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Live Chat

As the world evolves, customer expectations for accessibility have increased; therefore, offering 24/7 customer support has become essential to businesses worldwide. Many businesses are utilizing live chat technology on their website to supplement the growing need for around-the-clock customer support. Live chat is a powerful tool that enables communication between a business and its customers outside of business hours. Live chat gives businesses the opportunity to enhance the customer experience while saving time and money.

There are tons of live chat providers out there, but there are very few that offer the most important features with quality agents at an affordable cost. To help guide you in the right direction, Answering Service Care created this content to go into detail about these commonly asked questions: 

What Is Live Chat?

Live chat for a website refers to a communication feature that allows website visitors to engage in real-time conversations with a support agent of the website. There is typically a chat box on a website’s pages, inviting visitors to ask questions, seek assistance, or engage in discussions.

Live chat enables customers to contact businesses outside of their business hours, but still receive prompt customer service. For customers who prefer not to chat on the phone or through email, live chat is a great alternative. According to Econsultancy, 79% of website users prefer live chat because it’s the fastest support channel. 

Live chat offers several benefits for both website owners and visitors:

Live Chat

Going Beyond the Basics of Live Chat


Overall, live chat enhances customer satisfaction, boosts engagement, and helps businesses build better relationships with their website visitors. Many online businesses have integrated chat into their website because it gives them access to features that generic customer communication methods wouldn’t provide. Some basic features of chat include: 

Customizable chat widget

That appears on the website as a pop-up and allows visitors to initiate a conversation.

Instant messaging

That enables visitors and support agents to communicate and exchange messages in real-time.

Canned response functionality

Allow agents to respond promptly with predefined responses to frequently asked questions.

Chat routing and distribution tools

Route incoming chats to the appropriate agents/departments based on predefined rules, availability, and expertise.

Typing indicators

Show when a visitor or agent is typing, providing real-time feedback for both the visitor and the agent.

Visitor tracking tools

Display visitor information, such as location, current page, referral source, and previous interactions.


Allow customers to call agents from chat to offer multiple channels for support

Access to chat history and transcripts

For future reference, analysis, or follow-up.

Business woman on a phone call.

What Is a Live Chat Support Agent?

A live chat support agent is a representative that engages in real-time conversations with website visitors through the chat feature on a business’s website. Their primary role is to provide 24/7 live chat support by assisting customers promptly and professionally. Here are some key responsibilities and functions of a live chat support agent:

  • Engaging with customers and providing support
  • Answering queries
  • Assisting with sales using knowledge base
  • Resolving technical issues
  • Multitasking and time management
  • Displaying empathy and professionalism
  • Documenting interactions
Although these responsibilities are common amongst support agents, it’s important to note that different providers may offer other advanced tools. A high-quality live chat software provides solutions for businesses to create a seamless experience for their customers. These more established providers employ experienced chat agents who can message customers offline, call customers for more personalized support, integrate with other systems (such as CRMs), and provide insights related to key performance indicators to improve chat effectiveness.

The Importance of Human Support Agents

Live chat providers play a vital role in enabling businesses to offer efficient and personalized customer support. Many providers offer automated chatbots to answer questions, book meetings, or capture leads. However, there are also options available that prioritize human interaction and provide additional features that allow human agents to capture leads and book appointments with customers. One such provider that fits this description is Answering Service Care.

What sets Answering Service Care apart is its emphasis on real people-powered support, allowing businesses to connect with customers through human agents rather than relying solely on automated responses. With Answering Service Care, businesses can ensure that their customers receive personalized and knowledgeable assistance from trained support agents. These agents can address customer queries, troubleshoot issues, capture leads, and even schedule meetings when necessary. 

In addition to lead capture and scheduling, Answering Service Care provides the functionality for agents to call customers directly from the chat interface. This feature facilitates immediate communication, allowing agents to address complex issues, provide detailed explanations, or offer personalized assistance. The ability to make outbound calls within the live chat platform streamlines the support process and enhances customer satisfaction.

Overall, Answering Service Care stands out as a live chat provider that offers real people-powered support while incorporating advanced features like lead capture, customer calling, and meeting scheduling. With its comprehensive platform and focus on personalized customer engagement, Answering Service Care provides businesses with the tools they need to deliver exceptional support experiences, drive lead generation, and build stronger customer relationships.

How Does Live Chat Work?

