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It’s here! The LiveChat Customer Service Report 2018

|Jan 25, 2018

More and more customers are willing to use live chat when contacting brands, but their general satisfaction rate has gone down slightly, the latest LiveChat Customer Service Report 2018 uncovers.

As is tradition every January since 2015, LiveChat has published its annual Customer Service Report which aims to bring knowledge to business owners and customer service decision makers. The material highlights the practices that make customer service more (or less) effective, identifies the trends that changed over the year and predicts what we can expect in the next 12 months.

This time, LiveChat looked at data from January 2016 to December 2017, analyzing 21 thousand companies, representing 22 industries. The Report is based on 32 billion website visits, 334 million chats and 17 million tickets (a message that visitors can leave when customer support agents are offline).

In 2017, businesses experienced an average of 10 572 monthly chats, compared to 9 763 in 2016. It means that there was a year-to-year increase of 8.29% in chat demand. This growth proves that live chat is becoming a more and more natural channel for customer-business relations. The increasing popularity of live chat tools is also very promising for the whole live chat market. The changes in online communication have prompted providers to tailor the products even more to meet the needs of business users and help them to handle their customer issues even more effectively. Companies – no matter what size they are or what line of business they are in – still have some challenges to tackle.

The Report posts that the average customer satisfaction rate dropped by 2.81% in 2017 compared to the previous year and it’s now at 83.54%. Even though this decline isn’t significant, businesses should aim at higher satisfaction, not lower.

This year, we noticed a really interesting trend. What makes customers the happiest is dealing with an issue in one go, no matter how long it takes. Tech companies have one of the longest average handle times, but because they solve most issues in one touchpoint, they lead the pack when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Szymon Klimczak, CMO at LiveChat

Software houses had a 90.6% satisfaction rate among customers, Web Hosting – 89.6% and IT –- 86.8%. This is way higher than the global customer satisfaction rate (83.54%).

On the basis of the Report, we can also observe a clear disparity in the efficiency of customer service between companies of different sizes. It contradicts a common misconception that small and mid-sized companies run more successful support because of the personal approach. One of the findings shows that small (1-9 employees) and mid-sized companies (10-49) can’t handle the demand for chat as well as enterprise–grade businesses do. In 2017 enterprises decreased the number of tickets by 6%, while SMBs had a 19% increase in the number of tickets they handle. As a result, they also had the lowest average customer satisfaction rate: it was 81% on average. While it seems a given, that having a live chat installed requires almost real time responses, some companies still seem to ignore that. On the other hand, many more businesses have found the solution to that issue in chatbots which can handle most matters during the absence of a customer service team.

The other key findings:

Holiday Season is the busiest for Retail

November and December are the months with the highest number of chats. During this period, the average Retail business had a 9.8% increase in the number of chats when compared with the rest of the year.

The happiest customers are in Australia

Australian companies scored the highest customer satisfaction rate of 89.2%, leading the ranking for the third year in a row. It’s a slight drop from 91.35% in 2016.

Annual picks for Automotive, IT, and Gambling

The first four months of the year were the busiest for Automotive and IT companies. The second part of the year, starting from August, is the busiest for Games and Gambling businesses.


About the LiveChat Customer Service Report 2018

The Customer Service Report 2018 is based on data from over 21 thousand companies representing 22 industries using live chat and tickets for customer service and sales. To be included, companies must have had at least 1 chat daily. The data was gathered from 32 billion website visits, 334 million chats and 17 million tickets.

Boston, Massachusetts – 24 January 2018

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