The best live chat software for small business is Zendesk, a powerful customer support application that is easy to set up and run, with advanced tools ready for your small business needs. It comes loaded with features that can be scaled, making it easily adaptable to the needs of growing businesses. It is very useful in collecting leads and customer service, allowing agents to use triggers to carry out pre-defined actions.
Contrary to what some may believe, having a website is not enough when it comes to connecting to customers. While having an online presence opens up opportunities to reel in new clients and improve customer service, it does not necessarily facilitate effective communication between buyer and seller. As a small business owner, you may be wondering why you get low conversion rates, poor customer satisfaction, and incur huge support spending. This is where live chat software comes in.
Companies have been using live chat mostly to boost customer support, which is known to be far more cost-efficient than toll-free numbers and email. There are also a number of techniques for using live chat programs to improve your sales organization. Here, we have compiled the top 20 live chat software currently in the market. Their features, functionalities and unique selling points will be discussed in detail. By the time you’re done with this reading, deciding on choosing the right live chat app for your business will be much easier.
You see, aside from connecting businesses to customers and helping them establish lasting client relationships, live chat apps help boost sales. They resolve a number of problems that small business owners often encounter–low conversion rates and poor customer service and customer satisfaction. These products have changed the way businesses interact with clients, leading to improvements in customer experience and therefore, satisfaction. Not the least, there are many ways to use live chat software creatively for marketing.
Aside from those mentioned, there are plenty of other live chat software benefits. For example, live chat software providers for small business enhance productivity. The Forrester study, “Making Proactive Chat Work,” pointed out that nearly 45% of all online consumers consider live chat to be the most important website feature that helps complete an online purchase. Within a limited team that can’t invest aggressively in promotional materials, responsiveness can easily become a distinctive advantage.
How Businesses Find Live Chat in North America and Europe
Another consumer study published by ATG Global Consumer Trend claims that live chat is valuable for 90% of online shoppers and that 63% of them are more likely to return to a website that offers it. Another interesting stat is that 38% of respondents reveal it was the live chat session that inspired them to make an order in the first place, rather than the size or reputation of their providers.
Besides, with so many awesome live chat widgets available for free or at low cost, access to an array of advanced engagement and intelligence functionalities and ability to employ chatbots — be aware of misconceptions on chatbots — there is no reason for a small business not to consider getting an app like this. Before you start searching, check our 20 best live chat software providers for small business, and see whether any of them fits your business:
Zendesk tops our 20 best live chat software for small business, given its intuitive live chat tools that fit small businesses and their need to establish a hassle-free communication platform for existing and prospective customers. Packed with data-driven and scalable features, Zendesk is likewise adaptive to the needs of fast-growing companies.
With Zendesk, you can deliver quick customer service and capture leads. You can initiate the talk and be where their customers are across your channels. In addition, the app uses chat triggers that allow for conditioned actions and replies. Agents also have at their fingertips photo and file-sharing tools to better communicate with customers and website visitors.
Zendesk pricing is agent-based. You can also check-out their tools and features through a free trial. You can easily sign up for Zendesk free trial here.
Freshchat is a mobile messaging and engagement solution designed for sales teams. Coming from the popular Freshworks family of applications, Freshchat helps you fine-tune and simplify conversations between you and your customer to bring about a more personalized and engaging chat experience. The application lets you prepare and distribute contextual messages, capture leads and qualify resources, and gather valuable customer intelligence directly from your users or third party systems. You also get a variety of channels to interact with your customers, including your own website, in-product, mobile app, and social media profile.
You can easily sign up for Freshchat free trial here.
With Freshchat you can set up in-app campaigns to onboard and educate new users, retain lapsing customers, and share interesting insights and announcements to keep them in the loop with recent developments. You will be able to manage and respond to all customers’ needs from the comfort of a single, moderately priced platform. To further facilitate engagement and communication, the software integrates with other messaging and help desk platforms, including prominent providers such as Zendesk, Slack, and Facebook Messenger.
Salesforce Live Agent is a Salesforce Service Cloud component that helps you provide timely communication with any prospect or existing client. It lends to easy customization and can be easily integrated with your eCommerce landing pages or a suitable application of your choice.
