Latest posts by Mark Spera (see all)
- How to Grow a SaaS (Software) Business FAST - February 9, 2021
- How to Monetize Your Blog (Get Your First $10k in 6 Months) - January 1, 2021
- Ecommerce Marketing Manual: Everlane, NastyGal and Warby Parker - December 24, 2020
Why you need a live chat software for your business.
When live chat software is used appropriately, it can help increase conversion rates. The live chat software offers an added edge to your customer service, and is likely to help you attract and maintain more customers as a result. In fact, 29% of consumers have told friends or colleagues about a positive live chat experience. Having a live chat feature not only increases your company’s customer service, but also your company’s marketing capacity.
Most customers prefer purchasing from companies that offer live chat support, because it allows them to easily contact the company if they encounter any problems. Live chat gives the customer an added confidence in your business.
Not convinced yet? What if I told you that not only have 29% of consumers told their friends or colleagues about a positive live chat experience, but 50% of consumers have said that they are likely to reuse a business’s service if they had a positive customer service experience?
All in all, live chat is an excellent way to increase conversion rates and improve customer satisfaction.
Table of Contents
Choosing the Right Live Chat Software
Making a choice for the live chat software can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t know which features to look for. One of the most important issues to look at is the conversion rate for the software.
A good live chat software is essential, not just because it helps your company communicate directly with the customer, but also because it allows you to get feedback and reviews directly from the customer. This gives your company an advantage over companies that are lacking such strong communication with their customers, as it allows you to adjust your company’s path according to the customers’ needs.
One of the most important features of a successful live chat software is one that allows you to proactively reach out to new website users and invite them to chat with your customer service team. It should be able to automatically send invitations to the new users, initiating the chat process.
Another extremely important feature of your live chat software is the ability to monitor. It is crucial that you are able to monitor your agents and your customers, to ensure that the chat feature is being used appropriately and effectively.
The live chat system must also be optimized in a way that it can function in whichever browser. Of particular importance is the software’s ability to function both in mobile browsers and in PC browsers. The chat system should also be able to take offline messages that your agents can attend to once they are online. All these features will help ensure that you have a comprehensive chat system that is an asset to your company, so that you know you are getting your money’s worth.
The Best Live Chat software
In what follows, I will outline some of the best online chat softwares available today.
HubSpot Live Chat is a free tool, part of HubSpot’s free forever CRM.
With HubSpot Live Chat, you can easily customize your chat widget to match the look and feel of your brand. You can also create targeted welcome messages for different web pages or segments of your audience so you can connect with the site visitors who matter — right when they’re most engaged.
Pricing of Hubspot Livechat
HubSpot’s Live Chat tool is fully integrated with a chatbot builder that you can start using for free — no coding required. Easily create bots that help you qualify leads, book meetings, provide answers to common customer support questions, and more — so your team can focus on the conversations that matter most.
And because HubSpot’s chatbot builder is seamlessly integrated with HubSpot’s free CRM, your bots can deliver friendlier, more personalized messages based on the information you already know about a contact.
All your chat conversations are automatically stored in a universal inbox enriched with data from HubSpot’s free CRM, giving everyone on your team the context they need to craft the perfect response.
My Opinion of Hubspot Live Chat
Hubspot’s live chat offering is just a part of their larger ecosystem and it integrates perfectly with their other tools, much of which are available for free for marketers. Highly recommend. Try it free here.
Intercom is one of the best live chat softwares available, with an all-in-one tool to enhance your customer communication experience. Intercom comes with the whole package, offering messaging products, marketing products and customer service products, creating an excellent experience for you and the customer. The company uses a unique Artificial Intelligence software, which means that you do not need to worry about having humans responding to the messages you get. The machine learning software is able to communicate with and help your customers as needed.
Pricing of Intercom
Intercom offers some of the best pricing packages in the market. The live chat software comes at $53/month and the full suite package goes for up to $155/month.
Advantages of using Intercom
Intercom comes with several advantages, especially if you are using the full suite package. It is particularly useful because of its variety of features, which include messaging products, marketing products, and customer service products.
