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Live chat explained: Maximizing Customer Benefits and Best Practices [2024]

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Live chat explained: Maximizing Customer Benefits and Best Practices [2024]
Venkatesan Gopal
Venkatesan Gopal

Live chat is a real-time communication channel that enables website visitors to interact with human support representatives instantly.

It typically involves the use of a chat widget embedded within a website’s code, presenting a chat window where customers can engage in live conversations with support agents. By using the best live chat software, businesses can integrate live chat functionality seamlessly into their websites, empowering their support team to address customer inquiries in real-time.

For instance, imagine a customer encountering an issue with a product. With live chat support, they can simply click on the chat widget and connect with a representative for immediate assistance. This instant messaging feature facilitates human conversations, providing a level of engagement and service quality unmatched by other communication channels like phone calls or emails.

Benefits of live chat

Providing exceptional customer support is important for businesses aiming to stand out in the market. Live chat support offers a multitude of benefits that can significantly enhance the customer experience and drive business success.

Let’s delve into some of the key advantages:

Enhanced customer satisfaction

Live chat platform offers real-time assistance, ensuring website visitors receive immediate help with their inquiries. This leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction, thanks to the convenience of resolving issues swiftly without having to wait on hold or send emails.

DevRev’s AI chatbot, PLuG, facilitates communication between you and your customers. The PLuG widget can be embedded within your application or website, providing a convenient way for customers to access support and relevant information. It serves as an in-app engagement center, allowing your customers to interact with you directly from within your product

With PLuG, your customers can self-serve, ask questions, and seek assistance from your customer success and support teams. These conversations are then organized and managed within the support inbox, making it easier for your team to respond and provide timely support.

Additionally, PLuG can be customized to align with your specific requirements and branding.

  • Improved service quality

In today’s on-demand culture, customers expect immediate responses to their queries. Live chat enables businesses to deliver real-time customer service, ensuring timely assistance and resolving issues promptly.

By integrating live chat functionality with the website, you can engage with potential customers, resolve queries they might have pre-purchase and nudge them along the purchasing process. Your teams can offer product recommendations, and address concerns, ultimately increasing conversion rates.

  • Efficient communication channel

Unlike traditional communication channels such as phone calls, live chat offers a streamlined and efficient method of communication. Support teams can handle multiple chat sessions simultaneously, providing assistance to several customers at once and reducing response times. This efficiency leads to quicker resolutions and a more seamless customer journey.

  • Cost-effective support solution

Implementing live chat software can help businesses reduce support costs associated with traditional channels like phone support. With the ability to handle multiple chat conversations simultaneously, support agents can optimize their time and resources more effectively.

Live chat widgets can be strategically placed throughout a website to engage visitors and capture leads. By initiating conversations with potential customers, businesses can gather contact information and nurture leads towards conversion, ultimately increasing sales and revenue.

  • Optimized support operations

Live chat platforms offer features such as chat routing and canned responses, streamlining support operations and improving efficiency. Live chat software can transfer chats to the appropriate department or utilize pre-written responses to common inquiries, ensuring a consistent and seamless customer experience.

Routing on the basis of expertise and skill set is where DevRev’s ‘auto-routing’ comes in. This allows you to streamline your support process by assigning customer conversations directly to the right team member or team, all based on predefined keywords.

When a customer reaches out, the auto-routing feature scans the conversation for specific keywords set by your admin. If any of these keywords are detected, the conversation is automatically routed to the mapped team member or team best equipped to handle it. This not only saves time but also ensures that customers get the assistance they need, faster than ever before.

  • Valuable customer feedback-

Live chat transcripts serve as valuable sources of customer feedback and insights into customer inquiries, pain points, and preferences. Analyzing these transcripts can help businesses identify trends, improve products or services, and tailor future marketing campaigns to better meet customer needs. This feedback informs product enhancements, driving business growth.

Live chat best practices

From crafting personalized live chat messages to managing interactive chat sessions, there are various strategies that drive satisfaction and loyalty. Here are the live chat best practices needed to level up your customer support:

Align live chat with your organizational objectives

Incorporating live chat best practices that align with your organizational objectives is important for maximizing live chat support effectiveness and performance. It’s essential to ensure that live chat strategies directly contribute to business goals.