Salesforce Live Agent lets your small team of customer agents perform like their professional counterparts, allowing a single agent to deal with multiple clients simultaneously. A smart feature allows a senior expert to provide assistance without getting in the way of the agent’s interaction with a current customer.
If you want to see the tool’s features firsthand, you can sign up for free Salesforce Live Agent demo here.
Zoho SalesIQ is Zoho’s dedicated chat and visitor tracking solution for inbound sales teams, and a truly innovative product that adds up functionality to adapt easily to the needs of any business, including startups and small companies. It will offer you a proactive chat support widget paired to your marketing efforts, and help you connect with visitors in real time, and before they’ve actually demanded your assistance.
SalesIQ is also oriented towards international and progressive teams, and enables 24/7 support, with custom messages in a variety of languages. You will also appreciate its tight integration with Zoho CRM that initiates automated triggers based on visitors’ activities on your website, and makes it possible to identify and score prospects and build up the best approach for each of them. Note that the vendor offers dedicated live chat solutions for ecommerce, customer service, financial, travel services, and startups.
LiveAgent is an all-in-one help desk and live chat solution for a wide range of businesses from small business to big brands like BMW, YAMAHA, HUAWEI, eSky, and Forbesfone and help them deliver the best, in-time service for their customers. The platform will handle assistance requests coming from all support channels you have in place, and transform all conversations and communication into stored tickets at your agents’ convenience.
The real-time chat messenger it offers is, in fact, a widget you can tweak and embed on multiple web locations, and connect instantly to your request database to save issues from slipping through the cracks. Advanced users can also consider making use of the vendor’s call center functionalities and 24/7 advanced self-service portals, and have a team of experts assist them in building a better engagement strategy.
If you want to check its comprehensive feature set you can easily sign up for LiveAgentfree trial here.
Velaro offers a customer engagement platform built around live chat, website visitor surveys, and integration with major social media networks. More advanced features include visitor monitoring, performance management backed by reporting and analytics. The chat tools include the capability for Push Pages, allowing agents to better work with customers on opening website inside the visitors’ browsers.
The basic live chat tool, called Click to Chat, comes with configurable buttons and easily customizable for brand matching. The social tools support Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Google Plus. For the survey feature, both pre- and post-chat surveys are available, along with support for agent surveys. Basic automation already includes canned messages for both personal and shared modes.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for Velaro free trial here.
Paldesk is a relatively new live chat software that has been getting the buzz due to its features to capture leads, engage visitors, and retain customers. The app aims to solve gaps and lag times when it comes to interacting with customers by providing an omnichannel platform that tends to your customer queries via a singular hub regardless if the message is sent via Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Paldesk created an app particularly catered to providing mobile access to agents. It also addresses that perennial small business problem — limited workspace — by allowing agents to provide customer support even out of the office. This makes Paldesk ideal for leveraging home-based agents, so you cut on costs but not on service. The app also helps you provide answers to queries from web visitors in real time, such as while they are browsing your pricing or product page. Paldesk features are further amplified by integration with a wide array of third-party apps, from mailers to CRMs to shopping cart systems.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for Paldesk free trial here.
LiveChat is an online chat and helpdesk solution that enables your support and service teams to talk with clients and potential customers directly on your websites in real time. It offers features and functions that you can use for your online sales and marketing, web analytics, and live customer care or support requirements. It has a web-based chat window, web-based control panel, and operator application cross-platform capabilities that allow chatting with visitors from any connected device. It offers a comprehensive set of tools not only for chat but also for ticketing, customer engagement, third-party integration, file sharing, work scheduling, advanced reporting, multiple branding, data security, geo-tagging, co-browsing, chat surveys, and more.
Furthermore, it provides real-time website traffic monitoring, dashboards and statistics, efficiency analysis, and custom/standard or interactive reports. It supports 30 languages and integrates with dozens of other applications and platforms, extending the software’s functionality to include eCommerce, sales, CRM, email marketing, content management, accounting, and analytics, to name some.
Kayako provides a unique shared inbox and live chat program with support for multiple languages and the social channels Twitter and Facebook. The live chat features strong support for integrations while the shared inbox gives small business an affordable way to collaborate on providing expert support to customers.
