Incorporating a live customer chat feature on your website is one of the best ways to improve customer satisfaction and retention. But a bad chat experience can also sour a customer’s view of your company and cause them to take their business elsewhere. To prevent this from happening, and to ensure both your customers and your employees are happy with the live chat experience, consider the following nine tips.

What’s one tip you’d give business owners for improving their live customer chat to be more efficient and helpful for their employees and customers? Why?

1. Ensure Someone Is Available 24/7

Having the ability to respond either by a bot or a human 24/7 is critical. When a customer wants to chat, the worst thing is when it says no one is there and they will have to email you back for a response. When you want to chat, that means you need help in that moment. You could lose sales if no one can help. Hire outsourced employees who can work around the clock in different time zones. – Daniel Robbins, IBH Media

2. Keep Records of Conversations

The best way to improve your live chat is to keep records of the various conversations that occur. You can use this data to understand common customer complaints and pain points. As more people interact with your support channels, you’ll gather enough data to make actionable changes to your business, which leads to happier customers. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

3. Request Brief Feedback After Each Chat

This is beneficial to the customer because it gives them a voice if they were either greatly satisfied or dissatisfied with the experience, and they’ll feel more valued. It also gives your employees the opportunity to find ways to improve the overall experience. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

4. Keep Customers in the Loop

Be responsive by minimizing the delays and providing constant feedback. Most customers who are on chats want to get to the point and get the answers quickly. There’s nothing more frustrating than long delays between each sentence. If you are looking into something, let the customers know with as much detail as possible (for example, you are looking into it and it will take approximately X minutes). – Meeky Hwang, Ndevr, Inc

5. Choose Software That Integrates with Other Platforms

It’s helpful to choose a live chat tool that integrates with several platforms. For example, having your live chat integrate with CRM tools or be available on mobile will help your staff offer more personalized services while on the go. This also improves morale at work because flexible tools help your staff offer better services. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. Express Empathy

To succeed in using live chat, you need to express empathy to your customers. They want to know that your business cares about their problems and wants to solve their pain points. If your live chat includes showing empathy to users who communicate with your brand, you’re already ahead of competitors who don’t go the extra mile. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

7. Incorporate Tags for Common Problems

One way you can make your live chat more organized and effective is by letting users choose “tags” that describe their problem (for example, tags that say “delivery issues” or “refunds”). Live chat platforms can use such tags to connect with support staff who specialize in certain areas. In this way, your staff members will be able to dive in to solve issues right away. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

8. Use a Hybrid System

I suggest using a hybrid system that features chatbots and live agents. You can streamline your support channels by using chatbots to handle common customer inquiries, like changing passwords. This strategy will free up more time for your team to help people with complex issues that require a real person. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

9. Balance Scripted and Spontaneous Interaction

You need a certain amount of scripting, such as providing quick answers to FAQs. At the same time, people want to be treated as individuals and don’t appreciate a completely scripted conversation. Encourage agents to be spontaneous, naturally within the parameters of being helpful and professional. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting