Chase over at Support Ops wrote about live chat making customers happier. The post makes a good point about customers being happier when they can talk to someone directly on the site they’re visiting. He ends the post with a call for other experiences and I wrote a comment that could have been a post, so now it is.

I don’t usually go for live chat functions. When I walk into a store, virtual or physical I don’t want to overeager sales reps to descend upon me. However, I have to compliment Dell and Crutchfield for both offering stellar a Live Chat experience.

Dell has a wonderful live chat. For the last few times I’ve needed to contact them, I have gone straight to the chat option. It’s so much easier when conveying serial numbers, machine types and technical information such as error messages to be able to type it out. That way, the support rep can copy and paste the error codes and other information without the E as in Egg, P as in Plum song and dance over the phone.

Dell Chat

Dell Support Chat offers technician and advanced troubleshooting options.

They also have an option when entering the chat to check a box that you are a technical support rep contacting them. They’ve even gone further and added a box for advanced troubleshooting steps.

This is such an important change and a much appreciated option. It can cut down on the time having to explain the steps taken to resolve an issue and yes, I did try turning it off and on and I did unplug the unit and try it again a few minutes later.

When I need a hardware replacement, they have been ready to take the shipping address and to verify my contact information when the Dell Tech enters the chat. It saves me a huge amount of time out of my day and can really shine light on the sub-par experience other manufacturers offer for those seeking help.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to compliment Crutchfield as well. They offer a stellar chat for shopping assistance. Recently, I was looking for a way to add iPhone input to my Nissan Murano who has a non-standard stock stereo so it wasn’t as easy as replacing the unit.

I got on the chat with Taylor and within minutes, we had decided on a course of action. They sold a part I could attach to the back of the stock stereo and would give me a headphone jack I could then use to input any audio I wanted into.

Crutchfield Chat

It was a perfect solution and it was very fast and throughout we were able to browse their web site together through sending links back and forth and I could get immediate answers and clarification to what I was looking at because Taylor was right there with me.

At the end of the chat, the transcript is emailed to me. Both Dell and Crutchfield do this and it’s very helpful when going back days, weeks or even months later. I can refer to that chat and have the information I need without needing to contact them again.