Top 20 Live Chat Software Solutions of 2017

A new method by which businesses interact with site visitors, live chat software assists prospective customers in their purchasing decisions while touring websites. It is likewise used in providing support to customers for products already purchased. This automation tool has greatly revolutionized the way businesses provide customer support, remarkably reducing support agent response times. 

More and more large websites have been adopting live chat software as a means to offer support. But this is not to say that live chat software is only applicable to the big guys. Even small and medium size enterprises can take advantage of the benefits being offered by the solution.

As opposed to early live chat technology, which required local installation and costly maintenance, Today’s live chat solutions involve but copying a couple of lines of code provided by a vendor and putting the same on a website. The process is relatively simple and does not require one to be technology savvy to accomplish.

Live chat software solutions enhance customer experience through the use of live chat widgets. These widgets have a range of functions, the most prominent of which is being able to notify visitors of the presence of an online operator. A visitor needs only click on an image to initiate a conversation. Users can answer chat requests and keep track of site visitors through a chat console provided by the vendor or third-party apps such as Skype, Google Talk or Pidgin. 

Such solution can also be set to start proactive chats on behalf of free chat agents. With proactive chats, users can choose to make the chat client to disappear or turn into a contact form in the absence of an online agent. Users can also create canned messages, which commonly come in the form of phrases that greet customers and invite them to a conversation.

These functionalities and more significantly contribute to the enrichment of customer experience. This is the reason behind the significant increase in the number of organizations using live chat software in their customer support. In fact, the global live chat software market is seen to grow at a CAGR of 7.98% and is expected to reach $819.2 by the year 2020. This growth is also seen to stem from the increased need to improve customer relations management, a business area where the software excels.

The market for live chat software is categorized into six major segments namely, retail and e-Commerce, travel and hospitality, IT and consulting, telecommunication and pharmaceutical, with the first three sectors seen to remain as the top three users of the solution.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at the top 20 live chat software solutions currently in the market. We focus on their features, benefits and pricing and what they can do to improve your business. Software descriptions are expected to give prospects insights on what to look for in such solutions before committing to a service. Keep in mind that we’ve simply listed twenty solutions we think offer top-quality for their users, an the order on the list doesn’t necessarily indicate that one solution is better than the other. Here are our picks:

  1. Freshdesk
  2. LiveAgent
  3. Freshchat
  4. Zoho SalesIQ
  5. LiveEngage
  6. ProProfs Chat
  7. Intercom
  8. HipChat
  9. Smartsupp
  10. Olark
  11. Zendesk Chat
  12. HappyFox Chat
  13. TeamSupport
  14. Hitsteps
  15. Comm100
  16. REVE Chat
  17. SnapEngage
  18. Velaro
  19. Pure Chat
  20. nanoRep

1. Freshdesk

Freshdesk won our Best Help Desk Software Award for 2017

First in our list of the top 20 live chat software solutions of 2017 is cloud-hosted help desk software Freshdesk. This product offers a myriad of features designed to boost any small and large businesses’ customer services. It also won our Best Help Desk Software Award for 2017. The solution’s most notable features include multichannel capability, integrated game mechanics, smart automations and self-service portals. It provides help desk ticketing, a knowledge base and a community platform. Customer service has never been easier as the platform turns emails support into trackable tickets. It is capable of linking forum inquiries to a ticket, streamlining answers and responses. The vendor offers a great free trial plan that lets you try out all the key features of their software first. You can easily sign up for Freshdesk free trial here.

The solution comes with integrated Live Chat, Phone Support and Game Mechanics. Aside from these, it also works great with productivity tools and CRMs, very useful when pulling out important data. The software can be accessed anytime, anywhere due to its support for both Android and iOS devices. It works with known help desk and media applications, including Google Apps, YouTube, and Slideshare.

Freshdesk’s email capability provides support across teams, with a single panel hosting all agents. With this, collaboration among agents is encouraged and all emails are addressed. An anti-collision detector sees to it that no two agents respond to a single email. The solution can quickly track consumer posts in social media, enabling users to address problems at early stages.

