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 text 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. There are also live support software that goes beyond basic text chat, and offer such advanced communication capabilities as true VoIP (Voice over IP), application sharing, remote view, real-time website traffic monitoring, and remote form filling.