Did you know that 48% of customers would be more likely to return to a website with chat support, and 41% of customers trust the brand more when the chat support option is available? These numbers give insights on how live chat software is perceived and how much a business can gain from its use.
What options do your customers prefer?
Out of those who prefer live chat 79% said they did so because they get their questions answered quickly — 51% liked chat because they could multitask and talk at the same time — and 46% agreed chat support was the most efficient communication method.
What these stats tell us about chat support is that with its use, you get the options to:
- Deliver instant support
- Help customers and your operators multitask
- Bridge the communication gap between your customers and you
That’s why you need to get the best live chat software for your online business. To help you find the best chat support — we’ve curated a list of top 10 live chat software solutions that have made a mark successfully in 2020.
What is Live Chat Software?
Live chat software is an online service that enables your business to connect faster with customers in real-time. Just like a messenger, live chat allows you to connect with multiple customers at the same time.
In addition to these benefits, the use of live chat also helps you capture more leads, close more sales, and increase customer satisfaction. And while the use of the tool seems beneficial for your business, your customers may have different reasons to use the tool such as:
- 42% of consumers say that they prefer live chat functions because they don’t have to wait on hold
- 79% of customers say that the use of live chat helps them get their questions answered quickly
- 51% of customers believe that the use of live chat software helps them to multitask during the support process
- 46% of customers express how they find live chat software as the most efficient form of communication method
These numbers clearly state a win-win situation for both the customers and your business online. But the question is, how does live chat work?
How Does Live Chat Work?
A live chat has two interfaces. While one is visible to your customers, the other can be used by your operators. Let’s understand the two interfaces below and see how live chat works.
Operator window, also known as monitor window, is the interface that enables your operators to track and monitor visitor behavior in real-time. Although the features of the operator window vary from software to software, still there are a few common features that you are likely to find across all live chat software solutions.
Some of them include:
- The number of visitors online
- The pages they browse in real-time
- The number of co-operators online
- The number of chats other operators are managing at the same time
- The amount of time a visitor spends on your website
- Access to the previous chat history
- Access to previous chat transcripts
- Operator-to-operator chat to increase collaboration during an ongoing conversation
The access to such features helps your operators to understand visitors better and initiate a chat with them in strategic moments. Other than the list of features mentioned above, some chat solutions also allow your operators to monitor and join ongoing chats. In short, the operator window helps your support reps to weave the best experience for your visitors/customers.
Visitor window is the interface that the visitors on your website get to see when they click on the chat button for support. Your visitors can either initiate a chat or accept an incoming chat from your operators through their chat interface.
Besides this, three other features will be visible once the visitor opens the chat window for support. These features include the following.
- Pre-chat FormTo capture quality leads, a pre-chat form is considered to be one of the most crucial features in a live chat. You can gather details like name, phone number, address, email id, and more based on the nature of your business. You can even customize your pre-chat form fields to capture specific information about your visitors.
- Offline MessagesAnother form that your visitors can see when they open a chat window for support is offline message form. However, it is only visible if your operators aren’t online or your business hours for the day are over. With the use of this form, visitors can still reach out to your brand for support. Plus, you can avoid missing out on support opportunities too.
- Self-help Article LinksThe self-help articles are the latest feature in live chat solutions and isn’t available in all the options you may see below. However, its use is perfect for visitors who’d like to find answers fast and on their own accord. You can add self-help article links to your chat window to enable your visitors to find answers instantly and reduce your support chats and tickets effectively.
With these two live chat interfaces, we get to see how live chat works for a business. Now, let’s see how to add one to your website in minutes.
How to Add Live Chat to Your Website?
Every live chat solution has one thing in common – the installation process.
To add live chat to your website, you’ll see that all solutions would have most of the steps common. So, let’s lay out those common steps for you and see how to add a live chat to your website in less than five minutes below.
Step #1: It is common across all the live chat solutions – sign up.
Before you install a live chat on your website and start giving support, sign up for the solution you think works best according to your business needs.
Step #2: Another common step you’ll notice is to navigate and find the chat code.
Some may be easily found, others need to be searched for in the settings options.
Step #3: Finally it’s time to visit your website’s source code.
Once you find the chat code, all you have to do is copy and paste the code in your website’s source code and save. And you are done!
In a matter of three simple steps, you get to add a live chat software to our website in less than five minutes and you are up and ready to offer support to your visitors in real-time.
Why Add Live Chat to Your Website?
Well, you may have come across a lot of reasons so far while reading the article on why add a live chat to your website. Let’s summarize them below.
