‘Customer is king’ is an age-old mantra used by businesses to emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction in business. However, a lot has changed in the way we run businesses and handle customer service over the past years.
Customer service has gone from spending hours on calls with customer service reps, to waiting for a reply back from them to your email. Both of these methods often leave customers out in cold, wasting their time and efforts.
In today’s world of same-day delivery and instant gratification, customers want the same with their queries too- lightning fast replies to their questions.
If your business takes hours or days to get back to a prospect, you likely lose that sale to a competitor. Don’t believe us? Well, the numbers say otherwise!
- A recent NewVoiceMedia survey reveals companies lost $75 billion in 2017 from customers switching to competitors due to bad customer service. This figure is up from $62 billion in 2016.
- According to the 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, 54% of customers have higher expectations for customer service today compared to one year ago.
- 64% of customers want to shop with companies that can meet their needs in real-time. (Salesforce)
- A Walker study found that by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
- A massive $1.6 trillion is lost by companies in the United States due to customers switching as a result of poor customer service. (Accenture)
- 7 out of 10 U.S. customers state that they would spend more to guarantee a great consumer experience.
- 73% of customers fall in love with a brand because of friendly customer service representatives
Keeping your customers happy and satisfied with your product/service offering cannot be kept on the back burner anymore. It needs to be a central aspect of your sales and marketing strategy.
The Best Live Chat Software Tools For Businesses
A staggering 82% of consumers look for an immediate response from brands on marketing or sales questions. On top of that, more than half of US customers prefer to resolve their issues through web-chat instead of calling customer care.
To help counter this problem and provide a real-time customer service experience, chat bots have grown prevalent in recent years. Businesses are quickly adapting to customer needs and are looking to deploy customer messaging tools on their websites and apps.
In fact, by the year 2021, 50% of enterprise companies will spend more on bots and chatbot creation than they will on traditional mobile app development. Imagine that!
A chatbot is nothing but a piece of software websites and apps use to carry out their customer service. You must have seen many websites with a chat bubble, mostly on the bottom right corner, ready to solve your doubts or questions.
Chatbots can vary in their functionality as some act simply as a messaging platform while some provide a full-blown knowledge base for the customers.
To help you select the right chatbot, we spent time looking into the best ones. This blog post is a curated resource of some of the best live chatbots out there:
- Zoho SalesIQ
Kicking off our list is Crisp. One of the main reasons we like this live chat software is because of its free plan which offers basic services including live chat and basic analytics. Crisp unifies all channels of your customer support and offers a single dashboard to handle all customer queries.
Even it’s a pro plan, which starts at $25/month for four agents has some great features like user location map, automated triggers, unlimited chat history, and integrations such as Facebook Messenger.
With its integrated knowledge management system, users can view help articles directly from the live chat and solve their issues by themselves. Crisp’s Live Chat is intuitive and supports rich media like audio/video, file attachments, GIFs, and even an in-chat game.
- Share files, images, and documents directly from the chat widget.
- A game to keep your visitors busy when you are not online
- Integrations with your social profiles.
- Free plan available
- Paid plans start at: $25/month, Unlimited: $95/month.
Drift wants to be at the forefront of the conversational marketing revolution by helping you build a chat bot for your website. Since not every person that lands on your website is qualified for a conversation with your sales team, you can use targeting to offer live chat only to the website visitors you want talking to your sales team.
Drift aims to connect your business with the best leads in real-time. The routing feature makes sure the right rep is routed into each conversation and even books meetings on your behalf. With over 150,000 customers worldwide including companies like Marketo and Zenefits, Drift is worth a try.
- Automatically book meetings
- Use Drift Intel or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to identify buyers that are currently messaging.
- Chat wit ABM accounts
- Free plan available
- Paid plans start at: Standard: $50/month, Pro: $500/month.
Helpcrunch is your customer communication platform for support, marketing & sales. By combining modern live chat, in-app messenger, email automation, auto messages, and ticketing, Helpcrunch empowers you to close more deals in less time.
