Customer Service Glossary

What is a Chat Support Agent?

A chat support agent connects with customers through instant messaging on a business’s website or mobile app. The online chat representative may provide technical support, resolve customer service inquiries, or offer additional forms of real-time problem-solving.

Chat support has become a standard customer service channel for businesses selling products or services online. The instant messaging platforms and chat support agents help customers solve logistical, informational, or product-related questions without the lag-time of an email conversation.

Chat support agents typically work within a customer service platform or chat software that integrates with a business’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. Customers can access chat support agents at any time through a web browser or in-app, using a pop-up chatbox.

Why Are Chat Support Agents Important for Customer Service?

Chat support agents bridge the gap between online shoppers and corporations. Previously, customers had to visit a store to speak with a company employee in real-time. Now, live chat services and chat support agents allow customers to ask questions, connect with the brand, or confidently make large purchases on their schedule.

Other advantages of chat support agents include:

Reduced Costs

A customer can multitask while speaking with a chat support agent. Similarly, a chat support agent can respond to multiple customers at once, resolving tickets while other clients share their concerns or pose their questions. As a result, businesses can reduce overall labor costs while scaling their customer service departments to accommodate more client support services.

Convenient Customer Support

Customers can initiate a conversation with a chat support agent at any time of the day or night, from wherever they are at the moment, using an instant messaging platform. Rather than waiting to get off of work or find a quiet place to make a phone call, customers can begin the conversation at their convenience.

Improved Customer Experience

When a chat support agent speaks with a customer, the instant messaging platform automatically saves customer information, conversation transcripts, website activity, and purchase history. In doing so, the CRM systems create a detailed profile of each customer. Representatives can then draw from prior interaction, creating a personalized service experience that boosts customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Competitive Advantage

Studies show that businesses offering live chat support experience a nearly 50% increase in revenue for every hour of chat. The real-time, dedicated customer support and quick response time may even result in more returning customers as well.

Increased Customer Service Efficiency

Finally, chat support systems help customer service departments become more efficient. The brief, conversational exchanges with customers often make use of canned responses drawn from a knowledge bank.

Further, chat support agents can break problems down into small, manageable chunks, which customers can then clarify or expand upon when needed. In doing so, representatives can resolve technical support concerns more easily.

Chat Support Agent Responsibilities
Chat support agents perform many of the same tasks as telephone or email customer service representatives. However, instead of maneuvering between the three channels, chat support agents may focus on resolving customer concerns solely through instant messaging.

Other agent responsibilities include:

  1. Becoming a brand or product expert.
    Chat support agents should have a thorough understanding of both the brand and the products. By cultivating in-depth knowledge, they can provide customers with reliable support throughout the purchasing process or troubleshoot any issues that arise.
  2. Maintaining live chat best practices.
    Live chat best practices include clear, correct writing and professional language. In addition, they involve responding to every customer query, making sure customers feel valued, and following up with customers post-chat.
  3. Providing pre- and post-sales support.
    Customers generally feel more confident in making a purchase when they can contact a chat support agent. With this in mind, chat support agents should carefully answer customer questions, provide clear and transparent details on the products, and patiently guide customers through the purchasing process.

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