Companies providing live chat support are preferred by 38% of consumers, increasing the likelihood of their purchase.

You can start by defining clear objectives for your live chat support, such as increasing sales, reducing support costs, or enhancing customer satisfaction. By aligning live chat practices with organizational objectives and using live chat software effectively, you can enhance customer satisfaction, drive conversions, and achieve overall business success.

To align live chat with organizational objectives effectively, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Customized training- Provide specific training to the support team to align their interactions with organizational goals, emphasizing key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion rates and customer satisfaction scores.
  • Data-driven insights- Leverage live chat analytics to gather insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points. Use this data to refine support strategies and optimize live chat performance in line with organizational objectives.
  • Integration with CRM- Integrate live chat software with your CRM system to streamline customer interactions and ensure seamless data flow, enabling personalized support and increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Intelligent routing- Use live chat software with intelligent routing capabilities to direct customers to agents best suited to address their needs based on expertise and skill sets.

Develop a structured chat workflow

Developing a structured chat workflow is important for optimizing live chat support and ensuring a smooth experience for both support agents and customers. By developing a structured chat workflow, you can streamline live chat support operations, improve customer service, and meet the expectations of website visitors effectively.

Here’s how to develop a structured chat workflow:

  • Preparation- Equip the support team with comprehensive knowledge about products/services and common customer queries to deliver accurate and timely assistance.
  • Issue resolution- Train support representatives to address customer queries efficiently while maintaining a friendly and professional tone. Encourage active listening and empathy to ensure your customers are satisfied.
  • Multi-tasking- Customers prefer live chat because it provides them an instant response. Thus, equip the support team with tools and techniques to handle multiple chat conversations simultaneously without compromising quality or response time.
  • Closure and follow-up- Ensure each support agent properly concludes each live chat conversation by summarizing solutions and offering further assistance if needed. Follow up with customers post-chat to gather feedback and ensure satisfaction.

Train and empower live chat agents

Training and empowering live chat agents is essential for delivering exceptional live chat support and meeting customer expectations effectively. It is important for you to invest in ongoing training and provide agents with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their roles.

Did you know?

The highest customer satisfaction rate (84.7%) occurs when the initial response time ranges between 5 to 10 seconds.

By investing in training live chat agents, you can enhance the quality of live chat support, handle multiple conversations effectively, and keep customers happy and satisfied with their experience.

Here’s how to train and empower live chat agents:

  • Product and process training- Ensure agents are well-versed in product knowledge and understand the support process thoroughly. Provide comprehensive training sessions and resources to keep agents updated on product updates and support protocols.
  • Feedback and support- Provide regular feedback and support to live chat agents to help them improve their performance continuously. Offer coaching sessions, performance reviews, and constructive feedback to address areas of improvement and recognize achievements.
  • Soft skills development- Focus on developing soft skills such as active listening, empathy, and communication to enhance interactions and customer satisfaction. Role-playing exercises and feedback sessions can help agents improve their interpersonal skills.
  • Technical proficiency- Equip agents with technical skills to navigate the chat software efficiently and troubleshoot any technical issues customers may encounter during live chat conversations.
  • Empowerment- Empower agents to make decisions autonomously within predefined guidelines to resolve customer issues promptly. Encourage a culture of accountability and initiative to keep customers happy and satisfied.

Personalize live chat interactions

By personalizing live chat interactions, you can create meaningful connections with customers, increase engagement, and ultimately, enhance satisfaction and loyalty.

Here’s how to personalize live chat interactions effectively:

  • Pre-chat forms- Utilize pre-chat forms to gather relevant information about customers before the live chat begins. This allows support agents to understand customer needs and preferences better, enabling them to provide personalized assistance.
  • Individual customer identities- Sync individual customer identities across platforms to access customer history and past interactions. This enables support agents to personalize conversations based on previous interactions, ensuring a smooth, customized experience.
  • Right live chat metrics- Measure the effectiveness of personalized interactions using the right live chat metrics, such as customer satisfaction scores and response times. Analyze these metrics to continuously improve and refine your personalized live chat approach.

