As a customer, it’s incredibly annoying to have to provide a ton of context to a customer service agent before they can help you. Especially if it feels scripted. That’s part of the reason why people hesitate to engage with customer service teams in the first place. The experience sucks.

But as a customer service agent, it’s tough to provide solutions if you don’t have the context of what’s going on for the customer. This makes it pretty discouraging to be a customer service agent in a poorly set up customer service operation.

The good news is if you set up a live chat correctly, your agents can get context about the customer situation automatically. It not only makes it easier for the agents, but it makes for a really seamless feeling experience with customers that ultimately makes them happy (which means more sales).

At, we provide 24/7 live chat teams for over 100 e-commerce stores. Our chat system set up specifically to maximize the context our agents get about visitors automatically. 

Agents use this to help visitors, but we also use it to create really simple and impactful customer service experiences for our clients.

While you can check us out to see how we can help you level up your live chat channel as a sales driver, we’ll break down the key elements we use here in this post.

Leverage Visitor Source

A customer comes from before being on your website ultimately influences their mindset and what they are looking for on your site. With that said, it would feel pretty awkward to ask them where they came from so it’s not really something your agents can leverage unless it’s gathered on medically.

By tracking the below sources, you get key context for your agents:

  1. Marketing Channel / Campaign – When you know what marketing channel someone came from, you’ll understand what specific offers they are expecting on your website and what experience they have that ultimately caused them to visit in the first place. Agents can use this to move people down the purchase journey, and also to frame the answers to their questions specifically to what a visitor is thinking.
  2. Returning Customers / Order History – When you know that someone is a return customer or you can see their order history, you can infer a lot about the questions they ask. For example, if someone asks how long shipping takes but you were able to see that they are a return customer with an order last week, you can frame the answer in a way of telling them when that specific order is scheduled to arrive. You can also use this insight as an opportunity to drive repeat sales based on what they purchased in the past or possibly to increase conversion based on products they were looking at on their prior visit.
  3. History Over Visits – with the right live chat software, agents can’t see conversation history from prior visits when the visitors start a new conversation. You don’t necessarily need to tell the visitor this, but it could be helpful context to build on the conversation from the prior visit.

Make sure your live chat system is set up to track the source that visitors came from.

Website Navigation History

When a customer has to repeat solutions they’ve already tried to catch the agent upon progress, it starts off the customer service experience in a frustrating way. It’s possible to have access to the navigation history of a visitor to give your agent a context on what they’ve already tried.

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. You can track the full navigation history of current and even past visits and show that information to the agent when the chat starts.
  2. It’s important to make the titles in readability for ages clear. Don’t just show a list of URLs, but it’s dead show a list of clear page titles or some other descriptor of what the page is about.
  3. It’s also helpful to track time spent on each page so that the agent knows how in-depth the visitor went. They may have been to a page that has a potential solution but not found it if they were moving too quickly.

Track Current Page Activity

Hand holding and walking a customer through the solution is helpful, but that could be tough through the usual customer service channels of phone or email. With live chat, you can set up an experience to guide the visitor seamlessly through the steps they need to take on the website to solve the problem.

Here are a few ways this can work:

  1. You can set up full “co-browse” solutions that enable you to literally watch visitors doing as they’re doing it on the website. Some systems control their browsing behavior.
  2. If you don’t have full code browsing capabilities, you can configure Google tag manager to track and report on inner page activity. For example, you can track how far down the visitor has scrolled, what key elements they’ve seen, or what tabs they have clicked into the inside of the page.
  3. If you’re not able to do either of these options, anchoring the customer to a specific start point on the page and then walking them through what steps need to be done based on you doing it at the same time could work for many situations as well. This is not ideal, but if you structure the communication well it can’t work.


Having context about where the visitor came from and what they are doing on your website can make a live chat experience a great support experience for customers. But you have to configure it in order to do that.

Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your live chat efforts and drive more sales? Here are a few resources.

  1. 3 ways to save cart abandon with live chat.
  2. Use the live chat to drive profitable cross-sells and upsells.
  3. Want a 24/7 live chat team to do all of this for you? We run live chat for 100+ stores and can help. Visit

Jon Tucker


Jon Tucker is CEO of HelpFlow, a provider of 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for 100+ eCommerce stores. Launched in 2015, their team of agents has produced nearly $100M in chat revenue for a wide range of stores using a conversion-focused approach to live chat.


Your Store Needs a 24/7 Live Chat Team


HelpFlow can drive sales by having our team of human agents available on live chat 24/7 to predict and save abandons before they happen, proactively reach out and engage with visitors via SMS and email after they abandon, and by answering visitor questions live on your website to convert visitors.