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Online chat as a means of technical assistance

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How does a direct chat service work?
The advantages of technical support chat for websites and online stores
In what aspects does this type of service stand out?


Online chat as a means of technical assistance

Support tools are an essential part of customer service. While local stores or company branches offer the ability to troubleshoot and answer questions both face-to-face and over the phone or via email, this option is not available for online stores or web pages. The help chat has been established as an alternative technical assistance component that , although it does not replace the usual communication methods, it can have a similar effect on users seeking advice, since it offers a more personal form of communication. The efforts involved in using a service with such characteristics raises the question of which audience should this virtual communication medium be directed to..

How does a direct chat service work?

To be able to use the chat service on a website or in an online store, you first need the corresponding software. The market today offers numerous possibilities in this regard, but to get an overview visit the guide with all the information about free and paid chat support programs. With the help of a specific code, which must be copied into the specified sector of the HTML file, a chat can be integrated into a web project. For this, various types of chat are available, such as on-site chats , which are connected through the page itself and which always remain visible to visitors, or off-site chats , which will appear in an external window.

Depending on the size of the software, different functions are given to establish contact, process requests and organize and analyze conversations. There are programs like Livezilla that send an automatic invitation to the chat service to their visitors using various mechanisms. Some applications allow remote access to the customer's computer, an optimal tool in case of technical problems. Other possible functions are, for example, data transmission, automatic correction of spelling mistakes, creation of a transmission queue or frequently asked questions file..

The advantages of technical support chat for websites and online stores

If you are the administrator of an online store or a company's website, the online chat service is an excellent option to respond immediately to customer questions, contrary to what happens with services such as mail electronic. Some of its advantages are:

  • Clear explanation of complex topics : With the help of the support chat, the most difficult problems can be dealt with. If the person requesting help does so through the menu or describing their specific case, it is not uncommon for technical support via email or telephone to be of little use. Long time lags in the case of e-mails often create considerable obstacles, and telephone support often leads to misunderstandings. In technical support chat, both customers and workers offering such a service not only have the communication in front of their very eyes , literally, but they can also exchange links or files, such as screenshots. And if the software allows remote access, the client's PC can be accessed, something that can be of great help.
  • Competent service : it should not be ruled out that, on some occasions, the workers of this service are overwhelmed with questions from users and that they cannot answer them. Contrary to what happens with telephone communication, in this case they can be advised by their colleagues without the client noticing. The archiving and evaluation functions offered by most online chat options provide the necessary tool to verify the quality of the service and to maintain it in the long term.
  • Possibility of their own initiative : the teams that work with the chat service can go directly to the visitors of the web pages or of the stores and offer them help as would happen in a physical store with the aim of offering them assistance when looking for a product or a specific type of information.
  • High efficiency : regardless of the chosen software, several chats can be used at the same time. In those situations in which there is no guarantee of being able to use any type of technical support chat, it can be disconnected by default and become a contact form, for example.
  • Facilitate customer contact : the help chat service is clearly visible and can be used without the need for additional software. Furthermore, its use is not subject to any type of cost, unless it is a commercial offer of technical assistance. The conversations carried out through this service are usually less formal than emails, but also more impersonal than phone calls.

In what aspects does this type of service stand out?

In general, it is advisable to expand the offer of technical assistance through a service such as direct chat. Additional options that offer neither phone support nor email support can help reduce bounce rate and increase customer satisfaction. However, the effort associated with this type of real-time support service should not be underestimated. If the chat is online, customers expect their requests to be processed quickly. In the specific case of small businesses and shops, it must be analyzed in advance and exactly whether the resources that workers need are ready to be used or whether the use of an online chat service would be profitable. When it comes to reflecting on this, aspects such as:

  • Complexity of the contents (products): the more complex the offer, the more questions will arise from the visitors and the more importance will be gained by the technical support chat service.
  • Website traffic : the more visitors the store or website has on a daily basis, the more it will, of course, request a helpdesk of this nature.  
  • Type of traffic : even though mobile traffic is gaining more and more importance and is already conceived as a large part of all Internet traffic, if many users search for your web project through mobile devices, this traffic can go in against the direct chat service. The reason is that many chat programs are not optimized for mobile web pages, which reduces their ease of use.
  • Increase in average revenue per sale : The average revenue generated in each transaction is an indicator of what online stores and payment services sell. The higher this on average, the more sense consulting a tech support chat service will make.  

If you've already decided on a tech support chat software, you'll also need to consider developing a clear concept. The opening of a proactive chat is not appropriate for each service and for each company and if used incorrectly it can cause more harm than good. When providing technical assistance or purchase advice, it is recommended to use experts for your team. If your company's help chat builds trust, is competent and helpful, it will be of considerable benefit to your web project and increase customer satisfaction.