Kayako’s easy-to-set-up help desk application enables your teams to handle customer interactions and requests efficiently across any channel. The live chat tool is uniquely capable of handling offline scenarios. The shared inbox tool allows agents to have critical customer information at any time, to facilitate the best customer experience possible.
Drift is touted as a one-of-a-kind conversational marketing and sales platform, able to turn each customers’ question or inquiry into a productive sales meeting. With years of experience in the industry, Drift combines effective targeting and nurturing in a simple-to-use communication package, assembles features in plans tailored to different marketing tiers, and gets rid of traditional forms and follow-ups with real-time virtual assistance.
It will secure access to slider messages, full-page takeovers, targeting, and custom triggers for agents to send the right messages in the right time, as well as an artificial intelligence bot that will collect and arrange information while they’re doing it. Drift will integrate easily with the rest of your software ecosystem, including leading CMS platforms, CRM solutions, and international marketplaces.
Intercom Live Chat is another customer support and tracking suite that offers a dedicated chat module that small businesses can purchase independently. It targets primarily sales teams looking to acquire more leads, by enabling them to respond and engage random visitors from their own website.
In the meanwhile, the smart tool captures and qualifies lead information with a Lead Qualification Bot, and redirects data to a dedicated team inbox for easier reporting. For a more pleasant customer journey, Intercom also puts in place a variety of engagement tools, as for instance auto-messaging, email campaigns, adept A/B testing, and message progress insights. All messages are prepared using behavior, referral URL, and Clearbit Reveal data as sources of information, which means you will be able to build up the right approach for each and every customer.
LivePerson provides advanced and comprehensive business communication tools ranging from SMS, instant messaging, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp among others. Enabling this application is a powerful, patented AI engine under the hood, powering businesses to make the most of their customer interactions from any channel.
Its powerful, fully configurable chatbots allow companies to minimize human agents on board and take the best of what advanced technology can do for their companies. Its LiveEngage platform is equally powered by bots, with diverse functional capabilities like routing and real-time reporting.
Slack has been retrofitted with collaboration features to become an enterprise-grade team messaging solution that makes more room for collaboration and smart functionalities. Its purchase of Stride in 2018 further consolidates Slack as a major cloud communication tool and that includes rolling out a more robust live chat. Apart from the staple chat feature, Slack has been imbued with additional capabilities such as an Actions and Decisions feature that lets you assign and isolate tasks in the form of messages. This way, other users are informed on a task’s current status. Important decisions can likewise be isolated from convos, which also stores them for future reference.
HelpCrunch is a cloud-based customer service application that features comprehensive communication tools including live chat, SMS, instant messaging and email. There’s a ticketing system for streamlining the helpdesk functionality, while auto messages and notifications ensure you are always on top of the conversations that matter to your business from any segment of the customer lifecycle.
HelpCrunch helps you drive sales by providing a complete picture of your visitors and customers, from which you can design specific messages or key content to sell any products or services that match their profiles.
Olark is another prominent live chat solution you can embed on your website for sales and customer support teams. It is suitable for all types of businesses including small companies and aims to support their marketing efforts and sales funnel growth. Providing support and resolving issues is far from the only thing this widget can do; it will also help you acquire quality leads, with all conversations being neatly stored on your email, and all insights being translated to transcripts for better sales touch points.
Sales teams will also find the automated chat function beneficial, as it will provide them with enough information on each customer for a more personalized approach. A number of useful plugins are also offered for users to connect this widget to all popular marketplaces, email service providers, and business intelligence applications.
Pure Chat is a 100% free live chat platform for unlimited conversations and agents, currently used across all geographies. The embeddable widget gives customers the chance to contact you via emails, phone, and social media platforms, and acts as a dedicated Engagement hub that works seamlessly on mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
You will also benefit from an advanced visitor tracking & analytics suite that depicts all relevant traffic patterns, distinguishes qualified leads to help you close more sales, and arranges your data in highly visual charts and graphs. With a single click, you will be able to see the entire activity history of your visitors and automate your entire sales workflow relying on integrations such as Zapier, HubSpot, Google Analytics, and more.
