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Top Tips and Usual Errors for Live Chat

Top Tips and Usual Errors for Live Chat

Table of Content

Echoing the words of Alexander Graham Bell, communication is key to success.

In today's digital world, live chat has emerged as a vital channel for effective communication with your customers.

But, let's be honest, navigating the world of live chat can be like walking a tightrope. On one side, you've got the potential to enhance customer satisfaction and drive sales. On the other, there's the risk of alienating customers with common mistakes.

So, how do you strike the perfect balance? That's exactly what you're about to find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Act naturally and personalize the live chat experience for each customer
  • Invest in training your team for effective communication in live chat
  • Focus on quality over quantity in resolving customer issues
  • Avoid overloading with multiple chats and prioritize providing quality support to each customer

8 Live Chat Best Practices and Common Mistakes

Let's dive into the best practices for live chat and the common mistakes to avoid, as these can significantly impact your customer's satisfaction and overall experience. In the world of customer support, live chat support is a game-changer. It's real-time, personal, and can lead to higher conversions. But to get it right, there are a few Live Chat Best Practices you must follow.

Act naturally and avoid sounding robotic. Your customers want to feel like they're chatting with a human, not a script. One of the common live chat mistakes is over-reliance on canned responses. Personalize the experience and make it unique for each customer. This can make an immense difference in their overall satisfaction.

Next, set clear expectations. If you promise to resolve an issue within a certain timeframe, make sure you deliver. Nothing erodes trust faster than broken promises.

Moreover, invest in training your team. Communication skills that work in person or over the phone mightn't translate well to chat, so equip your team with the right tools and training.


Building on the foundation of these practices, your initial interaction or introduction in a live chat significantly sets the tone for the entire conversation. As one of the Live Chat Agents, it's critical to follow the Best Practices and Common live chat etiquette tips to ensure a positive customer experience.

A natural, human approach is crucial to avoid sounding mechanical. Just like an email support style guide, your live chat should reflect a personal and human experience. This helps establish rapport and makes the customer feel valued.

Strategically, take advantage of live chat tools to place chats on specific pages for maximum impact. This is one of the benefits of live chat. It allows you to connect with customers when and where they need you most.

Manage expectations effectively by setting achievable live chat hours and making them visible to your customers. Don't overpromise and underdeliver.

Lastly, continuous learning and improvement are key. Share successful examples within your team to set the tone for positive introductions in every chat. Remember, the introduction can make or break the customer's experience. Make it count.

Why live chat is important for customer support

In today's fast-paced digital world, live chat plays a pivotal role in providing quick, personalized customer support, strengthening human connections, and understanding your customers' needs better. It's not just a tool, but a bridge between you and your customers, enabling real-time conversations and building a stronger rapport.

Remember, consistency is key in customer support. Live chat offers the convenience and accessibility of providing immediate assistance, no matter what device your customers are using. This immediacy not only solves their problems faster, but it also builds trust and loyalty.

However, like any tool, there are common mistakes to avoid. Not training your team properly, ignoring customers, or providing wrong information can damage the effectiveness of your live chat. It's essential to learn and adapt to live chat best practices. These include quick response times, personalization, and the ability to provide accurate information.

The impact of live chat on customer satisfaction and conversion rates

You'll see a significant boost in customer satisfaction and conversion rates when you effectively implement live chat. Live chat best practices dictate that real-time conversations lead to quicker service and human connections, which in turn enhance customer satisfaction. The impact of live chat on these key metrics is substantial due to the instant support you provide.

By successfully implementing live chat, you're not only positively impacting your customers but also your support team. Quicker solutions and better experiences result from this real-time communication tool. This immediacy of support provides an opportunity for upselling and cross-selling, thereby boosting conversion rates.

Moreover, live chat offers convenience and accessibility, which customers appreciate. The ease of obtaining support via live chat can significantly increase your referral rates. This is yet another way in which live chat helps boost customer satisfaction.

Best Practices

When it comes to utilizing live chat for your business, there are several best practices to follow for effective communication and customer satisfaction.

Firstly, act naturally in your chat communications. No one likes talking to a robot, so ensure your customer service representatives maintain a human touch. One common mistake is to overuse canned responses, making interactions impersonal.

Secondly, be clear about your live chat hours and display them prominently. Customers won't appreciate reaching out only to find you're offline.

Quality over quantity is a timeless principle. Don't rush through chats just to deal with more customers. Instead, focus on resolving each customer's issue thoroughly.

