Live Chat Software Buyer's Guide: Top 10 Solutions of 2019

Whether you're looking for a live chat solution for your marketing, sales, or customer service efforts, we've put together this live chat software comparison guide to help you understanding your options. Our team of experts have researched 50+ live chat services, and filtered out industry leading providers based on their reliability, customer support, products offered, user reviews, and price points. Take a look at our top picks and find the live software that works best for you!

Latest Live Chat Software Reviews
Jeffrey Gerdes
Jeffrey G.
February 5, 2019
1.0
Nextiva
My experience with this company has been absolutely the worst. I work in healthcare and to be fully compliant with privacy standards it requires that we sign an...
Donnan Oyler
Donnan O.
September 11, 2018
3.0
Nextiva
We had tried Digium and were not satisfied with the back end support or lack of it since you have to manage and train yourself on it. Its very difficult to maneuver....
JN
Joel N.
September 6, 2018
2.3
Nextiva
The service is not the same in all areas. Our international sales manager insists on keeping his local telephone line since Nextiva is not always reliable. The thing...
GM
George M.
September 2, 2018
5.0
Nextiva
I have been with Nextiva since 2009 and have never had any outages or problems that were caused by Nextiva. Only recently did I have to update my outdated hardware...

What is Live Chat Software?

Live Chat Software enables your business to interact with customers in real-time, directly on your website or mobile app via a chat interface. This support solution provides your support center’s representatives with a complete platform to interact and converse with potential clients and customers. Live Chat Software solutions generally include tools to capture and convert leads; send targeted emails, in-app messages or direct message on your website; and support customers instantly.

As technology has grown and advanced, so has the expectations and demands of customers. There is a direct intersection between available technologies, and the evolution of customer service and support. Today, providing support to customers and clients is about much more than providing a phone number or an email address as contact points. Customers are looking for answers to their questions as quickly as possible, and do not want to sit around waiting for a response.

This demand for instant support has spawned the demand for a new method of support, one that provides clients with a direct line to a representative for real-time communication. Live Chat Software is the latest technology to take advantage of this demand for instant satisfaction, enabling businesses to handle support requests and customer inquiries in a matter of minutes, down for hours. Live Chat Software includes a host of features to equip your support agents with the tools they need to service leads and provide the best customer experience possible.

Key Benefits of Live Chat Software:

Key Benefits of Live Chat Software?

While it seems like Live Chat Software is just one piece of a total Contact Center puzzle, these solutions on their own offer a completely capable platform to transform your business' support. Adopting Live Chat Software has a host of unique business benefits.

  1. Reduce Resolution Times - Traditional support methods like phone and email are lengthy processes, requiring a significant time dedication from the customer or prospect. Live chat shrinks this resolution time into a matter of seconds or minutes, providing real-time support for your website visitors.
  2. Boost Your Website Sales and Conversions - Quickly engage customers during their journey on your website or enable them to find answers to their questions instantly, while they are shopping. More informed customers are more likely to spend, and potential prospects can be converted into sales through a real-time conversation. Agents are able to directly cater to the needs of shoppers and provide support instantly.
  3. A More Cost-Effective Support Solution - Live chat solutions are generally more cost effective than traditional phone or even VoIP call center solutions and can easily be scaled up or down. Most agents can also handle multiple chats at one time, improving overall efficiency by reducing the required number of overall agents.
  4. Improve the Customer Experience - By interacting directly with customers and prospects on your website, your agents are able to provide answers to inquiries or support for any issues in a matter of minutes, while the customer is in the middle of their shopping experience. This enables agents to work with customers and provide an overall better experience than if they had to pause what they were doing, and make a phone call, then wait on hold for support.
  5. Introduce a New Competitive Advantage - Your business can stand out from the rest by introducing Live Chat directly onto your website. By providing this direct line of contact with a representative, conveniently located on your website, your business can offer a level of support, and connection with the customer that competitors can't. Use Live Chat as a way to create trust and loyalty with your customers and prospects.

What to Look for in a Live Chat Software Features:

What to Look for in a Live Chat Software features:

When shopping for Live Chat Software, you might quickly notice that not all solutions are created equally. That's why it’s important to understand what your business will need, along with the important features that help to create a complete Live Chat solution. Not all solutions will contain the exact same features, and there some critical features and functions we recommend to always be looking for.