What Are the Advantages of Live Chat Customer Service

Live Chat Agent

Real-Time Support and Convenience

Live chat offers several benefits for businesses and website visitors. These benefits make live chat a valuable tool for businesses to improve customer support, increase sales, and enhance the overall customer experience. Here are some key advantages:

Businesses can offer immediate support to website visitors using chat. Customers that have questions or problems can get answers right away, which speeds up the problem-solving process and increases customer satisfaction. For website visitors, chat is a useful communication tool. They can interact with businesses without having to spend time making time-consuming phone calls or sending emails. Visitors can use their preferred device and access live chat from anywhere.

Personalization and Customer Engagement

Live chat allows for a more engaging and satisfying experience for the customer. Support agents are able to address the customers by name and provide tailored insight for their specific needs. For instance, the scheduling feature provided by Answering Service Care allows agents to check availability, propose meeting times, and coordinate with customers seamlessly. This functionality is particularly valuable for businesses that require demos or sales meetings as part of their customer support process. 

The ability to schedule meetings directly within the chat interface streamlines the customer experience, eliminating the need for customers to navigate away from the chat window or visit separate scheduling tools. It not only enhances convenience for customers but also enables businesses to manage their agent’s time efficiently.

Live Chat Support

Cost-Effective Customer Support

Live chat can be a more affordable option than phone assistance. Because it uses fewer resources and enables support agents to manage numerous conversations at once, it eliminates the need for many employees. There are also cheap live chat options available for businesses with minimal volume.

Live Call and Chat Agent

Sales and Lead Generation

Live chat can be used as a sales tool by guiding website visitors through the buying process, addressing their concerns, and providing accurate and up-to-date product or service information. It enables businesses to engage with potential customers proactively, potentially increasing conversions and generating leads.

One notable feature of Answering Service Care’s chat service is its lead capture capability. Agents can capture lead information during chat conversations, allowing businesses to gather valuable contact details and insights about potential customers. This feature enables businesses to nurture leads, follow up with them through targeted marketing campaigns, and ultimately drive conversions.

24/7 Call and Chat Agent

Competitive Advantage

Some 24-hour chat services come with analytics that provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. Businesses can monitor chat transcripts, gather data on common issues, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to enhance their products or services. Offering chat on a website can set businesses apart from their competitors. It demonstrates a commitment to customer service and accessibility, enhancing the overall brand reputation.

Live Call and Chat Support

Why Do I Need Live Chat For My Business?

According to the Customer Service Benchmark survey of 2000 consumers, live chat has the highest customer satisfaction levels at 73%, compared to 61% for email support and only 44% for traditional phone support.

Live chat is a cost-effective tool that businesses can use to improve their customer service, increase sales, and make data-driven decisions. Due to its effectiveness, chat is very beneficial for businesses that are trying to meet the growing needs of their customers and gain a deeper understanding of their target audience. Small businesses can especially benefit from chat to gain a better competitive advantage.

Implementing chat for your business can enhance customer service, provide a competitive advantage, increase sales, and offer cost-effective support. It’s an effective way to engage with customers, build relationships, and deliver a positive customer experience, all of which are crucial for the success and growth of your business.

Why Is Live Chat Important In Sales?

Building Trust and Rapport

Sales representatives can develop a connection and acquire clients' trust by responding promptly and accurately, demonstrating product expertise, and genuinely caring about their requirements. This may have a significant impact on the customer's choice to buy.

Overcoming Objections

Customers may have issues or objections during the sales process that must be addressed before they agree to purchase. Live chat gives you the chance to address objections quickly, give further details, and allay any fears. Chat's interactive features enable back-and-forth conversation, which makes it simpler to get beyond resistance and establish trust.

Increasing Conversion Rates

Conversion rates can be greatly impacted by the presence of live chat during the sales process. Businesses can lower client abandonment rates and boost the possibility of turning leads into paying customers by providing rapid support and help. Real-time information and the ability to respond to client issues can have a favorable impact on the purchasing decision. more.

Cross-selling and Upselling

Live chat enables sales employees to find cross-selling and upselling opportunities based on consumer inquiries or preferences. Sales representatives can raise the average order value and boost sales revenue by identifying customer needs and promoting relevant additional items or services.

According to a study conducted by Forrester, for customers who chat prior to making a purchase, there is a 10% increase in average order value, a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, and a 40% conversion rate. This shows that with the assistance of chat support agents, customers are more inclined to purchase additional products and remain loyal to the business.

Live Support

How Much Does Live Chat Cost?

