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    Industry Standard Chat Wait Times
    Topic posted May 21, 2009 by JoshuaExpert, last edited October 29, 2011 
    7242 Views, 4 Comments
    Industry Standard Chat Wait Times

    I was just wondering what everyone's goal for wait time was when using live chat?  We are trying to figure out how to staff ours and we have wait times anywhere from 30 sec to 6 minutes.  I've heard a few places say that around 2 minuntes is good but wanted to see what goal other RNT users we trying to maintain.


    Thanks in advance



    • ChrisW

      It depends on the customers and queries coming through.  'Generally' i'd suggest the same, 1-2 minutes is acceptable across the board, less than 1 minute is good.


      Historically, i've worked with segmented contacts so 'gold' customers would be in a priority chat queue and be picked up within seconds, the SLA basically being immediate, certainly less than 10 seconds.  Alternatively we've segmented based on query type, so customers at key revenue drop-out get immediate attention whereas customers with general issues would wait the standard 1-2 minutes.


      Oh, and i've also seen the mistake of offering chat links in too many places while not having enough resource to deal with it and an average chat wait time of over 15 minutes.  I guess that brings into question the idea of instant chat!



    • Joshua
      I was thinking 1-2 minutes for normal customers, which is all we would have at this moment, would be about right.  Even up to 3-4 I would be ok with because I am under the assumption that if I am waiting for a live chat I am at my computer and probably am doing something else so I really wouldn't care if I waited a few minutes more.  I also read some things on how to best have live chat customer service you should have a 1:1 customer to agent ratio.  Right now we have our agents doing 3 customers at a time and I know this is probably causing some issues as some customers have questions that require a little more work then others.  How many chats do you allow your agents to have open at one time and do you require that they have at least a certain amount available?
    • Joe Lehman
      I would expect 1 to 2 minutes being acceptable for waiting for chats, but 3 to 4 would be OK.  Our response time is usually seconds on average.  During our peak times of the year it may be 1 or 2 minutes.  Anything great than this customers would probably start to get upset with response times.  I know most major companies that I have used the chat with its usually a few seconds to a minute to get a response.  Usually most people that use chat expect a quick response time, because they believe they are going to get an immediate response like instant messaging.  That is just my two sense.
    • StephD

      Hi Joshua,


      Wait time before abandon is difficult to determine.  Some techniques that some of our existing cusotmers use it to provide the ability to search the knowledgebase while waiting which helps occupy some of the time prior to the agent answer the chat. 


      I did some research on this for you and found that Forrester states that a chat wait time of 60 seconds or more will lead to increased abandon rates and that the targeted chat response time is 45 seconds.  This is based on an all industries average.  (Forrester ROI of Interactive Chat)


      Hope this helps you in your research.