With its omnichannel messaging approach, Helpcrunch brings all your customer messages under one roof – be it email, via chat widget or social media. Helpcrunch also acts as a marketing automation tool as it helps increase website conversions with popups, newsletters, onboard and engage users inside your product.
- Knowledge Base
- Multichannel support
- Customer tracking
- Free for a single agent,
- Paid plans start at: $12/new agent added.
Livechat wants to automate your customer service and help you close more deals. Even though Livechat doesn’t offer a free plan, it does offer a 14-day trial period where you can use the platform and see if it fits your business requirements.
With LiveChat, you can suggest your product or service directly in the chat and set and track sales goals. You can also set up automatic greetings and chat routing to improve your workflow. The extended reports and supervision features give you the data on customer and sales reps performance.
- Message sneak peek
- Agent reports
- File sharing
- 14-day Free Trial
- Paid plans start at: Starter ($16/per agent per month), Team ($33/per agent per month) Business ($50/per agent per month), Enterprise (contact sales)
Read more : 5 Best Wiki Tools For Managing Knowledge
How do they earn money? Tawk generates its income by providing hired chat agent services for customers that don’t want to or don’t have the time to answer customer queries themselves. There is no hidden catch and you can use the tool with no limits at all on the number of agents, chat volumes or sites that you can add widgets to.
- Proactively engage visitors with triggers
- Monitor website visitors in real-time
- Answer chats from your mobile app
- Forever Free
- Paid plans start at: Hire agents at $1/hour available 24/7, 365 days!
The giant in the online live chat software tool is Intercom. Founded in 2011, Intercom is a leader in this space as it helps companies analyze and personalize their interactions with customers and send highly personalized and targeted messages.
Users can track the behaviour of site visitors and send in-app messages and alerts. The message editor is highly intuitive and allows you to build message templates in minutes. It also facilitates self-service as it allows customers to view the help center directly in the messenger and solve their queries without chatting with a bot or rep. As of October 2018, Intercom has 30,000 paying customers including names like Microsoft and Spotify.
- Highly intuitive
- Track and understand customer behaviour
- A/B test to improve your email, push and in-app messages performance by testing variants
- 14-day Free Trial
- Paid plans start at: Essential ($87/per month), Pro ($153 per month), Premium (contact sales)
Read more : Best Intercom Alternatives In 2020
Helpjuice is a knowledge management tool that acts as a self-service software for customers. Customers can solve their queries without contacting a sales rep by simply diving into the knowledge base.
Agents can collaborate on articles, track revisions, and increase engagement with appropriate content. You can access all the data you need for customer service evaluation including stats about the most popular searches, popular topics, per article engagement and more. If you want a self-service chatbot, HelpJuice is a pretty decent option.
- AI-powered chat widget
- Co-author content in 130+ languages
- 14-day Free Trial
- Paid plans start at: $189/per month for 15 users, $369/month for unlimited users.
8. Zendesk Chat
Zendesk entered the chat-service market by acquiring Zopim back in 2014. Zendesk allows businesses to add chat to their website or app and connect their messaging channels and start talking to customers in minutes.
All of the key features of a live chat service like AI-enabled chatbots, targeted, behaviour-based triggers, offline forms, ability to share files with your customers quickly in order to serve them better, etc. are all present in Zendesk. With live chat analytics, you can easily see stats regarding agent performance, customer satisfaction, chat volume, and more.
- Keep track of all past chat conversations
- Track sales conversions over chat
- Chat ratings to collect feedback and improve performance
- Free plan available
- Paid plans start at: Team ($14 per month), Professional ($29per month), Enterprise ($59 per month)
CRM service provider FreshWorks’ has added chatbots to its arsenal with Freshchat. Freshchat is aimed at sales teams and wants to be the conversation platform for customer journey- lead generation, customer engagement, as well as customer support.
Freshchat’s bots help you qualify leads with triggered and well-targeted messages. Qualified leads are then routed to your service reps, along with relevant information like who your visitors are, their navigation path, behavior on your site, etc. You can also trigger or schedule email campaigns to drive signups or purchases based on actions taken by them on your app or website.
- User segmentation
- Target mobile users and users who navigate away from the desktop app with push notifications
- Get intel on who your visitors are
- Free plan available for up to 10 users
- Paid plans start at: 15 per month per agent.