Tickets can be quickly labeled and routed, allowing for quick response, such can likewise be customized to suit users’ needs. Ticket dispatch is fully automated, making sure they are properly categorized, assigned and prioritized.

Meanwhile, the knowledge base that comes with the software is intuitive, automatically suggesting answers to customer inquiries. It boosts customer engagement by letting them look for answers themselves.

These features and functionalities and more have helped catapult Freshdesk to the top. It is bound to benefit users in terms of customer service. What even better is that the vendor offers a free trial of the software.

2. LiveAgent

A helpdesk support solution that integrates multiple channels in a single platform, LiveAgent is every customer service manager’s dream. It is a simple and intuitive piece of software with highly accessible tools, enabling first time users to gain mastery of the interface in no time at all. It is a deviation from standard helpdesks that are notoriously tedious to run, especially when dealing with large volumes of clients. If you’d like to test the software first then there is a free trial plan available. You can easily sign up for LiveAgent free trial here.

Being a customer-oriented platform, LiveAgent provides even the smallest of users with 24/7 support. Such also applies to on-premise licenses, with concerns typically resolved within a day. To complement this feature, much-needed feedback is provided as the vendor has in-house representatives, which speeds up resolution of issues.

Even in the absence of an online chat agent, LiveAgent is able to provide excellent support with the help of a customer portal where clients can get needed information. This eliminates the need to review tickets because all data are saved and properly categorized. Agents who have limited knowledge of specific customer concerns can still assist them as the system is equipped with robust chat and management functionalities.

LiveAgent is scalable so businesses of any size get to choose from different options, enabling them to take only what they need. Aside from this, it allows organizations to save money during low seasons by enabling them to roll back to the basic plan, which starts with email support and ticketing. This can be upgraded depending on users’ needs, such as the introduction of live chats in their websites and so on.

What’s good about the platform is that no additional licenses are required in instances when a business has multiple websites. LiveAgent can be embedded in different sites, with users able to create different chat buttons, contact forms or knowledge base. With this capability, the software manages all support channels using a single license.

Although the solution has been proven to be as secure as can be, the vendor still gives users the option to host LiveAgent in their own sites with the use of a stand-alone app. This way, business owners are given peace of mind when it comes to technology security.

LiveAgent is indeed a one-stop solution to businesses’ customer support needs, the reason why it has consistently kept its lead in the market. This one is definitely worth checking out.

3. Freshchat

Freshchat is a modern messaging software built for sales and customer engagement teams to talk to prospects and customers on the website, mobile app, or social pages. A leap from legacy live-chat, Freshchat helps businesses and its teams focus on a continuous and context-driven messaging experience. With features like campaigns, sales bot, integrated self-service, and intelligent message routing, expectations are set and met, and responses to visitor’s questions are smarter and faster. Freshchat’s iOS and Android apps lets team members engage in conversations with visitors from anywhere and everywhere.

The software is part of the Freshworks product family, whose products include, Freshdesk Customer Support Software, Freshservice IT Service Management Software, Freshsales CRM Software etc. – with more than 100000+ customers worldwide, including Hugo Boss, Toshiba, Cisco, Honda, The Atlantic and QuizUp.

This solution allows you to easily convert website visitors into leads with advanced event-targeting messaging. You can also use it to automate lead capture, validate responses, and auto-upload leads into the CRM with bots. What is more, it will allow you to send contextual messages with events timeline, messaging history, user information, and link to social profiles.

Freshchat lets you use SmartPlugs to pull data from external tools like order management systems or CRM apps. You will be able to onboard, retain, and re-engage users inside the product with in-app campaigns as well as categorize conversations into topic based channels to keep messages continuous and accessible.

 

4. Zoho SalesIQ

A tool designed to track website visitors and provide live chat support, Zoho SalesIQ is targeted at small and large organizations. It is capable of improving customer engagement while capturing statistical information. The software displays multiple types of data, including site behavior, visitor frequency and location. Its customer support and sales intelligence functionalities eliminate the need for third-party applications, resulting in user cost savings.

