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Intro to Live Chat

What is Live Chat?

Live chat is a means of communication used by businesses and organisations to chat in real-time with visitors to their website.

Most people have used the live chat function before to ask questions or enquire about a product or service online and get instant advice from a customer service agent.

Those who haven’t used live chat will undoubtedly have at least seen the live chat box pop up when visiting a website. Chat boxes complete with a photo of a smiling face and a text box offering to help with any questions are now a familiar sight online and live chat functionality has become increasingly popular with businesses and consumers alike. In fact, over a third of consumers expect to see it when visiting a website, whilst for businesses, this sought-after tool is a sure-fire way to boost online conversions and improve customer satisfaction.

Consumers perceive live chat to be faster and often more efficient than other forms of communication and many appreciate the opportunity to ask quick questions, right there and then, whilst browsing online. Others simply prefer not to talk on the phone and those who are accustomed to communicating via texts and social media are sometimes more comfortable with a messenger style live chat approach.

Having live chat available encourages consumers who wouldn’t otherwise take the time to email or call, to make an enquiry or provide feedback due to its ease of use and instantaneity – customers don’t even need to leave the web page or information that has prompted their query, enabling them to make quicker purchase decisions.

Live chat generates 6x more website engagement!

Businesses have been quick to recognise that live chat can help to dramatically increase web conversions, by as much as 50%! As well as offering an additional method of communication with customers and potential customers which ultimately encourages more leads and opportunities. In fact, live chat can generate up to six times more engagement with website visitors. With this in mind it’s hardly surprising that businesses have embraced the technology which is proactive, flexible, and straightforward to use.

How does live chat work?

It works with a simple piece of software that is easily installed on a website and enables instant messaging with web visitors.

A chat box appears within the browser window and the customer can simply type their query. Someone at the other end types their response. Live chat works effectively on desktop and mobile so it can be used by customers anywhere.

Questions can be short, simple, and answered quickly or longer conversations with multiple questions and answers can develop. Live chat probably provides the fastest form of customer service available to businesses.

Why do customers prefer live chat?

The instant nature of live chat is what has made it so popular with consumers. Years of dealing with call centres and experiences of being kept on hold, passed around to different departments or even being lost in the system have all contributed to many people preferring digital communication.

Email and enquiries via web contact forms are fine but consumers expect to wait for a response to these enquiries. On the other hand, when information is wanted quickly, live chat is the perfect means of communication.

It’s also true that people feel comfortable asking fairly trivial or casual questions on live chat. These are the types of questions they probably wouldn’t send via email or web form where more formal or structured communication tends to take place. Often these questions might seem minor but they can be key to the customer and their buying decisions, even if they don’t realise it! The value of this shouldn’t be underestimated, the right response via live chat can then lead to impulse buys and a happy, loyal, new customer.

In a similar vein, live chat can also encourage a customer to open up more, particularly on matters of a sensitive nature that require empathy and deeper understanding, due to the environment feeling less upfront than a face to face interaction. Live chat gives customers more time to think and develop questions that may otherwise have been forgotten about or avoided on a phone call.

Are live chat enquiries answered by a real person?

People often wonder if there will be a real person at the other end answering their query. Whilst it is true that various businesses do use AI and chatbots, others don’t. In many instances, there will be a real person with product expertise and company knowledge waiting at their keyboard ready to help.

Chat boxes can be customised to reflect your company branding and can include a profile image and/or name of the member of staff the customer is chatting to, helping to humanise the experience and making it feel much more personal – which is particularly beneficial for sectors where a human response is especially valued.

With Moneypenny’s Live Chat, responses on behalf of our clients come from real people, offering that human touch. However, chat bots, despite the lack of real people, offer a lot as well, they can answer FAQs and take details for web visitors to be called back.

AI is improving all the time, so having a mix of real people and chat bots will tick all boxes for live chat. 

What are proactive chats?

Proactive chats or invitations are the online equivalent to a shop assistant asking, “Hi, can I help with anything?” They are an incredibly powerful tool and will add immediate value to your website. They can also be highly effective when it comes to boosting sales.

Consider which pages of your website are crucial in the purchasing process, or which may lead to questions, and include conversational auto-prompts on these key pages to encourage interaction from visitors on that page.

The key here is to understand how users approach your website. Put yourself in the position of the web visitor or shopper. Think about what they might need, what they could be looking for, or what questions they might have. Asking the right questions can make the world of difference. Not sure where to start? Speak to one of our Live Chat team and we will be able to advise, offer suggestions and share our expert view on what is effective.

Our Live Chat staff are here to deliver exceptional levels of customer satisfaction and help make your website work as hard as it possibly can. Having support available for your customers, whenever they may need it, goes a long way and proactive chats do just this.

Want to find out more?

To find out more about Live Chat , call us today on 0333 202 1005.

We give you amazing people and technology:


Your own Moneypenny PA to answer calls exactly as if based in your office.

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Live Chat

Amazing people, briefed by you to manage chats whenever you can't.

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All the functions and support of an office phone system, minus the hardware.

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