Muthu Annamalai Venkatachalam's Blog

Muthu Annamalai Venkatachalam's Blog

Live Chat Support 101 | Evolution, benefits and the way forward.

Live Chat Support 101 | Evolution, benefits and the way forward.

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The customer experience (CX) has become more critical than ever as consumers choose businesses that prioritize offering an exceptional experience. It is incredibly valuable for businesses to retain themselves in the long run. Live chat is an integral part of a good CX as it allows you to connect with customers in real-time, directly on your website or mobile.

Compared to other communication channels, live chat support generates higher customer satisfaction levels, and 79 % of customers prefer online chat support because of the immediacy it provides.

Hence, the businesses using live chat for customer service are able to understand customer needs and align their services to meet their expectations. Real-time interaction with the customers cultivates brand loyalty and increases customer lifetime value (CLTV).

ChatWoot is an Open-source customer alternative to Intercom, Zendesk, Salesforce Service Cloud etc. In this article, we’ll look a the evolution of Live chat, its benefits and possible channels you could set up live chat support through the context of this Open-Source project.

What is ChatWoot?

ChatWoot allows customers to have text-based conversations with support teams via the web. Using chatwoot software embedded on the company's website, customers can send their questions to a person (or sometimes an AI bot) who can quickly reply to them in the same small window. By implementing the best live chat tool, you understand customer pain points and address them effectively. Unlike other customer service channels such as email or phone support, website chat is a proactive way of supporting customers by avoiding a series of back and forth conversations.

Live_Chat.png

Why ChatWoot is unique

For human-to-human live chat, Chatwoot more or less has all of the core functionality that you should need. It has support for tagging, custom canned responses, and shortkeys, chat user details (e.g., browser, OS, etc. that are useful for debugging), email continuation (i.e., to allow users to continue conversations over email), a relatively simple analytics dashboard (not the most advanced one out there, but perfectly serviceable as long as you don't have a full-blown customer service division), and a solid implementation of expected API functionality (e.g., for propagating metadata programmatically to show up when you're chatting with a user, e.g., programmatically setting a user ID, so you immediately know what account your user is using).

Live (2).png

Here's the kicker: Chatwoot is a bonafide open-source project with a hosted offering. It's not a hedged open-core service that keeps some functionality under the wraps of a paid plan — the open-source version is fully featured. It also means that if you want to do deep customization of the chat tool beyond surface-level attributes like color, you can. Chatwoot is the only tool that readily allows for extensive customization if you want. That said, I recommend using their hosted version — they have an abnormally well-featured free plan that should work well for quite a while, and the paid plan is still a good value compared to a lot of the other products out there.

The benefits of Chatwoot live chat

i) Control over customer data:

Chatwoot helps companies in regulated industries to talk to their customers without sharing data with third-party providers. Your personal information is contained behind secured networks. It is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems and must keep the information confidential. In addition, all sensitive/credit information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.

ii). Pricing Is not too Extravagant:

ChatWoot is built as an alternative to bloated customer experience software with no insane pricing changes. In Chatwoot, you can install the fully-featured version on your server for free.No monthly fees, other than what you pay for hosting.

Like many open-source projects, they offer a paid, managed version. The $0 plan is perfect for a small business looking to incorporate live chat features into their website for no cost. For $0, it's immensely powerful. Not only do you get website live chat, but you also get SMS integrations, two agents, and canned (templated) responses. That's pretty crazy.

iii) ChatWoot Live chat support is timely:

A customer who receives an excellent response to their email inquiry in an hour or two may be satisfied with your service. Still, a customer who gets the exact same answer in real-time via a live chat will often be much happier because they can continue with their task immediately.

If your customer is considering making a purchase, renewing their account, or asking for a refund, a solid answer provided quickly can make a real financial difference to your company.

iv) Chatwoot Live chat support is conversational:

Many people are more comfortable expressing themselves through chat conversation than through more formal writing. Adequate email support puts demands on the customer to explain their issue clearly and provide all the relevant details, tasks at which customers are not always experts.

Live chat support breaks those interactions into smaller chunks and allows the support agent to lead a customer through the process by asking the right questions in the correct order. What could be a days-long, back-and-forth conversation through email might instead be a 10-minute chat.

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