If you’re running an ambitious sales team in need of a unified live chat solution, look no further than Comm100. The powerful communication platform brings up the best the live chat market has to offer, packed neatly in an understandable unit that doesn’t require time or effort to learn. It will help you improve conversations, sales, and customer satisfaction ratings, ensure you will be there for buyers when they need you, and on any channel of communication, and boost the reputation of your brand in less than no time.
Among other advanced features, Comm100 will also offer an automation chatbot, video and audio chat, automated routing and distribution, a built-in translator in several languages, co-browsing, and a number of great customization options. It will also help you pull off valuable intelligence, and draft end-to-end live chat reports – a feature that has so far been available only for enterprise-grade users.
Smartsupp is best known for offering live chat services with the possibility to video-record visitors, which makes it a unique provider in the industry. The modern chatting service is trusted by more than 160,000 companies worldwide, including both novice brands and names such as SkyPICKER, SKODA, and Conrad. Using it, your agents will receive instant notifications whenever a user is trying to establish contact, and be able to provide answers in real time.
The screen of the visitor will be automatically recorded to help identify the issue, and develop a better strategy on how to approach him. Smartsupp supports all leading CMS platforms and marketplaces, and it is also available to use on smartphones with various operating systems.
Client communication tool Acquire is a multichannel software that offers more than chat functionality. It is a communication tool solution that can be implemented in a couple of ways while possessing features such as those needed for sales and onboarding. As a messaging app, Acquire has voice call, co-browsing, live video chat and text chat features.
You can also opt to go for additional tools like live call recording, file sharing and call center support, which is made possible by its ability to route calls to agents. Other key functionalities include user permission to view tracking, chat histories, advisors and real-time traffic reports.
Capping off our 20 best live chat software list is ProProfs Chat. The first thing that will attract your attention when working with this tool is its super-charged, yet hassle-free interface. For several years so far, this platform has dominated the market of live chat service providers, not because of being completely free to use, but because of offering the same enterprise-grade functionality you’d expect from a premium tool.
The embeddable widget is fast, reliable, and ahead of its time, and comes packed with personalization and engagement elements you can’t acquire from another system. You can set your own predefined messages, anticipate questions and pull in canned responses, and direct users to operator chat boxes for additional support. The widget uses a pre-chat form to capture visitors’ details and replace your traditional CRM, and can also be activated on iOS and Android devices, and any other operating system.
Having learned what live chat software can do for your customer support, it’s easy to understand why you would want to invest in such a system. Now, if you’re planning to invest in a live chat platform, there are certain considerations that you will have to keep in mind. But for those looking for apps with full-blown customer support features, there are plenty of customer support programs out there. The following are things that you should be on the lookout for if you are to find the perfect system.
Audio and video chat functionalities engage customers more than any other communication channel. They practically give your company a face as customers get to talk to support agents face-to-face, resulting in personal engagement.
You should make sure that your live chat app comes with screen sharing tools as they are very effective when providing clients with real-time instructions. With this technology, your agents can guide site visitors. It is also useful in giving remote customer support, with agents getting a clear idea of customer concerns.
To better interact with clients, businesses are known to use omnichannel engagement. Putting all communications under a single platform eliminates the need to move from one software to another. Popular communication channels include social media, website live chats, and messaging apps.
Live chat software that comes with customization options help companies retain their brands. This contributes to the customer experience by making them appear more professional to clients. Always remember that customers prefer to communicate with familiar brands, hence, the need for such.
Live chat software help your team’s performance while delivering richer customer experience. Such is accomplished by making sure that customer concerns are routed to the right agents, allowing for faster and more efficient responses. But of course, you need to have a customer experience strategy to be able to pull this off.
And we’re done. Now that you know more about live chat solutions and what they can do for your company, you’re just about ready to go out and look for one. But before you do so, always remember what you require in such a system and make a checklist of them. Take two or three tools and personally evaluate their features by signing up for free trials. This way, you won’t have to go through the hassles of purchasing something that’s of little benefit to you. If you have specific small business requirements, there are a wide selection of live chat apps for small business as well. Or better yet, take our top tool for a spin. You can sign up for Zendesk free trial here.
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