30 Live Chat Tips for Effective Customer Service & Online Sales

  • Abir Ahmed Abir Ahmed
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Top live chat tips for effective customer service for businesses with examples

Effective communication is the key to building and nurturing long-lasting customer relationships. Live chat is a critical part of a successful customer service toolkit, providing a platform to communicate with customers in real-time and boosting satisfaction levels

Econsultancy says, “51% of customers prefer live chat as it connects immediately with agents.”

As live chat is one of the most important channels for online sales and customer support, it is critical to delivering effective chats. Hence training your teams with the right customer service etiquette and live chat tips is crucial to bring the best of the conversations.

However, it has its own set of challenges. One challenge is to make chats effective. And to deliver top-notch service, roofing a well trained and knowledgeable team is imperative. 

Live chat tips

We have compiled the list of best live chat tips to help your team to deliver great customer experience.

30 live chat tips to deliver an awesome customer experience (CX)

The reason why customers prefer using live chat is because of the higher satisfaction they get as compared to other communication channels. Regardless of advanced technology, a major portion of chat sessions still depends on human agents. Here are some customer support chat tips to boost customer satisfaction and experience. 

Let us discuss the live chat tips to keep in mind to ensure excellent conversational support.

1. Reduce your response time

Live chat is a popular communication channel as it helps to connect with your customers immediately. Econsultancy says, “ 79% of customers say they prefer live chat because of the instant response it offers as compared to other reactive channels.

 live chat tips - live chat for faster response

Faster response time is one of the key metrics to improve customer service, which is why response time matters. The lower is the response time, the higher is the customer satisfaction. Live chat empowers agents to handle multiple conversations, without making customers wait for a longer time.

Follow the live chat best practices:

  • Define your response time to measure customer satisfaction. Try to respond within 60 seconds. It will help you to utilize your team members to meet the KPI.
  • You can deploy a customer service chatbot to manage your FAQs promptly and collect visitors’ information.

2. Offer co-browsing sessions

Using advanced co-browsing tools helps to collaborate with your customers in real time and guide them through complex form fillup or application process. It makes conversations interactive and delivers a virtual in person experience.

It helps you to take control of the customer screen and deliver first contact resolution (FCR). The co-browsing solution comprises advanced WebRTC technology that allows a seamless peer to peer communication and effective engagement.

 live chat tips on co-browsing

How co-browsing proves to be an amazing customer support chat tips:

  • Co-browsing solution connects with your customers in real time and identifies the issue faster.
  • The number of customer touchpoints is reduced significantly by providing effective solutions in the first go.
  • Improve the chance of creating a great impression on your customers and gives a strong reason to retain with your brand.

3. Deliver personalized conversation with video chat

When customers face problems with your products and services, they expect a real time effective response. Video chat helps to interact with customers face to face and boost customer satisfaction.

Higher satisfaction rate is a key factor influencing customer retention and increasing their lifetime value.

How to enhance customer experience by using video?

  • With video chat, you identify the issue faster and offer the right solution in the first contact. 
  • You get the opportunity to open up a friendly conversation with your customers during product demos or technical processes. 
  • Interacting closely with personalized conversations builds trust and loyalty in customers

Having a personalized engagement with customers is one of the best strategies to improve customer service. 

4. Record your conversations

Recording complex and lengthy customer service chats can be one of the great live chat tips as it helps to gain a better understanding of live chat conversations and how your team is performing.

You can understand your customers by hearing the recordings and get a chance to read between the lines of the conversation. Recording support calls helps businesses to gain valuable insights and improve the customer engagement strategy.

You can enable the voice and video recording options and choose it as the default option for specific conversations on request.

live chat tips on enabling call recordings

Chat tips for recording conversations:

  • Ask customers’ consent: You must be clear in mentioning prior to recording the call. You should seek their consent and also mention the purpose of recording.
  • Follow courtesy etiquette: You should be using your soft skills – being polite and patient at the same time and actively listening to the customers. 

