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PubNub “State of Chat Survey” Shows Rising Importance of Chat in Business

Over half of users expect businesses to provide chat service for sales and support

PubNub, the company behind the world’s leading Realtime Communication Platform, announced findings from its first “State of Chat” survey. 1,250 consumers were surveyed via a third-party survey platform, and revealed the importance of chat as part of a business’ offering, critical chat functionality, and trends in use cases beyond productivity and personal communication. As with any technology that enables remote interactions, the survey finds that chat users need an experience that is well-designed, feels familiar, and feels seamless as an in-person conversation.

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There’s been an evolution of when and where chat is being used beyond talking with friends, family, and co-workers, with more “up and coming” use cases like in customer support, gaming, telehealth, and live stream (events, concerts) chat. For all non-productivity-related activities, more than 25% of respondents use chat, and for all of these there are many more traditional methods of communication such as phone or in-person. More than 85% of users use chat services every day, with 75% of people using chat a few times a day, and 62% using chat fairly often or all day long.

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When it comes to user experience and expectations of businesses providing chat services, key takeaways from the report showed:

  • 54% of respondents expect businesses to provide some form of chat service for sales and support.
  • 76% would prefer to chat in the application they’re using vs. a stand-alone/separate solution.
  • The most important chat features include basic functionality (it just “works”), having conversations via direct messages, and creating group conversations. These are followed closely by catching up on missed messages, message read and sent receipts, and rich media support.
  • 26% of respondents feel more engaged with the apps they use because of chat. This may have downstream effects on key business metrics such as user retention.
  • 58% of respondents agree that when they find a chat service they like they are loyal and don’t use others. This points to the importance of building chat experiences that users love.
  • 36% of respondents say having chat in an application makes them more likely to try it for the first time.

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