The increasing adoption of live chat software began already in the early 2000s when more and more companies have decided to shift towards digital communications at scale and remove things like phone support and email and replaced it with a more updated and effective messaging based live chat communications.
Many of these early adopters companies will tell you this one thing: “Our customer demanded a better, and faster way to communicate with our brand. Having a live chat software in place helped us remove this barrier and provide a better customer experience”. That being said, today we’re seeing more and more companies having the live chat solution in parallel to their phone and email support so they can live up to the rapidly changing expectations of their Millennials and Gen Z customers, which are constantly looking for a quick and relevant resolution to their issues and in their preferred communication channels.
Today we’ll be covering what is a live chat software? Why should you be using one for your business? And who are the top vendors within this category? Which in a way connects all dots between marketing, sales, and customer service departments.
What is a live chat software?
The best definition for a live chat software is to look at it as an application tool used to provide live services for online users interacting with brands. It allows your website or app visitors to get immediate and relevant responses regarding any question or query they’re after, mostly using an online chat window. When the website or app visitor types a message inside the live chat session, and a business operator types back this is what the true meaning of a live chat software is – Providing real time support to users through instant messaging system with the aim of improving and providing a seamless and frictionless experience.
The increasing adoption of live chat software is constantly growing as brands across the globe have realized that it also helps them to improve their customer satisfaction rates, NPS score, and overall customer service metrics.
Today, we see more and more brands relying on different automation and advanced AI features to help customers with repetitive queries and when the interaction becomes more complex or the bot cannot find the right answer it will hand over the conversation to a live agent to address the case via regular live chat.
The benefits of using a live chat software
Now that we have an idea of what is actually a live chat software and when all of this started, let’s take a look at what benefits your business can have by implementing the right live chat software.
Frictionless customer experience
Today, brands cannot afford to provide less than an excellent customer experience at every interaction, through any channel, at any time – the experience must be frictionless.
There’s no better way to create this experience and engage with your customers than having a live chat software on your website or app. The ability to instantly engage and resolve issues with just a few messages or by redirecting them to the relevant answer is what your customers want after all, quick, easy, and modern resolution to their everyday problems.
Reduce overall support costs
When using a live chat software, it immediately becomes your company’s leading support channel where all interactions all of a sudden are happening though the live chat feature on your website or app.
By moving towards an instant messaging solution you’re almost ditching the phone support, than having less support agents to answer calls.
Another thing worth mentioning is the automation features which resolve around 40% of first queries freeing up your support team time to handle the more complex tasks.
Boosts team productivity
A recent study found that support teams that are empowered by live chat as a support channel backed with automation features are more productive, plus agent satisfaction rates are higher, and agent burn rates are lower.
The reasons being simple, agents can better manage their time, deal with more complex tasks, and simply type in the answers instead of talking with customers over the phone.
Increased customer engagement with round the clock support
Having the ability to stay available after the regular office working hours, through the weekends, and public holidays making your brand more credible and authoritative in the eyes of your customers.
Besides that, you’ll never miss any lead, or a support ticket since you are always online ready to help customers in any question they might have.
Another thing worth mentioning is that a live chat software will also benefit your SEO, since when customers are looking for your brand support in Google they will see the best result and will be able to immediately be redirected to your support page.
Tech Stack Crunch Team picking the 11 best live chat software you should look at
So, you already have a few ideas in mind and you are already convinced that you’ll benefit by having a live chat software implemented on your website or app, but who are the top vendors within this category and what other things should you be taking into consideration when evaluating the right solution for your business?
We did the hard work for you! Here are our top 11 vendors in the live chat category:
The first live chat software since 2006. LiveAgent is an all-in-one help desk software that helps brands bring personalization to their customer interactions. LiveAgent harnesses the power of an omnichannel universal inbox, real-time live chat, built-in call center, and a robust customer service portal.