5. Provide scripts to deliver faster solutions

Software Advice Research says “84% of surveyed customers felt their experience improves “more than slightly” when an agent was able to answer confidently.”

Using well designed live chat scripts helps agents to deliver prompt replies to customers and handle conversations efficiently. When agents know what to say when the chats are managed effectively. With the right live chat scripts and phrases, you not only resolve your customer’s queries but also deliver a consistent customer experience.

Live chat best practices for using chat transcripts:

  • Faster response – Preset scripts help the support agents to answer customers faster and close the chat successfully and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Proper tone – Chat transcripts help the agents to follow the defined language to make sure that customers are satisfied as they advocate your brand with their experience with your brand.
  • Consistency in brand experience – Transcripts help to deliver a consistent brand messaging experience during chats that results in a positive word of mouth which is a core part of shaping a brand.

6. Route your chats to right agents 

Advanced routing features help to manage your chats by automatically transferring it to the right live chat agent or team. It helps to reduce the queue time significantly by providing a prompt response to the customers.

URL routing - live chat tips

How does routing help to enhance live chat experience?

  • Routing reduces the response time by connecting customers to the right team or agent instantly and getting the right solution.
  • With chat routing, you can identify the new chat conversations and auto-direct to the right department or team for quick assistance.

Routing is based on three rules – time based routing, broadcasting, and URL based routing.

Routing encourages cross departmental communication by sending chats to the right departments or team. The concerned team holds the product or service expertise to handle the chat reducing the queue time.

7.  Measure your chat metrics

The live chat metrics help you monitor the effectiveness of your live chat performance and identify the areas you need to improve. 

With the continuous measurement of key performance indicators (KPIs), you can improve the live chat experience of your customers as well as team productivity.

Key live chat metrics are as follows:

  • First response time – Measuring the first response time is key to maintaining a standard for customer satisfaction with your chat conversations. Ifbyphone research finds 59% of customers are more likely to buy when brands answer their queries in under a minute. 
  • Total conversations – Total chat conversations performance metrics show how many chat sessions you have had with your website visitors. A higher chat volume shows that you have good engagement with your website visitors.
  • Total visitors – Tracking the total number of visitors is an important KPI to measure agent performance metrics. It is important to monitor from the total chats assigned, how many of them were solved, and, more importantly, how many of them are still pending.
  • Visitors to chat ratio – It refers to those visitors who not only visit your website but also start chat conversation when they find your products matching to their requirements.

8. Measure real time feedback after every chat 

Live chat is one of the most used channels for collecting customer feedback. The ideal time to ask customer feedback through rating customer service. Asking customers to provide their feedback immediately after a demo or live chat session is the best practice to be followed.  

Tips on asking feedback questions to your customers:

  • At the end of chat conversation – When the live chat conversation ends you can ask customers to rate their chat experience.
  • During the product tour – While the customer is within the product you can ask them to provide their opinions related to the product.
  • After transaction checkout – After a successful transaction checkout is a right time to ask the customer to provide their feedback.
  • After a demo is offered – Once you give the product demo, ask your customer to provide product feedback.

Measuring customer satisfaction comes down to collecting customer feedback via different methods (surveys, polls). Once you collect feedback, you can categorize and distribute them to the department to act on it.

9. Make use of automated triggers

Many visitors and customers make a tour on your website daily. Usually, the prospects keep dropping off after spending some time on a specific page of your website. In order to convert such visitors you can start a chat with proactive chat messages.

Live chat best practices for using triggers rightly are:

  • Understand your customer journey and based on it, you can trigger personalized messages in the right time.
  • Personalize your message to make visitors get involved in a chat and you can guide and assist walkthrough the product. 

Note: Automated triggers help website visitors and customers in making quick decisions and more sales conversions. 

For example, you can send proactive trigger messages to those prospects who spend more than 50 seconds on your pricing or product page. Connect with them to understand if they have any concerns and answer their questions to negotiate a discount. 

