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What is live chat?

Definition: Live chat is a real-time communication method used to interact with customers or website visitors through instant messaging. 

It is embedded within a website or mobile app, allowing users to ask questions, receive support, or engage with the company quickly and efficiently.

Live chat can be handled by customer service representatives, sales personnel, or chatbots programmed to respond to common inquiries. 

By providing instant assistance and convenience to customers, live chat has become an increasingly popular tool for businesses to enhance their customer experience, drive sales, and address issues more effectively.

Common live chat software features

  1. Real-time messaging: Instant communication between customers and support agents, facilitating real-time conversations.
  2. Chat history and transcripts: Live chat systems store chat history and transcripts, allowing agents and businesses to reference past conversations, analyze interactions, and improve support.
  3. Chat routing and assignment: Chat systems can route incoming chats to appropriate agents based on their expertise, workload, or other criteria, ensuring efficient chat handling.
  4. Multi-channel support: Some live chat platforms integrate with other communication channels, such as email, social media, or messaging apps, providing a unified support experience.
  5. Canned responses: Pre-written responses for FAQs and scenarios.
  6. Chatbot integration: Some live chat solutions incorporate chatbots, which can handle initial interactions and escalate complex issues to human agents.
  7. File sharing and rich media support: Some platforms enable agents and customers to share files, images, or links within the chat.
  8. Typing indicators and read receipts: These features help create a more interactive experience.
  9. Customization and branding: Live chat systems often allow businesses to customize the appearance, branding, and language of the chat widget to match their website and brand identity.
  10.  Visitor tracking and analytics: Some live chat platforms provide insights into visitor behavior, helping agents tailor their support and businesses improve their offerings.
  11.  Integration with CRM and other tools: Live chat solutions can often be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, help desk software, or marketing automation platforms to streamline customer data and support processes.
  12.  Security and privacy features: Many live chat systems offer encryption, GDPR compliance, and other security features to protect customer data and maintain privacy.

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Article FAQs

What is the primary purpose of live chat on a website?
The primary purpose of live chat is to provide immediate and personalized support to customers or website visitors, addressing their questions, concerns, or feedback in real-time.
Are chatbots and live chat the same thing?
No, chatbots are automated programs designed to handle customer inquiries, while live chat typically involves real-time communication with human customer service agents. However, some live chat systems incorporate chatbot functionality for handling common questions or initial interactions.
How can I measure the effectiveness of their live chat support?
You can measure the effectiveness of live chat through metrics such as response time, customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), conversion rates, and the number of resolved issues. Analyzing chat transcripts and customer feedback can also provide valuable insights for improvement.

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