The software also offers users the ability to capture and convert their leads efficiently. You have the power to onboard and engage your customers throughout that process, making it smoother for them overall. Its offline features ensure that messages will be saved for your agents to view and act on once they come online.
All of these features are extremely efficient, which allows for a higher conversion rate. Intercom ensures that each step of the chat experience is seamless, allowing you to move toward your end goal faster.
Disadvantages of using Intercom
While there are numerous advantages of using Intercom, there are also some disadvantages, which are worth a mention. The developers of the intercom software intended for it to be an all-in-one tool, which means it has other tools available to enhance your services and product offerings. This does make it a little bit pricier, so if you are just looking for a chat software, it might be too big a buy.
My opinion on Intercom
Each business owner has different needs when it comes to choosing a live chat software. I would recommend Intercom for those that are looking to use it for all of its features, not just the chat software. For users that only need the live chat software, I would recommend something cheaper that can do the same job chat-wise.
Olark has created a niche for themselves by marketing as “world’s simplest live chat software.” It is a strategy that seems to be working, based on the number of reviews the company has. One could be tempted to say that phrase is true as Olark offers the user some real-time reporting features. You also have the ability to automate your messages, which is good when trying to reach certain clients. As a user of Olark, you will be able to customize your platform in a way that is appropriate with your needs and the needs of your customers.
Pricing of Olark
The Olark software comes for the price of $17/month per agent using the software. It also offers several discount options when you decide to pay either biannually or annually.
Advantages of using Olark
Olark allows you to search for the transcripts of all live chat activities within the platform. You have the ability to track as well as monitor all chat transcripts, which makes it easier to gather any quality data.
It also gives you the ability to get your customers’ perspectives and reviews of your products. This information is crucial in developing your marketing strategy.
Olark can easily integrate with some of the best marketing platforms, including Groove, SalesForce, HelpScout, HubSpot, WordPress, MailChimp and Google Analytics. This allows for more coordinated marketing efforts.
Disadvantages of using Olark
Unlike other softwares on the market, Olark does not come with many automation features. However, its simple nature might make it worth giving a try.
My opinion on Olark
Olark is one of the simplest live chat softwares I know of. If you’re looking for something straightforward and easy to use, I’d say Olark is your best bet.
LivePerson is one of the best platforms for those seeking to offer customer care services via live chat. It is powered by artificial intelligence, meaning that as it learns your company and your customers’ needs, your customer service will be streamlined and efficient.
LivePerson also comes with additional customer care features, including voice call and mobile messaging software. The company is a favorite among bigger corporations, attracting many enterprise-based companies. Among its biggest names of clients are IBM, Microsoft, and T-Mobile.
I did a check on LivePerson’s website and surprisingly there was no information regarding its prices. You have to send a request to the company for them to give you a quote. My guess is that they charge customers differently based on their needs and that is why they do not include the prices on their website.
Advantages of using LivePerson
The LivePerson software allows you to get certain vital information from the client before initiating the chat. Names, billing details, website actions, cart values, and other info is provided by the client before the chat is initiated, making it easy to sell or provide quality customer care.
The software also integrates freely with various CRMs and web-based applications like Salesforce, Zendesk, SugarCRM, and more.
One major perk of LivePerson is that it provides excellent analytic reports that allow you to improve your services. From checking the amount of time taken for every chat, to checking how long your agents are logged into the system, you can keep track of every little detail. You can also check customer ratings of agents to ensure quality service.
Disadvantages of using LivePerson
The fact that the company does not display its prices on their website is a con for most prospective buyers. It also suggests that the prices may not be cost-friendly. Chat-software purchasers beware!
My opinion of LivePerson
LivePerson comes with some of the best features available, but it is mostly suited for enterprise-level companies. I would, therefore, recommend LivePerson for those large companies that are already established in the market. However, for smaller companies, there are several other live chat softwares that are likely more affordable and more suited to your needs.
