Customer Service

What is Online Chat Support?

Using online chat to help customers.

Online chat support has become increasingly popular in today’s world. Businesses are implementing chat support across their websites. 

It’s a great way to connect with customers and many other things. But what is online chat support? 

We’ll give you everything you need to know surrounding this topic. 

Let’s get started. 

Helping customers through online chat support.

What's the difference between chats? 

Chat systems have become almost the norm among businesses and it’s something customers are starting to expect. Chats make it easier for customers to connect, ask questions, and get the help they need in real-time. 

Here are the two most common chats.

Live Chat 

A customer service agent is able to communicate with website visitors in real-time through a widget. Live chat can either be triggered by the customer or automatically. 

Chat Bot

A bot that responds to customers’ questions. It can be prompted by the customer or automatically triggered.  Depending on the software it can generate a response using AI or use one of the preset options set up by the business. 

Live chat and chat bots would be considered online chat support. They both offer support to the customer. However, using live chat can be a bit more functional due to a customer agent answering questions. 

For more information about chats, check out “Using online chat for your business”.

Set up a prompt message on Breadstack.
Set up a prompt message on Breadstack.

What is online chat support? 

Online chat support can be defined as a method of customer service that offers support to customers through messaging software.

Usually, a chat is a widget that appears on a business web page that can either be triggered by the customer or automatically set up depending on where the customer has landed. 

We mentioned live chat and chatbots are both online chat support. Live chat can be a better system due to a live customer service agent can provide a more natural approach. 

However, the two can also be used together. A business can set up a chatbot to answer basic or frequent questions.

If you’re live chat agents continually get asked about hours of operation, refund policy or shipping, you can set this up as a preset so that when customers ask it, the chatbot answers the questions.

This saves your customer service agents time by ensuring they answer more serious questions. 

Chatbots can also be utilized outside working hours. If you cannot provide live chat 24/7, chatbots can handle customer requests when agents are offline. It could be AI generating a response or the chatbot can mention working hours. 

Using online chat support is an effective way to offer convenience to your customers and connect with them through different stages of their journey. 

A view of chats on Breadstack.

Benefits of online chat support

Chat support can help your customers more effectively, but it can do so much more. Here are the benefits of using online chat support. 

Improve support experience

Online chat support is preferred by customers. It’s easier than calling a business or waiting for a response through email. 

Customers can get their questions answered right away with chat support.

Increase customer engagement 

Online chat support can be triggered by the business once a customer reaches a certain stage, this prompts the customer to respond increasing overall engagement.

Chat support also is easier for customers to interact with rather than any other method. They’ll be more inclined to use it. 

Want to increase customer engagement overall, check out “How to improve customer engagement”.

Gain data insights

Chat support allows you to collect customer data. Most support systems allow you to store and organize data. You can save this information for repeat customers to personalize their experience next time.

The data can also be used for marketing for other support members too. Marketing can better target their campaigns and support teams can have fluid interaction with all customers

Snapshot view of customer data on Breadstack.
Snapshot view of customer data on Breadstack.

Breadstack's customer service solution

Breadstack’s customer service solution is a powerful, mobile-friendly chat service that integrates with most major websites.

It can drive customer loyalty with integrated CRM features, and recommend products and promotions. You can also know where your customers are on your website providing help in real-time. 

Contact us today to get started!

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