5 Key Features to Look for in Your Live Chat Solutions


It’s important to deliver a positive customer experience. Doing so can make you stand out from the competition and turn customers into brand advocates. Of course, it’s not as simple as it could be. A key part of creating that positive experience is being there for your customers when and where they need you and providing support, advice, and guidance on their terms. 

Live chat solutions allow you to do all this right from your website. However, choosing a live chat solution isn’t easy. You’ll find plenty of options out there, but they vary drastically in terms of features and capabilities. What should you look for in a solution that’s worth your time and money, and more importantly, your reputation? We’ll explore five key features that your live chat solution should bring to the table.

The importance of live chat

It wasn’t that long ago that live chat was an impossibility. Sure, customers might be able to communicate with support over the phone or via email, but real-time, online chatting? That wasn’t a thing. Today, live chat has become one of the most important tools for businesses, according to the customers who support those companies.

As you can see, live chat can be a game changer. However, you must make an informed choice here. Let’s delve into the most critical features a live chat solution should offer.

Live chat key features defined

Selecting the right live chat solution is critical, but for businesses with little experience vetting these tools, it can feel like flying blind. The right feature set will support your customers, reduce the load on your employees, increase conversions, and help you cut costs.

1. AI and human-powered support

AI has helped live chat come into its own. Chatbots are everywhere today, from Facebook Messenger to proprietary chat tools. Artificial intelligence can leverage your in-house data to provide instant, accurate answers to your customers’ most common questions. However, AI does have its limits, and sometimes a human touch is necessary. 

Make sure the live chat solution you choose utilizes cutting-edge AI combined with experienced human representatives. This ensures that common questions can be answered right away, but more complex issues can be resolved by an experienced customer service specialist, all on your customer’s schedule.

2. Chat-based sales funnels that actually work

Your live chat solution is primarily about providing immediate customer service. However, the overall goal should be to move the lead through the sales funnel toward becoming a customer by providing them with valuable information, accurate answers, and important insights. Your live chat solution should do this automatically by triggering specific components within the overall sales funnel. 

For instance, let’s say you operate a growing plant nursery that supplies both professional landscapers and homeowners. If a lead’s message includes the trigger word “planting”, the bot could retrieve your pre-built new plant Q&A to help it answer the question. 

Based on the customer’s response to that reply, the bot could then trigger the new plant playbook to help the customer determine when the best time for new plants in their specific USDA hardiness zone, type of landscape, type of plant, or something else entirely. 

3. Lead source qualification

Live chat is an important tool for providing customer support, but it can also yield critical insight into the sources of your most qualified leads. Make sure that the live chat solution you choose offers a central dashboard that gives you access to chat transcripts and performance data. 

This should include information such as geographic location, customer challenge/pain point, and more, all of which speak directly to your ability to convert a lead into a customer or client. With this information, you can refine your marketing to focus on the sources of your most qualified leads and address points that have the most impact on conversion.

4. Go straight to appointment booking

Lead vetting is great, but you need a live chat solution that can do more. What if the lead needs to book a consultation or an appointment? These are critical in many fields, from healthcare to architecture design to law and it’s often a barrier for would-be clients and customers. 

With the right live chat solution, a potential customer or client could simply ask to book an appointment or consultation. The AI could then confirm the first available opening and whether that works for the lead. If it does, the AI can book the slot. If it doesn’t, the bot can suggest alternative openings to suit the lead’s specific needs.

5. Reach beyond your website

Live chat is typically seen as being tied to a website. There’s nothing wrong with that, but chances are good that your customers will contact your business in other ways, too, including SMS messages. Make sure that the live chat solution you choose is capable of answering texts sent to your business in the same way that it can support customers through website-based chat functionality. 

Smith.ai’s live chat tool fuses industry-leading AI with expert human agents

At Smith.ai, we’ve worked with clients just like you for years to deliver the support and solutions they need to thrive. Our live chat solution combines our industry-leading AI with our expert human agents (who are available 24/7) to deliver the seamless, positive experience your customers and leads expect and deserve. Our AI builds its answers on your specific data, so your customers and leads get the utmost accuracy. It will also hand off the conversation to human experts as necessary, complete with full transcripts so there’s never a disconnect. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai.


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Written by Mike Graner

Mike Graner is the Marketing Manager at Smith.ai. He focuses on engaging content, company updates, and in-person events.


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