Customer Service KPIs: Average Live Chat Wait Times

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is, well, “key” to managing the performance of your customer service team. But it can be difficult to know what metrics to track, what your targets should be, and how you should use them to improve productivity and quality.

We’re here to help. In this series of blog posts, we’re outlining the most important metrics for email, chat, and phone customer support. For each metric, we’ve combed the Internet to gather all available benchmarks, so you can see what companies are actually achieving in different industries.

We’ve also tapped our network to obtain private data from customer service agents working in different fields. Overall, we used more than 250 data points from more than 150 different sources and aggregated that data to provide you with this data.
And we’re doing more than that – we’re providing tips to improve your performance on each KPI.

Customer service KPI: Average wait time on live chat

What it is

The average rating your customers give your service team for your live chat support, based on surveys sent after queries are resolved.


  • Great: 20 seconds
  • Good: 40 seconds
  • Minimum: 1 minute

Benchmark data

  • High: 25 minutes
  • Low: 15 seconds
  • Average: 1 minute 58 seconds
  • Number of data points: 27

Quick Tips

  • Use a pre-chat form. According to Bold360, customers will wait 20 seconds for a response if the website offers no pre-chat form, but 54 seconds if there is a pre-chat form.
  • If wait times are long, don’t bother. If customers have to wait 20 minutes for a response, then you shouldn’t even bother with chat. Even if wait time is over 1 minute, customers are likely to get distracted and move on to other things. You’re just wasting their time and your agents’ time, and customer satisfaction will be low. Immediate responses (e.g. 20 seconds or less) are best – try to answer the customer before they click to another browser window.
  • Make sure someone’s always on duty. If chat is on, make sure someone is on duty. That means that if your primary chat agent goes on lunch break, someone else needs to cover for him. If you don’t have coverage, turn chat off. With small teams, it can be easy to forget this. But if you leave chat on and no one responds, your customers are going to be frustrated.
  • Monitor less experienced agents. Chat is more difficult than email. It requires agents to handle questions in real-time. Often, they can’t fall back on templated responses. So make sure agents have mastered email before they start on chat. And when agents are just starting out, you can have them share the chat link with a team lead or experienced agent who can monitor the chat in real time.

If you want to know more about KPIs for customer service, download or view our our free e-book with benchmark data for the most important KPIs in email, phone and chat support.


Illustration by Rhea Avanceña

Written By:

Peak Support