I had my best-ever customer support experience on a live chat.
“Huh? How come?” could be what you’re thinking right now. But it is true and it is true for one simple reason.
I didn’t have to talk to anyone on the phone and my questions were still answered.
Truth is, we are overrating the phone call. It’s personal and feels exclusive, yes. But how many of us look forward to phone calls anymore?
Only 14.3% of users prefer phone calls when shopping online, and in other support situations, phone calls are in a huge decline.
Of course, before you go full-on AI, there is still a more human option.
So, today let’s take a look at the trending solution for your customer support: chat tools.
How does live chat work?
Have you ever thought about how live chat works?
Live chat support tools are often shown as pop-ups on your website or in your app.
When a user clicks on it or visits a certain part of your website, they can be prompted with an instant message box asking if they need help. If they do, they can type in a message and submit it to your support team.
The layout on the agent’s side is quite identical to what the customer sees, but some information about the customer could be also found in a sidebar.
Some versions of the tool may come with a slightly different interface, but they mostly work in a similar way.
In general, an agent marks themselves as “active” to indicate that there is a real person available and ready to reply. In case there’s no one available or there’s a delay in responding, some chats can be turned into email discussions, to ensure the message is delivered to a team.
What are the benefits of live chat?
Now that we understand how live chat works, let’s take a look at some of its benefits.
Live chat is great for reducing the amount of back and forth between a customer and your support team.
For example, if someone has a question about your website, they can quickly get an answer instead of having to send multiple emails or fill out contact forms.
What’s more, this makes it much easier for them to search your knowledge base or FAQ page.
This can help drastically reduce the number of tickets that customer service agents receive.
And since they’re able to react instantly, they can respond more adequately and more appropriately than when they answer a customer who has to wait for an email response.
This also reduces the time it takes to handle a problem, which is especially helpful for high-volume businesses like e-commerce websites.
Live chat is great for gathering information about your customers.
You could ask customers to fill out a survey after the chat has ended, asking them questions about how they’ve found out about you and what their biggest challenges are.
If you are on the traditional side, you could go for an NPS survey too!
Your website could significantly be improved with this valuable feedback that you otherwise might not have even received.
Live chat is great for building relationships with customers.
One of the best things about live chat is that it lets you offer immediate support to your customers.
This makes them feel that you care about your customers and you’re always ready and willing to go the extra mile for them to help them, which automatically leads to increased loyalty and honest word-of-mouth referrals.
What are the different types of live chat support?
Now that we’ve gone over some benefits, let’s move on to some of the most common types of live chat support.
When it comes to deciding on a live chat tool, you are often given the choice of a standalone tool and one that is integrated as a feature or service of another platform. Both of them have their pros and cons.
👉 One advantage of a standalone tool is that, due to its singular focus, it’s able to provide more in-depth analytics about chat. In addition, it may come with other useful features such as automation or artificial intelligence that integrated chat tools don’t provide.
👉 The greatest benefit of using a chat tool that’s part of another service is the increased utility of the platform’s other features.
For example, a live chat tool might be part of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software package.
👉 Furthermore, depending on the platform, you could make substantial cost savings on an integrated live chat tool (you sometimes get chat as an add-on feature at extra cost).
👉 Overall, an all-in-one support platform may cost a bit more each month, but when all the factors are considered, there’s no doubt that it’s quite a good option for many businesses.
Now that we’ve covered some benefits and different types of live chat tools, let’s take a closer look at some of the best ones on the market.
12 Amazing Live Chat Tools to Level Up Your Customer Support
If you are looking for a free live chat tool, HubSpot is the perfect option.
HubSpot’s chat function, included in their always-free CRM, provides all the basic live chat features you need to deliver excellent service and increase conversions.
✅ With HubSpot, you can create a custom chat window, customize the chat experience to match your customer expectations, and include a welcome message so visitors know they can chat.
Plus, the visitors don’t have to wait for an agent to become available. They can start chatting right away and agents will be notified when they are free.
✅ With HubSpot, all of your chat interactions are automatically saved in a universal inbox that is enhanced with data from HubSpot’s free CRM, providing everyone on your team with the context they need to craft the perfect response.
✅ The HubSpot live chat also allows you to customize the conversation experience according to customer needs. You can create separate flows for different types of visitors, like prospects, customers, and non-customers.
✅ HubSpot’s live chat platform is completely connected with a chatbot builder which you can use for free right now – no coding required.
✅ Because HubSpot’s chatbot builder is fully connected with HubSpot’s free CRM, your bots can send better, more customized messages based on the contact information you already have.
