Our interactions with people and businesses keep changing, and whether you are having a personal or professional interaction, the human race somehow expects an almost instantaneous reply, all the time; and anything short of this is utterly unacceptable.
Perhaps we’ve become an impatient lot, but when you look at it in terms of competition in the business side of things, it makes more and more sense why the human race expects quick and complete replies.
For example, if you are looking for information about a product/ service or if you are looking for help regarding a service you’ve subscribed to, nothing makes you want to switch service providers faster than poor or slow services.
It is because of this increased need for urgency that your business needs to adopt customer-friendly, fast, reliable, and, if possible, immediate support systems.
This need for urgency is the reason for the rise in the use of live chat software by businesses. And with as many as 82% of consumers rating ‘immediate response’ as one of the most important considerations that they always bear in mind, there’s never a better time than now for you to look for the best live chat software.
Keep in mind that these sentiments mean that the use of the best live chat software would increase your site’s conversion rates, especially if you use the software correctly.
And the numbers do not lie, with a report by Hubspot showing that consumers always expect a response within 10 minutes of raising a question or complaints.
Further statistics show that as many as 41% of customers today will prefer live chats to reach customer support teams, with only 23% preferring the use of email.
Then you have research by EConsultancy, which indicates that as much as 79% of consumers would rather use live chats than other communication channels because of the almost instantaneous responses.
Looking at consumer satisfaction rates, live chats boast the highest rate of consumer satisfaction at 92%. And 51% of consumers are likely to buy again or stay with a company if it offers reliable live chat support.
Looking at these numbers, there’s no doubt that investing in the best live chat software would be the best business investments you make for your business since live chat support has a direct impact on the experiences and the actions of your site visitors.
So, how do you choose/ determine the best live chat software for your website?
Choosing The Best Live Chat Software
The live chat software you choose might have a positive or a negative impact on your business, which means that there are elements of the software that you shouldn’t overlook.
The most effective live chat tool, for example, is intuitive and can be used by any support operator with ease, and it’s highly responsive to users who need help or information.
These are important considerations because if you end up choosing a poorly-designed and clunky live chat software, you might end up annoying your customers, losing most of your potential leads and sales, in the process.
Poorly-designed live chat software is worse than not having a live chat support feature at all.
Some of the best live chat software on the market are designed to enhance the interaction of website visitors as they research and explore the content on your site, and you might also want to look out for the live chat software options that come with important integrations for CRM databases.
Such integrations allow for easy aggregation of transcripts and contact data.
Subsequently, this data can be used for the conversion of leads into customers, while also allowing your teams to make the most informed business decisions, especially across the sales, marketing, and the customer services departments.
Best Live Chat Software
On top of our list is Intercom, a smart routing and also a great lead qualification tool designed to enhance the performance of your customer services, sales, and marketing teams.
Designed specifically as a communication software for sales, Intercom boasts a great level of functionality seen in its ability to route leads to specific individuals or teams in your sales department, while also allowing for continuity of communication/ messaging via email.
Intercom’s efficiency is also seen in its ability to target specific contacts by analyzing and learning their browsing behavior. So, if you are looking for a sales software that allows you to deliver to your customers exactly what they need, making your customers believe that you understand everything about them.
And since it integrates with top tools and applications like Zoom, Slack, and Hubspot, it’s an ideal fit for lead qualification and routing of customers.
Intercom also makes it to this list of the best live chat software because of its easy integration with chatbots, dual functions designed to ensure ease of lead generation, customer support, and customer engagement.
For enhanced lead qualification and smart routing functions, Intercom makes use of chatbots, which allows for 24/7 automation and qualification of leads, and the subsequent routing of these leads to the sales representatives. In case sales reps aren’t online, Intercom makes it possible for your leads and site visitors to book products/ services demos.
On top of all that, Intercom offers additional functions, which include the personalization of content, introduction of production, segmentation of leads, as well as email broadcasts based on specific triggers by visitors on your webpage, and depending on the action they take.
Intercom also boasts one of the best self-service and smart automation functions, which means that every time a customer needs to reach your support team, they’d be able to click on your live chat function then search for appropriate articles to help them find the information/ help they are searching for, directly from your Help Center – this section is integrated with the chat function, and it aims to not only improve your visitors’ experiences but also allows your sales reps/ agents to spend more time with your customers, especially the one who needs more help from your teams.
So, if you are a small company that needs the best live chat software/ strategy that will help you to scale with ease, Intercom might be the best option for you. This live chat software costs $87/month.
2. HubSpot Live Chat
Hubspot boasts one of the best live chat software on the market as it comes with some of the best customizable and collaborative features.
Using this tool, you are able to communicate with your site visitors fast and with ease. One of the most impressive features of this live chat software is its tight configuration with the Hubspot CRM software.