Zoho SalesIQ’s integrated productivity tools and third-party software enable it to transfer data, facilitating information importation and extraction. It likewise categorizes and stores these data for future use. Using dedicated Android and iOS apps, the system can be accessed from virtually any mobile device.

The platform can drive a company’s sales by boosting marketing strategies.Such is achieved by evaluating customer data and using them to make marketing adjustments. It helps companies deal with potential customers by being able to quickly respond to their queries. These questions are transformed into useful sales intelligence indicators, which can be used as basis to make sound business decisions.

The tool’s integration with Zoho CRM allows users to review customers’ past behaviors, which can be used in improve marketing campaigns. Lastly, the software offers a personalized chat feature, which can be used to share offers and promotions and customer support. If you’d like to try out the software first you may do so with a free trial plan offered by the vendor. You can sign up for Zoho SalesIQ free trial here.

5. LiveEngage

A leading chat and messaging platform, cloud-based LiveEngage effectively reduces costs associated with customer care by as high as 48%. It enables users to communicate with consumers using their choice of channel. Similarly, customers can easily reach businesses at any given time using the solution. Clients at the same time are informed when they would receive a response. Selected customers can make urgent inquiries, while some can be quickly accommodated. This is done by simply sending them an SMS informing them of their option to be served first.

The software can be used with any browser and does not require complicated installation as it only takes four minutes to set up. Users can work with the system from anywhere, enabling them to get incoming message alerts. Customers can be aided in filling out forms by simply opening a secure Cobrowse session. Customer data are displayed along with the conversation. More importantly, support performance can be measured in real time using a number of KPIs.

Users can mine customer data with the platform’s reporting and analytics. The system is capable of filtering information so that users receive only what they need. There is no need to search for data as they are automatically delivered upon user login. This functionality likewise allows agents to see their KPI metrics in real time while chatting with customers. Managers can view the same, using the data to help improve their own roles.

Customer data security is among the best as LiveEngage has more than 15 years of experience in providing cloud-based services. With the platform, customer satisfaction scoring is automatic, essentially doing away with surveys. The application’s Meaningful Connection Score measures the link between brands and customers, analyzing consumers’ interaction with a brand and coming up with unbiased and accurate customer satisfaction scores.

6. ProProfs Chat

A real time live chat solution, ProProfs Chat can be easily integrated into any business’ website, allowing agents to quickly interact with site visitors. The app can significantly boost sales by enabling businesses to improve communication with clients both existing and prospective.

Using the software, support personnel can help customers with product inquiries and concerns preventing such issues from adversely impacting buyers’ decisions. This is done through ProProfs Chat’s ability to view customer messages before they are even sent and see just what they are looking for in the site. Also, users are able to come up with pre-fabricated messages and greetings available from a template library.

The platform can be quickly integrated into any business’ website, taking only minutes to set up. All it takes is copy the ProProfs Chat code and embed it into a webpage. It can be run on any browser as well as operating system and can be accessed from any device, including iPhone, Mac and Windows. A pre-chat form that comes with the system enables users to get customer data, which can be used to further improve businesses’ customer base. Support agents are also allowed to send chat invites to help engage customers while giving them guidance throughout the purchasing process. The vendor offers a free trial plan for their software as well. You can easily sign up for ProProfs Chat free trial here.

7. Intercom Live Chat

A live chat application that is useful in converting visitors into paying customers, Intercom Live Chat has the ability to engage visitors or anyone who uses the app for that mattter. Using the software, customer support agents can respond to queries via SMS, chat or email. It is capable of tracking events and custom data to enable users to get leads.

Page views can also be monitored using event metadata. Using the solution, adding leads to companies is possible, all that is needed is to send company information. Users are allowed to manually convert a lead into a user when needed, while an option within the software enables agents to send auto messages to your visitor at the right time.

What is great about the application is that automatically it saves user data, enabling businesses to easily group and subsequently message them. User data include email addresses, site visits, timezones and social profiles. The solution is capable of multi-language support, including English, French and German, with visitor language automatically detected by the system.