Timely and personalized responses are key to fostering meaningful interactions in the support arena. DevRev’s ‘automatic customer reply’ snap-in enables you to engage with visitors in your PLuG widget. This feature enables automatic replies tailored to your business hours, ensuring visitors are promptly attended to even when your team is unavailable.

But it doesn’t stop there. With customizable auto-reply messages, you can craft personalized responses that resonate with your website visitors’ needs, whether it’s during working hours or after. Additionally, actionable replies allow you to prompt visitors to take specific actions, such as booking a demo or exploring resources, right from the auto-reply message.

Enhance website and UI for live chat

Enhancing the website and UI for live chat is integral to live chat best practices. Customers expect an effortless experience, and they prefer live chat for its convenience and efficiency. You should prioritize optimizing the live chat feature and interface to meet customer expectations.

According to 79% of businesses, providing live chat support has enhanced customer loyalty, sales, and revenue. By enhancing the website and UI for live chat, you can improve the experience which might ultimately lead to increased customer engagement.

Here’s how to enhance the website and UI for live chat effectively:

  • Streamlined navigation- Simplify website navigation to ensure customers can easily access the live chat service without hassle.
  • Responsive design- Ensure the live chat UI is responsive across various devices to accommodate customers accessing the service from different platforms.
  • Customizable themes- Provide options for customizable themes within the live chat interface, allowing customers to personalize their chat experience based on their preferences.
  • Feedback mechanism- Implement a feedback mechanism within the live chat interface to gather customer feedback on their experience, enabling continuous improvement and refinement of the UI.

What is live chat- An equilibrium between technology and human connection!

The essence of live chat goes beyond communication— it embodies a commitment to exceptional customer experiences.

As we move forward, you should not adopt live chat as a tool, but rather embrace it as a mindset—an ethos of responsiveness, empathy, and innovation.

For in the interplay between technology and human connection lies the ability to transform customer support, enhance brand loyalty, and drive sustainable growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Live chat typically involves a chat interface on a website where customers can interact with customer support agents in real-time. Customers type messages, and agents respond promptly, addressing inquiries or issues. It’s a convenient and efficient way to provide customer service, offering immediate assistance and fostering engagement.

Live chat refers to a real-time communication tool on websites where customers can interact with customer support representatives via text messages. It allows immediate assistance, resolving queries, providing information, or addressing concerns promptly. This fosters better customer satisfaction and enhances the overall customer experience on the website.

Yes, live chat typically involves interaction with a real person, often customer service representatives. Customers communicate with these agents in real-time through text messages on a website. This personalized assistance enhances customer experience and allows for immediate resolution of queries or concerns.

No, live chat extends beyond texting. It involves real-time communication between customers and human support representatives via a live chat widget on websites or dedicated apps. It facilitates instant messaging, chat transfers, and generates leads, improving customer engagement and satisfaction, surpassing mere texting capabilities.

Disadvantages of live chat include potential delays in response time, especially during high traffic periods, and limitations in conveying complex information compared to human conversations. Additionally, reliance solely on live chat may neglect other communication channels, impacting customer service quality and experience, potentially affecting conversion rates.

The main difference between live chat and online chat lies in the involvement of human support representatives. Live chat typically involves real-time communication with human agents for customer service, while online chat may refer to automated or bot-driven interactions without human involvement, impacting customer experience and service quality.

Messaging typically refers to asynchronous communication through platforms like SMS or social media, allowing for delayed responses. In contrast, live chat entails real-time interaction with human agents on websites, offering instantaneous responses. This enhances customer engagement, support, and satisfaction, especially crucial for e-commerce businesses aiming for real-time support and improved conversion rates.

The preference between live chat and calling depends on individual needs. Live chat offers real-time communication with human agents, facilitating quick issue resolution and enhancing customer experience. However, some situations may require the immediacy and clarity of a phone call, ensuring efficient support and satisfactory outcomes.

Venkatesan Gopal
Venkatesan Gopal

Venkatesan Gopal is a growth marketer at DevRev, specializing in driving business growth through innovative marketing strategies.

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