  • Multi-channel support - Live Chat does not have to be limited to just one channel of communication: your website. Instead, many Live Chat Software solutions are capable of being embedded directly into your smartphone app, or even within social media. Look for a solution that enables your business to integrate Live Chat into these multiple channels.
  • Team Inbox - With one centralized team inbox, your support team is able to manage and respond to all customer interactions from one single location. A shared team inbox ensures no conversation goes unnoticed, and different representatives can chime into different inquiries when assistance is necessary.
  • Bot Support - Chatbots are already a popular customer support trend, as they enable representatives to focus on more complex issues while bots handle simple inquiries. Well, with Live Chat Software, your organization can utilize bots to interact directly with customers, providing insight, support, or by asking the lead questions in order to provide the best context to a human agent.
  • Real Time Traffic Monitoring - To stay on top of every interaction across your business, it’s important that your Live Chat solution includes Real Time Traffic Monitoring. By analyzing the data as it comes in, your support team can respond in real-time, and make on the fly changes.
  • Automated Visitor Engagement - Before an agent even interacts with a visitor on your website, or in your mobile app, Live Chat solutions can generate automated messages to engage these visitor's depending on the criteria you set. For example, some solutions make it possible to engage with customers when they enter the "shopping cart" stage of the buying process.
  • Visitor Lead Scoring and Insights - A complete Live Chat solution will provide your business with lead scoring, quantifying the strength of leads that visit your website and mobile app. Some solutions will go even further to provide insight into data including conversation volume, response times, total leads, and team workload.

Buying Considerations for Live Chat Software:

Beyond looking at the pricing structure and features offered, there's a lot more that goes into choosing the right provider for your business. For example, if your business has an international presence it will be important to find a provider that has data centers overseas. It’s important to gain a full picture understanding of the provider before you sign up for service.

  • Provider Locations - When choosing a provider, try to search for one that is located within the same country as your business. If your business has an international presence, you will want to look for a provider that also has data centers and offices overseas.
  • Scalability - Most providers will offer more than just one product or solution, with Live Chat Software being part of a bigger platform. Look for a provider that makes it possible to scale your solution beyond just one feature or product.
  • Product Customization - When it comes to Live Chat Software specifically, product customization is an important aspect. Look for a solution that enables your business to customize the Live Chat Software to integrate directly with your business' website or mobile app design. This way the live chat isn't an eye sore and fits right in with the overall user experience.
  • Integrations - It’s almost impossible to find a Cloud solution that does not offer integration with other products and solutions. Live Chat Software is no different. Look for a Live Chat solution that is capable of integrating directly with your existing business solutions, ranging from CRM to WFO to Unified Communications.

What to Look for When Comparing Vendors:

Of course, looking for the best provider possibly goes a bit beyond the features included with the solution. Different providers may offer the same features, but the cost might vary, or the depth of the feature might vary as well. For example, while most Live Chat solutions will offer Lead Scoring, many will not include more advanced metrics like team workload and response times. Recognizing these distinctions can help your business find the best solution for their needs.

  • Pricing Structure - One of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a provider will be their pricing structure, and available plans. Of course, there will be more cost-effective providers, and those that weigh in on the more expensive side. But it’s important to look for a provider that offer the most bang for your buck, with a good feature set that doesn't break the bank.
  • Support Options - It would be ironic to contact support for your own support solution, but unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. When services go down, you want to ensure that your provider not only makes it easy to get in touch for support, but also goes the extra mile to fix any issues as soon as possible.
  • Service Limitations or Extra Monthly Fees - In conjunction with pricing, its important to be aware of the different limitations providers might place on their service. Less expensive plans will generally place limitations on service, like the number of messages sent or the number of users on the system. Some will even place monthly fees on certain features, like after 1,000 messages you are charged per each message.
  • Mobile Apps - We are in a digital age where mobility is absolute key. Most of us have a super computer in our pocket, so there's no reason our business apps shouldn't work on the go. Ensure your provider of choice includes a mobile app so your agents can service customers and leads even when they are out of the office.
  • Network Reliability - The last thing you would ever want is for your own support system do go down. Your business then has to reach out and receive support for their support. That's why it is imperative to ensure your provider of choice has a solid network and provides status tools to track the current status of the network and services.

Some Final Thoughts to Call Tracking Software Shoppers:

Live Chat Software is one way to completely transform your organization's customer service and support by opening up new channels for real-time conversations. Live Chat is an entirely new channel that enables customers and prospects to reach out for support when they need it and receive the help they request as soon as possible. In fact, Live Chat represents a happy medium between phone support and e-mail support. Live Chat is able to provide that real-time human interaction of phone support, with the ease of a text conversation from email, but also reduce the time associated with each channel.

In this day and age, customers are looking for instant answers, and instant support. Live Chat Software is the best way to provide that instant experience. By providing the best customer experience possible, your business is more likely to convert prospects and potential leads into closed sales while fostering better customer loyalty thanks to lightning quick support and super-fast resolution times. Live Chat works best in conjunction with other solutions, building out a complete Contact Center, but can also stand alone as its own support channel for businesses that primarily deal with web or in-app sales.

However, Live Chat Software isn't necessarily the be-all-end-all support channel. While Live Chat solutions enable agents to handle more interactions, demanding too much of your agents can quickly degrade the overall service quality. Some problems also might require a more in-depth conversation than possible from text-based support. In fact, Live Chat works best in conjunction with other support channels like phone and e-mail, with Live Chat handling the more basic and easy inquiries, and complex issues being escalated.

With the right fine tuning, Live Chat support is a great way to stand out among the competition and provide your customers and potential prospects with a channel to directly reach out and interact with a representative during their buying or researching process -- making them more likely to convert to a sale.