- Offer instant, live support to customers in need of a solution
- Monitor visitor behavior and initiate a chat in strategic moments
- Easy to install
- Convenient communication channel for customers as they wait time reduces in comparison to phone support
- Enables both customers and operators to multitask during the support process
But just in case these reasons aren’t enough for you to get a live chat for your support process, then we’ve got more for you. Let’s take a look at them below.
1. Capture Qualified Leads for Your Business
To get more business, it is important to capture qualified leads for your business. And thanks to the use of live chat, you get to do that effectively.
Features like visitor monitoring, pre-chat form, and offline message form help you learn if your target audience has approached your brand or not. And if the answer is yes, then automatically store them to your favorite CRM platform. It will help your sales team to approach them later on.
2. Boost Sales
We all know that live chat helps you provide instant support to customers. But as per studies it also helps you to boost business revenues.
For customers who chat before making a purchase, there is a 10% increase in average order value, a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, and a 40% conversion rate.
3. Increase Customer Loyalty
48% would be more likely to return to a website with chat support, and 41% trust the brand more when this option is available.
Another reason why you should get a live chat for your website is that it helps you to boost customer loyalty. Remember that ‘loyalty starts with awesome support’ and if you can offer that to customers efficiently, then you are likely to see more returning customers too.
4. Improve Website Engagement
For 41% of consumers, online chat, and live support is their preferred channel when it comes to engaging with companies digitally.
Want to make sure you engage better with your website visitors? Add a live chat to your website. Real-time engagement helps you to find and offer relevant product recommendations to your customers, while your customers would find solutions faster. In short, it is a win-win situation for both.
5. Improves Operator Performance
Live chat also helps you to improve operator performance, which ultimately results in reduced support costs. Let’s see how.
- Your operators can manage multiple chats at the same time. Unlike phone support, where agents can take one call at a time, each chat operator gets to manage more than 4 visitors at the same time. This also means that you can hire reps based on how many chats they can answer and run your support process at a lesser cost.
- Your operators no longer have to get up from their seats and ask for assistance from their fellow team members for a support request. All they have to do is initiate an operator to operator chat with the one who can best help them resolve a query faster.
- Operator performance reports give you insights on who is the star performer of your team and who needs to improve further.
These are more than convincing reasons to add a live chat to your website. They are also one of the determining factors that help you get the best live chat software for your online business. And to help you do that, we’ve curated a list of top 10 best live chat software solutions that have made a mark successfully in 2020.
10 Best Live Chat Software Solutions
By the year 2021, 50% of organizations will spend more on the creation of bots and chatbots than developing traditional mobile applications, says a report by Gartner.
Many companies are letting live chat supersede their email support options. And for a few, it has been working quite well.
That alone should convince you of why your business needs a robust live chat software.
Other than that, the use of live chat software allows you to curate the ultimate customer journey and track them effectively too.
Now when you are sure about the benefits of this feature-rich and powerful live chat solution, how do you know which live chat for a website is going to be best suited to the needs of your business?
The questions to ask are:
- What features should you pay attention to?
- How do you not end up overspending?
So, if you are ready to start on your quest, here is our pick for the top ten best live chat software for 2020.
1. ProProfs Live Chat
ProProfs Live Chat software is one of the best live chat tools for websites as it provides real-time solutions to customers in seconds. This fast and easy-to-use live chat tool can be configured into any business website immediately. What’s more, it allows your support operators to get an edge since they can monitor visitor behavior on your website and initiate a chat during strategic moments.
Moreover, ProProfs Chat enables you to design highly personalized chats with visitors that increase engagement and peaks interest instantly. As a live chat option, ProProfs also offers the option to create a complete support suite as there are more than 50+ integration options available.
This comprehensive platform provides you the option for unlimited chats and transcripts, advanced customization, canned responses, and more even with its free plan. It is compatible with all types of browsers and operating systems, ProProfs Chat is an affordable live chat tool that is accessible across all Mac, Android, and Windows devices. No wonder ProProfs is one of the best options for our list of top live chat software to consider in 2020.
- Issue tracking
- Ticket management
- Email management
- Shared inbox
- Internal notes
- Have complete control over monitoring and tracking ticket assignments, prioritization and addressing them as per SLA guidelines
- Access a range of prefabricated messages and greetings from a template library that is time-saving during your customer conversations
- Boost sales through improved communication with prospective and existing customers by viewing customer messages before they are even sent
- Try any plan free for 15 days
- ‘Forever Free’ plan at $ 0
- ‘Essentials’ plan at $ 15 per operator/month
- ‘Premium’ plan at $ 20 per operator/month
- Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
2. LiveChat Inc.
LiveChat is one of the competitive options, as it provides real-time support and service to your customers and visitors. Equipped with three primary elements including a web-based chat window, web-based control panel, and operator application offers cross-platform capabilities that enable your agents to log in and chat with visitors through any desktop and mobile devices.