The costs associated with implementing live chat can vary depending on several factors, including the provider, the features included, the number of agents, and any additional services or add-ons. Some providers may offer additional services such as customization, integration support, or dedicated account managers, which may come at an additional cost. It’s also worth considering the scalability and future growth potential of the chat solution to ensure it aligns with your long-term business needs.

What Is the Return on Investment of Live Chat?

Return on Investment (ROI) is a crucial aspect to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of any business investment, and live chat is no exception. Implementing live chat on websites can yield significant returns and contribute to the growth and success of a business. According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, implementing chat on websites can result in a 300% ROI. By providing instant assistance and addressing customer queries promptly, chat helps potential customers make informed purchase decisions, leading to more completed transactions and increased revenue.

Additionally, live chat contributes to cost savings and efficiency improvements, further enhancing ROI. Unlike traditional customer support channels like phone or email, chat enables agents to handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously. This multitasking capability reduces the need for extensive manpower, resulting in lower operational costs. Moreover, the use of automation tools, such as canned responses, streamlines the support process, allowing agents to handle more inquiries efficiently. These cost-effective measures maximize the value derived from the investment in chat.

Live chat also offers opportunities for lead generation and customer retention, positively impacting ROI. With features like lead capture, businesses can collect valuable information about website visitors, enabling targeted follow-ups and increased conversions. By nurturing leads through personalized support and building lasting relationships with customers, businesses can drive repeat sales and foster loyalty. The long-term value generated from customer retention and repeat business contributes to a higher ROI over time.

Overall, investing in chat can yield a significant return on investment for businesses. It enhances sales conversion rates, reduces costs through efficiency gains, and drives lead generation and customer retention. By providing real-time support and personalized assistance, businesses can create positive customer experiences that translate into increased revenue and long-term success. The measurable benefits of chat in terms of improved sales, cost savings, and customer loyalty make it a valuable investment for businesses seeking a strong ROI.

Pay-Per-Minute vs. Pay-Per-Chat?

Some providers offer free live chat services with limited features, which may be suitable for small businesses with minimal chat volume. Whereas, some providers cost over $490 monthly for a limited amount of chats. It’s very important to consider whether your chosen provider offers price-per-minute or price-per-chat.

Paying for the minutes used in live chat, rather than the number of chats, offers a more accurate and cost-effective approach. The number of chats does not necessarily reflect the complexity or duration of each interaction. By paying for minutes used, businesses have a fairer pricing model that aligns with the actual time spent assisting customers.

Paying by the minute ensures that the value received corresponds to the level of support provided, regardless of the number of chats initiated. It allows businesses to optimize their resources, control costs, and ensure that they are only paying for the actual time invested in delivering exceptional customer support. For this reason, Answering Service Care offers affordable options for as low as $25, where you only pay for the chats you need.

How Do I Choose a Live Chat Provider?

The best live chat for a website is one that works for your business and provides the features you need to stay successful. But with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to tell what service is right for you. Here are a few key questions to ask before you select a live chat software.

Live chat works by enabling real-time communication between website visitors or customers and support agents through a chat interface on a business’s website or app. Here’s a general overview of how live chat typically works:

Answering Service Provider Evaluation Checklist

Is this service established and experienced?

We have been in the business for nearly 50 years and have over 4000 customers who trust our services. And every year we keep learning more and getting better.

Does this service hire quality people?

Everyone on our team cares deeply about the service they provide and wants to help our clients succeed. Our professional call agents are specifically trained to handle calls/chats for a specific industry group and work closely with you to understand your unique workflows and specifications to effectively become an extension of your business.

Does this service offer useful features?

Answering Service Care provides a comprehensive suite of features to support customer engagement through live chat. Businesses can leverage features like lead capture, chat-to-call, and appointment scheduling to streamline communication, deliver tailored messages, and provide instant responses.

Are bilingual agents provided?

According to Forbes, the U.S has the second largest population of Spanish speakers, with 13 percent of the population speaking Spanish at home. If your business wants to offer better service to all people, you should consider a provider with Spanish-speaking call agents. Our customizable bilingual services allow you to serve all customers at a fraction of the cost of in-house professionals.

Does this service charge by minutes used or the number of chats?

Many answering services rely on technology either too much or too little. Answering Service Care strikes an appropriate balance between human and digital assistance. We hire talented operators and also provide a comprehensive list of modern features to help you streamline your communication operations!

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