Updated: Jan 7
You know how when you log on to some websites, an icon appears asking if you need help or want to chat? Well, that is a live chat. Live chat tools are customer service tools that are used to deliver quick responses and assistance to customers visiting a website.
Live chat is also the preferred way that customers want to interact with your website. According to eConsultancy, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels of any customer service channel at 73%, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone.
Consumers value live chats because they can get quick answers to questions and help with navigating a website or finding particular products, services or information. Having a live chat option also helps reduce online shopping cart abandonment.
Our Top Picks
We have researched and identified several great live chat tools that have amazing features and also offer a free trial or some level of free service for those just dipping their toes in the live chat pool:
1. Chaport: Chaport is an extremely affordable live chat support software for WordPress. They have software the covers all the basics, such as live chat, support apps for mobile devices, multilingual chat widgets, reporting and analytics, and third-party integrations through Zapier. Chaport offers a forever free plan which includes unlimited chats, tracking of conversation history, notifications, unlimited registered operators, and up to five operators online at the same time. The paid plan which starts at $9.80 a month per agent gives you access to even more features like typing insights, visitor notes, saved replies, file sending, auto-invitations, and even more.
2. Smartsupp: Smartsupp is a low-cost live chat support software. It offers users the ability to track and record user sessions on their website. It is compatible with WordPress, Magneto, Shopify, and various other popular eCommerce platforms. This live chat tracks chat conversations in Google Analytics to see your performance and insights. Smartsupp offers a free plan and paid plans as affordable as $8 per month per user.
3. Freshchat: Freshchat was designed to be a conversation and messenger application. It allows you to start real-time chats with customers using agents or AI-powered bots. Some of its features includes timeline views, live profiles, in-app campaigns, and customizable bots for automated conversations. Freshchat can connect chats to support tickets on Zendesk or on a Slack channel. In order to be more productive, Freshchat offers the use of smart plugs, canned responses, labels, private notes, and desktop notifications. Users can choose from a free option or upgrade for more features, which start as low as $15 per month billed annually.
4. Pure Chat: Pure chat is another free live chat system. It allows you to easily add live chat widgets to your website. This live chat is compatible across different devices with mobile apps. Customers can send you email messages when you are offline and pre-chat forms can help you collect user information, so you are able to reach out later.
Live chat software helps you to communicate with website visitors in the most efficient and effective way. It allows you to engage with consumers in real-time, answer questions, provide useful information and hopefully removes barriers to making purchases on your website.
When thinking of ways to improve customer relationships (and customer service), consider adding this capability to your website. Your customers are beginning to expect this level of service!
Finally, there are a few other notable live chat options, including Live Chat, Zendesk, and Snap Engage. These are all great options for live chat. They are not free but are still affordable.