10. Balanced use of canned responses

Canned responses are the preset responses for FAQs that are used by agents to deliver faster replies to customers during the ongoing conversation. These responses are one of the best live chat tips that can be followed to offer extraordinary customer service

Canned responses - live chat tips

How canned responses improve live chat conversations?

  • Canned messages can maximize the efficiency of your customer support team, handle multiple chat sessions, and balance the response time efficiently. 
  • It saves a lot of your agent’s time and decreases any typo error. 

You type reply once, save it and then reuse it during live chat sessions with a few keystrokes.

Here is a live chat training tip for using canned responses.

It is important to use canned responses smartly and wisely. The live chat representatives should be well trained not to overuse canned replies during a live chat conversation. It may make your customers feel that they are talking to a robot.

11. Personalize your chat conversations

Personalization is an evergreen trend that will never stop to show its magic. 

The concept of personalization is adopted by all businesses as the prime focus of every business is customer acquisition. Live chat helps to personalize your chat conversations, greetings and visitors information that builds trust in customers.

You can personalize live chat sessions in the following ways:

  • Friendly greetings and messages – There is no better way to start a conversation with a personalized greeting. A simple “hello, how may I help you today?” makes the customer comfortable to proceed with the chat in a friendly way.
  • Address customers with name – During the chat conversation, if you address the customer with the first name, it makes him feel as an individual and the conversation becomes more one on one kind.
  • Ask what brought them here – You can add personalized questions such as what brought them to your website? will make the conversation personal and effective. 
  • Close conversation thanking them – Offer a good note of gratitude to your customers before closing the conversation. For eg – “Thank you so much for reaching us out. We will be happy to help you in the future.”

12. Customize your live chat widget appearance

Live chat offers different widget customization options to match your website branding. Make sure to customize your chat widget to reflect your brand and boost your overall customer experience. 

customization of live chat widget - live chat tips

Follow the live chat best practices to customize your chat widget:

  • Customize the look and feel of the live chat widget to match your website branding.
  • Your widget customization options enable you to edit the theme, theme color, language, etc.
  • Add your agent’s real picture to give a human touch to your conversations.
  • Greetings are a great way to start a conversation. You can use personalized greeting messages for your website visitors and customers. 

13. Maintain a positive tone

It is not always what you say but how you say it – which is important. So, using a positive tone can be one of the best  live chat tips to be followed by your support agents.

For handling any difficult situation, using tone in your words can help you to tackle the customer as well as the scenario in a better way. 

For example, if you have one of your items out of stock. And for the customer’s inquiry, you can reply in two ways. You can decide which has a positive tone between the two and sounds better.

  • “We no longer have the product.”
  • “We are out of stock now, but I would be happy to introduce you to a similar new product that might satisfy your needs.”

14. Mange live chat conversations with tags

Adding tags helps your support agents to organize the live chat messages in a better way and sort them according to priority. 

Chat tags - live chat tips

With tags, agents are able to perform the below things:

  • Categorize the conversations based on the query.
  • Understand the most common queries and prepare support content or relevant solutions to reduce the number of similar requests.
  • Train your agents to handle those queries effectively.

15. Connect live chat with your other business tools

Integrating your live chat with other business tools such as e-commerce is a good chat customer service tip. When there is a new chat request, you can seamlessly transfer to CRM software and manage conversations effectively. 

Benefits of live chat CRM integration

  • CRM live chat integration allows you to identify your customer needs
  • Resolve their issues and closes deal faster
  • Collection of real-time data for sales and revenue reports

16. Show empathy towards customers

Talk softly, and carry a big stick. – Theodore Roosevelt

Understanding customers’ mood and psychology are vital to deliver the service they are looking for. Customers may not be happy with your product or service. They can blast their anger at you.

Training your support team with the proper chat etiquette can help them in handling customer conversations much better.

Here are the live chat training tips that can be followed for handling conversations.

