Customer Service Glossary

What Is Contact Center Live Chat? 

Contact center live chat is an online, synchronous conversation between customers and agents. Companies and contact centers incorporate live chats as part of their omnichannel communication strategy.

The goal is to ensure customers have a streamlined experience while receiving real-time assistance with ordering, purchasing, or technical problems. 

Many contact centers and businesses now offer contact center live chat to quickly interact with customers at any stage of the purchasing process. Customer service agents often use live chat as a catalyst to convert more leads or nurture previous buyers, though some may find this intrusive on some websites.

Why Is Live Chat Important for Customer Service Contact Centers? 

Live chat enhances customer service call centers in a variety of ways. From added capacity to customized user experience, live chat streamlines sales and technical support operations. 

Some of the benefits of contact center live chat include: 

Faster Response Times

Customer service representatives can only manage one phone call at a time. However, agents can maneuver between multiple live chats to provide faster problem-solving. Additionally, customers can connect with an agent almost immediately, improving client satisfaction.

Increased Efficiency

Live chats allow agents to answer from a computer or mobile app, reducing missed sales or consumer support opportunities. Further, agents can draw from a knowledge base of canned responses for frequently asked questions. In addition, customer service departments can re-route requests to the appropriate channel using live chat platforms.  

Enhanced Data Analysis

Some contact center live chats allow customers to approach agents first. However, many businesses may prefer a more proactive approach. Representatives can track website activity and reach out to customers as they browse through the company’s products and services. Additionally, live chats capture customer information, such as their email address and phone numbers, before the conversation begins. 

Improved Customer Experience 

Contact center live chats improve the customer experience in several ways. First, they reduce the risk of lengthy queues and frustrating wait times for customers (what’s a good first response time?). Secondly, customer service agents can easily transfer consumers to other parties, such as sales representatives or technical support staff. 

Most importantly, customer service departments can create a personalized customer experience through live chat. The agent will have immediate access to customer history, purchasing activity, and other contextual information. Because of this, customers can have an empathetic, knowledgeable, and relevant conversation with a trained company representative. 

Lower Customer Support Costs

Finally, customer service live chats can cut company costs by reducing the number of representatives needed to handle high-volume customer requests. Live chats provide a seamless, efficient channel for conversation. One agent can oversee multiple chats, raising customer service capacity and reducing the need for additional human capital or infrastructure. 

How Do Businesses Use Live Chat for Customer Service? 

Customer service live chat programs can support businesses in various ways, depending on the organization’s needs. Some businesses may combine AI-powered chatbots with customer service live chat. Others train their agents to interact with customers at pivotal points in the buyer’s journey, increasing sales and leads. Still others utilize live chat for enhanced problem solving and technical support. 

Businesses may also leverage customer service live chat programs to evolve customer service operations. Live chats automatically create digital transcripts, which customer service departments can then review to develop their customer service processes, increase customer satisfaction, and adjust scripts for enhanced personalization. 

Lastly, live chats can improve organization performance by creating a consistently satisfying user experience. A study conducted by Watermark Consulting found that customer experience leaders enjoyed a return margin of 3:1 compared to businesses that lagged in the customer experience department. Additionally, customer experience leaders outperformed the S&P 500 Index as well, with returns of 183.8% compared to 138.7% between 2007 and 2017.

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