 seconds to comprehensively solve a customer case. 
95% of consumers prefer slow, personalized live chat support if it guarantees a higher quality of service. 
16% of customer-initiated live chats go without a response. 
43% of businesses know that the user experience they offer is not good enough 
The most consumer wait time was found to be with teams in the range of 26 to 50 agents with an average wait time of more than 80 seconds 
The longest chat duration was also found with teams made up of 26 to 50 agents with an average of 13:41 per chat session 
Average consumer satisfaction (CSAT) score for teams made up of 25-50 agents receive an average CSAT of 82.7% 
Teams with 50 agents or more get an average CSAT of 85.7% 
The recreation industry’s average wait time for live chat is only at 0:15, the best among other industries 
Business services ranked the lowest when it comes to waiting time, with an average of 2:26 
The highest satisfaction rates are found in the following industries: Healthcare (93%), Transportation (93%), Manufacturing (90%), and Education (90%) 
The industries with the lowest satisfaction scores come from these industries: Telecom (81%), Recreation (81%), and Finance (81%) 
Co-browsing, or an agent accessing the customer’s browser simultaneously, generates higher satisfaction with 6 points more than the average session 
Even with the aspiration for much lower response time, the quality of customer service should not be overlooked. Traditionally, businesses assumed that consumers only wanted instant support, but that changed. Today’s consumers are intelligent and smarter than ever; they value exceptional support over speed. The bar is high, and businesses have to find the perfect balance between faster response times and quality of service to meet the expectations of their customers.
Live Chat Mobility Statistics
There is no denying, mobile technology has been a big boon and is indispensable. This versatile technology has completely transformed how businesses interact with their customers. Today’s consumers are increasingly becoming accustomed to the mobile experience. Therefore, if you haven’t made the shift, make mobile chat more accessible and flexible.
43.78% of chats were received from mobile devices in 2017. 
94% of companies received chat queries from mobile devices in 2017. 
51% of consumers search for and purchase new products using mobile devices 
In 2021, it is estimated that mobile phone internet user penetration will reach 92% 
Around 52% of chat queries started from a mobile device in 2018. This increased drastically from a meager 8% in 2017 
72% of chats were on mobile in the recreation industry, 2018 
70% of chats were on mobile in the consumer services industry, 2018 
45% of chats were on mobile in the healthcare industry, 2018 
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Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Recreation: 66
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Healthcare: 42
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Hospitality: 37
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Finance: 35
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Consumer Service : 34
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Government & Nonprofits: 33
Government & Nonprofits
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Telecom: 32
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 e-Commerce: 31
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Education : 24
Industries with Highest Rate of Chat Queries Received via Mobile, 2018 Transportation: 23
Source: Comm100 Live Chat Benchmark Report
Emerging Live Chat Technologies Statistics
In 2017, IBM predicted that by 2020, approximately 80% of all customer service interactions would happen without the need for human agents. Reality is dawning on business owners, and it’s fascinating how fast AI has taken over the industry to become the leader in conversational computing. Additionally, comm100.com had predicted that by the end of 2018, businesses would start to enjoy the benefits of AI in live chat. And it’s already happening.
Chatbots solved 82% of common customer queries without the assistance of a human agent. Besides, according to the same report, when human agents worked collaboratively with chatbots, 88% of customer queries were resolved. 
Chatbots can handle 80% of all customer issues from start to finish without the assistant of a human agent. 
By 2020, customers will handle 85% of relationships with organizations without human involvement. 
According to a Global Market Insights report, the global market size for chatbots will be $1.25 billion by 2025 
By 2021, more than 50% of organizations will invest more on chatbots development than the customary mobile app development. 
What to Do with These Numbers: Optimizing Live Chat
Live chat has proven to be the simplest, quickest, and most accessible form of customer support. And the introduction of AI chatbots has offered a cheaper alternative that reduces the burden on human agents and improves the quality of service delivery.
But, remember this: regardless of how powerful your live chat channel is, you must promote it to drive its uptake. For example, your live chat channel must be visible on your website to speed up adoption by consumers. Besides, when you offer a live chat channel, customers expect you to be available 24/7. For this reason, you need to ensure that you have the right number of agents to handle customer queries expediently at all working hours (day and night).
Moreover, your live chat should be mobile-ready because, as data has shown, customers are increasingly choosing to interact with organizations via mobile devices. Therefore, do not be tempted to look at live chat as a desktop tool alone; make your live chat mobile-ready, if not mobile-first. If you want to further your research, you can read our comprehensive guide on live chat software.
B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."
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