Are you looking to add live chat to your business’s customer support touchpoints, but don’t want a full-stack, high-dollar, does-more-than-you-need customer service solution? You’ve come to the right place. | Bplans Blog

Are you looking to add live chat to your business’s customer support touchpoints, but don’t want a full-stack, high-dollar, does-more-than-you-need customer service solution? You’ve come to the right place.

What is standalone live chat software for small business?

Live chat makes it possible for a website visitor to work through a customer service issue or initiate a purchase through instant message with a sales or support representative from your organization.

While the technology for live chat has existed since the 1970s, over the past 10 years live chat’s popularity has skyrocketed, both with businesses and customers. When contacting support teams, 41 percent of consumers prefer the real-time, instant-response nature of live chat.  63 percent of visitors who use live chat say they are likely to return to that website. 

Live chat is often an option within full-stack, multi-touchpoint customer service solutions. However, a range of best-in-class, budget-friendly, dedicated live chat tools is also available for small businesses. These software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions help you plug live chat into your website, without having to pay extra for services you don’t need.

Even better? They can also integrate with other stand-alone support channels. 

“That’s incredibly important for team leaders,” advises Sean. “We need to be able to turn a chat into an email discussion. Then everything is in the same ecosystem of customer communication. If someone says they chatted last week and were told X, we can verify that right in the inbox.”

Best live chat tools for customer support

Ready to add standalone live chat to your business? Here are three tools to consider:

LiveHelpNow

They say: “Get Live Help Now, Not Later”

LiveHelpNow offers live chat support to your customers wherever they are, on your website and also other channels such as email marketing and social networks. The system monitors site visitors in real-time, and you can customize chat triggers to engage customers exactly when they need you.

Sales or support personnel can talk with customers in real-time, and managers can track conversions to see how live chat influenced a sale. SMS options help customers use texting for pure mobile support. 

If a prospect is ready to buy, you can capture the sale in.LiveHelpNow’s secure, HIPAA-compliant platform where the customer can safely enter order information right inside the chat.

Features include behind the scenes, built-in reporting that helps managers review customer comments to identify potential improvements or new business opportunities. You can also send out post-chat surveys to gauge your support performance and where you and your team can further improve service.

LiveHelpNow is also utilizing AI throughout its systems, with features such as automatic translations and a live help bot. All chats can be manually or automatically tagged, and easy integrations hook in your live chat with other systems via Public JS, Webhooks, and REST APIs.

LiveHelpNow’s Chat/SMS is $21 per user per month when billed monthly.

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MyLiveChat

They say: “Engage website visitors and get more leads”

What better way to start offering live chat than for free? With over half a million customers and over 20,000 chats per day, MyLiveChat is free, forever. It can be a great way to get a feel for how your business can integrate live chat without having to set up a line item in the budget.

Worried about live chat slowing down your site? Asynchronous Loading means MyLiveChat doesn’t use your site’s resources to operate. Plus, all chats are secured with 128-bit SSL encryption.

Sales and support staff can seamlessly manage chats behind the scenes through monitoring, priority tiers, and communication transfers. File sharing between agents and visitors, prioritization tools such as user roles, reporting, and team chats make this a powerful tool. When agents need to be away from their desks but remain available for chats, they can log in to MyLiveChat’s mobile app and still be ready to help customers and prospects. 

The free plan gives your business unlimited chats, with a couple of trade-offs, such as not having access to email reports. But if you need to look back at a previous chat, you’ll be able to access three years of chat history. In addition to having MyLiveChat’s branding on your site’s chat windows, you’ll only be able to have one agent online at a time. So be sure to keep an eye on your support volume to make sure you aren’t leaving customers waiting. 

Need more than the free plan? For $15 per month, the Starter Plan will give you access to email reports, and a white-label, brandable front-facing live chat interface.

alive5

They say: “Live Chat Software for Sales & Customer Happiness”

alive5 enhances your live chat with automated popups and messages while also integrating with email, social, and more. You can set rules that route chat requesters to specific departments, and set up URL, page, and time delay triggers.

Over 10,000 websites use alive5 to message in real-time with site visitors. You can also brand the chat interface with your own branding, so WebsiteAlive feels and looks like part of your organization. The service also prides itself on a “no tech team required” installation. Activate WebsiteAlive across your web presence simply by adding a succinct code snippet.

Sometimes a customer needs to move to a phone call. When that’s the case, alive5’s Click-to-Call makes it easy to transfer to the phone. In addition to integrating with other services, you can also tie in your live chat with your email marketing and social media campaigns, giving full live chat coverage to your audience. Built-in analytics also give management at-a-glance insights on visitor activity and chat team performance.

Find the live chat tool that’s right for your business

When deciding on a live chat tool for your business, it’s vital that you determine what features and use cases are necessary for your business. No two tools are the same, some don’t have the same integrations, others require specific user amounts, and others simply function altogether differently. Understand who will be involved, how you intend to interact with customers, what information you need to keep, what platforms, and any other necessary information. 

Take those answers with you as you vet your options and be sure to take your time. Like any hefty investment, it’s worth dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” to be sure that you have the best solution.

AvatarAnthony St. Clair

Fantasy author, business writer, globetrotter, and beer writer Anthony St. Clair has walked with hairy coos in the Scottish Highlands, choked on seafood in Australia, and watched the full moon rise over Mt. Everest in Tibet. The creator of the Rucksack Universe series, Anthony has traveled the sights and beers of Thailand, Japan, India, Canada, Ireland, the USA, Cambodia, China and Nepal. He and his wife live in Eugene, Oregon, and gave their kids passports when they were babies. Learn more at anthonystclair.com.