Top 6 Live Chat Support Skills for Email Support Pros

Delivering high quality customer service through live chat requires, as Liam Neeson might say, “a very particular set of skills.” Build on the email support experience you already have with these top live chat support skills.


In the video above I walk through 6 core chat skills and how to apply them to improve your live chat support delivery:

  1. Managing the conversation
  2. Increasing your speed
  3. Writing concisely
  4. Chunking information
  5. Teaching
  6. Closing it out

Adding a whole new channel can be challenging for a support team, but you’re opening up real-time communication with your customers. That is an incredible opportunity to give them a better experience, and to have conversations that are less likely to happen over email.

At Help Scout we’re hard at work on Beacon 2.0, our embeddable support widget that includes live chat. It’s being built to enable those conversations in a way that sets clear service expectations and helps direct customers to self-service channels where it makes sense.


Beacon 2.0 Preview: Introducing Chat?

Customers have wildly different expectations for chat compared to email. Discover how Beacon 2.0 meets that challenge and sets you up for success.

If you’ve been interested in offering live chat to your customers, but scared of the impact it may have on your team, and your existing quality of service, Beacon 2.0 could be a really great option to consider. But whether you’re a Help Scout customer or not, live chat can drive up customer satisfaction and reduce response times.

Below I’ve collected some great advice from members of the Support Driven community to help you on your way to live chat success.

Top chat support tips from Support Driven

"You want to make sure you’re in control. Rather than letting the customer inundate you with questions or information tell them what you need and what they should do."

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Diana Potter - Customer Support Team Lead at Qwilr

"We built a Chrome plug in to look up account info by the customers email address so we had fast access to their user level, pricing plan, timezone, etc all in one click instead of searching in multiple systems."

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Chelsea Stroh - Head of Customer Engagment at Recruiterbox

"When you don’t know something or have to troubleshoot - Provide estimates for how long it might take, and don’t be afraid to suggest transferring to a different medium (email/phone) if chat is not the best for their issue."

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Breetel Graves - Support Specialist at Campaign Monitor

"Chat messages can tend to be less clear, so practice the ability to read between the lines & figure out the real issue/question without requiring so much back and forth."

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Jarratt Isted - CoFounder at HelpDocs

"Make sure you use the meta data that chat apps can give you (e.g. the pages the user visited, knowledge base articles they read, their email address, name etc.) so you can avoid asking for repeat information."

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Craig Stoss - Manager, Client Support at Bonfire Interactive

"I'd say typing speed is definitely an important part of offering chat support. Especially when you are managing 3 or 4 conversations. I like that you can be a little more brief with replies to get the resolution needed on both sides."

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Mitchell Brown - Customer Experience Rep at Tommy John
Mathew Patterson

Mathew Patterson

After running a support team for years, Mat joined the marketing team at Help Scout, where we make excellent customer service achievable for companies of all sizes. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.