Drift markets itself as the “conversational marketing” platform. Drift is appropriate for companies that are looking to merge sales and customer service into an all-in-one experience for the user. They say that the combination of the two “allows your company to grow faster.”
Pricing of Drift
Drift gives first-time users an opportunity to use the free “Personal” plan, which allows you to gauge whether the service is right for you. However, the full paid plan goes for between $360 to $1,200/month depending on the package you choose.
Advantages of using Drift
Drift comes with some of the best automation tools, giving it an edge over other chat softwares. A good example of these automation tools is their “LeadBot” feature, which you can use to qualify all your site visitors. It has the ability to help you choose the best potential customers, making it easier for you to target them and increase your conversion rates. Drift allows you to create the most efficient chat and targeting system available.
Disadvantages of using Drift
According to online reviews, some customers find that it is difficult for them to keep up with the company’s regular updates. The constant addition of features makes usage more confusing, even though the updates are technically improvements to the software.
My Opinion on Drift
Drift is a good choice for companies that seek to automate their live chat processes. Because of this, Drift is recommended for large companies that have several customers landing on their page at a time, as the automation tools will ensure they reach out to these customers effectively. I would not, however, recommend the tool for companies that have lower volume of chat customers.
Userlike is a strong frontrunner in the live chat software market. Their tool makes it easy for you and your customers to communicate because you can chat directly from your website or via other well-known messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS and more, all from one place. This means that it’s really easy to keep track of all of your customers’ inquiries.
Their sleek and modern design is also a plus. You can customize it to your site so that it fits in really well.
Pricing of Userlike
Userlike is a great, affordable option, especially for small businesses. They offer users a free plan which includes one agent and unlimited chats. If you’re looking for a more extensive plan with added features like analytics and integration with other tools, you can go with one of their paid plans which starts at $29/month.
Advantages of using Userlike
Perhaps the biggest advantage with Userlike is that you can use their software to chat through other popular messaging apps. This makes it easy for customers to reach you because they can use whichever platform they prefer. Because of this, Userlike reflects more of a messenger app style so your customers can message you online and offline, and all of your messages are collected in one place. This is helpful for smaller support teams who aren’t available 24/7 or if you have customers located in different time zones.
What’s also great about Userlike is that they are completely compliant with GDPR standards. So if privacy is a main concern in your company, Userlike has you covered.
Disadvantages of using Userlike
I didn’t find many issues at all with Userlike. One thing that might be worth noting is that they don’t offer a mobile app yet, so it’s better to use Userlike on a laptop, PC or tablet.
My opinion on Userlike
I can definitely recommend Userlike to anyone looking to add live chat as part of their customer service. It’s simple to use and doesn’t require much time to get used to it. It’s also one of the more flexible options since it works well for small and big businesses alike, and can be integrated with other tools your company uses.
SnapEngage is a software that has created a niche for itself by being able to engage with almost every other platform on the web. It is suitable for almost everyone. The software works seamlessly with a number of CRM Platforms including Salesforce, desk.com, Basecamp and more. It also comes with the ability to automatically detect and optimize mobile users efficiently. The chat process is simple, regardless of what platform you are. using.
Pricing of SnapEngage
The SnapEngage software comes at only $99 per month, a package that can be used by up to five different users.
Advantages of using SnapEngage
The software is created to offer users a seamless experience across several other platforms, which is unique in the chat software market. It also offers admin the ability to monitor all chats during and after the chat process and allows you to view visitor activity in real time. Its ability to integrate with Google Analytics means that you can easily keep up with your conversions and acquisitions.
SnapEngage allows your agents to log in from different locations across the world, making it easy to have a remote customer service team.
The platform’s command prompts allow you to directly reach out to potential customers, and operators have the ability to search the customer knowledge base while chatting, ensuring that they are able to solve any issues that arise for the customer.
Another added advantage of the SnapEngage is its Social Deliver Option, which allows you to reach out to the customers through their emails after the end of each live chat session. It also has the ability to search these email addresses to find your customer’s social media platforms and target them. Creepy? Perhaps, but that is the marketing world that we live in.