Overall, Hubspot’s live chat is a great option if you are looking for a free solution with the features and integrations you need to guarantee exceptional service.
2- Zendesk Chat
Zendesk is a great live chat tool for companies looking to reduce their high volume of inquiries and improve customer experience.
Zendesk Chat has a sleek interface that makes it easy for your customers to communicate with you.
This chat tool is very flexible when it comes to reporting because the analytics provide in-depth information on visitor behavior rather than simply showing overall metrics or averages.
👉 It features an instant messaging platform that allows businesses to easily communicate with visitors in real-time, as well as message scheduling so you can ensure every visitor gets answered when they need it most.
👉 Zendesk Chat also has a powerful set of features that lets you personalize each conversation and build strong relationships. For example, the tool allows businesses to tag visitors by name or company so they can always be recognized as returning customers when they visit your website again.
👉 You can create greetings and customize your IVR (phone tree) settings from the talk console to control how incoming calls are routed. Your lines will then be accessible from a customer’s record.
👉 Zendesk chat also comes with an excellent customer service portal that lets you manage all of your visitors in one place, including past chats and replies.
This is a great way to consolidate information about each visitor so they can be reached more quickly when needed. Zendesk Chat has all the features, integrations, and reporting tools to bring your customer service to the next level.
GetResponse is initially a marketing platform that offers its service to marketers.
Then, what does it do on this list?
Well, its job by providing its users with a live chat solution to help them connect with their audience easier and faster.
Adding a live chat tool as a solution on both free and paid plans, GetResponse not only helps you convey more personalized emails to your target audience but also create a personalized journey, boosts sales by holding out a helping hand to your visitors, and converts these visitors into leads as well.
Delivering real-time support, building customer segments, and even turning emails into live chats, your marketing will take a very positive turn for sure.
With GetResponse as your live chat solution that aids the marketing process, you’ll be able to:
- customize your chat window,
- set up notifications when you’re not around,
- receive email notifications when someone starts a chat,
- analyze the charts concerning chats to improve,
- use capture forms inside chats, and
- engage your customers by enabling live chat on landing pages.
Another upside of GetResponse must be that it offers a free plan (up to 500 contacts) so that you can try it before committing to any premium plan of its.
In short, GetResponse is a tool that focuses on marketing with a touch of live chat, making it perfect for marketers who are in need of a powerful automation tool that will enhance customer experience.
Freshchat, another great product of Freshworks, focuses on improving customer service and engagement by providing customers with customer messaging software that has several robust features, including chatbots, team inbox, live translate, real-time dashboard, and custom reports.
Enabling you to connect with your customer in real-time, Freshchat actually helps you enhance many processes, from interacting with your first-time visitors to supporting your already-existing customers. Another advantage this platform has is its ability to offer personalized experiences for each of your customers, making it a top priority to solve any problem customers could have with your product instantly.
Freshchat offers the features below to take all aspects regarding your messaging, agent productivity, managing conversations, and powerful insights to the next level:
- messaging channels, chatbots, web widget, campaigns, multilingual support, FAQ, the Freshchat SDK,
- integrations, team inbox, canned response, live translate, bulk action, visitor intel,
- IntelliAssign, assignment rules, roles and permission, APIs,
- real-time dashboard, team member report, performance reports, and custom reports.
LiveChat is one of the best customer support live chat apps for overall ease of use and functionality.
It’s very flexible, allowing you to customize the look and feel of your chat window.
LiveChat offers all essential features you’ll need, like
- chat transfer,
- message sneak peek (see what a visitor is typing as they type),
- transcripts, and
- messaging mode.
It also goes beyond the basics by offering a few unique features, such as chat scheduling and multi-operator support.
One of the primary menu options is Traffic, which displays a list of all visitors on your site. From here, you can initiate a chat by entering a personalized note or using a pre-made greeting.
This list indicates which clients are chatting, waiting for a response, being supervised, or simply browsing. When you click on any name or IP address in the queue, you’ll get additional information such as location, visited pages, and the total number of visits and chats.
In addition, the company offers a free trial so you can try out the product and see if it’s right for you.
Overall, LiveChat is a great option for any business that wants an all-in-one live chat, help center, and ticketing solution.
If you want a better relationship with your customers, then Intercom is the way to go.
Intercom is a scalable and flexible solution that lets its users communicate with people who visit their website or mobile app in real-time.
It also allows them to start targeted conversations on the right web page when they are most likely to be interested (e.g. an abandoned shopping cart, or a page that’s been viewed several times in one session).
👉 Intercom’s fully customizable chat widget can be added to your website or mobile app with just a few lines of code.
