What is Live Chat?

Mislav Raguž

Content Writer

At the end of the 20th century, email was still primarily used as a communication channel. First live chat software was launched at the beginning of the 21st century, more precisely in 2002. After that, it started to develop and in 2010 there was a massive growth in live chat usage. Since then, it’s slowly taking over the leading position in online customer support. In 2018 it becomes the king of the web. In the States only, 7% of businesses have implemented live chat plugin on their websites.

The Theory Behind Live Chat

Live Chat is an online application for customer service. It’s integrated into websites in purpose to provide support to the customers. They can have real-time communication with their provider in order to get the answers to their requests. Traditionally, for that purpose was used mobile phone or e-mail, but this is also some part of digitalization.

Chats are becoming more important every day. It is often presented as widgets on websites, where customers insert their credentials so that the support could recognize who they talk to. The interface of the widget usually looks like a classic messaging window. However, some live chats allow widget customization.

After identification, the conversation between customer and support starts. 

The main advantage of live chat compared to phones and e-mails is that you can see who is on your web site. While using phones and e-mails in customer support, allows you to get only their credentials. With live chat, you can see what customers’ action on your site, how much time they spend on it, where they come from etc.

So, we can say that using live chat gives you a lot more information about your customer compared to phones and e-mails.

Live Chat Support

Sales are not the only part of the business where live chat is needed. It’s also used for help desk and support efforts. Most businesses use this type of communication because it is focused on two fronts instead of only sales or support.

Considering support, live chat has a few advantages over e-mail. The communication is much faster as well as the information exchange.

According to Essential Customer Experience Metrics, the customer expects a response within one day via email.

With live chat, response time gets faster, within one or two hours. That is the main difference between live chat and email customer support.

Comparing live chat and phone call, we can all agree that phones are a fast way to respond to queries, but when it comes to multitasking it is impossible to talk with several customers simultaneously.

Hence an agent who is trying to solve customers’ problem should be able to handle 5 to 6 customers at once without any difficulties.

Live Chat Support Example

Picture 1. Live chat for customer support

Live Chat in Sales

Support is not the only part of the business where is live chat used. It is also used for sales. Most popular is a combination of sales and support. Most businesses use this type of live chat because it is focused on two fronts instead of only sales or support.

According to Emarketer, customers prefer to live chat on the site and 62% of them would buy again if there was a live chat on the site. 

Therefore, it greatly influences sales.

Firstly, live chat can offer help to customers who are in dilemma or don’t know much about products. It can be automatized, so will appear to the customers how are for a certain time on site and didn’t make any purchase.

For example, if the visitor is online for 15 minutes and didn’t buy anything, then the live chat agent will appear offering help to the visitor in terms of giving information and personal opinion. It provokes the customer’s satisfaction and automatically increases the chances of buying.

Secondly, if the agent doesn’t convince a visitor for a purchase, he can use his kindness and leave him his name and contact so if he makes a change and decides to buy something he can always contact the agent.  

Also, when the customer comes to live chat, the agent must help him as much as he can and recommend some other product for increasing sales numbers.

Live chat used for sales purposes

Picture 2. Live chat for sales

Live Chat Features

Live chat can be integrated with many features like tags, database, surveys, etc. These features are used for better organization of tons of queries and requests.

For instance, tags are defined as a word which, used in conversations to make it easier to search for a conversation. The database contains every single request from a customer which can help if it comes to some similar request.

Surveys are usually used to let customers give a review after the purchase has been made, how happy they are with the quality of the product/service and customer support.

Live Chat Requirements

One of the better sides of live chat is its simplicity. Live chat doesn’t require much from a customer. Only thing customer needs is a web browser. When customers need help via live chat, they have to visit providers web site and find an answer on every kind of his request there.

Back in the time when phone calls were the primary way of communication, it was hard to communicate if the customer wasn’t in a quiet place. Nowadays, with live chat software, the customer can chat with support wherever he wants and find out everything he needs. Also, emails take too long to be replied to and they are never as fast as live chat is.

Live Chat As a Business Term

Live chat is a piece of software on the web site which is made for better, upgraded and faster communication with customers. It has big advantages in front of previous communication channels in customer support like phones and emails. The conversation is quicker, quality of the response for customers is richer and more relevant and, most importantly, it’s really easy to use.

They are not only used to provide support but to help customers in buying products and increasing the success in sales. In a live chat conversation, it’s always possible to suggest customers other product and services.

Live chats contain a lot of features, but to be extracted, perhaps the most important could be tagged. Some words are defined as tags, so researching by conversation is simpler because tags represent a specific unit of certain conversation.

Conclusion

While Live Chat should not be used as the sole means for communicating with your customer, it has become a vital side channel to support your customers, offer product advice, survey customer opinions, and generate revenue for the company. With a good number of years of use now under the Live Chat belt, the benefits now outweigh any kinks that may have arisen in the past. It’s time to dive in! Check out Paldesk to get Live Chat for your business and you will thank yourself over and over again.

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What is Live Chat? was last modified: February 26th, 2019 by student@paldesk.com
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