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6 Conversational Best Practices for Live Chat Success [Infographic]

6 Conversational Best Practices for Live Chat Success [Infographic] Blog Feature

July 20th, 2018 min read

Imagine this: you visit a company’s website because you have a question about their service.

After flipping through a few pages and not finding the answer, you notice there’s a chat bubble on the bottom hand corner.

Lightbulb. You can chat with someone who will give you a quick answer, right now, so you click that little button and fire off your question.

Then you wait…

A few minutes pass, no answer. Your co-workers are waiting on you to head to lunch, but you’re stuck waiting.

Not the best experience, right?

Practicing Conversational with Live Chat

Investing in conversational marketing and putting live chat on your website is a big commitment.

You’re saying to your users, “Hey! I’m here and I’m ready to help.”

With that big commitment comes incredible opportunity, but for businesses who are just getting started with live chat, it can be a bit overwhelming to navigate.

We commonly hear questions like:

  • How fast do we need to respond?
  • What if I don’t know the answer to someone’s question?
  • What tone should we use?
  • How do we turn live chat conversations into sales opportunities?

They’re all valid questions and quite frankly, we had to figure them out at IMPACT when we first started with live chat too.

Fortunately, however, you don’t need start from square one like we did because we’ve put together six best practices to get you started.

These best practices are made for the live chat agents who are actively engaging people on your website. In order to make onboarding new agents easy, we’ve put them in an easy to read infographic.

Set this as your computer background, put it on a t-shirt, or… you know… add it to your onboarding plan!

Click here to download the infographic (or scroll down to see it on this page).

Best Practices for Live Chat Success

1. Prioritize responding quickly.

The expected response time on live chat is close to instantaneous. Always prioritize letting someone know that you’ve seen their chat and that you’re working on a response.

Don’t be the company that leaves potential customers waiting!

2. Set expectations.

If you need to look up an answer to a question, that’s ok! We’re all human.

Before you go searching let people know and share how long you expect it’s going to take.

If you’re away from a conversation for more than 2-3 minutes, follow-up with a status update. No one likes feeling like they’re waiting endlessly.

3. Be transparent.

Be honest if you don’t have an answer to someone’s question. There’s no reason you need to know everything!

This can also be a great opportunity to set up a teammate as the expert. We always favor this approach at IMPACT because it allows us to create relationships with the people who we can help best.

4. Type conversationally.

Don’t be overly formal and break up your thoughts using send breaks.

Live chat is one of the less formal ways for businesses to communicate with their community, so don’t be afraid to be casual with your formatting.

Before you get crazy with your use of emojis or slang, however, make sure you’re staying on brand.

People tend to communicate on live chat similarly to the way they would on Facebook messenger or via text. That’s why we recommend breaking up paragraphs into multiple lines.

It helps keep the conversation feeling fresh and speeds up your response time.

5. Don’t be too quick to convert off live chat.

Think of live chat like a first date.

It’s important to recognize that visiting, filling out a form, chatting, meeting with a sales rep, etc all take different levels of commitment and trust from your visitors.

Chat is relatively low commitment whereas having a meeting or call with you is relatively high.

Immediately trying to convert someone from chat to a call is moving too fast unless it’s clear that your visitor is  ready.

Instead, embrace live chat as a communication channel and build a relationship there.

Once you have built rapport and it makes sense for the visitor, then you can considering prompting them to convert to the next step.

6. Use warm-up questions to break-the-ice.

Warm-up questions are those that don’t require much thought or commitment from the user, but get them used to talking with you.

A great warm-up question will start a conversation enabling you to build rapport with your users.

Here are two we like:

  1. Where are you chatting in from?
  2. How did you find us?

Check out and share the full infographic created by myself and IMPACT designer, Joe Rinaldi, below:


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