👉Intercom allows agents to respond to messages from visitors in real-time and use the customer’s information (e.g. email address) to build profiles for each individual user account so they can deliver personalized support.
👉 Intercom’s marketing automation feature lets you create custom actions triggered by different events, which are then sent to the user via email. In this way, you can increase your chances of turning a potential customer into an actual one and attract more visitors to your website or mobile app.
👉 Another valuable Intercom feature is its automated chat widget that allows you to deliver helpful messages based on a customer’s activity. For example, if you notice that someone has added an item to their cart and then abandoned it (meaning they haven’t placed the order), then you can send them a reminder message offering assistance with checkout or delivery.
👉 Intercom integrates well with many third-party apps and allows customers to manage their accounts, manage support tickets, and create new users. It is also very user-friendly and supports live chat features on mobile devices.
All in all, Intercom is an excellent live chat software solution for companies of all sizes.
Drift is an excellent live chat tool that can help you engage and convert more website visitors.
Drift’s instant messaging platform lets you chat with visitors in real-time and engage them directly, which ensures your business is always at their fingertips.
👉 Drift allows you to target your top visitors and ABM accounts, greet them with a personalized message, and even quickly schedule a meeting. Drift’s live chat software will inform the right sales rep when one of their target accounts visits the website, allowing them to hop in and chat. If the rep is unavailable, Drift can schedule a meeting with a user for a later date.
👉 With Live View, your team can see who is on your site and start a discussion with them even before a visitor has chatted in.
👉 You also have an option to create internal notes that are not seen by visitors. This is a great way to keep your team on the same page and make sure everyone knows important information about each visitor.
👉 The reporting system also provides a high level of detail by showing visitor actions, comments from chats and emails, as well as a history of past messages. This is a great way to stay updated on what each visitor needs and makes it easy to offer the right help at the right time.
On the whole, Drift is a great live chat tool that keeps your team in the loop, helps you deliver excellent customer service and drives more conversions.
Many of the most effective companies in the world already use Drift for customer service, including Gong, Cision Ltd, and even Gartner. It’s easy to see why Drift is one of the best live chat tools on the market.
Whether your company goal is more leads, higher sales, or better service, Olark provides the easy, functional live chat features to help you get there.
Olark’s live chat software is designed to be effective at increasing conversions while also providing the ability for agents to handle multiple chats efficiently.
👉 With Olark, you can create a customized chat window to fit your website design and brand. You also have the option of creating different layouts for mobile visitors, which ensures your chat window is accessible no matter the device.
👉 Olark also has detailed live chat analytics, allowing you to monitor chat volume, customer satisfaction, and agent activity as frequently as you need to make informed staffing and priority decisions or have summary reports delivered directly to your inbox.
👉 Live chat transcripts are also easily accessible, so it’s easy to quickly see what issues are being brought up most often. This is a great way for your team to address common questions and issues in real time.
👉 One of Olark’s specialized live chat features is PowerUps which adds special capabilities to your chat window. PowerUps allow you to customize the experience for customers and they also provide valuable information on customers in a clear, convenient format.
Overall, Olark is a great live chat tool for businesses of all sizes, providing the features you need to boost conversions and increase customer satisfaction.
Tawk.to is another great free live chat option that provides just the right features to support your business and boost customer service.
👉 Tawk.to provides visitors with the ability to initiate a conversation directly from your website, which is great for increasing conversions and decreasing wait times because visitors don’t have to wait for an agent for ages.
👉 Tawk.to’s chat widget is entirely customizable, enabling you to choose when and where it appears on your site, as well as how notifications are sent, with choices for sound notifications, message preview, and estimated wait time. There’s also a consent form and a calendar that automatically enables and disables the chat widget online.
The chat widget also includes a timestamp and the location of your visitors, which is great for increasing conversions because it enables you to provide the right information quickly.
👉 Messages in the chat inbox are sorted from newest to oldest, with both closed and open messages shown. Each message displays the visitor’s IP address, location, email address, operating system, and time and date of their last visit. The agent can then attach files, tag the chat, email a transcript, or convert the chat to a ticket.
👉 Tawk.to also offers a mobile app so your visitors can initiate chats from their smartphones and tablets.
If you’re looking for a free solution with customizable features and integrations to support your business, Tawk.to’s live chat is the perfect choice for you.
10- Live Agent
If you want to take your customer engagement to the next level, Live Agent is the best option for you.
LiveAgent live chat software is quick, reliable, and provides first-class customer service. It also makes your business more profitable and helps your customer support teams be more productive.
👉 One great feature of LiveAgent is gamification. You can reward your agents for their hard work by letting them level up, get badges and gain points through customer service.
