Live support software
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Live support software (also called live chat, live help) is a popular term for online chat applications designed specifically to provide online assistance to users of a website. Such software is used to provide instant help to visitors on a website. Live chat is mainly used for text based communication, however software providers bundle services like voice, video, helpdesk, CRM systems along with texat chat.
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The system typically consists of 2 components:
- A text box on the website.
- An operator dashboard to allow the agent to respond to the chat.
There are two types of chats:
- Pro-active chat - In this case, the text box pop-ups on its own and shows a message to the visitor. This message is shown based on different criteria like the amount of time spent on the website, the pages visited, etc. The visitor can then choose to respond to the message displayed.
- Broadcast- This is a chat initiated by the visitor.
Typically live support applications will open a window that connects the user to an agent. Some software allow the users to be queued, so that one member of staff can deal with a customer and then automatically move on to the next customer. The customer's position in the queue is sometimes displayed.
Some live support applications are written in low-level languages (e.g., C++) and distributed as compiled software that must be installed on a server. Others are written in languages, such as PHP, and can be modified as desired. MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server are common database engines used.
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