From computer hardware and software to mobile devices (and anything else in between), we all know that providing reliable tech support is an essential part of running a technology-related company.

For this reason, if you happen to manage an IT-focused business, you are probably already aware of the many challenges that providing customer phone support presents. In fact, offering tech support to your IT company’s users takes vast knowledge, excellent communication skills, and a lot of patience.

Here are several overlooked tips for using live chat as part of your customer support program while reducing session times, costs and most importantly, user frustration.

Connect Customers in a More Efficient Way

In a nutshell, live chat software is a real-time communication tool for company websites that are convenient for all parties involved. The technology is familiar to most customers, and, perhaps most significantly, it bridges the human gap better than email or forms. 

Think about it: it is hard to imagine anyone who likes to wait two days to receive a canned, impersonal email or navigate for 30+ minutes through an automated phone system to talk to a representative. 

Live chat is a much more efficient approach when it comes to customer service management, especially when compared to telephone and email solutions.

For starters, a well-trained, live chat agent can handle anywhere from five to eight customer dialogs at the same time. Live chat allows managers to free up resources in their support centers and offer real time help that is not only comprehensive but more effective.

Here are some additional ways live chat can be a game changer for today’s tech companies:

Appeals to the ‘mobile generation’

It is certainly no secret that many consumers are increasingly drifting away from the phone towards digital communication in many aspects of their lives. An advantage of live chat is that it happens in real time. It allows customers to have a real conversation with another person without wondering whether their message has been delivered or picked up by a customer service member.

Live chat also allows customers to have their questions answered in a way that is fast, convenient and instantaneous. 

Is less hassle for customers

Initial calls to support centers often involve developing a tech customer’s identity by pouring through a series of questions and answers. This can prove frustrating and time-consuming, especially if the customer needs to be referred to a different department and repeat the process again.

Is efficient and intuitive

A live chat team can take a proactive approach to engaging with customers. Features, such as prepared common responses, or typical dialogs that are arranged in advance to answer the most frequent questions can be a great help. These answers may cover common issues, such as resetting a user’s password, information about a return policy or answering questions about a product.

Provides transparency; better prepares team members

Reviewing countless hours of recorded calls to ensure high standards can be inefficient and extremely time-consuming. Reports and data culled from live chats make it easier to scan or search for keywords regarding conflicts or customer complaints. Live chat technology can even help supervisors more quickly identify areas where agents might have handled a customer call better.

Live chat software can provide chat logs for transparency and proof of contact. For instance, when most customers engage with a company’s customer support via phone, they do not typically receive a recording of the verbal conversation. However, most live chat software gives customers the option of receiving a transcription of the conversation for their records. The transcription gives them a point of reference in case any issues arise down the road.

An easier platform to exchange documents 

A robust, live chat solution allows real-time document exchange with customers. Examples here might include not having to wait for an email to arrive to receive a refund, being able to prove an error on a recent bill or attaching relevant files that explain a problem in greater detail.

Furthermore, supporting materials, such as product user manuals or software updates, can be distributed more easily. All of this saves significant time and, of course, increases overall customer satisfaction.

The Bottom Line

Now that I have highlighted many of the benefits of live chat, it is important to point out that this innovative technology is more than simply a “front-facing” solution. In fact, today’s companies are increasingly using live chat internally to provide an efficient link between teams, resolving issues and maintaining organizational standards.

While adding a live chat solution to your company’s customer service strategy may sound like a daunting undertaking, the truth is that implementing the software is quite simple. In most cases, all you need is a subscription to a live chat platform and some basic coding on your website. Even better, as live chat continues in popularity, training videos and best-practice guidelines are abundant online.

Within a short time, and with just a little extra effort, your tech company can offer high-quality customer service in the form of live chat, and also reap the many benefits that result from increased customer satisfaction.

Sheila Kloefkorn is the president and CEO of KEO Marketing Inc. She can be reached at