This enables you to encourage collaboration between employees as well as increase motivation, which ultimately makes it easier to deliver better support. The more engaged an agent is with LiveAgent’s gamification features, the higher their chances are of making the sale.
👉 With LiveAgent Dashboard, you can see who’s online and what they’re working on in real-time. This makes it easy to assign specific tasks, follow up with customers, and maintain a high level of engagement throughout your business.
👉 LiveAgent also provides the ability to customize notifications, enabling you to choose whether the agents are notified by
- text message,
- pop-ups on their desktops and phones, or
- push notifications for mobile apps
If you’re trying to find a solution to improve your customer service, increase customer engagement and boost your employees’ productivity, then LiveAgent is ideal for you.
LiveHelpNow is one of the best software for tracking customer satisfaction.
With its customizable surveys, you can get feedback from your customers and build a strong relationship with them.
LiveHelpNow is also great for monitoring chat activity on your website. It provides you with comprehensive reporting that will help you improve customer service through live chat sessions.
👉 Another benefit of LiveHelpNow’s live agent chat software is its multi-channel support – it works across a number of websites, social media platforms and mobile apps. This means you can deliver great customer service on all of your business’s online channels.
👉 Additionally, the LiveHelpNow sentiment analysis feature provides an opportunity to improve your customer support by using an AI to determine whether the words on a chat are positive or negative. If it identifies a negative conversation, it will send an email to the admin so that they can contact the agent, customer, or both to address a possibly unpleasant experience.
👉The automated idle chat messages are another valuable support feature. So, if a visitor hasn’t reacted to a continuing conversation in, say, 10 minutes, a message will be delivered to remind them that an agent is still waiting to help.
👉 Its Advertising Billboards function allows you to generate up to ten rotating messages within the chat window, for example, text messages or images with clickable links that direct consumers to your landing page. Throughout a conversation, these messages are shown in the window for the customer to see.
If your company needs an affordable live-chat software solution that will help increase sales, improve customer service, and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction, then LiveHelpNow is a wise choice for you.
12- Pure Chat
Pure Chat is a chat software that offers real-time customer support and allows you to build meaningful relationships with your customers. It provides a complete support solution, including live chat agents, automation tools, user engagement analytics, and more.
👉 Pure Chat allows you to customize your chat experience. You can add custom fields, widgets, and many more to make the conversations with your customers easier for everyone involved.
👉 In addition, Pure Chat is a powerful engagement platform that enables you to reach out directly to each customer who has an issue or question about their purchase from your company’s website. The chat widget you add to your site can be easily customized with a logo, colors, and other branding elements.
👉 You’ll receive email alerts whenever new chats are initiated, so you can always be up-to-date.
👉 Pure Chat is also useful for engaging clients through automated messages before, during, or after a live chat session.
👉 It’s also possible to add custom fields and forms so that visitors have an opportunity to submit them while they’re on your site. This way it will be easier for agents to handle their requests without having to answer all the same questions again and again.
Overall, Pure Chat is a powerful tool for increasing customer satisfaction, building relationships with your customers, and increasing sales.
How to choose the right live chat tool for your business?
It’s important to note that there is no “best” live-chat tool out there.
Every brand has different needs and goals when it comes to customer service, so the right fit for you might not be the best fit for someone else.
Therefore, it’s of crucial importance to consider the goals of your business and who your target audience is before choosing a tool.
Some companies might require more complex integrations while others are looking for something that can be up and running in just minutes after a signup.
There are lots of options out there so you should definitely take your time and do some research before deciding on one.
Another thing to consider is the pricing.
If your company is on a tight budget, then free chat tools might be the way to go.
If money is not an issue for you and you want live chat features that can help make your customer service much better, more effective, and responsive, then you should opt to invest in a paid solution.
Don’t be a cheapskate, a paid option can bring back much more than you pay if you use it right 💪
Support calls are decreasing in number every passing day.
This is your sign to invest in live chat tools. And if you have done your research, it should be a piece of cake to choose which software to go with.
If you haven’t done your research, this article should be more than enough. Go set that live chat tool up!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who has the best chat support?
There are many good examples of chat support on the internet, but the ones who are doing it the best are, of course, no other than the chat tool companies themselves. For example, GetResponse and Freshchat offer an exceptional live-chat support experience.
Which live chat software is the best?
Just as it is for every other tool, the best live chat tool is up to each specific business’ needs. This is because features, integrations, and prices change drastically and can make a huge difference for your company accordingly.
Is live chat a real person?
Yes. Although, in most live chat tools, it is the procedure to first interact with a chatbot and then be put on the line with an actual support agent.