Live Chat is a feature-rich tool with an array of functions that automates your customer service and helps you to close more deals. It provides real-time website traffic monitoring, dashboards, and statistics that help your business with your online sales and marketing, web analytics, and live customer care or support requirements.
LiveChat boasts of a global clientele as it has built trust and credibility as a live chat service provider over the years.
- Customer engagement
- Ticketing support
- Data Security
- Converse and engage with your prospective and existing customers providing support directly from your website in real-time
- Share files and initiate integrations with third-party applications for CRM, email, content and eCommerce marketing
- Top of the line custom, standard or interactive reports, dashboards and analytics tools extracting valuable insights and encouraging global outreach
- 14-day free trial available on the ‘Team’ plan
- ‘Starter’ plan at $ 19 per agent/month
- ‘Team’ plan at $ 39 per agent/month
- ‘Business’ plan at $ 59 per agent/month
- Contact the vendor to get a customized quote on the ‘Enterprise’ plan
From chatbots offering modern messaging experiences to placing the right content to your customers, Kayako has an impressive set of features and more. This makes it an ideal choice as a top live chat software for small businesses as well as medium to large-scale enterprises.
Kayako is an omnichannel solution that conveniently integrates with several external platforms enabling conversations to be handled and managed from several sources. Linking it with your CRM permits efficient workflow mapping which results in productive, high-quality experience for your revenue generation.
The live chat software by Kayako is mobile friendly and also works on all Android and iOS-enabled devices.
- Shared inbox
- Assignment rules
- Organization profiles
- Custom views
- Custom roles and permissions
- Initiate conversions with prospective customers through effortless supporting and engaging them in real-time
- Proactively sell more by offering an instantaneous solution to their queries using a modern chat messenger from the business website or even iOs and Android applications
- Keep the conversation going even if the customer has left the platform by automatically sending messages to their email
- Try Kayako for 14 days on any plan
- ‘Inbox’ plan at $ 15 per agent/month
- ‘Growth’ plan at $ 30 per agent/month
- ‘Scale’ plan at $ 60 per agent/month
- Get a custom quote for ‘Enterprise’ plan by contacting the vendor
4. Zendesk Chat
You can make your business accessible to your customers 24/7 with Zendesk Chat, one of the top 10 live chat software of 2020. Strike up a conversation within minutes of setting up via an interface that is slick and enables interactions a breeze for your customers.
A feature-rich product with a polished AI-enabled chat console helps speed up the support process and improves customer satisfaction ratings as the desired result. Most importantly, you can make use of its strong data capturing capabilities to initiate behavior-based triggers, lead content marketing that elevates your communication with interested customers and markets to another level.
- AI-enabled chatbots
- Pre-chat and offline forms
- Triggers and chat routing
- Real-time monitoring
- Conversion tracking
- A unique screen-casting functionality allows customers to capture their screen and share it with the live agent to accurately communicate the error or problem
- Easily share files and images enable automated chats to be converted into tickets within a framework that is largely scalable across businesses
- Zendesk offers an out of box solution ideal for freelancers, small businesses, medium businesses, and large enterprises that require no advanced skill or techniques to operate the system
- You can try the ‘Enterprise’ plan for free, no credit card required
- ‘Lite’ plan at $ 0
- ‘Team’ plan at $ 19 per agent/month
- ‘Professional’ plan at $ 35 per agent/month
- ‘Enterprise’ plan at $ 70 per agent/month
Boasting of 30,000 paying customers, Intercom is one of the best live chat software that is trusted across the globe. The plugin is all-powerful and was created specifically to boost sales because it can route leads to specific salespeople.
The software has been designed to continue the conversation, going beyond just live chat. The system keeps the messaging ongoing via email and targets contacts by their browsing behavior. It claims to convert your prospects into qualified leads resulting in an increase in revenues by 13% on the website.
And that’s not the end of the list. With Intercom smart bots, you can offer support round the clock, responding to some of the most common service-related queries in real-time. The focal point of the system is not just on that but also to promote lead generation, customer engagement, and customer support.