This is a very intuitive function that will automatically tell you who you are communicating with, based on their past history and interactions with your company.
As a result of the CRM integration, you’ll have the right context of the customer/ site visitor before chatting, and this means an improved customer experience.
The other advantage of this level of integration is that you will quickly direct the customer’s inquiries to the right department or customer service/ sales team, and by allowing the person who handled the case in the past to chat with your site visitors this other time around, you’ll definitely boost your customer-brand relationship. Hubspot’s live chat software features a function called Conversations.
Here, all the incoming chats are managed, because Conversations works as a free and a shared inbox with which your whole company would use/ access to collaborate on all the incoming messages.
The other impressive feature of this Hubspot live chat software is that it allows for all the tickets, deals, etc., to be collected from the live chats and the transcripts from where they are stored on the company’s CRM contracts record.
You might also like this live chat software because it integrates with most automated chatbots seamlessly – you could create targeted welcome messages which would automatically show up on different web pages at different time.
Lastly, the Hubspot live chat comes with a fully-customizable widget which allows you to curate the live chat widget to match the feel and the look of your brand, in terms of the color, name, placement on the page, and your avatar image.
Not that the Hubspot live chat software isn’t available on its own, and it comes as a package with the free Hubspot CRM.
The other intuitively designed live chat software is the LiveChat software whose main features include the Message SneakPeeks, and also the function that allows chatting on multiple websites.
LiveChat could be exactly what you need, especially if you are out for a live chat software that will help you turn site visitors into qualified leads and eventually customers.
This software promises impressive conversion rates of up to 1000%, especially if used right.
Some of its features include the chat archives and transcripts, reports creation, and multilingual chats. Speaking of reports, this software comes with an extended reporting function that features chat tags, a function that will give you full access to comprehensive data points that will guide your decisions.
You could also use it to manage your teams easily because it allows you to keep track of all your sales, as well as the performance of the customer service teams.
The other cool features of LiveChat include the ticket forms, message sneak peeks, and multiple website chatting. Thanks to the message sneak-peek function, your sales teams can see exactly what your site visitors and customers are typing before they send a message.
The sneak peek function also means that your sales reps will have enough time to research and provide the best response. And when you are online, the ticket forms come in handy, meaning that you shouldn’t worry about losing out on prospective leads.
Finally, you might like how each live chat kicks off with customized pre-chat survey that asks customers for their email address or order ID, as well as any other information that would help the sales reps offer the best service to the customers.
LiveChat is affordable and only costs $16/month.
A multi-channel messaging platform that comes with live chat and co-browse functions, Acquire.io is one of the best live chat software that boasts a screen share function, as well as smart suggestions.
It also integrates well and features a chat function, which enhances your lead management process by offering the best onboarding services for new customers.
The bots will answer customer’s questions fast, and working together with the live chat, it makes it easy and possible for you to deliver fast, and the best-personalized support.
Then there’s the profile management function that allows for the easy escalation of the needs of some of your customers, based on the conversations you have with your customers.
Unlike other live chat services, Acquire.io comes with a screen sharing option that works on mobile and desktop devices. This is an intuitive function that allows for Co-Browsing, which means that your sales/ customer support teams will work with your customers by viewing the same pages, improving conversations, reducing frictions, streamlining the sales process, and boosting sales.
In addition to the Co-Browsing function, Acquire.io also allows the use of canned/ automated messages when answering simple and common questions.
This functionality is enhanced by the smart suggestions’ functions, which makes use of AI to recognize specific words, hence the autosuggestion of the most appropriate responses.
From the suggested responses, this AI-powered live chat will send out auto-replies for some of the most common questions from customers, without having to involve your team.
Acquire.io also boasts multilingual features and chat notes.
The latter allows your team to leave critical information about conversations with the rest of the team for expedited resolution and the best/ most accurate action.
The multilingual function is designed to automatically detect language then translate the communication to ensure that your sales reps understand the customers.
With all these functions, Acquire.io is easily one of the best investments made by companies. It’s pricey, though, and it costs $300/month.
Need a comprehensive free live chat software plan that allows for easy chatting across multiple websites? Try PureChat. This software gets you started with historical chat transcripts and unlimited chats that can be customized to match the needs of your brand.
The canned responses mean that you will be able to reply to your customers almost instantly.
It also comes with advanced customization functions, advanced and easy CRM integrations, access to visitor information, chat notifications, chat alerts, and also canned/ automated responses.
Unfortunately, the free comprehensive plan advanced features for great team performance, tracking, and analytics tools, and you’d have to subscribe to the Pro plan to access these features, including use by more operators across multiple websites.
It will, however, easily integrate with applications like Hubspot, Google Analytics, Axosoft, as well as Infusionsoft.
