Article

Bruce Hogan
Bruce Hogan 21 January 2021
Categories B2B, B2C, Technology

Checklist To Choose The Right Live Chat Software for Your Business

Today, customers expect to be able to engage your business through the channel of their choice. Below, we outline the key factors to consider when evaluating live chat software.

Live chat software is one of the most effective ways to engage your website visitors. Implementing a well-managed chat widget on your website can boost conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

However, with dozens of live chat solutions in this $1 billion software market, it can be challenging to determine which is best for you. The checklist below will help you identify and select the best live chat software solution for you.

What Type of Chat? Live Chat vs. Chatbot

One of the first choices to make is whether you intend to have members of your team manage the live chat, or prefer a chat bot to automatically engage your website visitors. While opting for a chat bot might be enticing, keep in mind that most solutions in the market today are limited. At minimum, we recommend a solution that allows you to hand complex chats from a chat bot to a member of your team.

What Type of Solution? Live Chat Only vs. Full Marketing Suite

Another important consideration when selecting live chat software is whether you prefer a point solution focused on live chat, or a marketing suite with a range of tools. Point solutions are likely simpler to implement and cheaper. However, if you don't currently have an email marketing or lead nurturing software tool that you like, it might be advantageous to go with a broader solution. 

What Function? Marketing vs. Customer Support

Live chat software can be used for several purposes. Depending on the company, live chat is used by sales, marketing, and customer support teams. As a result, some live chat software platforms include tools built for sales and marketing, and some include tools for customer support.

It's important to determine your use case for implementing live chat software, and the teams that will use it, to ensure that you end up with the right solution for you. 

What Industry? Look for Solutions Built for Your Niche

There are two types of live chat software – horizontal software that works in any industry, and vertical software that is built specifically for individual industries. Before selecting your live chat software, it's wise to determine if vertical solutions exist.

For example, there are live chat tools built specifically for the medical and dental industries. These vertically-specific tools are often more affordable and more valuable for customers in their target industries.

What Platform? Integrate with Your Website

Live chat software solutions have been optimized to work well with specific website builders. For example, Shopify has a list of the chat apps that it integrates with. Large companies are likely to have custom-built websites. However, smaller businesses that are implementing a live chat solution should be certain that their live chat tool and website work well together.

What's Your Budget?

As with all software, it's important to know your budget before strongly considering individual options. The good news is that there are several live chat software tools that are offered completely free

The most affordable live chat solutions cost less than $50 per month. Advanced live chat solutions for small businesses cost around $100 per month. In contrast, high-end live chat platforms for enterprises can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars per month.

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