13th Apr 2017

The Pros and Cons of Using Live Chat Support for Your E-commerce Site

If you’ve visited any website in the last week, it’s very likely you’ll have engaged with some kind of life chat feature, be it speaking with it, minimising it or even closing the live chat box and with an increasing number of businesses and organisations utilising live chat functions it’s likely you’ll be engaging with them for a little while longer.

In a bid to shun more traditional customer service techniques such as email and customer service helplines, live chat allows customer service representatives to speak with customers in real time, offering them real time solutions in a much faster, personal manner, often resulting in a higher level of customer service and happier customers. 

By offering live chat interactions with a real human, in real time you are giving your business a number of opportunities for increasing conversions, sales and also helping ensure customer satisfaction, opening doors for the growth of your business as well as offering a positive experience for your customers. 

While live chat can be the perfect option for your business, it can have its drawbacks and isn’t always appropriate for every single industry out there. If you’re looking to possibly integrate live chat within your website and need help deciding, we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of using live chat features, in order to give you a helping hand.  



Instant Access

One of the biggest reasons customers are likely to want to use live chat services is due to the fact they have instant access to a customer service representative, unlike with emails and phone calls, which can often have people waiting around for a response or being left on hold. With live chat you can expect an immediate response, making speaking to someone much easier.


By offering instant access, live chat functions can give your customers more convenience, offering a quick answer or solution rather than leaving your customers hanging around for hours waiting for some kind of response from your team. In a day where consumer expectation is higher than ever and customers want an experience that benefits them, live chat meets these expectations, giving people the convenience they want.

Cost Efficient

Live chat allows businesses to do a lot without having to use a number of different tools and methods and even without having to a hire a huge customer service team. Due to it’s ease of use, live chat features can increase productivity, helping cut costs that might have been spent if you needed to hire a larger team to deal with emails and phonecalls and even letters. 

Can Be Turned Off

One benefit of live chat functions is that it can be switched off if for any reason you are struggling to manage your live chat, something that can’t be done with telephones and emails. While you do want to aim to be available whenever possible, if you’re low on staff or particularly busy, having the option to switch off your chat is a definite advantage.  


Time Consuming

The main goal of live chat is to give customers immediate, real time answers to their questions and queries, therefor you need to have a team or a member of staff constantly available to answer these queries. While this is great for larger businesses, for small businesses and startups it can be difficult and time consuming to run a real time live chat as it can take up a lot of time.

Trolls & Pranks

Unfortunately there are plenty of people out there who have nothing better to do than mess with people, including your company live chat. It’s not unlikely that at some point you will find people trolling your live chat attempting to prank your customer service team or simply waste their time, something that can cause an annoyance to many and could potentially put many off using this type of function within their website.

Communication Issues

It can often be hard to convey emotions and tone over messaging services such as texts and live chats, which can make communicating with customers more difficult, especially if they struggle to say exactly what they want. You need to be careful with phrasing and be sure to fully train your staff with how to deal with live chat communication in order to avoid information being misinterpreted. 

Establishing great communication with your customers is increasingly important within todays landscape and is something every business and organisation should be focusing on. If done correctly live chat you can boost your customer experience, offering people a service they really want and a loyalty to your business that can last for years to come. 

Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 13th April, 2017
Categories: Ecommerce

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