How to utilize live chat for contact centers

Aksheeta Tyagi

Umme Sutarwala

October 19, 20236 min read

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In times where real-time engagement overrides most perks of customer support, live chat comes as the torchbearer.

Gone are the days of long, frustrating phone calls to a call center, where elevator music was your only companion. As traditional contact centers evolved into digital hubs, live chat bridged the instant-response expectation with high-quality service. Today, the mere presence of a "live chat" button can instill confidence, signaling timely assistance.

In this article, we'll explore how to use live chat to transform your contact center and elevate your customer service game in this era of convenience.

Table of Contents

Role and benefits of live chat support

Live chat support is a requisite, rather than simply a perk for high-touch customer support teams. As businesses evolve, so must their touchpoints with clientele. Live chat brings the real-time attention that drives both customer engagement and conversions. Here are the roles and benefits of using live chat in your contact center.

Benefits of live chat for businesses

Businesses can experience many benefits from using live chat in their modern call centers. Some of these advantages are listed below:

  • Improved customer satisfaction: There are many reasons why people value live chat, but time is one of them. Live chat enables customers to receive responses to their issues quickly from a live human agent, which leads to increased customer satisfaction.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Live chat is cost-effective because agents can handle multiple chats simultaneously, reducing labor needs. Its cloud-based infrastructure slashes traditional telephony costs and integration with chatbots alleviate the need for 24/7 human staffing, streamlining expenses while maintaining quality customer interaction.

  • Increased sales and conversions: By offering real-time product information and support during the purchasing process, live chat may increase sales and conversion rates.

  • Reduced cart abandonment:  The average cart abandonment rate is roughly 70.19%, which highlights the necessity for effective support. Live chat can assist in lowering cart abandonment rates by instantly responding to customer queries or issues.

  • Easy data collection: Live chat enables companies to gather useful customer information, such as contact details and preferences, which may be used for the next marketing and customization efforts.

Now, while these benefits might sound appealing, live chat support may not always be the right choice for every business. Check this video out, in which we explore the four absolute questions you must ask yourself to find out if you need to deploy live chat at all!

How live chat chatted up a storm during the pandemic 

Live chat sort of evolved from a mere tool to a reliable support companion for homebound customers during the pandemic.

This new reality, marked by isolation and a surge in online reliance, saw live chat stepping up as a real, empathetic connection point. After all, the climb in global customer satisfaction rates with live chat from 2015 to 2022 reached its zenith in 2020, achieving a striking 85.6%.

Shopping experiences, too, saw a transformation; live chat guided users through uncharted territories of online purchases, making the process feel less transactional and more human. It offered real help, clarifying doubts about products and assisting with the purchase process, making online shopping less daunting for users.

Benefits of contact center live chat for customers 

Live chat allows customers to easily and conveniently seek support on their issues from the support team. Some of its benefits for the customers include:

  • Convenience: Customers appreciate the simplicity of using live chat to fix problems rather than having to use emails, IVR menus or wait on hold. The use of live chat lessens the work and frustration of the consumer.

  • Quick responses: Customers value live chat's quick customer response times since they receive solutions quickly. In fact, 53% of American customers are more likely to successfully complete an online transaction if they get help through live chat.

  • Personalization: Using consumer data from live chat, you can offer advice, help and product recommendations specifically suited to each customer.

Watch now: Deliver personalized experiences with live chat

Benefits of live chat for support teams

Contact center live chat also makes lives simpler for support teams. Here are some of the advantages they experience from implementing live chat.

  • Efficiency: Compared to phone support, where they normally handle one call at a time, support workers become more efficient when using live chat as it allows them to handle multiple chat conversations simultaneously.

  • Easier authentication: Live chat can facilitate swift and secure user verification through Single-Sign-On (SSO), OTP validations and secure links — ensuring privacy while discussing sensitive details

Customer data privacy on Sprinklr
  • Brand guideline adherence: With scripted responses and chat templates, agents can maintain a uniform brand voice, which is key to maintaining brand integrity and trust with customers. 

Interesting read: How brands can streamline their approach to brand reputation management

  • Proactive prompts: Send timely prompts based on user behavior and triggers to ensure contextual assistance, reduce chat drop-offs and improve shopping experiences.

Proactive prompts to boost engagement on Sprinklr
  • Knowledge sharing: Live chat frequently incorporates knowledge bases, allowing agents to instantly access relevant and often nuanced product resources to speed up issue-solving.

  • Co-browsing: Co-browsing in live chat allows agents and customers to navigate the same webpage simultaneously, enabling agents to guide customers effectively throughout the UI.

Co-browsing for targeted resolutions on Sprinklr
  • Analytics and performance monitoring: Live chat systems include analytical tools that enable teams to monitor important customer service metrics, spot bottlenecks and constantly enhance their offerings. 

