What is Live Chat? Benefits for Support and Sales Teams

updated September 1, 2023
Reading time13 minutes
Igor Shekotihin
Igor Shekotihin
Head of International Growth

Live chat can provide a lot of value for support and sales teams. But, what is it, how does it work, and what ways can you use it in your business?

Customer support can be slow and impersonal. How long do you take to answer customer queries? One hour? Two? Seven? If you answered seven, you are close to the average time most businesses take.

You are, however, very far from what customers expect. In the era of live chat and instant technologies, the acceptable response time is...zero minutes. At least for over 82% of consumers, who expect an immediate response.

Customer support, sales, and marketing have been notoriously slow to answer questions and solve problems for their customers. Ever been stuck on hold for ages when trying to reach a company by phone? So has everyone else. This is why 53% of customers prefer live chat to phone calls.

Ever cringed at the dry, tone-deaf emails you receive from support departments? Then you’re one of the 80% of consumers who prefer to buy from companies that offer personalized experiences.

We get it. It’s hard to provide_both_personalization and speed when you use email and phone. That’s why 41% of customersexpect_you to have live website chat. The percentage is even higher for mobile users -- 50%.

But how will live chat integration help_your_business?

Two words: more sales. Simply adding live chat to your website can boost your conversion rate by 12%. Plus, the average ROI for a single chat is $249.

Do we have your attention?


Let’s take a look at how you can leverage live chat to provide better support, and improve ROI from all marketing channels.

What Is Live Chat?

Live chat is an online app that enables instant communication between the support, sales, or marketing departments and website visitors. Live chats happen directly on your website, within the browser, so the customer doesn’t need to switch between apps.

Today, 79% of customers prefer live chat to any other channels due to the speed it offers. As a result, 67% of businesses now offer live chat support -- this number grows exponentially every year.

We believe that this dry live chat definition doesn’t really do it justice, though. Live chats are more than a way to answer questions on the run. They give you an opportunity to create real connections with your customers, and convert more traffic into leads and/or sales, instantly. But more on that later.

Now let’s see live chats in action.

The process is simple:

Step 1: The visitor types in a question in the live chat window on your website.

Step 2: You receive a notification instantly.

Step 3: You type in your answer and press enter. The visitor also receives it instantly.

More advanced live chat software will enable you to consolidate all customer and lead communications into one dashboard. For example, JivoChat makes it possible to pull in conversations from facebook Messenger, and event request callbacks from the chatbox:

Try live chat on your website. It only takes minutes to set up. Add it Now.

Live Chat vs. Instant Messaging

Live chat and instant messaging are often confused with each other. They both send instant messages, but this is where the resemblance stops. Live website chat is more focused on business uses, while instant messaging is more popular for messaging between individuals.

More importantly, to use instant messaging, all users need to install an application on their devices. Live chat solutions like JivoChat simply need to be added to a website (an online store, for instance), while the visitor doesn’t need to install anything to use it. They simply need to click on the chat window to be connected to an agent that can answer their questions.

Plus, live chat offers more business-ready functionalities than instant messaging:

Instant Messaging JivoChat Live Chat
Created for personal communication Created for support, sales, and marketing
All users need to install the same app Integrates with your website, visitors don’t need to install anything
No information about the other users Can pull info from your CRM, plus visitor location and click source
Can’t engage with visitors pro-actively Can reach out to the user with a personalized message
Limited personalization options (pre-set colors most often) Multiple personalization options: colors, branding, pre-set canned responses, operator avatar, and more

Still not sure which one to choose? No problem! With JivoChat, you can also integrate live chat with your favorite instant messaging app.

Why the Explosion in Live Chat Adoption?

If it feels like everywhere you turn a live chat window pops up, you’re not wrong. The continuous rise in live chat adoption isn’t set to stop anytime soon.


First of all, because both businesses and customers love it.

Of those who prefer live chat, 79% said they did so because they get their questions answered quickly, 51% did so because they could multi-task, and 46% agreed it was the most efficient communication method.

The live chat software market is forecast to reach $997 Million by 2023, with an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% from 2017 to 2023.