Read more : 8 Free Easy To Use Online Collaboration Tools
With LiveAgent, your chats, your emails, social media mentions, and other channels are all combined in one universal inbox for simple multichannel communication. With website monitoring, you can watch your visitors as they move through your website and help them out if they get stuck anywhere.
With chat invitations, you can invite website visitors to chat with you during the checkout process, develop their purchase confidence, and hopefully convert them into paying customers. A neat feature is the real-time typing view which allows you to see and check what your customers are typing on live chat in real-time, giving you ample time to prepare your answers before the customer submits his/her questions.
- Easy setup
- Omni channel approach reducing chaos
- Real-time typing-view
- Free trial
- Paid plans start at: Ticket ($15 per month), Ticket + Chat ($29per month), All-inclusive ($39 per month)
ClickDesk is one of the simplest live chat software tools out there. Along with the ability to chat with your visitors in real-time, visitors can even conduct a voice or video call and quickly get in touch with a sales representative. No software is needed for the voice/video call feature as everything happens in the browser. Visitors can even start a chat from interactive maps!
The HelpDesk is automatically integrated with the live chat tool to keep you on top of issues. With social media integration, you can add like, tweet and follow buttons to your chat widget, allowing your visitors to connect with your brand on various social media platforms without leaving your website.
- Mobile app available
- Simple and intuitive to use
- Voice and video chat features
- Free trial
- Paid plans start at: Lite ($14.99 per month), Pro ($24.99 per month), Enterprise ($39.99 per month)
Next up on our list of the live chat software tool is Chatra. The tool is easy to install and add to your website and supports both real-time and offline chat with customers. Every time a customer submits a question when you’re not online, Chatra stores their email address. This allows you to build your email list and use it for future marketing efforts.
You can use Chatra to upsell, cross-sell, help resolve abandoned cart issues via triggered messaging and close more deals. With group chat, your sales representatives can include multiple people in one chat to help solve customer queries quickly and efficiently.
- Basic visitor information
- Multilingual chat widget allowing viewers to see your chat widget in Spanish, Dutch, French, Russian, in addition to English.
- Slack, Facebook integration
- Forever free plan for one agent.
- Paid plans start at: $15 per account per month
13. Zoho SalesIQ
Office productivity platform Zoho offers a live chat service to communicate with website visitors in real-time, called Zoho SalesIQ. You can monitor how visitors and engaging with your website and initiate a conversation with them based on automated triggers. You can even examine the source through which the prospects have entered your site and find what pages they are currently looking at.
With advanced analytics, you can make smarter business decisions by analyzing top agents, unique visitors, active departments, and other metrics. The live chatbot can be custom-build to align with your website’s branding by personalizing your theme, welcome message, company logo and more.
- CRM data based on pro-active triggers.
- Coach in real-time.
- Segment your visitors based on their levels of interest.
- Free for 2 operators
- Paid plans start at: $7 per user per month with a 15-Day free trial.
Olark has a great user interface for both the business and the customer. The setup is quick and easy and the chatbot works like a charm. With easy customization, you can quickly make your chatbot match the entire theme of your brand and provide a seamless experience to your website visitors.
With custom pre-chat forms you can jump-start conversation by gathering context before a chat begins. Both real-time and offline chat options are available along with situation-based trigger messaging.
Olark also provides detailed live chat reports in real-time, so you’re always working with fresh information. With transcript archive, users can save the full text of every conversation to a searchable database!
- Get real-time reports on chat metrics and customer feedback
- Receive daily, weekly, or monthly data summaries in your inbox
- Unlimited integrations
- 14-day Free Trial
- Paid plans start at: $15 per account per month
Acquire.io differs from other live chat software tools because of their Cobrowse feature which allows you to see and interact with your customer’s screen via chat, video or audio call. With co-browsing, sales reps can significantly improve first contact resolution and reduce friction in the sales cycle.
Collaboration is another big theme in Acquire.io as it allows your team to qualify, route and convert visitors before they bounce off, collectively. You can leave critical information (known as ‘chat notes’) about conversations privately for teammates to review to facilitate resolution time. With canned responses, auto-reply to common customer questions and save your team time and effort.
