Since live chat has become a preferred customer service channel for a growing number of online consumers, having a live chat widget on your company website is a necessity for businesses of all sizes and in any industry. Not only does it allow you to offer quick and timely assistance to customers – when used strategically, it can greatly contribute to increasing engagement, boosting customer satisfaction and improving sales, while also reducing your customer support costs.
Given the impact live chat can have on the quality of your customer service and revenue, it’s worth investing some time into researching the options and learning as much as you can about various live chat software providers before choosing the tool that meets your business needs and adding it to your website. Some of the factors to consider include the set of features, easy onboarding and customization, third-party software integrations, security, mobile compatibility, pricing and customer support.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices matching your requirements and budget but are not ready yet to purchase a subscription, you can start with a free Trial. Most of live chat software providers offer free trials with all the product features available to enable potential customers to test all the functionality, or the ability to request a demo. Signing up for the trial usually takes a couple of minutes at maximum and doesn’t require credit card information.
After signing up, you need to choose a chat button and paste a short HTML code in the body of your page. Once you’ve added the code, you can start chatting with your customers and prospects in real-time. Whenever a visitor clicks on the live chat button that is usually displayed at the right bottom corner of a website, a chat window appears. By clicking further on this window, the visitor initiates a chat with a company’s representative who is currently online and available to pick up the chat request.
Live chat software providers typically offer a wide range of customizations of the tool. It may include tweaking the design of an online (when chat is available) and offline (when chat is not available) buttons and a chat window to make it look native to your website, as well as changing language and texts. You can also choose whether clicking a chat button will start a chat immediately or open a pre-chat form to be filled by a visitor. The design of pre-chat forms and contact-forms (displayed if no agent is online) can normally also be customized according to your needs.
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Proactive chat is a common feature offered by most of live chat vendors. Proactive chat invitations can either be displayed on every page of the website or on particular pages – e.g. your pricing or checkout pages where users will most likely need live assistance. Invitations can usually be triggered manually or automatically based on pre-defined rules such as visitor information and various behavior metrics (geographic location, current page, referral page, time spent on the website, visit times etc.).
Creating canned messages is an important part of setting up your website chat widget and getting the most out of it. These are pre-defined answers to frequently asked questions from customers. They allow to speed up response times and increase the agents’ efficiency as the they won’t have to type custom messages to repetitive questions that can be answered instantly by simply sending the right pre-written response in a few clicks. Canned messages are specifically helpful if the agents need to handle multiple chat requests at the same time.
Knowing how to integrate chat into website is only the first step. Here are some of the tips and best practices for optimizing your live chat tool to make sure it brings the most benefit to both your business and your customers:
While a live chat button can be added to every page of a website, you may want to have it available only on certain pages. In that case consider choosing those pages where your customers and site visitors are more likely to have questions. These are typically Price, Product, Contact, FAQs and landing pages.
When enabling automated proactive chat invitations, make sure they don’t pop up within the first couple of seconds before visitors even have a chance to explore the website. Also, don’t invite visitors to chat multiple times, especially those who have already rejected your chat invitation once – it might only annoy them.
If you are not planning to operate your live chat 24/7, make it clear for your visitors when live support is not available. It can be done by setting up an offline chat button that will be displayed when your agents are not online and won’t be able to accept chat requests. It also makes sense to specify your chat working hours on a contact page.
Although canned messages can significantly improve response times, they may sometimes do more harm than good, if used inappropriately. The number one rule with canned responses is that they must always be modified and personalized to fit the customer’s situation and their particular needs.
Above anything else, the quality of your chat support isn’t just about the right software with advanced functionality, it’s more about the people who are at the frontier of your live chat. Invest in the proper training of your chat agents – it may include not only teaching them to use the chat tool in the most efficient way, but also improving their soft skills.Back to Academy
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