Live chat software is the medium that enables 2-way communication between your company and your customers online. Playing a key role in your overall customer service offering, live chat is agent-assisted unlike other tools such as self-service and chatbots that rely on AI and NLP to deliver results. This means that when customers engage with live chat, their queries are being dealt with by a human who is specially trained to solve queries instead of an algorithm.
Whilst self-service channels are effective in solving customers’ routine queries, AI cannot always replicate the sensitivity and empathetic decision-making that comes with human understanding. Which is why live chat software is the perfect solution for queries that are more complex by nature, customers get the best of both worlds: the human touch and depth of answers that come with an agent-assisted channel, blended with the convenience and flexibility of using an online tool.
Customers are always going to have complex questions, the type that does not fit into the routine category and thus cannot be solved by self-service tools. This is why providing a live chat option online is paramount to CSAT and channel efficiency.
Beyond simple customer service, live chat can also facilitate lead generation and customer engagement, serving prospects, leads, new and existing customers.
How does it work?
On the customer’s end, a live chat conversation is initiated and their query is entered. This chat is received via the agent interface, otherwise known as the chat console, where it is assigned to an available agent, perhaps by skill if appropriate.
When integrated with a wider knowledge base, the interface recognises keywords that the customer has entered, prompting AI-powered predictive suggestions in real-time and shown in a ‘mini knowledge’ in the same window that recommends articles for sending. Agents can send pre-configured canned responses to save time or transfer chats to those with more appropriate skillsets. Certain live chat software includes live key-press features that allows agents to see what a customer is typing before they hit ‘send’, giving them extra time to resolve issues. All these functions are designed to promote incremental efficiencies.
Companies understand that there will always be non-routine queries to deal with and that agent-assisted channels prove costly. The reason why live chat software is so widely utilised is because it is a fraction of the cost of telephony and email. These features that enable incremental efficiencies along with the capability to handle multiple chats simultaneously, brings operational costs down significantly.