Find out more about Live Chat Software
What is Live Chat Software?
Live chat software can be used by companies to offer instant assistance to their website visitors and customers. Top live chat solutions offer text chat, video, help desk, voice, and CRM features. Chats can be categorized into two main types: pro-active chat in which the website visitor is greeted with a pop-up box they can use to chat with an agent, and broadcast where the visitor can initiate the chat. Companies should look for live chat software that integrates seamlessly with their existing e-commerce, help desk, and CRM systems. The platform should also offer useful features such as capability to share discussions, preference settings for chat windows and reminders, and archive and reporting tools. Top vendors of live chat software include LiveEngage, SnapEngage, LiveChat, and Olark. We currently rate LiveAgent as the leading live chat application in our database, but you can also check out other good quality apps to get a wider choice.
Top 12 Most Popular Live Chat Software
How to Choose The Best Live Chat Software
There are scores of good quality online chat software programs in the market. This makes it difficult to distinguish the good ones from the average systems. This buyer’s guide aims to help you select the best Live Chat software platforms for small business and large enterprises by giving you pointers on the list of aspects to look for.
Get to know each product with free trial
Sign up for the free trials or demo and basic unpaid plans offered by leading live chat software providers to test drive the key features of each system. You need not spend any money and you can do a comparison and identify problems with any system right away. Start by shortlisting and checking out the tools that have received the highest SmartScore rankings and customer satisfaction rating in our Customer Support category to discover the best Live chat software for enterprises, medium, or small business: Freshchat, Tagove, CDMessanger, Zopim, Olark, Engage, and NABD.
In the broadest sense, every company willing to provide online customer support can benefit from live chat software tools. Still, there are three specific scenarios in which delivering exceptional customer service depends significantly on the presence of such software:
- Small Businesses that want to instill trust. Live chat software follows the example of traditional brick-and mortar stores where there are sales people appointed to help customers find what they need. Personalizing the same experience behind the screen is especially difficult for small companies which can’t afford to appoint a large team for the purpose, and should consider a small team of knowledgeable professionals to make their brand trustworthy instead.
- Medium Businesses that want to anticipate problems. Medium businesses are a specific category of growing and developing entities which can’t really accurately predict questions, inquiries, and problems reported by their customers. For the purpose, they need a live chat system that will simplify the process, track visitors real-time, and offer assistance even without being explained what the problem is.
- Large companies that want to personalize customer experience. The biggest problem of large companies is the lack of transparency, and so-called second-hand customer relationships where users don’t really feel as if they were taken care of. That’s exactly why large companies can benefit from live chat systems: they can track visitors’ behavior, and invite them to chat whenever that seems necessary.
What are Examples of Live Chat Software?
- Freshchat: a proactive mobile messaging and engagement application developed for sales teams that helps bring chatting experience to a more personalized level.
- CDMessenger: A popular digital messenger that helps users communicate in a fast, effective, and secure way. It includes alerts, sticky notes, and task management tools.
- Zopim: An immediate solution for professional and timely support, carefully packed with advanced features and able to determine which are the customers that need assistance.
- Olark: A well-known chat support platform with clean and intuitive design, that can also gather customer behavior information and report on it.
- Giosg. An intelligent live chat platform that informs that reveals critical visitor details, and helps companies engage their prospects and improve the quality of their services.
Types of Live Chat Software
There are three basic types of live chat software, depending on the service companies tend to provide with them:
- Informational Live Chat Systems. These systems are used simply to provide information and answer visitors’ questions at any moment, usually to help them make a decision or to provide some product-related data. Most of the time, chat personnel handles only incoming requirements, but it is not rare for these systems to enable behavior tracking and to allow agents to intervene without being asked to do so.
- Sales Live Chat Systems. These systems were designed for online retailers to help them provide vital information to customers intending to make a purchase. Instead of technicians, there will be sales agents behind the desk with a full suite of information, and obviously a talent for converting prospects into buyers.
- Customer Service Live Chat Systems. Customer service live chat systems are often confused with the informational ones, but the main difference is that they emphasize on helping customer which have problems, rather than questions, and are therefore operated by technicians and IT departments. Their feature suite is considerably more advanced than the one of informal services, and they often enable remote support.
Key Features of Live Chat Software
Our detailed comparisons show that these are the basic features to expect from your next live chat system:
- API (application programming interface). Due the fact that all companies have a different software infrastructure to blend the system with, they are rarely industry-specific. Rather than that, they offer a suite of open developer APIs that can be used to integrate the system with any third-party platform manually.
