Best Practices For Live Chat Agents

17 Jul 2023 By: Natalya Bucuy


In 2023, the advantages of live chat are crystal clear. But what are the best practices for live chat agents to follow? A live chat agent’s number one job is to make sure customers end the conversation feeling happy and positive about the company. Sometimes, this happens effortlessly. But at other times, it can be quite the hurdle to overcome.

Live Chat Agents make sure that they always bring out the best they can for their customers.

Here’s a friendly rundown on how to ace live chat conversations.


Listening well is key to really good conversations. In online chats, paying close attention is as important as listening carefully in person.

Here are tips for making your customer feel heard:

  1. Take it slow and focus. Break down what you’re reading, go over messages again, and really aim to grasp what the person is saying. Don’t just skim for hints—read every single word carefully.
  2. Be Patient. Just hit pause and breathe if things get too much. A quick breather can really clear your head. And you know, a simple deep breath or two can really help you reset. It’s all about taking that moment to just be—you and the here and now. Easy does it.
  3. Ask follow-up questions. If you’re unsure, just ask more questions. It really helps to clear things up.
  4. Empathy is essential.
    Showing you care really matters. If someone’s upset, letting them know you’re truly listening and get where they’re coming from can make a big difference. Kind words that show you care can really help someone feel understood. Remember, when chatting, it’s all about making sure the other person knows you’re there for them.

Staying Positive

Keeping things upbeat when you talk to customers makes everything feel more professional and friendly. Moreover, It can also turn around a bad mood and make the whole chat more positive.

Agents can spread good vibes by trying out a few simple tricks.

  • Be sincere with your attitude.
    The real trick to staying positive is actually feeling it, even when you’re dealing with grumpy customers. Keeping things light and friendly helps everyone work better together to fix problems.

    Quick ways to adjust attitude:

    Smile- Smiling really does make you feel better—it’s good for you and helps in getting along with others.

    Practice Mindfulness – Take a moment to just breathe. Count your breaths—ten, five, or even three, whatever time allows. This simple act can really help you calm down and refocus, particularly when things get stressful. It’s amazing how much it can lift your mood and change your view on things.

    Move – Make sure to take breaks, at least every hour. Sitting too long can bum you out. Stand up and stretch or walk around a bit.

    Use music – If possible, play some lively music while you work. Choose upbeat tunes or go for instrumental if lyrics distract you. Even quiet music can help keep your energy up and bring in positive vibes.
  • Greeting
    Your first message sets the tone—ensure it’s warm and welcoming. Always review client’s pre-shared info to avoid repeats, especially if they’re upset. Smooth start is key.
  • Use positive language.
    Seeing smiles or hearing voices isn’t possible online, so being kind in your words is key. Avoid words like “unfortunately,” and keep chats positive. Use more than just “yes” or “no,” and try not to overuse “sorry” or “thanks for waiting,” as it can sound repetitive. Focus on fixing issues, not on who’s at fault. Let’s make chats friendly and helpful.
  • Dealing with Anger and saying goodbye in the chat
    When dealing with angry customers, stay calm, listen to avoid confusion, and respond with empathy, focusing on solving the problem without getting defensive; when ending the chat, be professional, kindly check if they need further assistance for satisfaction, suggest next steps if unresolved, and aim to leave them feeling positive about the interaction.

Problem Resolution

Fixing the client’s issue is our top goal—that’s what we’re all about.

Understanding the customer’s problem is key. Read their messages carefully, stay upbeat, and use the following tips to help solve it.

  1. Using the Knowledge Base.
    As a newcomer, you won’t know it all immediately, but don’t worry, getting up to speed comes with time and exposure to various customer issues. Dive into the knowledge base—a goldmine of information with easy-to-search solutions, articles, and guides. It’s your shortcut to becoming a savvy chat agent, so take some time to explore and absorb all it offers.
  2. Learn as much about the problem as possible ahead of time and always make the conversation engaging
    Learn as much as possible about the problem by leveraging chat tools and reviewing past interactions for a complete picture, then dive deeper if needed, always checking in with the customer; keep the chat friendly and conversational, allowing some wandering but gently guiding it back to the main issue without getting lost in tangents.

  3. Using Transfer Chat and Whisper Features and getting creative
    When stuck on a tough issue, use the whisper feature for guidance unseen by the visitor, seeking balance between support and solving the problem yourself; embrace new challenges as opportunities to creatively and cost-effectively address customer problems, enhancing your problem-solving skills with each experience.

Minimizing Wait Time

People choose live chat because it’s fast. Customers want their problems fixed quickly and smoothly. As agents, our job is to cut down waiting times and solve issues fast.

Here are some ways to achieve these goals.

  1. Use automation to your advantage
    Automated messages give you a moment to look over the customer’s question and any other important details before you start chatting. Take this time to understand everything thoroughly. But once you begin, try to keep things moving so the customer isn’t waiting too long.
  2. Use canned responses to save time
    Having a bunch of pre-written responses can save you tons of typing time. Use them to speed up your chats whenever it makes sense. The quick search and auto-suggest features can help you find the right responses super fast. Just be sure to double-check them to avoid mistakes.
  3. If you need more time, let the visitor know
    Try not to keep the customer waiting too long for replies. Aim for a response time between 30 seconds to a minute, and try not to go over two minutes. If waiting hits five minutes, an automatic message should kick in, but really long waits can upset customers or make them leave the chat.
  4. Choose the right live chat software.
    Your supervisor needs to be really happy with the live chat software you use. It should have everything—yes, everything—needed to make things easy for customers, agents, and supervisors. If it’s missing something important, keep searching until you find a software that checks all the boxes.

Sticking to Specific Communication Style

Match your chat style to your company’s image. Keep your communication in line with how your company presents itself.

Here are some specific “choices” for the tone that you can select:

  • Personal– Aim for a chat that feels friendly and personal, like you’re a small, family-run business, no matter how big your company actually is. Really try to connect with customers on a personal level.
  • All Business– Keep things focused and straight to the point with customers. Share information clearly and directly, showing a professional and consistent image of your company.
  • Quirky/Funny– Your customers are trendsetters, and they expect to see the real, fun side of your brand. Be like that cool, smart friend they always wanted. Use emojis and don’t shy away from cracking a joke or two.
  • Fun & Upbeat– Expect customers to have questions and focus on making them happy. Keep customer service fun and positive, turning even the toughest customers into happy ones.

Ensuring Proper Spelling and Grammar Use

Nailing your grammar helps get your point across. So, give your spelling, punctuation, and grammar a quick once-over. Avoid run-on sentences and fragments—they might work in speech but can look sloppy in chats. Typing well makes you look smart and reliable. But even a tiny mistake can make you seem less credible.

Always use spell check and, if you can, tools like Grammarly. It’s a good idea for chat agents to test their own grammar, spelling, and typing skills. Double-check your messages before sending them. Practice helps a lot, so take advantage of any tool that can improve your writing. You can even make it fun by trying out spelling and grammar games, like our own Live Help Now challenge.

Yes, it’s a lot to take in, but anything worthwhile needs time and effort. Use these tips for live chats and make your customers smile!

Boost your live chat service with our help! Our team is ready 24/7 to tackle any tech issues, making sure everything runs smoothly. With affordable rates starting at $8.50 an hour, it’s an easy way to upgrade your chat support. Start your trial now and see the difference for yourself!

Answering Service
Customer Service
Live chat
Management & Leadership
Marketing and media
Personal Development