How a Live Chat Answering Service Helps Your Business
June 15, 2022
Aside from a phone answering service, it doesn’t hurt to have live chat answering service to have multiple methods of communication.
For businesses large and small, customer support is a critical benchmark—you want to give your current and potential clients all of the possible tools they need to communicate with your team.
You also want to make sure your clients always get a timely response, even if business hours are over for the day. As convenient as it is to rely on a virtual answering service, not all customers are confident in voicing out their concerns over the phone. They prefer other methods of communication, such as web chat. Enter: the live chat answering service.
Marrying the best of the live chat support channel with 24/7/365 answering, a live chat answering service can benefit your brand in numerous ways. In this article, we’ll explore this tool and describe eight ways it can help your business grow and serve your client base.
What is a Live Chat Answering Service?
A live chat answering service provides responses and support via live chat at all times. The feature combines two components:
Live chat – Live chat is a customer support method that facilitates quick, seamless communication between a client and a team member. It’s similar to SMS—messages are typically short, and all communication is completed in writing.1
An answering service – An answering service is typically an outsourced tool providing answers to inbound inquiries via your brand’s support channels. Answering services can manage voice calls, SMS, email, and any other communication method your business makes available to clients.
A live chat answering service is typically outsourced to an offsite team that’s fully briefed and trained on your brand language, standard operating procedures (SOPs), product or service line, and customer support standards.
So, even when you’re off the clock or handling more pressing matters, someone familiar with your brand is available to guide clients through the support process, connect them with the sales team, schedule an appointment, or resolve any other inquiries.
8 Benefits of a Live Chat Answering Service
Large or small, your brand and your customers can capitalize on the benefits of live chat answering services by streamlining client support and accomplishing other tasks. Let’s explore some of the many ways the service can benefit your business.
#1 Bandwidth Expansion
High-level stakeholders wear many hats, especially in small businesses or startups. Your time is valuable, and you don’t always have a moment to spare to walk customers through basic troubleshooting or answer simple sales inquiries.
When you use a live chat answering service, you can expand your bandwidth by delegating one or all of the following tasks to a qualified, off-site professional:
Product, service, or app support
Payment processing and accounting questions
When your business was in its infancy, you may have made yourself available to your clients at all times—perhaps answering calls outside of business hours or sacrificing more pressing tasks to interface with your customers.
But with the help of a live chat answering service, you can make high-quality support available to your clients at all hours—without putting off higher-level responsibilities or answering your phone at dinner time.
#2 Consistent, Scripted Customer Support
Picture the following scenario:
You run a small but well-established software company.
All calls to your helpline are routed to your in-person IT helpdesk.
You’ve just hired a new staff member who’s still in training.
While the new employee manages the phones, they receive a question they can’t answer.
They promise the client a return call, making them a ticket and asking their trainer for help.
While this scenario might function on a small scale, these circumstances create a pressure point—the client who called didn’t get the help they needed immediately, and they’ll be stuck waiting for a return call while they can’t use your software.
Instead, imagine that the customer reached out via live chat (or any other communication channel) monitored by an answering service. Your answering service team has been trained and thoroughly briefed to follow your customer service script and troubleshooting SOPs, solving the client’s software issues without putting them on hold, taking a message, or transferring them to an in-house team member.
This second scenario is an everyday reality for brands that use a live chat answering service.
#3 Additional Customer Support Channel
Even if your brand is still in its early growth stages, you likely already offer two support channels: voice calls and a dedicated email address.
Adding live chat to your support channel lineup would produce a variety of benefits, but two are particularly important for businesses that are just starting to scale:
You would add an additional customer support channel, making communication even more accessible for your growing client list.2
Live chat and other virtual communication channels make your brand even more competitive in a tech-friendly business sector, displaying commitment to customer support innovations.
By using an answering service for your live chat function, you increase the accessibility of your brand even further by providing 24/7/365 contact with a trained support team.