- Co-browsing. Cobrowsing refers to screesharing, a feature that helps you observe visitors behavior, track their actions, and guide them to the action you want them to perform. As you can guess, this is an invaluable asset for intervening whenever you believe a bit of contact could help.
- Email transcripts. Solid live chat systems transform all of your chats into comprehensive transcripts, and save them on the platform’s database for further usage. The best ones among them, however, are powerful enough to send the data directly to your email address.
- File-sharing. The same as social network chat boxes, corporate live chat systems should offer a file-sharing option, ideally such that can support files of different sizes and formats.
- Mobile support. This is one of the features that doesn’t even have to be mentioned, as it is simply imperative when doing business online. Instead of forcing customers to wait until their reach their computers to write to you, you should choose a solution that offers mobile app for them to be able to access support at any point of time.
- Social media integration. The sooner you integrate your live chat system with the social media you’re using the better – social networks are exactly where people look for you at the first place, so you should make sure to include a connected chat option directly on the profile page, and import that information into your live chat system.
- Surveys and feedback. One of the biggest benefits you could experience when communicating with customers directly is that you can perform surveys based on their feedback, and to evaluate performance based on the conclusion.
- Ticketing. You may think that live chat systems don’t need to include a ticketing option, but for most of them that’s highly recommendable: to start with, you may not have an available agent to offer an answer right away, while the other scenario is for him to deal with a complex problem that has to be transmitted to technical support. What can also be a criterion here are customer preferences: some people simply don’t want to chat with an agent, and prefer to explain their problem in a ticket.
Benefits of Live Chat Software
Our live chat software reviews show that these are the main benefits companies experience when using this type of system:
- Reduced Support Costs – Offering phone support is expensive as each agent can handle only one call at a time. However, live-chat agents can manage multiple conversations at the same time which means they can serve more number of customers in the same amount of time than phone support agents.
- Increased Online Sales – Online retailers learn about visitor behavior on their website through metrics. They can use live chat software to direct visitors to less popular product pages, proactively reply to questions they may have, and use co-browsing to make suggestions about products visitors might wish to buy.
- Improved Customer Service – Though many companies offer self-help tools like a knowledge base and FAQ pages, customers may not be able to use them effectively. These companies can provide live chat help along with the self-service resources to help customers make full use of them. This can boost customer satisfaction, and reduce the company’s expenses on phone support.
- Generating more traffic – Companies in some industries use their website to advertise their products or services, and hope visitors will contact them. However, prospective customers may be hesitant to contact businesses such as law firms, insurance agencies, and car dealerships until they get answers to their questions. Such companies can use live chat to answer the common questions that may be keeping customers from contacting them.
List of Live Chat Software Companies
Our Score Read More
FinancesOnline uses our special SmartScore™ system to analyze all the products in the Live Chat Software category to help you get the best possible service. It includes the following elements: main modules, collaboration possibilities, custom elements, available integrations, how easy a software is to use and learn, customer support, security, support for smartphones and tablets, ratings in media. As of now, LiveAgent is the leader in this category and is recommended by our experts. After thorough testing it received the best results among its competitors and our reviewers strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the choices for your needs.
User Satisfaction Read More
An overview of general user satisfaction with the software in our Live Chat Software category evaluated with our unique algorythm that finds user reviews, comments and opinions across a wide range of social media platforms to help you make an informed purchase choice.
Pricing Read More
Every vendor in the Live Chat Software category will provide a different group of pricing packages for its service and every package will include a unique group of tools. Below we list the general pricing for the most affordable package offered for each service. Please note that advanced features may cost extra.
Devices Supported Read More
An analysis of what kind of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B solutions in the Live Chat Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Laguages Supported Read More
Check what languages and geographies are served by the popular B2B solutions in the Live Chat Software category, including apps aimed at international markets and created for multi-cultural groups of employees.
Pricing Model Read More
Learn what pricing packages are provided by the vendors in the Live Chat Software category to check which one matches your business preferences and budget best. Note that specific apps can offer free or freemium accounts for you to test first.
Customer Types Read More
A brief look at which types of clients a specific B2B platform in the Live Chat Software category aims for, from small businesses and non-profits to big enterprises.
Deployment Read More
An overview of what kinds of software deployement are supported by each B2B vendor in the Live Chat Software category. Even though almost all modern SaaS solutions are cloud-hosted some solutions might offer an on-site deployment model too.
Post by Alex Hillsberg