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7 Best Practices for Delivering Superior Customer Support via Live Chat

7 Best Practices for Delivering Superior Customer Support via Live Chat

Live chat’s bubble is on the rise in 2012, according to a new study of more than 2,000 US and UK online shoppers. LogMeIn and the e-tailing group have released the Fourth Annual BoldChat Live Chat Effectiveness report which shows one in five shoppers prefer online chat over any other communication method.

This growing affinity for live chat mirrors a 2010 Bold Software survey that found that once a shopper used lived chat, more than two-thirds of these consumers actively look for website that provide it. In addition, 77 percent of those who used live chat agree that the channel positively influenced their attitude about the retailer who offered the channel.

The delivery of live chat has a lot to do with its success however. Featured here are seven best practices for offering a superior live chat customer experience:

Offer Chat Incentives

If live chat is a new offering, provide incentives to encourage early adoption. In a 2012 study, 80 percent of shoppers said that a free shipping offer would encourage them to use live chat services instead of email or phone, while 74 percent said an invitation with a special purchase discount would encourage them to start using live chat.

Customization Matters Make sure chat buttons and windows match your organization’s branding and are visually inviting and appealing to customers.

Extend an Inviting Invitation

The best invitations to chat feature personalized brand messaging and address the specific interests of the customer or the actions they are taking in a particular section of the site. Custom invitations have been proven to greatly enhance response rates. Make sure your chat offering is in a prominent location on your organization’s website.

Aggressive chat pop-ups are typically a turn-off

Consumers should have the ability to close or decline a chat pop-up invitation. Aggressive live chat pops are typically found to be intrusive and annoying; consumers prefer chat options that they are able to initiate on their own terms.

Good conversations carry a lot of weight

Best practices for live chat include a friendly, informal tone. If your organization offers canned responses, try to reword them so that they don’t sound canned. But, an informal tone doesn’t mean giving up good grammar and punctuation rules. A lack of proper capitalization and punctuation has been proven to slow reading and cause confusion for consumers.

Don’t make the customer wait

Most CSRs are engaged in multiple chat sessions at one time with different customers. The key is to never let the customer know this. According to the Fourth Annual BoldChat Live Chat Effectiveness report, 89 percent say the speed of agent response and talking with a real person are critical for success.

Knowledge is Key

93 percent of chat users agree that the product and service knowledge by the chat agent is the most important element for a successful interaction. Agents must know their stuff when it comes time to chat with their web-savvy customers.

Want more information on customer support software or web conferencing services? Browse additional blog posts, product reviews and the top 10 customer service software reports. Or check out’s web conferencing resource page.

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Tricia Morris

Sr. Marketing Writer, Parature
Expert in Multichannel, Social Customer Service Software
Tricia focuses on customer service best practices and trends on behalf of Parature, a leader in on-demand customer service software, which makes it possible for organizations across all industries to leverage multichannel customer service and social media to provide superior ...