Training is key in live chat best practices. Equip your team with the skills to handle chats differently from emails or phone support.

Lastly, analyze how many simultaneous chats your team can effectively handle. Overloading them won't improve your customer service. Indeed, it's a common mistake to think that more chats mean better service.

Don't act like a robot

Building on the importance of maintaining quality in your chats, it's crucial not to sound like a robot when interacting with your customers. While canned responses and scripted replies can save time, they often lack a personal touch and can come across as impersonal, even robotic.

In order to avoid this, try to add a human touch to your interactions. Personalize your responses based on the customer's individual needs and situation. Show empathy and understanding, engage in genuine conversation – don't just mechanically answer their queries.

Remember, every interaction is an opportunity to build a relationship and trust with your customer. So, instead of resorting to canned responses, take the time to tailor your replies. Even if it takes a few extra seconds, it can make a world of difference to the customer experience.

Another tip is to avoid overusing technical jargon. This can make your responses sound robotic and difficult for customers to understand. Aim for clarity and simplicity instead. Use language that your customers can easily comprehend. This won't only make your chats more effective, but also more human, relatable, and customer-friendly.

Choose the right places to offer chat support

Selecting the right spots for your live chat support can significantly enhance your customer's experience. It's not just about having chat support; it's about where you position it on your site. This is one of the live chat best practices often overlooked, leading to common mistakes.

To choose the right places, consider customer behavior and website analytics. These data can guide you in identifying the high-traffic areas of your site, which are likely the spots where your customers need assistance. For instance, it's a good idea to have your chat support on pages such as contact, checkout, or product support. These are areas where customers might have questions or encounter issues.

Remember, the goal is to assist, not intrude. Don't bombard your customers with chat pop-ups on every page. Instead, optimize your chat support by targeting specific locations where it's most likely needed. By doing so, you'll reduce customer frustration and improve their overall experience.

Choosing the right places for your chat support isn't just a best practice—it's a must. Avoid the mistake of poor placement and ensure your customers get the help they need when and where they need it.

Make promises you can keep

Just as you've strategically placed your live chat in the right spots on your website, it's equally crucial to ensure that the promises you make during these interactions are ones you can deliver on. This isn't just a live chat best practice, it's a fundamental rule in customer service.

One of the common mistakes in live chat is overpromising. It can be tempting to make grand promises to win over customers, but doing so will only set unrealistic customer expectations. Remember, it's better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around. It's all about building trust and credibility.

Ensure that your commitments align with what your business can actually offer. Don't exaggerate your product's capabilities or your service's effectiveness. This not only sets achievable customer expectations but also prevents potential disappointments.

Consistently fulfilling your promises contributes to a positive customer experience and fosters loyalty. It's an essential part of customer satisfaction. So, make promises you can keep, stick to them, and you'll find that your customers will keep coming back for more.

Don't take on more than you can handle

Navigating multiple live chat conversations simultaneously can be challenging, so it's important not to bite off more than you can chew. As a member of the support team, it's crucial to be mindful of the number of chats you can effectively manage. Overloading yourself with multiple chats is a common mistake, and it can hamper your ability to provide quality service.

Train your team

To ensure your live chat service truly shines, it's crucial to invest in training your team effectively. Remember, your agents are the face of your business, so it's important they deliver a personal, human experience.

Firstly, ensure you set achievable live chat hours. Overloading your team is one of the common mistakes that can affect their performance. Review chat transcripts regularly and share successful examples to manage their expectations effectively.

Quality should always trump quantity. Your agents must dedicate time and attention to each customer's issue. Quick but inaccurate responses can do more harm than good.

Live chat best practices aren't the same as other support channels. It's essential to train your team specifically for chat support. The training should cover greeting customers, handling longer replies, and transitioning chats when necessary.

Lastly, keep a close eye on customer satisfaction ratings. If they're low, it's time to tweak your approach. Determine your team's capacity for simultaneous chats and adjust accordingly.

Watch, learn, and tweak

Observing live chat interactions in real time provides a goldmine of insights into customer behavior and your agents' performance. It's a crucial part of live chat best practices. You can understand the common mistakes, what works and what doesn't, and how customers respond to different approaches.

Paying attention to these interactions allows you to learn a lot. Reviewing chat transcripts, customer feedback, and team insights, you can identify areas that need improvement. This could be in the form of the chat support structure, the tone of your agents, or even the tools being used.

