A recent AOL instant message survey shows that 80% of those polled between the ages of 22 and 34 and 65% between the ages of 35 and 54 use instant messaging as a source of communication throughout their daily lives. A workplace survey reveals that 28% of live chatters actually use instant messaging as a tool for communicating with clients. However, less than 20% of the online brokerage firms that Corporate Insight follows utilize live chat for brokerage-related servicing. 

"We were surprised at the small number of firms utilizing live chat tools especially given the fact that back in May of 2005, our research showed the average response time to an e-mail inquiry was 16 hours," said Janet Martin, senior analyst at Corporate Insight and author of the E-Monitor Report. "Clearly, instant messaging is being widely adopted both by consumers and many businesses, yet there is reluctance by online brokerage firms to embrace this popular technology. We recommend that firms provide their clients and prospects with robust live chat tools and technologies in order to increase customer satisfaction and ultimately, gain new clients and revenues."

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