The messenger can be customized from within the platform, allowing businesses to provide real support to selected users. Product links can be added in the messenger while a custom launcher of iOS and Android application can likewise be created. User data can be exported from Intercom Live Chat, while user data can be imported from CSV MailChip and Mixpanel directly to an Intercom account. Such information can be updated in real time while additional features can be provided for some users.

8. HipChat

HipChat is a live chat software specifically created for use in business team communication. It comes with a plethora of functionalities such as group and private chat, file sharing, video calling and screen sharing. The solution seamlessly integrates with leading business platforms, allowing users to use it with their current systems. It supports leading operating systems, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Linux. The software has a web-based version, for those who want to forgo with laborious installations.

With the software’s mobile connectivity, business teams can connect and collaborate anytime, anywhere. One can customize alerts for updates and missed messages. Notifications include in-app, email, text and mobile push. Platform security is likewise worth looking at. HipChat offers secure guest access, protecting customer information at all times with the use of 256-bit SSL encryption security. With the software, users are assured that all conversations and vital information are safe from prying eyes.

9. Smartsupp

Live chat solution Smartsupp offers businesses the capability to chat with visitors in real time. This means that support agents can quickly answer consumer queries, with users getting instant notifications every time a chat conversation is initiated by a customer. A recording feature allows users to record visitor screens, which can be replayed on the website. This is very useful in observing and getting insights on customer behavior.

Smartsupp can be embedded into any website, which offers tutorials on how to integrate the software with popular tools. Its support for mobile devices enables users to answer messages from smartphones at any given time. The tool is customizable to fit your web design. Position, text, colors and chat box can be customized to match your brand.

The solution can generate canned messages, allowing users to come up with custom rules to automatically send personalized messages to site visitors. These messages can help boost sales, which can be measured along with conversion rates using Google Analytics. Smartsupp has multi-language support, which include English, Danish, Hungarian, Czech and Russian, to name a few.

The software is being offered on two premium packages, which include advanced functionalities such as group statistics, API, Google Analytics integration, among others. A forever free plan is also available which allows for unlimited number of agents albeit, with fewer features.

10. Olark

 

A popular live chat program among businesses, Olark is not limited to customer engagement using chat conversations. Its features and integrations enable users to effectively manage customer relationships with ease, glean vital insights and monitor customer activity. This allows support agents to immediately resolve queries and concerns.

Detailed reports generated by the system can be used to monitor results and use them to make sound business decisions, which leads to increased sales and customer satisfaction. The software can be customized, enabling users to modify the chat box to fit the web design.

11. Zendesk Chat

A live chat and communication platform, Zendesk Chat is targeted at businesses who want to be at par with their competition. With its vast functionalities and features, the software is able to measure customer behavior and use the data to improve decision-making. It is known for helping users improve customer engagement through real time interactions. These are very useful for improving branding strategies.

Aside from automating chats, in which the platform is very good at, the system can be triggered to monitor and record customer behavior, which can aid in communicating with potential leads. It also has the capability to track customer satisfaction levels, resolution progress and agent performance.  It is highly-scalable and can be customized to fit users’ needs.

Zendesk Chat’s features enable businesses to lower cart abandonment, boost order values and come up with customer loyalty programs. It seamlessly integrates with known eCommerce tools including Shopify, Magento and Tictail.

12. HappyFox Chat

HappyFox Chat is a live chat and customer support software designed for different enterprises. It is capable of streamlining customer relationships and enriching customer experience. Its simplicity and usability define the solution, providing excellent live chat and automation.

The main thing about this piece of software is that it enables agents to provide fast support. It practically takes no time at all for them to recognize customers and make connections by automatically sending personalized messages. As agents have insights on site visitors’ behavior, they are able to control the conversation flow more efficiently. Provision of resolution is also fast owing to the customer database that comes with the system.

One notable feature of HappyFox Chat is its ease of use and its ability to allow users to customize and personalize the system. In effect it is practically a CRM, a marketing automation tool and a project management platform all rolled into one. It encourages collaboration among support agents using a private channel where they can exchange ideas on how to better improve customer experience.

Pricing is also a strength as the app can cater to small businesses with its flexible pricing models. Set up is fast and easy and the software integrates with current systems and third-party applications such as Zapier, Zendesk and Sugar CRM.

