The question of “which live chat app do you recommend” comes up so often.
There’s 100s to choose from, some from a few dedicated live chat companies, many from most helpdesks having some version of live chat functionality, and even automated bots.
But “which live chat software is best”?
We run 24/7 live chat teams for 100+ ecommerce stores and tested a lot of different live chat apps through the years. I thought a breakdown would be helpful.
Most companies focus too much on tinkering with the tech and don’t put enough thought into the actual human chat workflow that happens. Don’t make that mistake.
Use a software that has these features, and make sure you get these right in whatever tech you tinker with. I have recommended 3 options at the bottom though.
Automatic Chat Invites
An important feature is the ability to invite people to chat automatically based on their specific website activity. For instance, if a visitor starts the checkout process and then leaves, or if a visitor is teetering back and forth between two items, they may have questions.
This feature may be called various names such as “proactive chat”, “greetings”, “popups”, “invites”, etc.
One of our customers, prior to hiring us, had been engaging in this activity manually. While watching visitors browse may be entertaining (or not), it’s an extreme waste of man hours when you can have your system do it automatically for you. It simply takes a bit of configuration magic, based on the visitor activity you choose.
Can You Route Chats Strategically?
Some chat systems are only able to send chats randomly to various agents who are currently signed on. But this can lead to a poor experience for customers who are in certain situations.
Make sure you can route to specific agents based on:
- Sections of website (i.e. specific products, sales vs support)
- Past agent chatted with, if available
- Current chat volume for agents that are online (i.e. spread evenly) This is critical for high volume sites.
Can You Easily Create and Use Chat Templates?
Templated responses are great tools for generating quick responses, assuming your templates are worded well. A strong Live Chat system will offer easy-to-create templates that are simple to organize. They should be easy to use within the chat box, either by manually selecting from a list or ideally using keyboard shortcuts.
Most apps offer this, but not all are easy to use (which defeats the efficiency purpose of templates).
Can You Track Sales from Live Chat in GA
It’s important to quantify the results you produce from live chat, and integrating chat data into Google Analytics is key for that.
So, which apps do I recommend?
Live Chat Inc
One of the leading apps, very flexible api on backend (to move data) / front end (design), and battle proven (they’ve been around for years). We built our 24/7 live chat team on this stack for all of these reasons.
Tidio is super common right now with ecomm. stores. It’s a good system, but I’ve heard some feedback in other groups that their chat notifications don’t always work (especially on mobile) which is a critical feature.
Your HelpDesk Chat
If you already have Gorgias, Zendesk, etc., most of these already have live chat functionality in place. As long as you can do the above features, it’s probably best to build your live chat workflow using that and then tinker with tech more later. Note that as of now, HelpScout doesn’t seem to have automatic invites – a key feature.
Most companies focus too much on “which app” or “colors and style”, but don’t put enough thought into the actual chat experience that happens. That will hurt your conversion rate.
Hope this helps. If you have any questions, we can dig deep into your team’s structure on a Strategy Call. We drive a lot of conversions for stores using our live chat teams, so I’m happy to share more data on why these features matter. Even if we do not work together, you’ll get a ton of value from strategizing on the call together. Book a time that works for you by clicking below. Always happy to help!
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