“Live Chats are like e-mail support – but on steroids”
Well, as a wise man once said: first things first – What is a Live Chat?
According to webopedia, the online tech dictionary, Live Chat is:
“a Web service that allows businesses to communicate, or chat, in real time with visitors to their Web site. Live support applications are commonly used to provide immediate customer support and information to clients and customers.”
You probably already had the experience of visiting a website and having the possibility to talk to someone if you had any doubts. Or, even better, THEY came to you offering assistance during your session. Wasn’t it great to know someone personally cared about your visit or your buy-experience? Didn’t it feel good to have someone at your disposal, there, online and instantly, in case you had any question? Exactly this feeling you want your customers and visitors to have when they think about your services and products.
When used correctly and as part of a support strategy, Live Chats have the capacity to dramatically increase conversion rates: users who participate in live chat tend to convert 3.5 times as often as those who don’t. Not bad, right?
Besides, Live Chat Support (LCS) is cheaper than emails and phone calls. Virgin, the airline company, came to the following conclusion after implementing LCS on their websites: one online chat agent can do the work of about 15 (!!) customer specialists who are handling emails and phone calls.
By now you should be aware of the benefits of having a LCS on your page. But you might be asking yourself: Is live support the right thing for my website? And that is a great question. Let’s dig into it.
If you can relate to one or more of the following statements it may very well be worth it:
a) you want to build a powerful customer loyalty;
b) your products are not entirely self-explanatory;
c) your products or services can be bought online;
d) you or one of your staff have enough time for live support;
e) you want to improve conversions;
f) you want to create a fervent base of devoted fans.
According to recent trends, live chat’s popularity shows no signs of slowing. Last Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, LivePerson, one LCS tool, hosted more than 860,000 chats for its 8,500+ retail and business clients. That’s HUGE!
But if you intend to install an online icon and simply sit and wait for orders to come, you”ll be very disappointed. Very.
When using live chat, it shouldn’t be considered as the solution-for-all-yours-problems, but rather yet another link in the customer service chain that connects you to your client-to-be in a way that goes beyond just answering questions or directing inquiries. It’s about creating bonds!
There is also another very important subject here when it comes to using a LCS. According to Sherice Job, Marketing Specialist from iElectrify, “equally important is how intuitive it is for chat operators to use, and how responsive it is to both visitors and customers seeking more information or needing help with an order. A poorly designed, awkward and clunky chat screen is potentially worse than no live chat at all.”
After this introduction, you are ready to proceed with the journey.
We prepared a short list with three options of Live Chat Softwares and their reviews: the LCS will be shortly described, with their Pros & Cons and a verdict will be presented to each of them. At the end, you will find the Pages24’s choice. Let’s start!
Live Chat Softwares Review
Smartsupp is not only an average live chat program. This Czech company offers you the possibility to record and track visitor mouse movements and clicks – and that directly from your agent dashboard. This helps you understand which areas of your website are “hot” ones and which ones you should improve – the “cold” ones. They also have a conditional message system that lets you send notifications and messages according to previously specified conditions, so you can engage with visitors without losing time.
SmartSupp has a very clean and intuitive dashboard, which makes it easy to interact with visitors while analysing their reactions based on the recording feature. It works with popular platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Magento and others. Furthermore SmartSupp is mobile friendly both for the owner of the website and for the visitor. Deep customization is available through API.
Even though it has many cool features like tracking and recording mouse movements, it lacks some of the basics, like the ability for prospects to have the agent call them directly. Basic customization of the chat is restricted.
If you need many agents for your chat and don’t want to give your house away for it, as well as tracking capabilities, give SmartSupp a serious look. It is worth saying SmartSupp support team makes it stand out from its competition.
LiveAgent is developed to be simple and intuitive. That makes it a tool that is easy to learn, use and implement. The elements on dashboard are easily accessible and well planned, so users should master the system in a short time.
LiveAgent offers life 24/7 support for all plans – yes, even for the initial ones – via email, phone or live chat. Besides, you don’t have to buy an additional license if you want to use it on more than one website: you can embed separate chat buttons, contact forms or knowledge base portals for your different websites using one license.
By the time of writing this review, the theme design options were very limited. The mobile apps also need some improvement. There is also something to the chat itself: if one department is offline, it doesn’t switch to the offline chat form. Last but not least, the chat screen could load a little bit faster.
Satisfied users describe LiveAgent as being the all-in-one customer support solution, and there is a good reason to agree with them. LiveAgent scores high on many platform it appears. The innovation efforts of the team behind the wheel seem to be producing good results. But, there is still some room for improvements.
One of the newer providers here, it definitely makes a positive first impression. Userlike is a german company and offers support for apps among other things. That means you can offer live chat support through an iPhone app if you like. Cool!
The company also prides itself in its team features and CRM integrations. They offer you a 14-day free trial to get you to know their service.
First of all, the tool has a nice design and you can move it around freely on the screen. It shows a photo of the agent and users can rate their chat experience after the chat is over. Canned messages can be set up easily as well as push macros (URLs that you can push your visitors to). With Userlike you can either offer a feedback form or hide it when offline. You can use it in 17 languages.
If you want to use behavior-based triggers, you will have to alter the code to implement it. A disadvantage when compared to other live chats is the fact that only after you are engaged in a chat (and not before) you will be able to see detailed user information (country, city, current page). Finally a few settings are a bit difficult to understand.
Even though we felt the user-experience and the range of features could be better, Userlike is a solid solution. A few settings in the setup of the chat widget aren’t that intuitive. But you are able to easily request screenshots from your visitors and that can save a lot of time.
Depending on what you need, Userlike can be a great option for you. As particular strengths are their multilingual availability, survey and chat rating options as well as CRM integrations. Live support in a European time zone and the possibility to switch off the collection of private user data can be an enormous advantage for european companies.
The best Live Chat Software
The fact we are addressing small and medium businesses had a great weight on our decision. Facility to use and implement the tool, price policy and support were our main criteria. Considering it, it was not that difficult to make up our mind: SmartSupp is, for almost all SMEs, the best option at the market nowadays.
Its features allow you to automate support messages, monitor visitors’ behavior and assign them to the most appropriate agent. Messages and newsletters can be easily customized to fit the needs of every business.
It’s important to say all options here presented were judged as good or very good by us. You need to know what your needs are and find the one that suits them the better. We also would like to make clear this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the latest live chat systems on the web. This market, as many others nowadays, is constantly changing – new players come up, old players go down. Maybe our choice will be a different one in a few years or even months from now. Who knows? 😉
If you have one we’ve missed, have a suggestion or a feedback, let us know!
We see you next week at the Episode 3 of our journey, “Email Marketing – Face-to-face relationship”, where we will show you how to make the most of your relationship with clients (to-be) by using Email Marketing and boost your sales even further.
Don’t miss it – we are looking forward to see you there!
PS: Don’t forget to share this content with that friend who has an online business!