- Smart suggestions with the help of AI
- Automatically assign chat requests to relevant departments.
- Detect and translate your customer’s language and converse in the language they understand.
- Paid plans start at: Basic ($300 per month billed annually+$40/mo per agent), Pro ($950per month billed annually+$50/mo per agent), Enterprise (contact sales)
Read more : 10 Must Have Tools For Sales And Marketing
Next up is Purechat, a simple live chat software solution. A standout feature is that it offers its lowest variant for free, enticing users to try out their software before they fully commit to a free version. If you are just starting out with chatbots, Purechat is a great starting point.
With their AI bot, you can easily automate lead capture, appointment scheduling as well as payments. Using their simple editor, you can completely customize the look and feel of your chatbot to make it look more native to your website or mobile app. And with Pure Chat’s iOS and Android mobile apps, you can manage your business on-the-go.
- Pre-Chat Info Form
- Chat Notifications, Including Push to Mobile
- File transfer (images, documents, etc.)
- Forever free plan with up to 3 operators.
- Paid plans start at: Growth ($39 per month billed for 4 operators), Pro ($79per month up to 19 operators)
One of the most ‘technologically advanced’ chatbots on this list, Bold360 combines the power of humans and AI chatbots to take your customer service to the next level. The AI chatbot empowers agents with valuable data during live customer interactions to help improve the engagement process and onboarding.
Bold360 wants the chatbots to do the heavy lifting and humans to take over when the communication becomes too complex. The Omni-channel intelligent virtual assistants offer self-service to customers in a human-like way. And with their smart customer analytics, Bold360 captures customers’ expectations, intentions, and interaction data to highlight the most important customer needs.
- Conversational & Proactive AI
- Multilingual support
- Omnichannel engagement and rich audience insights.
- Contact sales
According to LivePerson, nearly 70% of consumer inquiries can be automated. Liveperson wants to be at the forefront of it, allowing you to build custom chatbots to solve customer queries. This tool helps you reach your customers through multiple outlets including SMS, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp along with messaging on your brand’s website or mobile app.
With their conversational bot builder, non-technical employees can easily customize pre-built bot templates or to create brand new bots from scratch. A standout feature is the real-time intent analysis that uses AI to examine consumer conversations, identify intent, and deliver actionable insights for businesses to quickly optimize the messaging.
- Gauge ROI through metrics like conversions and containment
- AI-powered chatbots
- Easy to use chat builder
Pricing: Contact sales
SnapEngage enables your sales team to engage, qualify and convert more leads with their live chatbots. You can get started right out of the box or customize your workflow with mapping. Users can automatically synchronize leads and contacts with their CRM or help desk and create targeted messages for maximum conversion.
SnapEgage integrates with SMS-to-Chat, Tweet-to-Chat, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Zalo, providing an omnichannel approach to customer service. And since its HIPAA compliant, it’s secure for medical businesses who need to manage patient information.
- Omnichannel approach
- Team capacity report to optimize budget allocation
- Real-time agent activity monitoring
- Free trial available
- Paid plans start at:Essentials ($16 per user per month), Professional ($26 per user per month), Enterprise ($40 per user per month)
A whopping 63% of people would consider messaging a bot to communicate with a company, it’s no surprise that a large number of live chat software tools have emerged in the market and are clearly here to stay. Businesses are catching up, looking to up their customer service via Bots as more than 80% of businesses are planning to deploy some type of chatbot by 2020.
Apart from providing fast and easy customer service, booking sales meetings, qualifying leads, and soling customer service, Chatbots help turn down operating cost by a lot. Chatbots are expected to help cut business costs by $8 billion by the year 2022!
With so much to gain, why wouldn’t you deploy a live chat software on your website or app?! Let us know if we missed out on your favourite live chat software by tweeting us @elink_io
Further reads :
- 20 Company Newsletter Ideas To Gain Customer Trust
- 15 Social Media Analytics Tools Every Marketer Need
- The Ultimate List Of 30+ Productivity Apps And Software