If you are looking for a live chat software that makes it easy for you to automate only a portion of the chat process, Drift would be a great option for you.
Designed to integrate with business automation functions like LeadBot, Drift allows you to book a meeting, qualify your leads, and it also promotes the fast conversion of prospects.
Drift also boasts unique functions that would allow you to create and send out highly specialized messages to individuals and specific accounts, hence an increased rate of engagement, as well as responses.
VIP targeting (when a VIP client visits the website) means that target VIP accounts would be greeted with personalized and automated messages from their own sales rep or account manager, and as all that happens, the account manager will be notified of the presence and the activity of the VIP target on the website. All these happen because Drift integrates with CRM tools like Salesforce and Marketo.
The best part is that Drift is free.
For customizable forms and some of the most powerful live-chatting add-ons, you might like the Olark live chat software. This software makes it easy for you to customize your chat messages because you can actually see the pages that your site visitors are on, allowing you to send targeted messages based on the customer’s actions/ viewing.
In addition to the same-page viewing, Olark also collects customer/ visitor’s information before the chats, which means that the customer service and sales reps will be aware of the specific context of the customer, which yields more productive conversations.
You might also like it because of its seamless integration with popular business automation software such as Salesforce and Google Analytics.
For the management of bigger teams, Olark will distribute the chats, while also monitoring the performance of the teams, and also coming up with shortcuts for access to the shared databases for access to the canned responses.
But there’s one catch: though largely affordable, the add-ons/ power-ups from the a la carte items will escalate the total costs fast. So, if you need additional features such as visitor insights, live chat translations, or screen sharing, you have to be ready to pay a bit more.
Note that data on the visitor insights is important because it allows for lead scoring, prioritization of chats, and the personalization of the sales approach.
Olark costs $17/month.
For 16/month, SnapEngage gives you access to an omnichannel live chat solution that will boost your response times and ensure the best performance of your website and teams.
It’s HIPPA-Compliant, and that means that you can use this live chat service to handle patient information and other medical details.
Some of the features offered by SnapEngage include its integration with a number of CRM databases, as well as chat functions running on other channels like WeChat, Facebook Messenger, or even HootSuite’s Tweet-to-Chat.
Being an omnichannel solution, it means that your sales reps would engage with your leads and customers from any channel and device.
It also offers other services such as custom workflow mapping, a system that makes it easy for you to create and provide a highly efficient and high-quality sales experience for your teams.
You could also work with specialists thanks to SnapEngage’s setup, which will include account setup, account integration, optimization of initiatives by the chat sales reps, and also admin training. And there’s the chatbot integration, which allows for automatic responses.
ClickDesk is another robust and interactive live chat software that features both voice and video chat options. Thanks to its design, site visitors get to initiate chats from interactive maps, and since the software features pre-chat surveys, you’d be able to gather a great deal of valuable information about your visitors before you interact with them.
The voice and video chat optionsareideal for the sales reps because they get to use their marketing skills to close deals faster – you can easily jump on the most exploratory calls or even conduct product demos without going to your potential leads’ place of work or office.
The video and voice chat functions also mean that your reps would be able to handle simultaneous chats and even collaborate, for example, on the 3-way chats with reps and visitors.
And since it allows sales reps to transfer the chats to other departments/ agents, ClickDesk would be a great addition to your business.
You might also like ClickDesk because it gives you access to daily and also weekly statistics for easy tracking of your performance, as well as keeping tracking of the chats that you might have missed while you were offline.
This data will also give you information about your live chats’ coverage, the average length of your chats, etc. Finally, it’s free, and you can use it on an unlimited number of websites, it has a 90-language translation function, and it allows for personalization of greetings.
Looking for a robust live chat software with some of the most advanced chat analytics, as well as shortcuts? Zendesk might be exactly what you are looking for.
Previously known as Zopim, Zendesk is a customizable live chat tool that comes with a host of features such as pre-chats and also offline forms, automated triggers, tags, chat routing, analytics, and shortcuts.
The automated triggers allow sending of targeted, and mostly behavior-based messages to your lead prospects, while the automated chat function will help these leads in the decision-making process, especially when the rest of your sales/ customer services teams are offline.
Zendesk links to several profiles, including Twitter and Facebook, even LINE, the new communication app, and that means that your sales/ customer service reps will be able to handle all conversations from one point.
It also integrates with all CMS platforms, including WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Drupal.
It also comes with analytics tools that allow for easy tracking of chat volumes, analysis of important metrics, determination of reps’ productivity, and measurement of the conversion rates on the chat app.
Zendesk is free.
These are only 10 of the best live chat software on the market.
There are numerous other options that you could try, but at the end of the day, you want a live chat software solution that’s affordable, one that comes with a handful of features to enhance your leads conversion, customer satisfaction, and boost your sales or brand awareness.