There are a lot of live chat support solutions out there – so many that it can be difficult to narrow it down.
This blog post has compiled the highest-rated live chat solutions on the market right now and provided a review of each of them so that your decision is a little easier. As you will see, the differences tend to come down to how advanced you need your features to be.
Nevertheless, all live chat support solutions on this list are solid options.
And any live chat option has the potential to do a lot for your website where conversions are concerned.
In fact, it’s arguably among the most important things you can add to your website.
And yet, many businesses have still not taken advantage of it.
Here’s why live chat support is so critical:
First and foremost, when it comes to customer service, live chat leads the way. Customers want to talk to you through live chat the most – they are most satisfied that way. Email or social media can’t compete.
A study by Zendesk, for example, found that 92% of customers are most satisfied when talking to businesses via live chat.
But, there’s another very important component of live chat support solutions, especially when it comes to their ability to lead customers to make a purchase.
According to Zendesk Chat, customers are 3X more likely to make a purchase when you proactively send them a message.
You can use live chat support to gather real-time data about what visitors are doing on your website and reach out to them at critical moments, ultimately guiding them down your funnel.
Live chat also allows you to directly respond to questions in real-time.
Before we get into a discussion of the top 5 live chat support solutions, allow us to quickly break down some of the standard features of a live chat support solution first:
Standard Features of a Live Chat Support Solution
Here’s a brief breakdown of some of the features of standard live chat support solutions. This will provide more of a framework when we discuss the features of each live chat support solution below.
- Triggers: These allow you to automatically targeted and behaviour-based messages to customers based on their activity on your website.
- Visitor Tracking: This feature allows you to monitor what your customers are doing on your website at a given time so that you can target them.
- Reports and Analytics: There could be any number of reports/analytics, depending on the software.
- Pre Chat Forms: This allows you to ask your visitors for their contact information prior to starting a chat, which ultimately helps you to prioritize high-value customers.
- Offline Forms: Offline forms allow your customers to contact you while you’re away.
- Chat Tags: Tags allow you to give conversations context.
- Shortcuts: Shortcuts allow you to send pre-made responses to common questions/requests so that communicating with customers is faster
- Feedback: Get feedback from your customers on how well the conversation went
- Team Management: Agent groups and more
1. Zendesk Chat
Summary: Zendesk Chat (formerly Zopium) makes all of those lists that compile the best live chat support solutions on the market. Zendesk Chat is also highly rated by G2 Crowd users.
Overall, Zendesk Chat offers a strong selection of features, which are always being added to (more on the features below). If you are looking for a robust live chat support solution, Zendesk Chat certainly offers that.
Zendesk Chat can also be integrated with Google Analytics, Salesforce, Zoho, Highrise and many others as well.
Support is also very good – Zendesk offers both online and 24/7 live reps.
Zendesk Chat has stuck with Zopium’s flexible pricing scheme, which has made this live chat solution accessible to startups and small businesses. It’s scalable and customizable.
Features: Zendesk Chat offers a pretty extensive list of features, which also means that some users might find that there is a bit of a learning curve.
Zendesk Chat is one of the most comprehensive live chat support solutions on this list. Here’s a breakdown of their features: triggers, pre-chat forms, visitor list, offline forms, chat ratings and file sending.
There is also a lot of customization in terms of their chat client; users can edit their own name and export a chat protocol; the widget can be moved around the site. The operator can also add an image of themselves for a more personal experience.
Their “rescue trigger” is particularly useful as it will automatically send an apology email in the event that someone doesn’t respond.
In terms of its reports and analyzation capabilities, Zendesk definitely has you covered. They offer chat and agent reports, real-time monitor, conversion tracking.
Finally, Zendesk also offers chat routing, chat tags, departments, operating hours, shortcuts and roles and permissions.
Zendesk Chat also offers mobile support, which works very well. Zendesk Chat also offers a searchable chat history.
Cons: Although this is a top rated live chat support solution, there are always cons to every piece of software out there. One con is that Zendesk Chat currently doesn’t offer co-browsing, but they are reportedly working on this.
Aside from this, most users find that Zendesk Chat doesn’t have too many cons.
Summary: Like Zendesk Chat, LiveChat also finds itself on many of the ‘top live chat support solutions’ lists. It’s also highly rated by G2 Crowd users.
Like, Zendesk Chat, LiveChat offers a robust set of features.
LiveChat is very easy to use. In fact, out of all of the live chat support solutions out there, LiveChat offers the cleanest interface of all of them.
Users also remark on the fact that LiveChat doesn’t experience a lot of tech issues, either. Setting the software up is equally easy. In fact, setting up is as simple as pasting a piece of code onto your website, which is done via clear instructions.
Every aspect of the chat can be customized. Their basic widget is attractive and also is available in a variety of different templates.
LiveChat does a good job at welcoming customers.
LiveChat offers a lot of integrations, from Highrise to Salesforce.
It also offers excellent customer support as well, both online and 24/7 live reps. People also like the fact that multiple articles are provided when it comes to troubleshooting any errors.
Unlike other tools, LiveChat also bills you per concurrent user. This is beneficial because it means that one seat can be used by several different agents, which is very useful if your team works in shifts.
Features: LiveChat offers a pretty robust set of features:
Its chat tools include: message sneak-peak, canned responses, visitor information, chat tags, file sharing and much, much more.
As far as engaging customers, LiveChat also offers a lot: automatic greetings (these are triggers), personal greetings, eye-catchers and much, much more.
Reports and analytics include basic statistics, chat reports and more.