13. TeamSupport

A total customer support solution, TeamSupport facilitates communication and collaboration among support agents. Its ability to streamline departmental relationships and handle resources significantly improve customer support. The software essentially helps the whole enterprise function as one while providing support. Being cloud-hosted and highly-scalable, the platform is highly recommended for small and large businesses. Its has distinctive and very useful features such as reporting, self-service customer portals, screen recordings and live chat.

The solution’s internal chat mechanisms enables users to have conversation with customers from just about anywhere. This is attributed to TeamSupport’s support for mobile operating systems, which include iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. It is intuitive and therefore very easy to learn and use.  Also, no installation process as well as costly maintenance and updates are involved as the software is cloud-based.

With the platform, businesses can monitor the performance of individual agents and analyze customer engagement. The information derived can then be used to improve business practices and customer services, which eventually leads to increased sales and profitability. In monitoring agent performance, the tool analyzes ticket engagement, capturing agent performance trends.

The software comes with support for understanding customer information, allowing organizations to focus on other areas of their business. Aside from this, a training video can help users come up with cutting edge ideas on how to make new customers or make one of their own.

TeamSupport is indeed a product worth checking out. Its multiple functionalities are bound to benefit any business looking to boost customer support.

14. Hitsteps

A powerful site visitor management and live chat solution, Hitsteps allows organizations to monitor site visitors, tracking their activities in real time. It keeps a record of page visited by customers and how long they stayed in those pages. Its live chat tool boosts customer engagement through speedy and interactive conversations. With the software, users can glean important customer information that can be used to improve engagement and convert prospects into paying customers.

A page analysis functionality allows users to identify website attributes that appeal to customers by showing the most clicked parts of the site. Through this, elements and buttons that prove attractive to visitors are identified. Likewise, underperforming areas of websites are determined based on which, useful changes may be made. These features and functionalities gives users an edge when it comes to conversion.

15. Comm100

Live chat solution Comm100 is designed to boost enterprises’ customer satisfaction rates and engage customers and prospects in real time. It is targeted at businesses of all types and sizes. This robust platform can aid sales teams in tracking and identifying potential customers, while addressing issues raised by existing ones. It basically helps in business growth, boosts brand and improves communication.

Comm100 captures customer information and stores them in a single database, which can be accessed from anywhere. The software can help agents collaborate to find ways to improve customer support. It can integrate seamlessly with third-party applications, making it even more useful.

The solution can be very valuable especially for online businesses, enabling real time connection while appearing very dependable to every customer. This feature allows businesses to increase traffic to their respective sites. Customer engagement and tracking becomes easier as the product allows users to quickly connect to customers and exercise absolute control over conversations.

Comm100 can be customized and can be configured to suit every organization’s needs. With this functionality things such as chat buttons and post-chat rating methods can be tweaked. Users also have the options to turn off functionalities that they do not need. The platform is able to track visitor behavior and navigation choices. Such information are collected and stored in a single database where they can be retrieved anytime.

16. REVE Chat

REVE Chat is a comprehensive customer engagement platform that offers Live Chat, Voice Chat, Video Chat and Facebook and Viber Messaging services to businesses seeking to improve customer engagement through their websites. The platform provides support agents with the ability to personally assist site visitors.

The software can be easily integrated into businesses’ websites, which takes but a few minutes. It has a wide range of functionalities and features such as basic live chat, interactive voice/video chat setup and Facebook and Viber messaging. These features effectively simplify the visitor engagement process.

REVE Chat enriches site visitors’ experience in your website. Support agents are able to instantly address concerns the moment a visitor asks for support. Visitors with specific requests are catered to by sending such requests to concerned departments to be handled by qualified agents. For users on the go, the solution can be integrated with their mobile apps, making it accessible from any device.

Using the platform, multiple visitors can be engaged at the same time, increasing your business’ support efficiency. It can greatly increase online sales conversions as agents are able to efficiently deliver support to customers. Customers, on the other hand, can provide feedback, which is an essential component of business growth. These feedback can be used to come up insight on consumers and use them to make improvements to products and services.

