Live Chat Tools

Live chat enables instant customer service to talk to your website visitors.

When it is managed properly, live chat can boost customer satisfaction and even help to increase sales. We’ve written about live chat before and this post looks at different live chat tools for your website.


Which Live Chat Tool Should You Use?

Choosing the right live chat tool is essential as it will determine the quality of your customer service. The best live chat tools will be easy for your customers to use and will provide high quality responses, quickly. They should also look good when they’re incorporated into your website.

All live chat tools will provide the same basic functions, but you might also want to look for some additional features if you want to do more for your customers. You should also consider how many agents you will need to handle the traffic on your website and how much is going to cost. Enlisting the right amount of support is essential as otherwise your customers aren’t going to get the instantaneous service that live chat is supposed to provide.


5 Live Chat Tools for Businesses


These tools are in no specific order and give examples of what’s available.


1. HubSpot Live Chat

HubSpot provides a live chat service that complements its CRM system. If you’re already using HubSpot for customer relations then this is probably the simplest choice for your business. The live chat agent will be able to access any information held in the CRM system, such as the customer’s profile and history. It is also possible for agents to interact with the CRM in order to take action for the customer. HubSpot’s live chat tool is easy to customise for your brand and there is a chatbot tool for automated messages.

HubSpot Live Chat is free but if you want to integrate with other systems, there may be a cost.


2. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk is focused on customer service, but the platform is adaptable enough to use for other types of interaction such as sales too. One of the best features of Zendesk is its chatbot, which can provide very human-like answers to common questions. It’s good enough to rely on for basic customer support, leaving the human agents to deal with more difficult questions. Zendesk can be customised to suit your brand and it is relatively simple to incorporate into your website. It also works seamlessly with the Zendesk help desk, so it’s the ideal choice if you’re already using this company. The analytics tools are useful for monitoring performance and understanding your customer’s needs.

The main disadvantage of Zendesk live chat is that a lot of the best features are only available on the most expensive plans. Although there are affordable options for smaller businesses, you will need to pay more to use features like the chatbot.

Zendesk Chat starts from £5 per agent, per month.


3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a good choice if you want to manage all of your customer communications from one place. It can combine data from phone, email, social media and live chat interactions so that you can manage communications more effectively. Another reason to consider Freshdesk is that it provides some informative tools for analysing this data and monitoring results and customer satisfaction.

Freshdesk Live Chat comes in a free version, with additional features available from £11 per month.


4. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is another live chat tool that can also incorporate phone, email and social media activity. LiveAgent has a chatbot that is particularly good when it is used as a starting point for interactions so that they can be efficiently distributed between agents. It is also one of the simplest tools to add to your site as it comes as a simple widget that anyone can insert, without any specialist or coding knowledge.

LiveAgent starts at $15 per agent, per month and their website illustrates all the features as a giant burger as shown here:


5. Drift

Drift is a relative newcomer in live chat, but it has been generating lots of positive reviews from businesses. It offers all of the usual customer service tools, but it is particularly good if you want to use live chat for sales purposes. Drift includes a chatbot called LeadBot, which is designed to engage with potential customers on the site. It can handle tasks such as booking meetings or leading customers to the CRM and is a good choice for larger businesses that need to automate part of the service.

However, Drift might not be the right option if you want to focus on customer service rather than sales. It’s also worth being aware that Drift has tended to have frequent updates and new features, which can throw you off as you need to keep changing the way you use it. This is likely to settle down in time as it is common for newer products.

Free versions of Drift are available, with more advanced features starting at $50 a month.

Are you using live chat in your business? What’s your experience? Do share!