From there, it's all about making tweaks. Perhaps your agents need to sound less robotic, or maybe the chat interface could be more user-friendly. The key is to use the insights you've gained to optimize the live chat experience.

The process of watch, learn, and tweak isn't a one-time thing. It's a continuous cycle of improvement, a never-ending journey towards perfecting your live chat support. By committing to this approach, you'll keep evolving and improving, ensuring your live chat is always the best it can be.

Don't leave customers hanging

When managing a live chat service, ensuring your customers aren't left hanging should be a top priority. There's nothing more frustrating than customers waiting for a response in a live chat window, unsure if they're being attended to. You don't want to leave customers in the lurch.

To avoid this, respond promptly. You can't afford to underestimate the importance of quick replies. If you can't get to a query immediately, use automated messages to indicate the wait time. This will help manage customer expectations during busy periods.

Also, ensure proper coverage. Overlap your teammates' schedules so there's always someone present to cater to customer queries. This way, you won't leave customers hanging.

Moreover, make your chat availability clear on your contact page. This signals when customers can expect a response. It reduces the risk of customers opening a live chat window only to find no one available.

Remember to take breaks

While it's crucial not to leave your customers hanging, it's equally important for you and your team to take regular breaks to stay fresh and alert. Remember, a well-rested team is a productive team. Your chat experience performance can diminish when you're tired or burned out.

Taking a step away from your desk for a coffee or a short activity can make a huge difference. It helps you recharge and refocus, bringing a new energy to your support experience. This positively impacts your ability to keep customers satisfied and engaged. Don't feel tied to your desk, especially during busy chat shifts.

Maintaining the best support isn't just about responding to queries quickly and accurately. It also means ensuring you're at your best physically and mentally. Breaks are crucial for this. They aren't a sign of laziness or lack of commitment. On the contrary, they demonstrate an understanding of work-life balance and self-care, which ultimately drives better performance.

Common Mistakes

Despite your best efforts, you might still make a few common mistakes when managing live chat support. One of the most common mistakes is neglecting your customer's needs. If you're not attentive to what the customer is saying, you'll likely offer solutions that don't match their problem.

Another mistake isn't providing support in a timely manner. Live chat encourages real-time interaction. If you're slow in responding, you'll frustrate your customer, possibly leading to lost sales.

You may make the mistake of sounding too robotic. It's important to maintain a human touch in your responses. Customers prefer to interact with people, not automated responses.

Overpromising is another common mistake. If you promise a solution within a certain timeframe and fail to deliver, it damages your credibility.

You might also fail to train your team adequately. If your team isn't well-versed with your products or services, they won't provide effective support.

Ignoring customer inquiries or providing delayed responses

Ignoring customer inquiries or taking too long to respond can quickly turn into a source of frustration and dissatisfaction for your customers. As part of the Live Chat Etiquette Rules, it's crucial to note that the quality of your support can be significantly affected by your response time. If you're slow to respond, customers may feel their issues aren't important to you, causing them to lose trust in your business.

Remember, customers use live chat because they want immediate responses. Delays can amplify their initial frustration, potentially impacting their retention and purchase decisions. Therefore, ensure that your response time is prompt and consistent. If you see a spike in inquiries and your team is overwhelmed, it might be a good idea to temporarily hide the live chat window. This way, you can focus on providing quality support to each customer, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

In addition, consider using auto-generated messages to manage customer expectations properly. These can indicate estimated wait times, making the wait more tolerable for your customers. After all, maintaining good customer relations is about communication and respect.

Using canned responses excessively

Just as prompt responses are critical, it's equally important not to over-rely on canned responses during your live chat conversations. While using live chat tools, remember, canned responses should only be a starting point, not the entire conversation.

When customers interact with your business via live chat, they're seeking genuine conversations, not robotic responses. Overusing canned responses can make the chat conversation feel impersonal and disconnected from the customer's needs. It's essential to maintain authenticity and a human touch in your interactions.

Excessive use of canned responses can lead to a lack of personalization. Each customer is unique, and their concerns and queries differ. Relying too much on ready-made responses can fail to address these distinctive needs, and potentially lead to customer dissatisfaction.

A robotic and repetitive chat experience can diminish the quality of customer service, impacting your reputation. Overuse of canned responses can result in a generic and unengaging communication style. While canned responses are helpful, using them judiciously is key.

Always prioritize personal and meaningful interactions, and remember, your customers deserve more than canned responses. They deserve authentic conversations and genuine solutions to their problems.

