5 surprising trends in digital communication

Weply has handled more than 10 million chat interactions for 1000+ businesses in the Nordic countries. This has, among other things, given us a lot of valuable data that reveal some interesting trends in digital communication. We will share the most surprising findings from our own chat data and from an official survey about digital communication in 2021. Read along if you want to know more about the most favored communication channel to companies, when people are usually chatting, and how they communicate in a chat. Let’s get right to it!

1. Chat is the most favored contact method

An official survey from March 2021 show that chats are the most favored way of communicating with a company. 45% in the age group 18-59 prefer to chat rather than communicate through e-mail or phone. Looking at the younger generation, we can see that the majority prefers to communicate through chat. In the age group 18-29 it is 67% that would prefer chat. A global survey from J.D. Power also found that live chat is the most favored contact method. The results from this survey was that 42% of customers prefer live chat compared to 23% for e-mail and 16% for social media or forums. Chats has definitely become a need to have communication channel in 2021.

When customers has a question specifically related to a business’ website 100% prefer to communicate through chat. So, if a potential customer visits a website and a question pops up, customers would prefer to ask the question through chat. If this is not possible, the customer’s first impression might be negatively affected which in worst case can lead to increased customer churns. The chance of website visitors would deselect a company due to a missing communication channel is actually quite high. Our data show that every 2. customer will search for another business if it is not possible to contact a business through their preferred channel. And as we just told you, 45% of customers prefer to chat. Businesses can therefore risk loosing a bunch of potential customers simply because they do not have chat as a possible contact method.


2. +50% of customer inquiries happens outside normal office hours

We often get asked how important and valuable it is to be online and handle customer inquiries outside normal office hours. If we look at our massive amount of data that shows when customers are usually chatting, the answer is quite simple. Only 49,4% of all customer inquiries in our customers’ chat happens in the time frame from 9 AM to 4 PM on weekdays. If your chat is only open within this time frame you will potentially miss half of your potential customers. If you add one hour in each end of your chat opening hours, so it is open from 8 AM to 5 PM, you will still only reach 61,7% of customer inquiries. So, even though you have a dedicated team in charge of handling customer inquiries nine hours a day you will still miss out on 1/3 of potential customers! That is why being online 24/7 is essential in order to reach your full sales potential.


3. Monday is the day with most chat activity

If we look at the chat activity throughout the whole week, Monday is the day with most activity. On Mondays 17,4% of all customer inquiries happens. The chat activity is distributed quite even between 8 AM to 9 PM with a minor decrease from 6 PM and on. Even though chat activity is higher on weekdays than weekends there is no doubt that it is important to be online there as well. Over 20% of all chat inquiries actually happens on Saturdays and Sundays! This underlines the importance of being available every day of the week if you want to attract and convert as many customers as possible.


4. The usage of mobile devices has increased significantly

It is no surprise that mobile devices are more popular than ever before. Our data showing what device Danes are using when chatting confirms this trend. The last five years we have investigated how many of those who uses our chat either uses a mobile device or desktop. Mobile devices cover for both smartphones and tablets. The results are clear. There has been a significant shift in what device Danes are using when chatting. Today over half of the Danes uses a smartphone or tablet compared to 2016 where only 26,1% got in touch in our chat through a mobile device. The percentage of Danes using a desktop has at the same time decreased from 73,9% in 2016 to 47,4% in 2020. This shift tells us that Danes today expects availability and immediacy significantly more than five years ago. Having a live chat on your site can help meet these needs.


5. Live chat dialogues are typically short and to the point

Customers in 2021 expects immediate service and they will not wait long before they are on to the next company. The demand for prompt answers reflects the average length of a chat conversation and the characteristics of the communication. The average length of a Weply chat is 8 minutes and 40 seconds and consists of nine interactions between the customer and chat consultant. The sentences are typically straight forward and will be clear about what they are looking for or want to know. For chat consultants, specific and clear questions are much appreciated, as it enables them to answer quicker and more accurate. Giving prompt answers requires chat consultants that are trained in chat communication and able to give good simple answers, otherwise Danes will get impatient. At Weply we wish to meet Danes’ need for immediate answers, as we guarantee that every chat is handled within 2-4 seconds. 

There is no doubt that Danes love to chat – also in purchase related situations. If you want to optimize your business’ chance of converting website visitors to sales, you must be as available as possible. The Danes tend to chat outside normal office hours which is important to cater for if you want to achieve the full potential of your website visitors. The chat activity is generally good all week, but Monday is the day with most activity. In weekends over 20% of all customer inquiries happens which underlines the importance of being available in the weekends too. Over half of the Danes uses a smartphone or tablet when chatting, which indicates that Danes expects to businesses to me available and give immediate answers to product related questions.