Customer Service Glossary

What Is Live Chat Software? 

Live chat software is an instant messaging platform that businesses use to communicate with customers in real-time. Both in-app and website live chat software allows client service representatives to provide immediate resolutions to consumer inquiries through a text-based message.

Many businesses notice that the feature increases conversions, improves user experience, and results in consistent conversation with the company’s instant messaging software agents. Pop-up instant messaging windows are some of the most popular customer relationship management tools. However, businesses can often customize their live chat software and combine instant messaging, video chats, and more. 

Why Is Live Chat Software Important for Customer Service? 

Incorporating live chat software into an organization’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform can have a wide range of benefits, such as:  

Improved Consumer Experience

In 2013, a study conducted by eDigital Research found that 73% of customers preferred instant messaging over phone, email, or traditional mail. While their reasons varied, most respondents indicated that the efficiency, flexibility, and speed of live chat software made it the most useful option for purchasing products or resolving concerns through a business’s website. 

Increased Conversions

Some businesses use instant messaging solely to manage customer support requests. Others invest in platforms that allow their software agents to monitor consumer activity on their websites. Then, they can reach out at pivotal moments in the buyer’s journey, resulting in an increase in conversions and up-sells through conversation. 

Cost-Effective Client Support

Live chat software allows representatives to respond more efficiently, cost-effectively, and flexibly. While agents can typically only manage one phone call, they can communicate with multiple customers simultaneously through instant messaging in a mobile app or on the business’s website. 

In addition, agents can draw from a knowledge bank of canned responses for common questions or use screen sharing to help convey a solution. Further, many instant messaging platforms offer artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, which can address basic inquiries and redirect requests to agents when necessary. 

As such, organizations can cut labor and infrastructure costs while maintaining consistently high-quality interactions with customers. 

Competitive Advantage Over Other Businesses

More than 50% of online shoppers use live chat software, but less than 10% of every 1,000 online shopping platforms offer the service. Instant messaging gives organizations an advantage over their competitors in two ways. First of all, it allows clients the flexibility to communicate with customer service teams on their schedules and at their convenience. 

Secondly, live chat software helps businesses minimize the financial and human capital they need to fulfill consumer support requests. They can then shift the newly freed resources to the core functions and operations that help them stand out from other companies and improve brand awareness in their markets. 

Reduced Response Time

Customer support instant messaging tools make it easy for agents to respond to customers immediately, reducing lag time or frustrating waits. Through online chat, agents can address pain points, answer questions, provide technical support, and guide customers through the sales process in real-time. 

Live Chat Customer Service Systems

Online chat customer support systems streamline the support process. That said, many businesses believe that instant messaging works best when paired with additional support methods, such as video, audio, and shared browsing functions. 

Companies can often choose between several software packages, including: 

Video, Audio, and Text Support

Video, audio, and text support packages allow consumers to interact with customer support representatives via website- or app-based instant messaging, video chats, or phone calls. The personal touch of a phone call or video chat typically increases consumer confidence in companies, especially when selling expensive products or services. 

Audio, Video, Text, and Shared Browsing Support

Alongside the support systems mentioned above, shared browsing – or “co-browsing” – allows client support agents and consumers to browse a website or mobile app together. Unlike screen-sharing, both participants can control the screen. As a result, clients can view products, access files, or enjoy assistance filling out forms without worrying about security breaches or data leaks.