  • Listen attentively to the complete experience customers narrate with your product, without interrupting them in between. 
  • Do not interrupt in between, ask an apology and provide a solution to resolve the matter to make them feel important.
  • Follow positive scripts and phrases on how to handle angry customers.
    • “My sincere apologies for what has happened. Let me try to find a solution to it.”
    • “I’m sorry you are facing the problem. Let’s find a way out to pull you out of the sea if there is anything we can do to help the situation.”

17. Transfer the chat to the right team

At times, agents initiate chat with customers and over awhile they realize that it is not their cup of tea. So what next?

You really can’t afford them leaving in a frustrated mind.

In order to handle such scenarios, you must have a well defined internal system to escalate the issues to the right team or agent, who can provide effective solutions. When the chat transfer happens, ensure that the customer is aware of it.

Transferring of chats to the right agent at the right time saves time as well as builds brand rapport.

Follow the live chat best practices: Train your chat agents to transfer chat sessions when required. Also, each agent must have a list of other agents and their levels of expertise.

18. Use offline message for out of office hours

We all have probably seen the board “OPEN” or “CLOSE” in front of the restaurant entry point. As it gives whether the restaurant is open to serve or not, likewise setting online and offline messages are vital to providing customers with a clear idea about your agent’s availability.

Setting a personalized online or offline message for live chat availability helps you to manage your customer expectations. It offers clarity to your customers on when they can connect with you to report their queries.

19. Communicate with good linguistic skills

Language is the main part while communicating with customers. The right use of words always leaves a good impression. As a part of live chat tips, you need to take care of a few things during the conversation.

  • Don’t neglect grammar – Using grammatically correct sentences maintains your professional figure.
  • Use language your customers can understand – Instead of using technical jargon, you can use easy to understand words and phrases that customers are comfortable to understand.
  • Embrace emojis – Using emojis adds clarity to the customer’s understanding and makes chats friendly.

20. Maintain consistent brand voice 

Consistency plays a key role in delivering a great live chat experience. 

You should maintain a consistent brand voice that matches your chat conversations as well to your website, social channels, emails, and all your branded materials. 

When you keep your brand messaging consistent at every touchpoint, it has a significant impact on your business credibility. Here are the benefits you can witness:

  • Mirroring a similar tone at all places enhances your brand image. It also develops trust and brand loyalty. 
  • When customers feel the consistency of your brand they choose your brand for a lifetime that increases customer lifetime value (CLTV).

21. Avoid foul language or sarcasm

One of the most important live chat handling skills is to avoid offending language, slangs, jokes, or sarcasm. Avoiding such elements during conversation helps to maintain a good professional image to the customers. 

During live chat conversations, agents are not who are presenting themselves, but it’s your band. If the agents do not have good chat handlings skills, it is not going to affect them but will directly impact your brand reputation.

22. Check the chat history

Live chat agents may gain valuable insights by quickly reviewing previous chats with an individual customer. Chat history helps you to learn whether the customer is a first time visitor, new customer, or returning customers. 

Usually, returning customers don’t want to reintroduce themselves time and again. Checking the chat history could be one of the good live chat tips because:

  • It ensures you know the customer perspective prior to starting a chat.
  • You can personalize your live chat messages depending upon the history.
  • Allow the agents to come up to speed on issues that the customer discussed previously, and to proactively follow up with any questions. 

Customers appreciate the fact that they don’t have to repeat their previous problems to newly assigned chat agents.

23. Provide multilingual chat support 

Multilingual chat support is an important live chat tip, as a matter of fact, customers can easily get all their queries resolved in their native languages. It makes them feel more engaged and increases the probability of them being repeat customers.

With multilingual chat support, you can enhance customer service which further leads to increased customer loyalty and rapid business growth. A loyal customer base is sure to provide a medium of the word of mouth marketing.

24. Monitor your live chat sessions

Empower your team heads and managers to monitor live chat conversations in real time. It helps to understand how your chat operations are handling the conversations. Are they able to meet the key service metrics or not.

Gauging the conversations provides you the opportunity to understand the areas for internal training and employee support.

