Live chat

A commonly used tool in customer support is live chat. But what is it exactly, what are the benefits for an online store and how should you implement it in your ecommerce website?


What is live chat?

using live chat softwareLive chat is an online communication app that enables you and your visitors to chat in real-time. It’s an alternative to phone calls or email, which are other common tools to offer customer support. All you or your visitors need to do is to type the message inside the chat window and send it.

Offering a chat window enables you and visitors to solve any problems in real-time.

Live chat makes it easier for visitors to ask a question, as they don’t have to drop everything and put what they’re doing on hold to call a busy phone line. Instead, they can start a chat with a person, from a company website or inside a company’s app, and get their issues resolved immediately.

All your customer support in one central help desk: Zendesk. The #1 software for your help desk according to Gartner. Fully integrates with most ecommerce software.

How live chat works

Your live chat supplier generates a chat box on the website, or a widget, that is part of the live chat app. This means that visitors of your online store can chat directly with you while staying on your online store, without having to install anything on their devices.

Within the app, you and other operators are able to do more than what visitors can do in the widget. You’ll have access to analytics and you’ll be able to track visitors and customers to see what they browse and for how long.

It’s possible to integrate the live chat app with other platforms, for a more efficient workflow.

You can also program canned responses to respond even faster. It’s possible to integrate with other apps and platforms, for a more efficient workflow. This means that customers can start a chat on their laptop and then switch to a mobile device, without losing the conversation.

Benefits of using live chat

delivering instant support through a live chat on your storeOne of the biggest benefits of adding live chat to your ecommerce website is the fact that your visitors will be able to contact you more easily. Customers don’t have to drop everything to call a busy phone line. People often also prefer not having to call, but want to be able to have a conversation with your business.

Using a live chat will also reduce costs. It’s a lot cheaper than handling phone calls and it also makes it easier to engages in multiple chats at the same time. This means that you can help more visitors simultaneously, which saves time.

Using live chat reduces support costs.

Research by HubSpot in 2020 showed that companies using live found it a very successful tool to help customers. Yet, there was a low amount of companies in the study that had  actually implemented live chat. Using it in your online store will make you gain a competitive advantage.

It also increases sales and conversions, as visitors get answers to questions about your products immediately. This will improve the overall website experience of your visitors.

All your customer support in one central help desk: Zendesk. The #1 software for your help desk according to Gartner. Fully integrates with most ecommerce software.

Using live chat

Obviously, live chat is a tool for communication, but there are several ways you can use it. It’s a great tool for customer support. Customers can send images, links and files to illustrate their problem. Your customer support will also become more personalized with live chat.

But you can also be proactive with the chat widget. You don’t have to wait for a visitor to bring up a problem, but you can also proactive chat with your customers. Even if there is no problem yet, you can still ask them if everything is in order. By starting a proactive chat you can increase your chances that someone will place an order.

Once you know which pages your visitors are browsing, you can also suggest similar or complimentary products within live chat. This adds value to the orders your customers place.

Live chat or chatbots?

Customers expect a quick response when they ask you something in live chat. Though it’s easier to respond quickly using this tool than responding to emails or on the phone there are still ways to cut back the response time even more. Many companies use chatbots to do just that.

When you implement a chatbot in your website, it’s not necessary for you or a teammate to respond to all inquiries. However, a chatbot’s response is limited and sometimes bots aren’t able to answer a question correctly. Many consumers prefer talking to a person, they fear that a bot will make mistakes or won’t be able to help them as well as a person.

Many online stores combine using a chatbot and live chat.

Many online stores opt for a combination of chatbot and live chat. When a visitor starts a session, it starts with a chatbot to give them an instant reply. The bot gathers information about the inquiry and then transfers the customer to the right representative.

Having a chatbot also makes it easier to use your chat app in a proactive way. That way, the bot starts to ask your visitor whether everything is okay. It also makes it a lot cheaper and easier for customers to get answers to their questions 24/7.