Live chat has a 300% ROI and it can increase conversions by 20%.

Convinced and ready to boost your ROI? Sign up for JivoChat here! It’s 100% FREE, so what do you have to lose?

Not ready yet? Keep reading to find out how easy it is to get more sales and more conversions with live chat.

How Does Live Chat Work?

Live website chats take place in a chatbox on your website. The chatbox is just a part of the live chat software, but it’s very important since it’s the part visitors see.

JivoChat boxes are non-intrusive and they can match any website design. Better yet, to chat with you, visitors don’t have to install any app on their device. They don’t even have to input any personal data.

How will they know that you offer live chat?

It’s simple! They will see a widget like this one in the lower corner of your website:

Image: JivoChat widget with option to live chat or request a callback.

When they click on it, the chatbox opens and they can type in their question:

This is the view your customers get when they click on the widget. They can type in any question, as well as attach files or send emojis.

The live chat operator’s view, however, is completely different. Operators have access to a lot of features that help them offer great customer support, as well as generate leads and boost sales conversion rates.

You can track your visitors and initiate conversations proactively with them:

You can see the incoming chats on the left and you can respond to chats, emails or Messenger conversations -- all in a single dashboard:

Additionally, your live chat operators can:

  • Access different analytics dashboards and check visitor history to offer personalized support and answers.
  • See the visitor’s browsing history. For instance, if you notice they have spent a lot of time on your pricing page, you can easily send a message saying: "Hi there! Can I help you find the perfect plan?"
  • Create and send pre-set messages to help you answer faster.
  • See when the visitor is typing so you can multitask and juggle multiple chat boxes at the same time.
  • Offer a seamless experience by integrating multiple channels in a single chatbox: email, Messenger, phone calls and more.
  • Pull information from your CRM to personalize the chat experience.
  • Translate from 90+ languages.
  • Color-code chats -- ideal for pre-qualifying leads or for assigning them to certain agents
  • Download chat history, transcripts, and view analytics.

Image: JivoChat provides chat analytics and recommendations.

How to Use Live Chat on a Website

There are just as many ways to use website live chat as there are live chat features.

The most popular ways to leverage live chat are:

  1. Collect Leads and Initiate Sales Conversations

Live chat is an excellent marketing and sales tool! With 62% of customers saying they would buy again from a website that has it, you can bet it will influence your sales. In a good way!

Sure, most people rave about live chat in customer support. And for good reason -- we’ll get to that in a second. But instead of waiting for visitors to ask you a question, why not be proactive and turn them into leads or buyers?

For instance, you can set up the JivoChat chatbot to send a notification whenever a visitor stays on a premium product page for more than 30 seconds. You can then shoot them a message offering to provide assistance in the selection process, or help overcome purchase barriers.

Plus, this helps you communicate with them at the perfect time: when they are most interested in your product! Why wait until they’ve left your website and spend thousands of dollars on ineffective remarketing ads when you can do everything in your own "home"?

  1. Provide Proactive Customer Support

I told you we’d get to this in a minute. According to Comm100, 82% of customers are satisfied with the support they received via live chat, compared to 61% of email users and 44% of phone users.

The numbers don’t lie, but this doesn’t mean you can’t strive to make a great experience into a stellar one. Reach out to your customers proactively if you see them struggling on your Help page. Answer their questions in real-time, whether they are inquiries about your products or troubleshooting.

You can initiate a live chat and then move on to a phone call if the visitor prefers it. JivoChat offers you the option to make a seamless platform change:

  1. Collect Customer Feedback

From pre-chat surveys to post-chat feedback forms, the world is your oyster. Ask your customers about their opinion on your customer support department or on your products and services.

The best part about collecting feedback via live chat is that it happens while the events are still fresh in the customer’s memory. Use feedback to improve your products or services.

Pro tip: JivoChat provides chat logs and reports to help managers assess their team’s performance. Head on to your dashboard to see how your team solves issues and answers queries.

How Live Chat Software Can Benefit Support and Sales Teams

Remember when we mentioned the exponential growth of the live chat market? It’s fueled by the benefits live chat brings to the table. To both tables, to be precise: that of the businesses using it, and their customers.