Strategies to effectively utilize live chat in contact centers

Your customers' emotions during live chat service experiences quite conclusively impact positive word-of-mouth. So, it’s key for you to get your strategy right. Your live chat support in the contact center should grow and adapt as you do, be easy to manage and most importantly — be unwaveringly private and secure. The following strategies will help you get the most out of live chat:

Use canned responses

Compile a list of standard answers to frequently asked questions. These canned responses are pre-formulated, stored messages within live chat platforms. Designed for recurrent questions or scenarios, they offer agents immediate access to standardized replies. Technically integrated for quick retrieval, they can be categorized, tagged or triggered by specific keywords, ensuring timely, consistent and accurate communication while optimizing agent workflow.

Manage your queues well  

Queue management organizes incoming chat requests to ensure orderly and efficient handling. Utilizing algorithms or rules, you can prioritize chats based on criteria like wait time or case importance. Agents receive real-time queue insights, while customers get expected waiting times and where they stand in the queue. Consumers value transparency.

Use emoticons and the right tone 

Human touch stays undefeated. So, make sure to bring warmth to encounters while keeping professionalism, utilizing emoticons and a conversational tone. However, consider whether these components are suitable depending on your brand and your client.

Initiate chat proactively 

Monitor visitor behaviors and initiate chats at critical moments, such as prolonged page visits or before site exit. This proactive approach can prevent issues and enhance the digital customer experience.

Optimize for mobile 

As many consumers may access help through their mobile phones, ensure your live chat feature is optimized for it. Prioritize responsive design, minimize lag and adapt interfaces for touch navigation. It's the key to seamless chat experiences on the go.

Maintain chat transcripts 

Store chat records not just to identify issues but to comprehend the customer journey. Use transcripts as training materials to teach agents how to handle varying scenarios.

Route chats efficiently 

Implement a contact center routing strategy to prevent agent burnout and ensure customers are connected to the right experts and departments. Remember, it's about placing the right chat in the right hands, ensuring swift resolutions and happier customers.

Test, test, test — and optimize 

Test various strategies—such as chat positioning, greetings and answer modes —continually. Utilizing real-time data, companies hone chatbot algorithms, refine call center agent training and streamline chat workflows. Alter your strategy based on what works best for your audience.

Send post-chat surveys 

After wrapping up a chat, immediately pop in a post-chat survey, like one, to gauge your customer effort score. This quick pulse check gives you real-time feedback, highlighting what's working and what's not to elevate your entire support game.

Post chat surveys on Sprinklr

Lead a unified conversational experience 

Integrating live chat with platforms like your contact center CRM, knowledge base, ticketing systems, and analytics tools offers a unified conversational experience. Live chat software equipped with readily deployable SDKs and APIs enables seamless integrations, granting agents swift access to real-time customer histories, previous tickets and relevant resources. With immediate data retrieval, agents address concerns promptly.

Play detective: Your absolute guide to live chat software

Best practices for utilizing live chat in contact centers

Customer satisfaction, agent productivity and overall operational efficiency may all be dramatically increased in contact centers by appropriately utilizing live chat. Here are a few tips for best practices:

  1. Personalize greetings: Use the customer’s name and reference past interactions if available, making the experience feel personal and tailored.

  2. Multilingual support: Cater to global audiences by offering chat in multiple languages, ideally using a multilingual care console.

  3. Chat customization: Design your chat window to reflect your brand's colors, logo, and ethos.

  4. Privacy assurance: Let customers know their information is safe. Provide clear data usage policies within the chat interface.

  5. Use typing indicators: Show when an agent is typing. This keeps the user engaged, knowing a response is on the way.

  6. Chatbots for off-hours: Deploy AI chatbots for after-hours support. They can handle basic inquiries or gather information for follow-up.

  7. Use chat for announcements: Keep customers informed by using chat to broadcast pertinent updates.

  8. Use visuals and media: Agents can use graphics, photos and even videos in addition to text to effectively convey and troubleshoot.

  9. Set availability hours: Clearly communicate when live chat is available. This manages customer expectations and ensures they aren’t left waiting.

Setting available business hours on Sprinklr

Set up your contact center live chat in minutes with Sprinklr 

Don’t look at live chat in your contact center as merely a conduit for answering questions, but as a way to mold and dominate customer notions. It is the linchpin that allows you to be omnipresent, supporting them, especially in critical times of need.

Sprinklr’s Live Chat software is precisely built to ensure every interaction etches a perpetual memory of service happiness.

  • Plug and play: Easily integrate Sprinklr’s Live Chat into multiple platforms without coding needs

  • Onboard self-service: Offer FAQs, automated troubleshooting workflows and conversational AI support

  • Deploy co-browsing: Share and browse screens in real-time, making interactions more interactive and solutions more immediate

  • Stay nimble: Access unabridged user profiles and internal knowledge to always stay current on what your customer needs

  • Stay proactive: Predict and respond to user needs or potent issues, dramatically reducing cart drop-offs

  • Relay personalized demos: Arrange one-on-one video calls for tailored consultations and appointments

  • Stay secure: Enjoy unassailable security standards like PCI compliance for responsible conduct

Testing all of these features and more is actually quite simple. Take it for a test drive for 30 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to unify customer interactions across multiple contact center communication channels, live chat connects by using omnichannel systems.

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