#4 Support on Your Customers’ Terms
While voice call support may feel like the bread and butter of any high-functioning customer service operation, not everyone resorts to a phone call as a first line of defense. In fact, in a recent study, 25% of adults said they didn’t use their smartphones to make phone calls.3
Offering numerous communication channels gives your customers options when they need help:
If their concern isn’t urgent, they may opt for email support.
If they need an urgent response and want to talk through their issue, they may call.
If they have a pressing problem but would prefer not to call, they may choose live chat.
In addition, a live chat function can provide immediate support for people who:
Are multitasking and can’t use their phone for a voice call
Have trouble hearing or speaking over the phone
Temporarily don’t have access to a phone
#5 Communication in Writing
Some business owners, team members, and customers simply prefer to communicate in writing. Live chat provides a channel for written communication, and the method is useful for a few reasons:
Urgency – While emails are an excellent medium for written communication, they don’t communicate the same urgency as a phone call, SMS text, or live chat message. When clients use live chat, they expect an urgent response that isn’t implied in the email medium.
Accessibility – As we briefly mentioned above, offering a communication method in writing is key to offering accessible customer service to people who have trouble hearing or speaking. Language learners or those with an accent, speech impediment, vocal injury, or hearing loss can use live chat to reap the benefits of text-based support.
Documentation – While phone calls can be recorded, live chat conversations in writing prevent misunderstandings and provide explicit documentation for support inquiries. This documentation can be useful for training purposes, and communication in writing is particularly useful in the event of a customer dispute.
#6 Improved Lead Conversion
Using a live chat answering service can benefit your sales efforts by increasing lead conversion. How? Consider the following:
Answering services provide immediate responses to clients seeking support or product information. When potential clients experience quick, thorough, and accurate service, they may be more likely to make a purchase.
Making sales communication available via multiple channels—not just over the phone, online, or in-person—provides potential clients with more options, giving them a choice of how they’d like to receive information.
If potential clients reach a support team member instead of a sales representative, they can be quickly transferred to the correct department without having to wait on hold for a phone representative.
In addition, when you use a live chat answering service, you extend your potential client pool to people unable to make calls or order products during typical business hours.
#7 Simpler, Streamlined Scheduling
Depending on your industry, appointment scheduling could represent a significant portion of your client communication. You can reduce the workload of your front desk staff by making appointment scheduling available via live chat.
Instead of dedicating one or more phone lines to appointment setting during business hours, you can encourage clients to schedule via live chat, which can:
Decrease their time spent making an appointment since they won’t have to wait on hold
Free up time for employees who typically answer scheduling calls
Plus, when you use a 24/7/365 answering service, you provide additional convenience for your clients, who can schedule appointments anytime.
#8 Complete Brand Integration
If you’re a small business owner, or if you’ve invested significant resources into your branding, you might be skeptical of assigning customer service, sales, or appointment scheduling duties to an off-site team.
But by utilizing a team that’s highly trained in your company pillars, your voice, and your SOPs, you guarantee that current and potential clients interface with the best possible outward-facing elements of your brand.
In addition, on-site employees with multiple duties may not always have the time to utilize their brand knowledge or commit to high-quality service—but these are the most pressing tasks for off-site answering teams. They have the time and the expertise to fully embody your brand while dutifully providing customer solutions.
Other benefits of live chat answering service:
A chat service or chat support can not only boost customer satisfaction but can also be a form of marketing. You can notify customers of sales and promos while waiting for their concerns to be addressed. A live chat support agent can also serve as a live receptionist in case you need support on administrative tasks.
Elevate Your Customer Support with Live Chat Answering from Nexa
A live chat answering service can improve your customer service efforts, your sales metrics, and your appointment scheduling operation.
Using the highest-quality communication innovations available also sets you apart from your competition, showcasing your commitment to top-tier client support. Aside from a live chat answering service, we also have virtual assistant phone answering service.
With Nexa, these goals are within reach—since 1982, we’ve been empowering businesses with our people-powered call answering, client intake, inbound and outbound sales, and support via live chat and SMS.
We have the expertise to serve your business—and your clients—at scale. If you’re ready to grow, partner with Nexa to take tap into your brand’s fullest potential.