Live chat is a web-based tool that directly connects customers with a company’s support team. Integrated with Help Desk Software, live chat is a quick, easy, and powerful support tool. It is embedded on a company’s website and offers a direct link to a support agent, enabling customers to receive on-demand live support.
Live chat can reduce ticket response times, increase sales, and improve agent productivity, making it one of the most important support tools to have.
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The Importance of Live Chat Help Tools
Live chat is a powerful instant messaging tool that directly connects customers with businesses. Making it one of the most effective support tools a company can deploy. It is typically found in a pop-up form at the bottom of a company’s website. Providing customers with an instant response to their enquiries. Customers who use a business’s live chat feature are 2.8 times more likely to convert. Using live chat to talk to and help customers provides serval benefits, including:
- Quicker response times
- Decreased ticket volume for support agents
- Personalised support experiences
- Offering real-time live support
- Building customer rapport and relationships
Live Chat Improves Customer Service
By utilising multichannel support, businesses can provide support across various channels. But, no channel delivers a better customer support experience than live chat. Live chat delivers an average customer satisfaction level of 73%. Compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone support. It is so important that 77% of customers leave a website that doesn’t have a web-chat option.
Live Chat Increases Sales
As well as being a preferred channel for customers, live chat delivers a good ROI for businesses. Live support tools are cheap to implement and require very little training. They’re also time-saving when compared to phone and email support. Allowing agents to answer multiple queries at once with the help of a knowledge base. A web-chat feature can also increase revenue per chat hour by 48%
Provide Fast Live Support to Customers
Live chat is a convenient tool for customers to use for help. It allows them to multi-task, save conversations, and get instant answers to requests. Live support also removes the chances of being put on hold by an agent. As well as increasing the likelihood of a first-time fix. As opposed to going back-and-forth on a long email chain.
Reduce Response Times
In the UK, 41% of customers said that live chat was their preferred choice of support. Mainly because it is a convenient and less stressful form of communication. But also because they’re receiving support in a more timely manner. As opposed to email and social media channels. With live chat, customers wait on average just 2 minutes and 40 seconds for a resolution.
Source: Superoffice 2020 live chat support study
Provide 24/7 Customer Support
Phone support is only available during operating hours, which is typically 9-5. Live chat, however, can be carefully scheduled to operate at all times. This is made possible by help desk systems providing support teams with a web-based login. Allowing agents to engage with customers from anywhere at any time. If a business operates globally, providing support is useful for customers in different time zones. There are also options if a company doesn’t have the bandwidth to provide 24/7 live chat support. Such as using chatbots to automatically direct customers to the relevant self-service resources.
Use Live Chat to Talk and Engage With Customers
Aside from improved CSAT and sales, live support is an effective way to engage with customers. As well as helping to build long-term business relationships. Which is essential for companies wanting to increase customer retention rates. It costs up to 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones.
Engaging with customers allows you to gather important information about products and services. Essentially, live chat can be a useful market research tool. You can see what customers like and dislike about products. As well as understand what people think about your company brand. Helping to understand if your brand is being perceived in the right way.
Another gain from interacting with customers is improving the productivity of your support team. Whereas agents answer one query at a time on email and phone, live chat offers more variety. Allowing agents to juggle more than one conversation at the same time. Enabling support teams to close more than 60 tickets an hour on average.
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Utilise Self-Service Tools and Chatbots
Live chat integration provides several different options for real-time support. For instance, a live chat tool provides features such as:
- Proactive chat
- Canned responses
- Contextual self-service
- Queue management
Each feature has its own benefits when it comes to helping customers and support teams. Canned responses save time with predetermined scripts. Whilst queue management interacts with customers while they’re waiting for an agent. A feature quickly gaining popularity in the customer service world is the use of AI chatbots.
What Is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an AI program built to automatically engage with users. Typically by proactively responding to messages that contain specific keywords or phrases. Whereas live chat requires an agent to message back-and-forth with, a chatbot does not.
Source: Drift 2018 State of Chatbots Report
Chatbots work by following a predetermined set of rules that help respond to specific commands. Like asking when a business’s operating hours are. Chatbots also work through advanced AI. Such as natural learning processing (NLP) and machine learning. Allowing them to evolve and interact with customers in a more detailed way. As well as providing customers with helpful resources, also known as contextual self-service.