Live chat is an incredibly flexible and cost-effective way to deliver an amazing experience across the entire customer journey. It’s not just a tool for providing support; live chat can also be used to convert leads, boost sales, and improve customer success.

See how useful chat can be in helping you meet a variety of goals with these 10 creative live chat examples.

1. Improve customer satisfaction

Being able to deliver faster support improves customer satisfaction:

We looked at the happiness ratings across 8,000 customer conversations in Help Scout and found that customers are much more likely to give positive feedback after a chat.
  • 90.6% of chat feedback is rated “Great,” versus 69.1% of email feedback.
  • 5.5% of chat feedback is rated “Not Good,” versus 23.7% of email feedback.

Customers are often in the middle of trying to complete tasks when they need help. Live chat support lets them get an answer quickly and get back to their work, which leaves them feeling much more satisfied with the support interaction.

2. Measure agent performance

In the same review of conversations, we categorized each piece of written feedback as “focused on the agent’s response” or “focused on the customer’s problem.”

We found that customer feedback after a live chat interaction is much more likely to be about the service interaction itself, whereas feedback after email support was often about a problem with the product or company (and not rating the service interaction).

Therefore, using live chat feedback will typically give a clearer picture of the agent’s own performance and will allow you to celebrate their strengths and identify areas for improvement.

3. Promote self-service

With live chat software like Help Scout’s Beacon, you can help customers quickly find their own solutions by showing them relevant knowledge base articles within the live chat tool.

help scout beacon functionality

Beacon integrates directly with your Docs knowledge base so that when a customer opens Beacon, you can show them the knowledge base articles that are the most relevant to the page they’re viewing. And if they can’t find the answer they need, live chat is just a click away.

It’s an easy way to promote self-service to get customers the answers they need quickly — and to reduce the number of chats your support team has to respond to in a way that doesn’t degrade the customer experience.

4. Improve customer success

Even if you don’t have a large enough team to offer live chat support to all of your customers all of the time, you may be able to make it available to a subset of your customers. A great segment of customers to offer chat support to are new or trial customers.

Having live chat turned on for new and trial customers makes it easier for those customers to solve blockers, get answers, and achieve more success with your product, which could make the difference between an abandoned trial and a trial conversion.

Beacon lets you show different options based on what you know about a customer using the API’s identify method. If you have the API running in the background of your app constantly, you’ll be able to identify all logged-in users and trigger proactive messages encouraging new/trial customers to reach out if they run into issues.

If you want to learn more about Beacon’s identify method, check out our 30-minute course on Leveraging the Beacon API.

5. Book sales calls and demos

When members of your sales team aren’t engaged with other tasks, they can jump into the live chat queue to field questions from prospects. It’s a great way to engage prospects who may not yet be ready to start a trial or book a sales call and persuade them to take the next step to becoming a customer.

With Beacon, you can see customer information in the sidebar of your chat conversation with details that may help guide the conversation, such as company name, previous support interactions, and pages the prospect viewed before asking for help.

customer information in help scout's beacon
Customer data appears alongside every live chat conversation in Beacon.

6. Offer incentives at just the right moment

One big advantage of live chat is that a skilled customer service or sales rep can spot sticking points and issues that might be holding a customer back from purchasing.

The thoughtful offer of a discount or package deal at the right time can turn a potential customer into one who’s on the road to becoming a loyal fan.

If you’re selling something that customers need to purchase frequently — or if you run a subscription business — making a judgement call to offer an incentive that results in a little less profit on the first sale can lead to a lot more revenue in the long run.

7. Point prospects to high-converting pages

When helping a prospect who’s in the process of comparing options but isn’t yet ready to buy, consider directing them to your highest-converting pages/blog posts for more information.

You can do this gracefully when wrapping up the conversation by saying something like: “Thank you so much for chatting with me today! You may also want to check out {this post} that covers {topic} in more depth. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions!”

8. Remove obstacles at checkout

A study by Barilliance found that average cart abandonment rates range between 65%-86%, depending on the country a business is located in. On either end of that spectrum, you’re facing high abandonment rates and lots of lost potential sales.

There are a lot of factors that drive cart abandonment. Some you can’t control, such as a customer who fills their cart and leaves with plans to come back when they can afford to make the purchase.

Others you absolutely can control, such as a customer who has concerns but couldn’t find the information they needed to resolve those concerns before making the purchase.

Including a live chat option on your shopping cart and checkout pages can be a helpful tool in decreasing cart abandonment. If customers run into any potential objections while checking out, your team is immediately available to answer those questions and secure the sale.

9. Tell customers about your training content

If you’re chatting with a new customer who has lots of questions, consider directing them to live classes or tutorials that you offer to help get new customers up to speed.

Using Beacon, you can see whether or not a customer has viewed your training materials or taken/enrolled in one of your courses. If they haven’t and seem to be struggling, pointing them to those resources is a great way to make them more successful with your tool or product.

10. Recommend upgrades to improve success

If a customer is contacting you with an issue that a higher-priced product or upgraded subscription would solve, you can use the chat conversation to both upsell and create a better customer experience at the same time.

Take a moment to understand what the customer is really looking to solve, asking questions to get at the underlying need. Then, explain how an upgrade might be a better solution than a workaround in their current plan.

Software companies might even want to consider offering the customer a time-bound free trial of the upgraded plan so they can explore and try the features they’ll get if they upgrade.

Using live chat for sales, support, and customer success

Offering live chat is great for sales, support, and customer success because it lets you have conversations with customers in the moment where those conversations are the most helpful.

For sales, live chat lets you answer any questions prospects have while they’re actively evaluating your products — and before they get the answers they need from a competitor.

For support, it lets customers get a resolution quickly and get back to their work.

And for customer success, it lets you mentor new customers a little more closely so you can make sure they don’t run into issues that prevent them from finding out how truly helpful your product can be.

Jessica Greene
Jessica Greene

Jessica is an SEO Strategist at Help Scout, where we make excellent customer service achievable for companies of all sizes. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.