Let’s take a closer look:

Benefits of Live Chat for Sales Teams

According to GoInFlow, live chat is responsible for a 3.84% increase in conversion rates and a 6% increase in revenue.

When asked "what is live chat?",most business owners who use it will say "my favorite sales tool".Here’s why:

  • You can use triggers to engage with shoppers or leads that are already interested in your products (easy to spot based on click source and website browsing behavior). This way, you don’t waste time with leads that aren’t likely to convert.
  • Quickly overcome friction or objections in the buying process_before_the user leaves your website.
  • Collect customer contact information and buyer preferences -- say hello to your new hyper-targeted and ultra-effective marketing campaigns.
  • Connect sales data to your CRM without having to input it manually -- avoid human errors.
  • Share resources to help the customer along their buying journey.

Benefits of Live Chat for Customers

The average wait time for live chat responses is 46 seconds. That’s a lot better than the 7+ hours that other channels average, don’t you agree? Customers do! Other things they love about live chat are:

  • They get almost instant answers to their questions without having to switch between platforms or apps

  • First contact resolution: most queries are answered directly on live chat during a single interaction.
  • Customers don’t have to communicate across multiple platforms and retell their story to multiple agents. JivoChat offers quick access to chat history and the possibility to switch between agents -- all with complete access to all the info your agents need to make this transition seamless for the customer.
  • A personalized experience: customers rave about businesses that offer personalized solutions and answers. When you have access to your customer’s history and browsing data, being proactive and offering tailor-made solutions is a breeze!

How to Implement Live Chat on Your Website

Now that you know what live chat is and how it can help you, the next step is to choose a provider and add it to your site.

Move away from the standard live chat definition and think about this: what is live chat for you? Or, better yet, what do you want it to be for you?

As soon as you have a list of features you need, you can move on to shortlisting live chat software providers.

Ready? Let’s see how we can get live chat set up on your website in minutes with JivoChat:

Step 1: Create a Free JivoChat Account

Start here:

Add your email address and your password:

It’s 100% FREE and super easy.

Step 2: Complete the Initial Setup (Enter Business Information) {#step-2-complete-the-initial-setup-enter-business-information}

Enter the name of the administrator, the website where the live chat will be installed, and, optionally, your phone number.

That’s it! You’re ready to download the agent application for desktop or mobile or access it with your web browser. You can also skip this step and do it later.

Step 3: Choose How You Want to Integrate Live Chat on Your Website

We’re all about flexibility, so there are several ways you can add JivoChat to your website:

1. Add the code directly to your website

You can find more information about finding the code and adding it to your CMS here.

2. Use a WordPress plugin

The easiest way to add JivoChat to your WordPress site is to go to WordPress admin panel -> Plugins -> Add New and search for JivoChat, then install it.

You can find more info on how to add your credentials and get everything set up on WordPress here.

3. Shopify integration

Shopify user? No problem! We have created a special plugin that allows you to install the chat widget without installing the chat code on site.

Find the plugin in the AppStore, download it and we’ll guide you from there. Or, you can read about all the steps here.

4. Other integrations

You can use JivoChat with pretty much any tool you know and love. Our live chat software integrates seamlessly with Wix, Weebly, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, Drupal, Joomla, and others.

Check out the full list of compatible solutions here.

Step 4: Customize Your Live Chat Widget

As soon as you’ve created an account and added JivoChat to your website, it’s time to make it your own. You have a wide array of personalization options!

Once you’re done, JivoChat will look like an integrated part of your website that matches your branding, with pre-set messages, and more.

To edit the design of your live chat widget, simply log in to our Desktop or Web app and go to Manage -> Channels -> Settings and click on Design in the left menu:

Here’s what you can do customize:

  • Background color
  • Header pattern
  • Position (left or right)
  • Fonts (to match your brand manual)
  • Messages (choosing different messaging for when your agents are offline or online)
  • Mobile device customizations

You can test each of these options in your Settings menu or read more about each of them here.

Need more info on JivoChat or how live chat works in general? We’re always here for you! Click on the widget on the bottom right-hand side of your screen and let’s talk!

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