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30
Aug

Optimize the website and boost sales with five best Live Chat software for business.

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What is Live Chat?

live_chat

Live Chat is instant messaging software that provides live assistance to customer's website. Thanks to it, support personnel can make themselves available through chat sessions, responding customers' queries immediately. You can integrate Live Chat to all pages on your website or just “Buy now” page to solve out customers' problems. There are dozens of Live Chat software out there. But you won't be confused, just by taking a look on the review of five best Live Chat software I've tested.

How does a Live Chat system work?

Normally, a Live Chat system includes two parts:
  • The chat window integrated to your website: Where you click on to chat
  • The operator console: The interface that customer support personnel uses to accept Live Chat invites and manage detailed real–time information about visitors to your website: Countries customers come from, ISP, web browser, operation and more.

Live Chat software's criteria

  • iPhone support.
  • Fast chat speed.
  • Stable quality.
  • Flexible customization.
  • High–quality customer service.
  • Reasonable pricing.

Testing process

I tested products in two ways:
  • Chat directly with services' supporters, using their products.
  • Use their trial version. Normally, I downloaded their software to install the operator control and get the embedded code to create a chat window on a testing HTML web page (By saving the embedded code in a notepad file in .html type).

The Live Chat software review

PROs and CONs

Software Olark BoldChat Live Person LiveChat LiveHelpNow
PROs
Reasonable pricing
A function named ActiveAssist allows you to access remote PCs
Fast chat speed
Reliable
Full features set
CONs
No file transfer or desktop remote control function
Slow chat speed
Expensive
No file transfer or desktop remote control function
Complex mobile set up in the back end

Detailed reviews

Olark – Simplifying your Live Chat solution

  • Who should use? Small, medium sites and bloggers. Their customers: Zappos, SurveyGizmo, 99designs, ect.
  • Chat speed: Fast.
  • Iphone support: Yes and it costs you $9.99 (Details), or you can use Meeboo whisch has free Iphone app. (Details)
  • Pricing: Affordable. From $15 to $149/month depending on the operator amount and package features. (Details)
Olark has successfully proved that Live Chat using can not be more enjoyable. Besides beautiful design and super-simple functionality, it also let you proactively chat with your visitors by popular IM software like Pidgin, GTalk, Meeboo and so on. Additionally, their support team does a great job: They sent me a personal email when I signed up and express how much they want to help me. And yes, they assisted me professionally.

However, the simplicity is also a disadvantage of Olark. There are no file transfer or desktop remote control to access remote computers – How can we help customers visually if they have problems?

Boldchat – Comprehensive features

  • Who should use? Small and medium sites. Their customers: NBTY, NetApp, Oneida, etc.
  • Chat speed: Slow.
  • Iphone support: it costs you $9.99 (Details)
  • Pricing: Quite expensive. From $29 – $199/month/operator. Additional operator: From $29 – $199/month. (Details)
The first thing of Boldchat I saw was bad–looking designs. Luckily, it gives you quite comprehensive functions that might satisfy your needs: ActiveAssit allows supporters access remote computers (Even though it runs slowly on my computer!). Besides, BoldChat supplies you with software to monitor Live Chat statistic. Another advantage is their clear and detailed report so you can easily manage Chat, ActiveAssist, Visitors or conversation.

Something I don't like - I don't appreciate their 24/7 support much since they don't read and answer my questions carefully.

LivePerson – A market leader in live online customer engagement

  • Who should use?: Medium and large business. Their customers: IBM, Bell, Hoovers, ect.
  • Chat speed: Fast.
  • Iphone support: Free. (Details)
  • Pricing: Expensive. From $99/operator/month. Additional operator: From $99. This information is not published on their website encourage customers to chat directly with them, experiencing their product and service.
Popular – This is my first impression of Live Person. With more 8,500 customers, it is widely used across the world. Yes, I get the first and foremost reason: The software runs impressively fast and stable. What's more? Once using LivePerson, you can access their additional services such as training or product upgrade free. Their support team is available 24/7, always ready to answer all your questions.

Even though, I don't recommend LivePerson since it offer you availability to poor designs. Besides, supporters used too many pre–defined answers when chatting with me so it seemed like I was chatting with a robot, not a person.

LiveChat – A elegant and reliable Live Chat

  • Who should use?: Medium and large business. Their customers: Kaspersky Lab, Unicef, Mazda, etc.
  • Chat speed: Fast.
  • Iphone support: Free. (Details)
  • Pricing: Quite expensive. From $36 – $249/ month (depends on the operators' amount). They offer fixed packages and adding more operator costs you from $36. (Details)
I experienced a comfortable feeling with Live Chat. Its chat window is not only simple and elegant, but it is also easy–to–be–customized with available tools. You can even integrate Twitter button, Goolge Analytics and Skype to it. Moreover, they offer us a clear report with colorful graphs. LiveChat keeps up with their slogan: “Human touch added to your site” when their supporters responded to my queries carefully, in a non-robotic manner and very fast.

What are the disadvantages? There is no file transfer or desktop remote control function. This limits the customer support as I mentioned above.

LiveHelpNow – Gold award of Top Ten Live Chat reviews in 2011

  • Who should use?: Small business. Their customers: Buckner Law Corp, Delta Force Security, JIC, etc
  • Chat speed: Fast
  • Iphone support: Free (Details)
  • Pricing: Cheap. $9/ month per operator. Additional operator: $9 (Details)
The winner of software of Top ten Live Chat review in 2011 offers you full–features–set software at amazingly cheap pricing. Interestingly, you are free to pick up the most suitable design from various available resources. One advantage LiveHelpNow over other competitors is that it is easy to navigate and switch between System Panel and Operator Manger of Operator Panel, so you can set up your chat system and track your customers in the wink of an eye. But when coming to details, it is not easy to use it: Configure mobile support for those who are not living in USA and Canada for example.

The thing that disappointed me most was that the supporter was impatient and even rude.

The bottom line

Besides software above, there are other nice Live Chat software such as Banckle Chat, Live2Support, ClickDesk, etc.

Paying a certain amount per month, investing a lot in human resource and so on, embracing Live Chat effectively is not just simple. However, it benefits your online business while helping strengthen human–to–human communication, boost sales and increase ROI. So if you really want to take your business to a whole new level, please don't hesitate to use it.

Do you want to share any thoughts and experience on using Live Chat? If yes, do it by leaving your comments below.

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