- Business messenger
- Outbound messaging
- Custom bots
- Conversion management
- Customer data platform
- Build personalized relationships with customers through a combination of bots and live chat, routing them to appropriate sales teams
- Introduce products by creating custom-designed content by segmenting customers and reaching out to them via triggering outbound emails
- Access smart automation and self-service promotion to customers and integrate it with external software like Slack, Zoom, HubSpot, and more
- You can try both ‘Start’ and ‘Grow’ plans for free for 14 days
- ‘Start’ plan at $ 39 for 1 seat per month
- ‘Grow’ plan at $ 99 for 5 seats per month
- ‘Accelerate’ plan at $ 499 for 10 seats per month on annual billing
- ‘Scale’ plan at $ 999 for 10 seats per month on annual billing
A cutting-edge, multi-channel messaging platform, Acquire.io offers a one of its kind premium and free live chat software that makes service accessible to customers. The tool benefits support teams with more interactive, customized, and quick customer communications on your website. Plus, bots are strategically employed to onboard new customers by responding to commonly asked questions and escalating conversations to the appropriate teams and departments.
Advocating a collaborative theme via collective efforts in allowing your team to qualify, route, and convert web visitors before them bouncing off helps to minimize friction in the sales cycle. The platform becomes even more robust with key functionalities including screen sharing, voice call, co-browsing, speech recognition, call recording, and instant file sharing.
- Unified agent view
- Screen share
- Integrate VoIP and SMS
- Reporting and Analytics
- Leave chat notes that include critical information for your teammates to review on conversations privately and then facilitate appropriate resolutions
- Save a lot of agent time and effort by using canned responses, auto-replies to commonly asked questions and deploying chatbots to resolve simple issues
- Support your live chat efforts by sharing content from the knowledge base to get them up to speed on simple issues at the click of a button
- Request for a customized proposal as the pricing model depends on factors specific to your team
Despite being one of the simplest live chat platforms to use and set up, Olark is a top live chat software that is very popular in the market. Showcasing a great user interface for both customers and businesses, the chatbots are easy and quick to set-up and functions like a charm, offering a seamless experience to your website visitors. That said, the focus still is very much on ensuring that customer conversions keep going up.
With advanced customization tools, Olark helps in jumpstarting messaging, personalizing discussions, and communications by adding the conversation tool on specific pages. Targeted messages can be sent automatically depending on the page that the visitor is currently browsing through.
Generate live chat reports in real-time that are not just limited to chat conversations but also measures customer engagements effectively. Comprehensive reports produced by the system can be used to scrutinize results and use them to make sound business decisions.
- Live chat transcripts
- Custom chatbox forms
- Team management
- Make tweaks visually to ensure that your chat box matches with your brand generating trust and credibility among website visitors resulting in more chats, sales, and satisfied customers
- Extract actionable insights on product feedback and information about your customers by accessing chat transcripts archives
- Interact with customers in real-time and give something extra with PowerUp that boosts sales, growth, and customer service
- Free trial available for 14 days
- Get started on a $ 19 per agent/month plan
- Cancel at any time
An intuitive user interface and a quick and easy implementation process demarcate Comm100 as a specialized live chat system from its competitors in the market. Heavy on features, the live chat tool has been designed to push customer satisfaction rates by interacting and engaging with clients in real-time.
Considered as one of the best live chat support software, it provides a top-notch messenger platform that suits businesses of all types and sizes. Make use of the bots to book demos and share the qualified leads with appropriate sales reps to convert them into hardcore sales. This level of automation along with working on collaborative team inboxes, targeted messaging all works in tandem to achieve greater standards of customer satisfaction.
- Proactive chat invitations
- Audio/video chat
- Website visitor tracking
- Pre/Post-chat survey
- Multi-language support
- Have absolute control over conversions by enabling real-time connections by tracking and identifying potential customers via live chat
- Boost your brand value and improve customer communication by addressing issues raised by existing clients
- Tweak chat buttons and post-chat rating methods and turn off functionalities when you do not need them
- Try a 15-day free trial
- ‘Team’ plan at $ 29 per agent/month
- ‘Business’ plan at $ 40 per agent/month
- Request a personalized quote for the ‘Enterprise’ plan
Again, a top contender in the top live chat software to consider in 2020, Freshchat is a live communication system that is modern, easy-to-use, and affordable. It drives organizations to leverage all of their customer conversations across domains like support, sales, or marketing to build long-term relationships with their clients.
Presenting a familiar interface, it highlights robust team collaboration with an intelligent chat distribution system. Moreover, agents can assign tags to the chat to segment conversations into appropriate categories, letting the right department to check out a chat session easily.