Failing to personalize interactions

When you fail to personalize your interactions during live chat support, you run the risk of making your customers feel insignificant and overlooked. Imagine how off-putting it would be if your customer representatives greet customers with the wrong name or generic salutations. It's like shouting into an echoing canyon and only hearing a robotic voice respond.

Even outside live chat hours, failing to personalize interactions can leave a sour taste. It's essential to tailor your interactions to each customer's needs and circumstances. Using canned responses without customizing them to the individual can lead to disengagement and dissatisfaction.

Personalizing responses goes further than just using the correct name. It's about understanding your customer's specific situation and responding accordingly. If you don't, you risk alienating your customers, making them feel like just another number in your database.

In the end, remember that customers expect a personalized experience. They want to feel heard and valued. If you fail to deliver this, you risk not only their satisfaction but also potential future business opportunities. Be kind, be real, and make each interaction count.

Overcomplicating the chat interface

While personalizing interactions is crucial, it's equally important not to overcomplicate the chat interface. One of the common mistakes is cluttering the chat widget with unnecessary buttons, options, or visuals. These can confuse your customers, hindering smooth navigation.

Live chat best practices suggest keeping the chat interface simple and user-friendly. An intuitively organized layout helps customers navigate smoothly without confusion. Avoid overwhelming them with features that may not be essential for their interaction.

Moreover, implement clear, straightforward messaging prompts. These guide your customers through the chat process effectively. They shouldn't have to navigate complex menus or options to communicate their needs.

Don't let overcomplicating the chat interface be the bottleneck in your customer service. Your chat interface design should facilitate easy communication, not become an obstacle. Remember, the goal is to provide quick and efficient service, not to show off flashy features.

Stay mindful of these pointers, continually strive to simplify your chat interface, and avoid these common mistakes. By doing so, you'll greatly enhance the user experience, leading to happier customers, and ultimately, greater success for your business.

Not measuring and analyzing chat performance

Overlooking the importance of measuring and analyzing chat performance can put a damper on your opportunity for growth and improvement. Don't let this happen. Chat transcripts are a gold mine of information that you shouldn't ignore. They can show you trends, highlight areas for improvement, and give you a peek into the Live Chat Customer's satisfaction level.

Analyzing chat performance is no less than an essential live chat practice. It helps you understand the effectiveness of the chat support you're providing. You can't make informed decisions without this. Remember, you're not just churning out chat responses. You're aiming to optimize the customer experience, and that's impossible without data-driven insights.

Measuring chat performance isn't just about numbers. It's about identifying training needs for your team and allocating resources effectively. It's about enhancing the overall customer experience. So, don't skip this step. Make it a habit to measure and analyze your chat performance regularly. It's a small step that can lead to big improvements.

Neglecting to integrate chat with other support channels

Don't underestimate the power of integrating your live chat with other support channels; it's a critical step to ensure a consistent and smooth customer experience. When you neglect to integrate chat with other support channels, you limit your business's potential to provide comprehensive customer assistance.

Think of the various avenues your customers use to reach out to you. They might use email, phone, or social media platforms. By integrating your live chat within these support channels, you optimize the support options available to them. This allows a seamless transition between different communication modes, enhancing the customer's experience.

Also, integrating live chat with other channels maximizes your customer reach and engagement. It's an efficient way to gather data and understand your customers better. Keep in mind that different customers have different preferences. Some might prefer live chat, while others might opt for email or phone support.

Lack of empathy and understanding

In the realm of live chat support, it's essential to avoid robotic interactions and showcase genuine empathy and understanding towards your customers. When customers feel that you truly understand their concerns, it builds trust and fosters loyalty.

It's easy for frustrated customers to feel ignored or misunderstood during live chat sessions. This can often occur if you're overly reliant on canned responses. While these pre-written messages can be useful for efficiency, they should be customized to suit the unique situation of each customer.

Maintaining your brand voice throughout the chat is another key aspect. This doesn't mean sticking rigidly to a script, but rather conveying the persona of your brand in a human, empathetic way. Remember, the goal of live chat support isn't simply to resolve a query, but to make the customer feel valued and understood.

Lastly, always end your chat sessions by thanking customers for their time and offering further assistance. This small gesture goes a long way in showing empathy and understanding, turning a potentially negative experience into a positive one.

Inconsistent or inaccurate information provided

While demonstrating empathy is crucial, it's equally vital to provide your customers with consistent and accurate information during live chat interactions. Providing inaccurate information can lead to confusion and frustration, damaging your brand's reputation and trustworthiness.

Here's how you can avoid these pitfalls.

Firstly, ensure that your chat software is updated with the most accurate information about your products or services. This helps your agents communicate with customers more effectively, reducing the chances of conveying inaccurate information.

Secondly, it's crucial to train your agents thoroughly. They need to understand your offerings inside out. Regular training sessions can help ensure agents are equipped with the most recent and accurate information.

Thirdly, consistency in communication is key. If different agents provide varying information, it can confuse your customers. Establish a standard response guide that all agents should adhere to.

Lastly, always review and update the information in your chat software. Markets and products evolve, and so should your customer service. Regular updates ensure that your agents and customers are on the same page.


Wrapping up a live chat effectively is just as important as starting it. It's your final chance to leave a lasting impression and ensure that the customer is satisfied with the support they received. Your goal is to offer the best support, promptly addressing customer queries and providing real-time support.

Begin by summarizing the main points of the conversation and providing a clear resolution or next steps. This helps solidify the information and assures the customer that their concerns have been addressed. Be sure to express your gratitude for the customer's time and offer further assistance if needed.

A personalized conclusion is always a nice touch. Address the customer by their name and maintain a friendly tone. This reinforces the human aspect of live chat and can help build stronger customer relationships.

Don't forget to encourage the customer to provide feedback on their chat experience. This feedback is invaluable in your continuous improvement process. Ending the conversation with a polite farewell closes the interaction on a positive note.

Recap of the best practices and mistakes to avoid

After ensuring a solid conclusion to your live chats, let's revisit the best practices and common pitfalls you should be aware of in your quest to perfect this customer support channel.

Live Chat is a powerful tool to engage customers, but it requires a human touch. Avoid sounding robotic and always act naturally in your communication. This approach will make your customers feel valued and appreciated.

Setting visible and achievable live chat hours is another crucial best practice. You can't be everywhere at once, and it's better to offer quality over quantity. So, avoid overstretching your resources and manage customer expectations effectively.

Remember, live chat support requires a different skill set than email or phone support. It's essential to train your team accordingly to avoid common mistakes and deliver top-notch service. Stay engaged with your customers until their issue is resolved, never leave them hanging.

In recap, the efficacy of your live chat hinges on a balance of personal connection, resource management, and ongoing training. Always strive to learn, adapt, and improve. By being aware of these best practices and common mistakes, you're well on your way to enhancing your live chat support.

The importance of continuous improvement in live chat support

In the ever-evolving business landscape, it's critical to continuously improve your live chat support to meet changing customer needs and stay competitive. The role of continuous improvement in live chat can't be overstated. It's not just about keeping up with the latest trends, but also about refining your processes and strategies to provide a seamless, efficient chat experience.

Live chat offers immediate support and sales opportunities, and by regularly updating your approach, you're ensuring your team can meet and exceed customer expectations. Think of it as a continuous loop: you implement, you learn, you adapt, and then you implement again.

It's also about staying competitive. Your rivals aren't standing still, and you shouldn't either. By constantly seeking to improve, you're identifying and addressing weaknesses, learning from mistakes, and making your live chat support more effective.

Get Started

Building on the idea of continuous improvement, let's jump right into how you can kick-start your journey to effective live chat support.

The first step in implementing live chat best practices is choosing the right chat solution. This decision should be based on your business size, needs, and customer expectations.

Once you select your chat tool, it's time to set up. Make sure you position your chat box in a visible, easy-to-access location on your website. This way, your customers won't have to hunt for it. It's also critical to model your chat style after your email support style guide to maintain consistency and professionalism.

Add pre-chat forms to your setup. These forms allow you to gather important information about your customers before the chat begins, helping you provide personalized service.

Remember to train your team well. They should know how to use the chat tool effectively and deliver a natural, human experience. They should avoid sounding robotic and always strive to understand the customer's perspective.

Getting started with live chat support isn't complicated. With these steps, you'll be well on your way to providing top-notch support.


So, you're ready to rock live chat now. Just remember, keep it human, initiate chats at the right time and place, deliver on promises, manage your workload, train your team well, and respond swiftly.

Avoid the common mistakes that can trip up your service. Continually strive to improve and watch your customer satisfaction and conversion rates soar.

Now, get out there and make your customers happier than ever with your stellar live chat service.