The level of customization is also pretty good. For example, you can choose chat window themes, your company logo, message labels and more.
Some users, however, find that the customization could be improved. It also has a variety of team management, feedback and visitor tracking features as well.
However, some users find that in terms of its tracking and live analytics, LiveChat displays basic information such as country, IP address and current page, however, this could be more in depth.
Overall, LiveChat has it all.
Cons: One major con of LiveChat is the fact that it’s not easy to integrate with other CRMs. Some users also don’t like the fact that you can’t customize the greeting popups (however, you can adjust the message).
Some users also find that the product is expensive for their liking, but that said, the software justifies the price.
3. Zoho SalesIQ
Summary: Another highly recommended and highly rated by G2 Crowd users is Zoho SalesIQ. What Zoho SalesIQ has going for is the fact that it’s simple, offers easy integration and an intuitive user interface. The mobile application also works well.
Zoho SalesIQ is similar to Olark in that it’s a simple, no-fuss option without a lot of unnecessary or complex features.
Most people have found it easy to use, but some don’t find it as easy.
If you’re already a Zoho user, visitors find that the integration is particularly great. For example, you can see if someone visiting your website is a customer. You can then transfer them to support or sales.
Features: What’s great about Zoho SalesIQ over other live chat solutions is that it offers very detailed visitor activity tracking.
It also offers real-time lead scoring (hot or cold based on how long they’ve been on your site and visited important pages), the ability to view detailed histories for visitors, including where they came from, what pages they visited, how many times they’ve visited your site and what they did on your site.
It also offers real-time traffic monitoring.
Beyond this, Zoho Sales IQ offers the standard feaures that you would expect from a live chat support solution. For example, it offers some smart triggers that you can set up to be automated as well as report and canned messages (which you can also personalize).
It also offers a rather robust feedback tool that allows you to measure customer satisfaction. You also get data on how well your team is doing as well – again, another standard feature.
Customization is also pretty good; for example, you can customize your chat widget to look exactly like your website design.
Cons: One con is that it doesn’t integrate with Zoho CRM.
Summary: Like the others on this list so far, Olark is comes highly recommended as a live chat support solution. It’s also highly rated by G2 Crowd users.
What separates Olark from others is its reputation for being one of the most simplest and most user-friendly live chat solutions on the market (in this way, it is similar to LiveChat).
For example, the platform only has four tabs to navigate from in terms of accessing transcripts and so on. In terms of design, Olark is simple. It’s not flashy by any means, but it certainly gets the job done.
Another thing that separates Olark from others is its customer surveys. At any point in the conversation, you can ask your customer for feedback.
Like LiveChat, Olark can be installed in a matter of minutes; all you need to do is copy a piece of code and paste it onto your website.
Its features, however, are fairly basic compared to the two live chat support solutions mentioned above.
Olark offers a long-list of integrations, including Salesforce, Google Analytics and so on. It also integrates with various ecommerce platforms like Shopify. What Olark offers a live chat support solution like LiveChat is that you can easily connect with your CRMs.
Live chat support is sufficient, but there are other platforms that that do it better by offering 24/7 support.
Features: If you are looking for a basic live chat support solution for your website, Olark is it. While Olark is highly rated, don’t expect any advanced features – even if you pay for the premium version.
That said, the Olark website does tout that it offers advanced chat features like real-time reporting, automated messages, team management and so on.
It also offers unlimited conversations, searchable transcripts and real-time chat.
Customization is fairly good. For example, you can customize your chat window (from the theme to the background colour and so on). Olark also allows you to use standard or custom attention grabbers.
Cons: What used to set Olark apart was its co-browsing feature, which it no longer offers. Another downside is that you have the use the chat platform in another window. You can also only block people for 24 hours.
You also have to pay per seat, which is an added expense.
Summary: Intercom Live Chat is another highly rated live chat support solution on this list and likely a very recognizable name for many of you as it’s not only a live chat support solution but also does customer outreach, knowledge base management and more.
It’s easy to use (especially given the number of tutorials available) and has a clean interface as well.
What Intercom offers is that it’s one of the more advanced customer support solutions. It offers detailed insight into your customers, from where they come from to the number of times they visited your website and so on.
Intercom also integrates with a lot of different services as well.
Customer support is good.
Features: Here is a look at some of the features of Intercom Live Chat: the ability to send targeted messages (one interesting feature in this category is also the ability to do A/B testing), lead qualification and lead-routing.
In terms of its chat tools, Intercom offers a team inbox, qualification profiles, saved replies and mobile apps.
You can also nurture leads with targeted campaigns.
Cons: One potential problem with Intercom is that it mainly targets big companies; if you’re a small company, another live chat support solution on this list may be a better option.
There is also a lack of customization in some areas as well (for example, you can’t bulk modify conversations). Some people find that there are occasional bugs as well.
The Bottom Line
These five live chat support solutions are among the top-rated solutions on the market, which means that you can’t go wrong with any of them.
The most important thing is to have live chat support in the first place: live chat allows you to chat with customers in the channel they most prefer, therein increasing customer satisfaction.
But, even more powerfully, live chat allows you to speak to your customers at the most critical times of their journey, increasing the chances of conversions and sales.
Ultimately your choice of a live chat solution will depend upon the price you’re willing to pay and whether you’re looking for more advanced live chat support solution like Zendesk or a more basic but simple-to-use solution like Olark.
In other words, your unique business needs will be able to point you in the right direction.
Here are some additional ways you can increase conversions by altering your website:
- Increase conversions with your website design
- Increase conversions with social proof
- Increase conversions with the psychology of color
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