What is live chat support? thumbnail image Published on 12th February 2020 by Gemma Harding

Responding to external communications quickly and efficiently is key to providing a positive customer experience. This is essential when keeping on top of phone calls, and the same level of consistency needs to be shown on your website. For catering to the people visiting your website, live chat support is the perfect solution, and it’s something that businesses in many different sectors now use.


What is live chat?
First launched in 2002, live chat support provides a quick and convenient alternative to simply emailing a website. Since these solutions emerged, they have grown into a feature that many companies now use to directly address the people visiting their websites. Due to the constantly developing nature of technology, non voice services are now available in a number of forms, but live chat is among the most frequently used.


Often appearing as an icon in one of the corners of a website, live chat is a method of providing direct support to the visitor. If the company is looking to get data from the visitor, they can even add a set of steps for filling in their name, email address and other personal details before they’re able to add a message to the live chat.


After this point, the visitor is usually either met by FAQs or automated messages in an attempt to answer the question immediately. If their question hasn’t been answered, they will be passed on to an operator. Companies are able to choose between using human operators for replying to messages or an automated chatbot.


What are the benefits of live chat?

There are many reasons why businesses choose to utilise live chat on their websites. From a customer perspective, it can be appealing to opt for a live chat service as this communication can be done quickly and privately, and in cases of an automated live chat system, simple queries can be answered with the click of a mouse.


As a business, you may be drawn to using live chat to help streamline your customer interactions and therefore lower your costs and to ensure you don’t miss out on customers interactions with people who may be reluctant to get in touch via phone. You might also harness these systems to enhance your customer service or potentially increase conversions by making sure customers’ questions are answered immediately.


The technology around live chat support continues to advance, offering extra features that make visitors more likely to return to the same website after having their questions answered instantly and in thorough detail.


Popular features of live chat include:

  • The option to answer questions through a mobile application
  • Customisation options
  • Automatic answers that are triggered by predetermined queries
  • Automatic referral to a thorough FAQ page if it matches the question being asked
  • A ticketing system to prioritise and put dates over each communication
  • Tracking visitor activity to gain insight
  • Translation software
  • Notifications after new messages
  • Integration with social media and emails.

More websites and businesses are finding a need for live chat software, whether it’s to advise over potential purchases, provide information about the company, or simply assist with customer service enquiries. It’s only likely to develop as we find more ways to use it, and with that intention to improve comes more options for how to implement it in your website and utilise it as part of your business.