Intercom Conversational Relationship Platform (CRP) helps businesses engage and support customers through personalized, messenger-based experiences.
Being popular among small and mid-sized businesses across the globe, Intercom allows you to send emails, chats, posts, pushes, banners and series to capture new leads on your website, and connect with your customers in context.
Tidio Chat is a live chat software that combines messages from emails, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and website chat widgets into a unified agent interface, enabling agents to deal with all customer messages at the same time, with the same tools, regardless of which channel they come in from so your agents don’t need to have multiple tabs open in their Chrome browser.
Userlike is a shared, all-in-one inbox for customer messaging. It comes with an intuitive messenger built for digital support and sales teams. Userlike combines website chat with mobile messaging for a complete omnichannel customer experience.
LiveChat is an online customer service software with online chat, help desk software, and web analytics capabilities. Live chat allows customers to communicate with customer service agents in real time. Rather than having to speak with an agent on the phone, visitors on a website or app can have a live interaction with agents in a chat box within a browser.
Drift is a cloud-based live chat, in-app messaging, and email management solution designed for sales, marketing and support teams. Drift offers customizable live chat widgets, email follow-ups for abandoned chats, conversation histories, email campaign automation, and an AI-powered chatbot.
Gladly is the service platform that treats customers like people, not tickets. Gladly is reinventing customer service with a customer service platform that centers around customers, across any channel.
Nextiva platform brings a new approach with aligned communications and business applications, intelligence, and automation. This helps businesses communicate and build deeper connections with their customers. The platform supports all communication channels — voice, video, collaboration, SMS, chat, and surveys — together in one place.
With Kustomer, you get a personalized customer service platform that improves brand loyalty and creates a seamless experience for both customers and your agents.
Kustomer enables customers to resolve easy questions themselves, and empowers agents to deliver convenient, informative experiences that build trust.
Verloop.io is another leading customer support & automation platform. It helps businesses deliver delightful support experiences to their customers, across different channels. Verloop’s conversational AI platform uses advanced NLP and ML to automatically resolve customer issues with natural language.
Acquire provides enterprise teams with the digital tools they need to create the best customer experiences. With features including secure co-browsing, AI chatbots, live chat, and video calling.
Things to look at before buying a live chat software
You’re almost halfway done with your research and already have a few vendors in mind that you would like to take for a test drive, but what are the other things you must take into consideration before buying your next live chat software?
Here are a few things to keep in mind while evaluating your next solution.
Make sure it has a mobile application your agents will be proud to use on the go.
When having the ability to let your agents to work on the go you can be sure that your customers are always getting the support they need.
Having a mobile app is paramount to the success of any support team nowadays, especially in a post COVID era when many companies are still working in a Hybrid model which combines both working from home and working from office.
Ready-made templates and canned responses are highly important especially if you’re a rapidly growing start up with a growing client base. The reason being simple, having a ready-made templates will cut the production time, and the overall time your support team members have to spend on preparing templates and canned responses from scratch.
You must make sure that the chat window, layout, colors, and the option to include your brand logo and overall tone is available. Some live chat software do not allow much movement and freedom when it comes to customizations of their software, so make sure you check how the software looks on other websites or apps and that you have the absolute freedom to customize it as you wish.
Being able to monitor team’s performance, targeted KPIs, and client feedback and ratings is crucial for you in order to justify spending and allocating more resources towards your live chat software solution.
One more thing worth mentioning is the different integrations the new live chat software has, you must make sure it easily integrates with your CRM, other customer service tools.
Live chat solutions have already proven to be working for any type of business and in any industry. But with so many technological advancements, new features, and the ever-changing customer expectations in terms of quick resolution, and the support channel they prefer – staying on top of things is becoming more and more difficult with time.
That being said, we truly hope that this article will help you so we gathered the 11 top vendors in this category to help you map out the best live chat software for your business and to give you some actionable insights on what you should look at when choosing your next live chat software.