10 Ways to Use Live Chat Across the Entire Customer Journey

Hi, I’m Alexa from Help Scout. 👋

As you probably already know, fast email support and friendly help over the phone are no longer the differentiators they once were. A great customer experience is much more than that, which is why we’ve been hard at work on an all-new version of Beacon that includes live chat.

Live chat is an incredibly manageable and cost-effective way for your support team to deliver an amazing experience across the entire customer journey.

Whether someone is just visiting your website to learn more about your business or they’re coming back to purchase again, they don’t have to stop what they are doing or leave the page to find an answer.

Within Beacon, they can quickly find the answers they need by accessing a curated list of knowledge base docs or reach out to a support agent if they still need help. Most importantly, customers find answers in minutes, not hours.

I’ve wrangled a group of experts here at Help Scout to share their top 10 tips for providing live chat support across the entire customer journey to nurture prospective buyers into engaged, happy customers.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from:

Let’s jump in!

Chapter 1

Using Live Chat for Customer Support

Mat Patterson

Mat Patterson, Customer Support at Help Scout

Use Case 01
Improve Your Customer Satisfaction Score
Improve your support team CSAT by making it easy for your customers to give feedback right within the chat window.
Placement: Any page
Visitor Type: Any visitor
How-To: Place a live chat widget on any page to show visitors you’re available to answer their questions as they arise. Then when the chat ends, get a CSAT score right away so you can improve (or stay great!) for the next chat.
Pro Tip: In Help Scout, you can create a report to get a bird’s eye view of how customers feel about your replies.
Use Case 02
Promote Self-Service
Help customers quickly find their own solutions by showing them relevant help documents right on the same page.
Placement: Any page
Visitor Type: Any visitor
How-To: Save time for your team and your customers by building up your knowledge base of answers and making them instantly accessible to people who need help.
Pro Tip: Beacon integrates directly with your help docs knowledge base. You can curate the most relevant articles to the page a customer is surfing so they can self-serve right within the chat window.
“Aside from the new Live Chat feature, I'm most excited about Beacon’s 'Content Suggestions by URL' feature. My customers will see related help topics based on their current page, giving us a better chance to answer their question before they have to ask it!”
Chris Johnston, PageLines
Chapter 2

Using Live Chat for Support-Driven Growth

Mo McKibbin

Mo McKibbin, Support-Driven Growth at Help Scout

Use Case 01
Solve blockers for new customers during onboarding by being available on chat inside the app.
Placement: In-app (Saas)
Visitor Type: New customers
How-To: Make chat a primary contact channel for customers currently trying out your product or software so you can help solve their biggest blockers in minutes, not hours.
Pro Tip: With the launch of Help Scout’s new Beacon functionality, customers will be able to view conversation history and reply within Beacon. You’ll see the customer’s full history in the Help Scout sidebar, making conversations more contextual and helpful.
Use Case 02
Webinar or E-Course Registration
Drive new or long-term customers toward webinars and educational courses that will make them more successful with your tool or product.
Placement: Any page
Visitor Type: New or long-term customers
How-To: If you notice a customer hasn’t attended one of your webinars and would greatly benefit from the content, use live chat to outline the benefits and secure a registration.
Pro Tip: Track this information by connecting your CRM to Help Scout. You’ll easily bring contextual information on your customers straight to your inbox, enabling you to see their activities right within the Help Scout conversation pane.
“Contextual article suggestions are a game-changer for our team. We put a lot of effort into crafting helpful, precise Docs articles, and I love being able to get them in front of more customer eyes with Beacon.”
Alex Edwards, Clerky Inc.
Chapter 3

Using Live Chat for Customer Expansion and Retention

Nancy Baron

Nancy Baron, Customer Success at Help Scout

Use Case 01
Use live chat as an opportunity to win back fading e-commerce customers with a special offer.
Placement: Any page
Visitor Type: Customers
How-To: When you’re chatting with a customer who hasn’t purchased in a while, use live chat as an opportunity to spark a new purchase with a special offer or discount.
Pro Tip: When you install your e-commerce app within Help Scout, you’ll be able to view customer profile information, key metrics (lifetime value, annual value, average order value), and recent orders right in the customer sidebar. If you notice they haven’t made a purchase in a while, take your chat session as an opportunity to give them a special discount to spark a new purchase.
Use Case 02
Upgrade and Success
Inform customers of additional plan options that can more elegantly solve their problems while increasing MRR.
Placement: In-app
Visitor Type: Customers
How-To: Take a moment to understand what the customer is really looking to solve, asking questions to get at the underlying need. Explain how an upgrade might be a better solution than a workaround in their current plan.
Pro Tip: Use Beacon’s page and search history to help you more fully understand what they are trying to accomplish. They may already suspect an upgrade would be helpful, having already visited those pages, thus providing an easy opening for your suggestions.
Chapter 4

Using Live Chat to Drive Sales

Tim Thyne

Tim Thyne, Sales at Help Scout

Use Case 01
Book a One-on-One Call or Demo
Chat with new prospects on high-converting pages to secure a one-on-one follow-up with your sales team.
Placement: Pricing pages and product pages
Visitor Type: New or returning visitors
How-To: When prospects visit high-converting pages (like your pricing or product pages), be available on chat to answer questions and book a one-on-one follow-up with someone from your sales team.
Pro Tip: If it’s after hours and you’re not available to chat, no worries! When Beacon launches, you’ll be able to turn chat off and instead prompt prospects to fill out a form and request a follow-up with the “Send a Message” feature.
Use Case 02
Instant Discount
Reward visitors who’ve viewed a specific product or page multiple times with a one-time-only discount.
Placement: Product pages or checkout pages
Visitor Type: Returning visitors or multi-session visitors
How-To: When you notice a visitor has viewed a particular product page a few times but won’t convert, delight them during the chat with an instant discount in exchange for an email address.
Pro Tip: With Beacon live chat, you can quickly automate the conversation by creating a Saved Reply with the discount code already pre-written.
“The nature of customer support is changing — customers have extremely high expectations. Live Chat is the logical solution to this challenge, and it was important to us that the tool we chose fully integrated with our current help desk software, managed customer expectations, and could be customized to match our brand. Beacon 2.0 will help us to rise to the challenge, with ease.”
Dave Hole, Ovatu
Chapter 5

Using Live Chat to Generate Leads

Alexa Hubley

Alexa Hubley, Marketing at Help Scout

Use Case 01
Newsletter Subscription
Give returning visitors who aren’t ready to convert a chance to subscribe to your newsletter instead.
Placement: Blog pages, high-converting pages like product or pricing pages
Visitor Type: Returning prospects
How-To: If you’re chatting with a visitor who keeps coming back to view your content but hasn’t made a purchase, suggest a newsletter subscription instead. Your marketing team can nurture them toward conversion at a later date.
Pro Tip: When offering a newsletter subscription over chat, try to get more than just an email for the sign-up. The more information you have about your visitor up front, the more your marketing team can tailor content to reach that visitor’s individual needs and interests.
Use Case 02
Shape Visitors to High-Converting Pages
Give prospects more opportunities to become customers by directing them to your highest-converting pages for more info.
Placement: Any high-traffic page
Visitor Type: New or returning visitors
How-To: Create conversion opportunities with a quick link within the chat window that leads prospects to high-converting pages (and a better chance at conversion).
Pro Tip: Use Help Scout’s suggestion feature to add quick links to the top of every chat window. Plus you can give even more context for where the link will lead by dynamically opening an article within the chat window.
Live Chat Statistics infographic

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Find out what customers think of chat support, by the numbers.