Comprehensive analytics and reporting balance the system that is desired by marketers, support, and sales teams across many industries. Configurable in all Android and iOS devices that enable your team to remain connected with customers from any location, and at any time.
- Auto routing
- Conversation history
- Ticket management
- Multilingual support
- Reporting and analytics
- Create custom forms to gather essential lead information before engaging them in a live chat conversation through pre-chats
- Get a sneak-peak into what your customer is typing and frame your responses accordingly even before the query pops-up on the window
- Track potential customer behavior and set lead conversion rules in place that helps qualify leads to appropriate agents and teams
- Try Freshchat on across plans – Sprout, Blossom, Garden, and Estate on a 21-day free trial
- ‘Sprout’ plan at $0 for up to 10 members
- ‘Blossom’ plan at $13 per team member/month
- ‘Garden’ plan at $26 per team member/month
- ‘Estate’ plan at $44 per team member/month
- ‘Forest’ plan at $67 per team member/month
10. Zoho Sales IQ
When your objective is to meet the needs of your customers instantly, your search ends with Zoho Sales IQ, a top 10 live chat software solution that immediately enables you to track visitors as soon as they land on your website. A great choice for businesses of all types and sizes, Zoho Sales IQ offers live chat support that comes with a clean, organized, and insightful chat window that is very easy to navigate.
The platform is equipped with customer support and sales intelligence functionalities that are capable of enhancing customer engagement even as you capture and summarize statistical data and insights. Most importantly, it eliminates the need for the business to integrate with additional third-party applications, ensuring a lot of cost savings.
The live chat software comes with dedicated apps for both iOS and Android platforms. This makes the system easily accessible from practically all types of devices that run with these operating systems.
- Screen sharing
- Chat monitoring
- Automatic chat translation
- Track visitors’ footprints
- Close deals much faster by monitoring traffic in real-time and deliver outstanding customer service via your live chat platform
- Trigger sharp interactions by classifying leads as hot, warm, or cold prospects basis lead scores and visitor insights that converts your live chat as a lead generation machine
- Engage bots to automatically respond to first-level customer queries that also act as a channel to collect basic information such as name, email address, etc.
- 15-day free trial available on all plans – Free, Basic, Professional, and Enterprise without any credit card guarantee
- ‘Free’ plan at $0 for up to 2 operators per month
- ‘Basic’ plan at $13 for up to 3 operators per month
- ‘Professional’ plan at $42 for up to 5 operators per month
- ‘Enterprise’ plan at $92 for up to 10 operators per month
How to Choose the Best Live Chat Software?
Various live chat solutions claim to be the best in the market. However, the ones on the list are quite popular and have been selected based on their reviews and ratings available on different business listing sites.
But there are chances that you’d still feel confused and indecisive about which live chat solution should you opt for. Well to help with that, we’ve got a small checklist ready for you which will help you decide how to choose the best live chat software for your business.
To manage multiple visitors at the same time, the one thing that will help your operators is speed. That means the experience for your operators should be seamless and enable them to offer support faster to visitors.
2. More Customization
The live chat software option you choose must-have customization options. A simple chat widget customization won’t work. Make sure the customization option enables the white-labeling of the chat widget too.
3. Detailed Reports
You not only have to see how your operators are performing but also understand how your customers feel about your services. That’s why you need detailed reporting in a live chat solution. It would help you improve your services efficiently.
4. Mobile App
Make sure the live chat option you choose supports mobile app use too. It either comes with a mobile app or is mobile-friendly, thus helping your operators to offer support to customers no matter where they are.
Yes, it would be a great relief if the software you choose fits within your budget. But what you need to see is if the pricing is justified for the number of features you get in a package. Doing this will help you identify the best live chat software solution for your website that meets your support needs at cost-effective rates.
Which Live Chat Software You Should Choose?
Over the last few years, several service providers have made an entry into the live chat software domain. Most are here to stay as statistics report that a whopping 73% of customers are inclined towards communicating via live chat platforms because they find it a more satisfying experience.
Frankly, choosing a vendor can be hard but let your business needs dictate your decision. Think about your top priorities and have a system of analyzing the pros and cons of each live chat software individually.
There may be instances of bad judgment. You may have to indulge in a little bit of trial and error before you make the final call.
And when you do strike the perfect balance, it is a marriage made in heaven.
For the time being, we have got you covered with leg work and research. The reviews on the top ten live chat software are here. All you need to do is to select your perfect match.
Top Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels