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Choosing Best Live Chat Software for Your Business

Customers nowadays demand convenience and accessibility when it comes to dealing with businesses. If you want to keep them satisfied, you must ensure that they can easily reach your services whenever they need or want to. In this digital age, a live chat app is one of the essential tools that a business must have. It provides you with a platform to communicate with your customers in real-time to offer support instantaneously.
Partners

Partners

11 min read

Live Chat

Why use live chat software?

Live chat software allows your business to engage with your customers via messaging. You can use it to initiate conversations with website visitors, answer their queries, and provide support for your existing customers.

Unlike emails, customers don’t have to wait hours to get a reply. Interactions through live chat can be as instantaneous and natural as any casual conversation. As a result, live chat generates a satisfaction rate of 85% among customers.

Moreover, live chat software is extremely valuable for online businesses. You can integrate it with your website or an eCommerce platform to capture visitor information, reduce bounce rate, and prevent shopping cart abandonment.

How to choose the best live chat software

There are countless live chat software products available in the market nowadays. Hence, choosing the right one for your company can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start. To give you a head start, here is how you can pick the best live chat service providers for your business.

1. Consider your company size

Size matters when it comes to selecting the right software for your company. Most chat software for business nowadays offers different plans depending on how many users will be accessing the program itself and what features you will need for your operations. On the other hand, others are designed specifically for smaller businesses or corporations. Hence, your company size is one of the first things you need to consider when choosing software.

Moreover, you should also consider the software’s scalability. As your business grows, the more customers you’ll be handling on a daily basis. You need a software service that could keep up with your business growth and the demands of your customers. So choose a software that could provide you with enough room for scaling up your operations.

2. Identify your use case

There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all software in the market. Each company has its unique set of needs. Similarly, each live chat software has its own strong points and its weaknesses. It is important that you identify your case to determine which software will fit your company’s demands. By identifying the issues that you are currently facing, you will have an idea of what features to look out for.

For example, your customer service is suffering from long waiting times because you lack the manpower to accommodate your growing customer base. Invest in a live chat software service that offers various automation features to assist your representatives. You can use it to automate administrative tasks so that your representatives can focus on taking care of your customers instead of other less important tasks.

3. Determine between chatbots or live agents

One of the biggest dilemmas businesses currently face is choosing between chatbots and live agents. Automations nowadays are becoming smarter and more sophisticated. In fact, a recent study shows that chatbots can handle 80% of routine customer questions. As a result, chatbots are viable replacements for live agents.

However, this also shows that chatbots are not as foolproof as you would expect. It still has its own limitations, especially when handling complex customer issues. Hence, live agents remain a vital part and are a reliable support for chatbots in case things go beyond the chatbot’s depth or if it malfunctions. Hence, it’s always a good idea to have both if possible as your virtual receptionist.

4. Check integration capabilities

According to a recent survey, 77% of businesses are accelerating their efforts toward digital transformation. More businesses are investing in digital tools for their operations, and your live chat software will simply be a part of your digital ecosystem. Make sure that it fits perfectly with the rest of your business programs and apps by checking out its integration capabilities. You can also contact the vendor to discuss the possibility of integrating the software with other solutions.

Through integrations, you can make sure that you can seamlessly switch from one software to another. It syncs all your data across platforms so you’re always working on the latest information. For example, integrating your live chat software with your CRM software makes it easier for your representatives to pick up where they left off in their last conversations with your customers. This way, they can avoid repeating the same topics again and go straight to resolving the issue.

5. Pick between cloud-based or self-hosted

To help you choose between cloud-based and self-hosted live chat software, you must first know the difference. Cloud-based live chat software is hosted by the vendor of the software. This means you don’t have to worry about maintaining and upgrading the software itself because your service providers will be the ones to do it. This also makes it easier to scale up your operations. Plus, your chat sessions are saved on remote servers, making them more accessible to your users. The downside, however, is that you have less control over the software including its data security and privacy. Meanwhile, the opposite is true for self-hosted live chat software. You have more control over your data since the software is hosted on your own servers. But this also means that you are responsible for the software’s maintenance, upgrades, and technical support.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Nonetheless, 80% of businesses are investing in cloud-based software for their operations because it’s more cost-effective and easier to manage in the long run. Moreover, it gives them more room for scaling up processes at lower costs.

6. Evaluate security features

Speaking of security, this is another factor that you want to consider when choosing the right live chat software for your business. Your interactions with your customers contain sensitive information about them. If this falls in the wrong hands, it can harm your customers in the process. As a result, this can affect your business’s reputation and their trust in your brand.

According to KPMG, 79% of business executives believe that cybersecurity is critical in securing customers’ trust. Hence, it is your duty to protect your customers and ensure their privacy. So you must invest in reliable and secure live chat software for your business.

Make sure to check what security measures the live chat software has to offer for your business. An example of a great security feature in live chat software is encrypted calls. This hides your calls, transforming them into jumbled codes so that it would be harder for anyone to access its content and data.

