We Need to Talk About Live Chat – why this Communication Channel is critical

Live chat

Live chat (Pexels)

The demand for live chat skyrocketed in lockdown, says Moneypenny CEO Joanna Swash, so it’s imperative businesses invest in this communication channel

Lockdown has precipitated in a big boost for live chat – and we have the data to prove it. During the months of mass home working, since late March, we have seen many organisations having to adapt to the new government guidelines and social distancing laws.

Companies have seen a big increase in customer service calls and emails, with people trying to organise their accounts while stuck in isolation. This spike in enquiries has meant that businesses have had to adapt their forms of communication for lockdown, and this has resulted in the demand for live chat skyrocketing.

Here at Moneypenny, we analysed our internal data that clearly showed how lockdown led to an increase in live chat. Our data highlights that there are more live chat users in April or May compared to February.

Live chat has managed to fill the gap between the ease of email and the speed of phone calls. In times of panic and high stress, live chat has kept people connected and relieved some of the pressures faced by customer service teams.

Busy times also saw a shift during lockdown, mirroring the amount of people having to switch to working from home as isolation rules became more strict. During the peak of lockdown, the study shows live chat at its peak at 1pm: lunchtime for those remote working. 

However, in the week commencing May 11 (week 20), after the prime minister’s announcement that some employees could return to work, we can see an even higher increase in live chat by 37 per cent at 10am and 41 per cent at 1pm.

Moneypenny live chat graphic 1

With live chat becoming one of the best ways to get real-time answers and customer service support, the amount of time customers spent on the chat also saw an increase. With the average being around 491 seconds since lockdown, chat times soon saw an increase (week 20) to 508 seconds. With live chat being one of the only ways customers can get quick and easy solutions to their problems and queries, it’s no surprise to see questions – that may have been previously handled over the phone – taking up more time on live chat.

Moneypenny live chat graphic 2

Post-Lockdown Live Chat Spike In Automotive And Property Enquiries

 The large business sector saw the highest uptake with a 9 per cent increase in live chat length. This is closely followed by the Automotive sector with a 7 per cent increase. With lockdown affecting businesses across all industries, the study also focused on the changes to specific industry enquiries. The large business sector saw the biggest increase in the volume of chats, followed by the automotive sector who had the second-highest increase.

Moneypenny live chat graphic 3

The data shows a huge spike when it comes to enquiries around letting and property. This industry saw a massive increase in live chat messages, reaching a 94 per cent increase in usage during lockdown.

Moneypenny live chat graphic 4

The graph shows the increase from week 16 to week 20. Week 20 is clearly outperforming across all days, except Sundays. The busiest day also shifts from Tuesday in week 16 to Wednesday in week 20. When looking at the busiest time of the day. The data shows a checkmark effect at 5pm for weeks 16 to 19. However, week 20 stays busy after 5pm with a natural decline in volume through the afternoon and evening.

Moneypenny live chat graphic 5

Live Chat For Estate Agents

With lockdown slowly easing up, more people are starting to think about moving.
Lockdown Lessons: Five Things we’ve Learnt and Five Things to Prepare to Move Business Forward
Since letting agents transitioned to virtual viewings as lockdown rules were relaxed and in week 20 (week commencing 11th of May), we saw an increase in letting viewing enquiries by 210 per cent and sales viewings by 184 per cent.

Moneypenny live chat graphic 6

Lockdown has demonstrated just how valuable live chat is for businesses. The ease and speed of live chat is becoming increasingly popular and customers are expecting it to be available on your website more and more.

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