17. SnapEngage

Live chat software SnapEngage is a powerful tool that is designed to improve customer engagement. It hosts features such as team chats, reporting, monitoring and user roles, among others. The solution automatically initiates conversation by inviting site visitors to chat, eliminating the need to wait on unresponsive chats. The system is highly customizable, enabling users to change agent photos, the chat window itself and buttons. All that is needed is to provide the vendor your design and the chat window will be customized to fit your company’s web design.

As there is no need for any software installation, agents can sign in and chat anytime, anywhere. With the software’s text-to-chat feature, visitors can initiate conversations with agents using SMS through the same chat portal. They can likewise share images and other files through the chat window. Customer feedback can be collected after every chat session through a post chat survey functionality. This is very useful in getting customer insights, which can be used to come up with sound business decisions.

Visitors on the go can be reached as the platform supports Android and iOS devices, making it accessible at any given time. For visitors who do not have time to chat, offline forms are available, which can be used to leave messages for agents. SnapEngage also takes security very seriously, its PCI compliance allows agents to collect and secure customer information directly from the chat window.

18. Velaro

A web-based live chat software, Velaro is designed to boost customer support. It likewise helps improve customer satisfaction and loyalty with its click-to-call feature for customers. What is good about the solution is that it aids in nurturing new customers while helping reacquire past clients. It is targeted at sectors including eCommerce, healthcare and financial services, among others.

Site visitors can easily get in touch with support agents using the software, allowing for improved conversion rates. Velaro’s features and functionalities enable it to grow along with businesses. The software’s variety of tools include performance management and in-depth analytics, which allows users to improve knowledge of their customers.

With Velaro, businesses can get to know more about customers and prospects who visit their sites. Its visitor monitoring feature allows users to know how visitors got to the website, what pages they viewed and what they talked about in their chats. The solution also provides website traffic information, which can be analyzed through a single dashboard.

Support team performance can be measured using the platform, these is done through the use of metrics, resulting in the effective management of live chat teams. Information on how quick customers are engaged can also be captured, along with client feedback. These enable organizations to identify strengths and weaknesses and come up with strategies for improvement.

19. Pure Chat

Live chat and visitor tracking software Pure Chat is designed to help enterprises increase leads, along with sales. The solution is capable of letting users know site visitors and quickly engage them using live chat. It can handle multiple leads and customers simultaneously, saving agents precious time. Android and iOS support allows agents to connect with customers anytime, anywhere.

Chat history are also kept secure for future reference, this is very useful in identifying opportunities for improvement. Customer information is provided as well, this include website activity, location and page they visited. Conversations can be constantly monitored using the platform, with transcript readily available to share with fellow agents.

Reports can be modified in accordance with agent preferences, these reports include pertinent information such as total number of chats, average response times and chat duration. The chat box appearance can be customized to suit individual websites,  with users allowed to come up with personal chat pages with personal URL links. Also, chat boxes can be converted into email form in case the support team is offline, capturing every lead even at such situation.

Users can be added to the system and assigned privileges and tasks. Such assignments can be handed out by modifying settings and assigning individual departments to their own widget. This way, visitors are ensured to get in touch with the proper agent.

20. nanoRep

Customer service solution nanoRep is designed to increase businesses conversion rates by providing accurate and personalized responses to customer queries. It is also capable of answering thousands of inquiries and enables organizations to gain valuable business insights that can be useful for growth.

nanoRep’s multi-language support enables users to handle support conversations in over 34 languages, eliminating the need for multilingual agents or translation services, thus, reducing costs. The software comes with a knowledge base that instantly captures inquiries while recording agents’ answers to such questions. These information are stored and can be used as future reference.

The product enables customers to quickly connect with agents through email or chat, with escalation options detected automatically. This options are configurable to user preferences. Repetitive inquiries are avoided as the tool collects inquiries from multiple channels, which also speeds up customer service. High-value inquiries are escalated to live agents in such situations to get quick and accurate support.

So there you have it. The top 20 live chat software solutions of 2017. All of them harboring their own strengths and weaknesses, but one should be the right one for your enterprise.

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