7. Assess onboarding

Introducing new software into your operations requires some period of adjustment for you and your employees who’ll be using it. Of course, you would want this period to be as short as possible so that you can maximize its usage. So when choosing a live chat software, it is important that you also assess its onboarding. Check out if the service providers offer demos or support. Onboarding is also important if you plan on setting up your own customer service call center. You need to train your agents to make sure that they know how to use the software properly and effectively.

A great example is Yodel, a cloud-based business phone system. Yodel offers support through various methods such as an accessible knowledge database, technical support, and more. It also offers trials for its software, so that you can check out its features and functions before you decide to commit to it.

Business phone

Essential features of live chat software

Another factor you need to consider when choosing a live chat software for your business is its features. You need to make sure that it has all the functions and tools you need to improve your operations. With that, here are some of the essential features to look out for based on the best live chat software reviews in the market.

1. Canned responses

Canned responses are premade replies to commonly asked questions. These can be customized according to the tone you want, the details they contain, and more. This is a great feature to have especially if you don’t have enough time, resources, or manpower to answer all the queries that come your way.

Answering the same questions, again and again, can be tedious. Hence, canned responses are useful. In fact, almost 60% of businesses nowadays use canned responses in their customer support service. This helps reduce waiting time for customers and lessen the workload for your representatives. All you need to do is prepare a template for responses to common questions and then save it in your chat. This will allow you to load up pre-made responses instead of typing them down.

2. Operator monitoring

Monitoring your operators can be tough. Without the right tools, you won’t be able to check if they’re being productive or not. Hence, it is important that your live chat software has an operator monitoring feature to help you keep an eye on your agents.

An operator monitoring feature does more than just record interactions between your representatives and customers. It also allows you to train, support, and manage them in real-time. Tools, like call whispering and call commenting, can also enhance collaboration among teammates, allowing them to help each other out during live chats or calls with customers. You can also use this feature to train agents by allowing them to listen to other calls and learn from their more experienced teammates.

3. Chat monitoring

Your operators aren’t the only ones who need monitoring. You should also keep an eye out for their interactions with customers. You can do this through the chat monitoring feature in your live chat software.

Chat monitoring allows you to supervise live chat conversations between your agents and customers in real-time. Similar to operator monitoring, you can use this feature to coach your agents and extract valuable insights from their interactions with customers. You can also use it to assess your agents’ performance using real-time chat metrics.

4. Chat routing

Chat routing is another important feature of live chat software. This allows you to prioritize and direct customers to available operators in your customer service center. This can be automatic, manual, or condition-based.

Basically, it routes chats to operators who are currently handling the least amount of customers or puts them on queue from which other operators can pick up. This feature also allows you to set up conditions and customize rules on how chats are being routed. You can base it on visitor attributes like location, time, and message and direct them to the appropriate operator. This ensures that your agents’ workloads are evenly distributed among them and that all your customers are accommodated.

5. Visitor tracking

Another feature that the best live chat software for websites have is visitor tracking. This lets you collect information on everyone who visits your website. You can then use this data to learn more about their behavior, gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, or use it for advertising purposes.

Through visitor tracking, you can monitor how visitors move through your website in real-time. Operators can see what pages your visitors access, keywords they used in search engines to find your website, the number of times they’ve visited your website, and how much time they’ve spent on it. This information can be useful for proactive chat invitations.

6. Mobile optimization

According to Datareportal, 92% of global internet users use mobile devices to go online. Hence, it’s important that you choose a live chat software service with multi-platform capability – particularly with mobile devices.

Through mobile optimization, you and your agents can access the functions and features of your live chat software using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This provides more flexibility for your operations, allowing you to reply to incoming customer chats anytime and anywhere. This will also allow customers to access live chat using their personal mobile devices, making it more convenient for them to connect with your operators.

7. Chat forms

Chat forms allow you to gain useful information about the customer and the case even before the actual chat starts. You can use it to know your customer’s name, email address, contract details, and more. All your customers need to do is fill up the form and submit them so that your operators. This speeds up the process since your operators can skip those questions later in the chat and go straight to the main issue. You can also use this information to provide a more personalized customer experience in the process.

You can also use chat forms to get feedback on your services. This is something that your customers can fill up after the chat with your agents. This helps you assess the performance of your agents and determine the effectiveness of your current workflows.

8. In-depth reports

Data plays a critical role in business growth. It helps you create better and smarter strategies so that you can meet your customers’ changing demands. Moreover, it ensures that your business remains competitive and relevant in the market.

You can learn a lot from your interactions with customers. A live chat software with in-depth reporting features can help you extract and analyze data from your customers and turn them into valuable insights. This helps measure customer satisfaction which you can then use to improve your customer service.

Leveling up your customer service

The different live chat software examples can help level up your business’s customer service. It makes your brand more accessible and responsive to your customers’ needs. Moreover, it provides you with the necessary tools to strengthen and maintain your relationship with them. So get on with the times and invest in live chat software for your company, that works hand-in-hand with a business phone system.

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