One final advantage is the security of this live chat software. It is compliant with both the HIPAA and PCI standards, making it an appropriate choice for e-commerce and healthcare sites.
Disadvantages of using SnapEngage
It is no doubt that SnapEngage has some of the best advantages of the live chat softwares available, but it also has some downsides. One of these disadvantages is the fact that SnapEngage only allows you to gather customer data after they initiate a chat, not before like most other live chat software.
Another disadvantage is that it is impossible to manually initiate a chat. The only manual feature available is leaving a message that alerts customers when you are offline. Otherwise, the automatic chat box only comes up when a specified amount of time has passed.
My opinion on SnapEngage
I would recommend SnapEngage for users that utilize social media as a marketing and acquisition tool. The Social Delivery allows seamless integration between your live chats and. your social media marketing. It makes gathering data on your customers a snap, and the added security features of SnapEngage are another bonus!
PureChat is one of the most unique software in the sense that it offers an absolutely free option in its lowest level for users. Its simplicity can only be matched with that of Olark. It offers an intuitive and simple experience for both the operator and the customer. You will also be able to customize the chat box to whichever color or photos you like.
PureChat has two options for your live chat needs – one straightforward live chat, and one AI lead-capturing bot chat. These features are separate products, but when used together prove to be extremely effective.
Pricing of PureChat
I have already mentioned that the lowest levels of PureChat are free. However, the best plan, called the Pro plan, comes for only $29/month, making it an extremely affordable option for small companies.
Advantages of using PureChat
PureChat’s software is designed specifically for live chat. It easily integrates with other web-based content management systems, e-commerce services, and social media platforms.
PureChat also offers you the ability to store your chat transcripts and save them for future reference. This feature is especially useful in determining how well your agents are performing.
This platform also allows users to utilize pre-filled answers to customer questions, making analytic tracking of customer issues very simple.
Disadvantages of PureChat
Despite it being free, PureChat has very few flaws. From its ability to integrate with other platforms to its analytic compliance to its usability, PureChat is quite straightforward. It is difficult to identify any disadvantages of this software. PureChat deserves recognition for its accessibility and efficiency.
My opinion on PureChat
PureChat is one of the best live chat softwares around, possibly because they have made sure that they do this one thing, and they do it right. This has made the service popular among companies seeking only live chat. I would, therefore, recommend it to you if you do not have needs beyond a chat software.
9. Zendesk Chat
The Zendesk chat software was made specifically for companies that were already using Zendesk for customer service. The company offers the chat software to ensure that its customers get the whole package from them. The company has been in the industry for some time. However, it is their competitive prices that make it worth a mention in this list.
Pricing of Zendesk Chat
Zendesk offers a free plan that offers single-agent use and 30 days of chat catalogues. The other plans range from between $14 to $229 per month for every agent using the platform.
Advantages of using Zendesk
Zendesk allows you to customize the software to meet your design needs. If you already have a Zendesk customer service package, adding the chat feature is definitely worth your while. It can also easily integrate with numerous other platforms, so its definitely worth checking out.
Zendesk also offers analytic insights, allowing you to monitor the efficacy of your agents. You can also look at customer activity on the website prior to engaging in the chat feature, allowing you to get the full picture of the customer journey.
Disadvantages of Zendesk
The free version of Zendesk is so limited that it is virtually useless. I would not recommend using Zendesk chat if you are looking for a free service.
Another disadvantage of Zendesk is that it displays to the customers when you are away from the chat for too long, which may discourage users.
My Opinion on Zendesk
I would very much recommend Zendesk for anyone seeking live chat software for their businesses. However, I would not recommend the free option, as it is just a shell of the paid option.
I know it is difficult to choose a live chat software, and I hope that this article helps to shed some light on the software that are available. These reviews are based on my experiences with the softwares, and I hope that they are helpful as you make your decision.
*Articles on this blog contain affiliate links that GMP receives a small commission from at no cost to you. We only recommend tools we trust. And never ones we don't trust.