Live chat support is a web-based support service typically embedded in a business website that customers can access often 24/7 when they need help with a product they have purchased or before purchase when they need more specific information about a product before making a purchasing decision.
Live chat support is used primarily by medium to large businesses which can afford to designate one of their knowledgeable staff members to attend to queries. Live chat may also use artificial intelligence to respond to queries and messaging although this by necessity isn’t quite as effective.
What are the benefits of a live chat support service?
All market research as well as anecdotal evidence from businesses that have started using live chat support is that it is appreciated by customers and potential customers and has a knock-on positive effect on businesses too. As far as users are concerned, the main advantage is to have a text-based conversation with someone who can answer their queries in an almost instant time frame rather than waiting for an email response or trying to get through on the phone. Email inquiries are often unanswered, which is frustrating for the person who has sent the email and doesn’t do the reputation of the business any good. The reason for failure to respond is often simple. The email becomes buried amongst heaps of others and in the end, only priority emails get answered. Phone contact is often to an answerphone with an annoying menu and a robot voice.
Live chat, on the other hand, as long as it really is life, is easy to use and normally has a fast reply service. The other benefit of live chat is that the support person can lead the enquirer through what is often a procession of questions and responses. If this was support by email, then each query and response would take much longer. One benefit of a telephone support conversation is that it avoids using a poor signal or when someone’s accent is hard to decipher.
Live chat translation services
A sophisticated addition to the usual live chat support service is an option to communicate in more than one language. This option is most likely in a truly multilingual country such as Switzerland or where a business has an international sales presence and uses a multilingual website for sales, product information, and support. Using a translation service for the live chat is not easy as the whole process is supposed to happen on the spot.
The temptation here is for the live chat support service provider to use a web-based translation tool rather than a professional translator or preferably a support staff member who is bi or multilingual and can therefore translate queries through the live chat system quickly having an ineffective or inaccurate translation tool for live chat support is counterproductive and should be avoided at all costs. It is better to employ staff who can do the interpreting by phone contact or translation of the text queries through live chat. Because of the extra cost involved, live chat translation support services will probably remain the preserve of the larger enterprises.