25. Handle waiting time better with queuing

One of the most common frustrations of customers that makes them leave your website is long response time. With live chat queuing, you can manage your customer expectations effectively by proactively giving the estimated waiting time when your agents are busy.

Live chat tips - Queuing

When you provide a specific queue time to your customers, they calmly wait for their turn without getting annoyed.

26. Use pre-chat forms 

Businesses usually like to know about their customers. They want to learn about whom they are talking to. Using pre chat forms can be great live chat tips if you want to collect customers’ details prior to interacting with them. 

You can configure pre-chat forms for both the scenarios – when agents online and offline.

Pre-chat form - live chat tips

The forms can give enough details about your customers and help agents to deliver a better response. These details can be saved for future use as well instead of asking the same information every time.

With the information, you can automatically route customers to the right agents or departments for faster support. 

27. Strategically place your live chat button 

Placing the live chat button is a great chat tip as it starts a conversation. Your customers should know where to go when they are stuck in any page and need assistance. 

All of your products, services, and solutions pages should feature a live chat button in a consistent location. The buttons are ideally placed in the upper-right corner of each page. Train your website designer to provide the chat button in a strategically spot across the pages  of your website.

Note: Do not place chat buttons at the bottom of the page, as they will disappear below the fold and may not grab attention.

28. Automate your chat queries with bots

Chatbot automation improves live chat customer satisfaction by handling basic queries round the clock. It works hand in hand with agents by collecting customer details before transferring the conversation to the right agent. 

AI chatbots can live chat customer experience in the following ways:

  • 24×7 prompt support – Chatbots can engage with customers 24×7 when the live chat representatives are offline.
  • Reduce support tickets: Bots answer to the information based queries and reduce the number of help desk tickets raised by customers.
  • Humanized support for complex queries – When chatbots do not understand the question asked by the customer, the chat is handed over to the right support agents.

 

Example – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 

KLM launched a chatbot via Facebook Messenger called “BB” ( BlueBot). The BlueBot helped passengers to book tickets and updated them on flight status, gate changes, and similar data-driven functions.
KLM BB Chatbot - live chat  tips

Source – KLM-BB

The customer service bot handled more than 16,000 customer interactions weekly and in just 6 months, BB sent nearly two million messages to more than 500,000 customers. 

Follow the live chat best practices:

  • You can balance your support services with bots for basic customer queries and human support for complex issues, to deliver the best live chat experience of both worlds.
  • Bots can also help you to collect customer information for future use.

29. Keep conversations short and to the point

Live chat conversations are effective because they are quick and easy to consume. Instead of writing a lengthy paragraph during the ongoing conversation that may include all solution steps, it is better to break it into simple sentences. For example,

“OK, I’ll explain”

“To upgrade you first have to go to your dashboard.”

This is a simple way you can engage your customers in a meaningful conversation rather than overloading them with too much information. Breaking up your thoughts in small bites helps you to redirect the conversation quickly when the customer can intervene when they find that you are talking about apples, while they meant pears.

30. Create an unforgettable live chat experience

One of the key live chat tips is to deliver a good customer experience, whether it is sales, support, or marketing. You should make sure that you deliver a kind of support that satisfies and delights your customers.

  • You should deliver services with a humanized touch
  • Put yourself in their shoes and act
  • Develop an emotional connect with customers

Close the conversation with a positive note by thanking customers visitors for their time and making them feel appreciated. Happy customers are loyal customers.

Live chat tips for better customer experience

Live chat is indeed the most preferred customer communication platform due to its ability to provide instant support with human touch during the conversation. The “human” part in the process is expressed through the live chat representatives or agents, who should be well trained and knowledgeable to engage with customers on a personal level. 

Hopefully, the 30 customer support chat tips discussed above will help you to manage customer conversations efficiently and deliver an excellent live chat experience.

Abir Ahmed
Author’s Bio

Abir Ahmed is a digital strategist who enjoys reading, writing and learning about new technologies, content generating, and the Internet. Also he is pretty good in AAA gaming!

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