phone says "stop complaining"
Here are 17 live chat options to provide your customers — whether they want help, more information or somebody to complain to PHOTO: Omar Prestwich

Live chat solutions are allowing companies to provide real-time customer service to their users— whether they want help, more information or somebody to complain to.

In fact, 44 percent of customers said that having a live chat specialist available during an online purchase was one of the most important features a company can offer.

That same research demonstrated that half of consumers would prefer to conduct all customer service interactions via messaging, and a further 44 percent of that half said they would prefer to talk to a chatbot — a number which is expected to grow, with Gartner forecasting that intelligent automation will manage 85 percent of businesses’ customer relationships by 2020.

Why Does My Company Need Live Chat Software?

There are three broad uses for a live chat software:

  • Customer Service: live chat software can be used to answer queries and solve customer service issues.
  • Sales and Marketing: live chat software can be used proactively to speak to website visitors and serve them calls to action.
  • Data Farming: live chat software can be used to invite website visitors to fill out forms or join newsletters, conduct reviews or surveys.

Some vendors may specialize in one of the three aforementioned areas, but in reality, there’s nothing stopping you from using just about any enterprise-grade live chat software to offer customer service, engage in sales and collect data.

live chat example
PHOTO: Sebastiaan Deckers

So the only real question is, which live chat software should you be using? Here we look at 17 of today’s most popular live chat solutions.

Top 17 Enterprise Live Chat Software

1. Zendesk Chat (Humans Only)

Following Zendesk’s acquisition of Zopim, the product was amalgamated into the Zendek’s customer support product suite and renamed to Zendesk Chat. It boasts proactive invites to chat, customizable design and real-time website visitor tracking.

2. Drift (Humans and Chatbots)

Drift can be used by sales and marketing representatives to track and qualify leads, book meetings and integrate with a wide range of digital workplace tools, from Slack to Zapier.

The DriftBot, described as an “intelligent sales assistant”, is also on hand to engage qualified leads on your website and direct customers to helpful pages.

3. SnapEngage (Humans Only)

SnapEngage is a HIPPA compliant live chat software with features like proactive chat invitations, a sneak peek at whatever the customer is typing before the hit send and agent-to-agent file sharing so you your customer support representatives don’t have to resort to old-fashioned email.

4. Twyla (Chatbots Only)

Twyla is a pure breed chatbot that relies on machine-learning and rule-based algorithms to converse with customers. It integrates with the data already in your enterprise technology stack, from your ERP to your eCommerce platform.

5. Zoho SalesIQ (Humans Only)

Zoho boasts a broad suite of software products — and live chat is on the menu. Zoho SalesIQ boasts real time traffic monitoring, automated messages based on customizable triggers and customizable design. It also integrates with Mailchimp, WordPress, Salesforce and Drupal.

6. HappyFox (Humans Only)

HappyFox features automated messages, offline messaging, file transfers, work hour tracking, chat queuing and a bunch of integrations. Native applications for Mac, Windows and Mobile also make life easier for remote or ad hoc live chat agents.

7. Live Chat 24/7 (Humans and Chatbots)

Live Chat 24/7 empowers it’s customers to train their own chatbots. You give your bot a knowledge base full of questions and their relevant answers and it can answer frequently asked questions. Live agents have the ability to step in at any time, and the bot will automatically hand the chat off to an agent if it gets confused by the customer.

8. Com100 (Humans and Chatbots)

Com100 is a customizable live chat software that allows for text, audio and video chat. Chats are automatically distributed to agents and you can even assign a bot to handle its fair share of chats. Live translations are applied when necessary and the chatbot allows webhooks integrations, which comes in handy if you want the bot to serve customers with related questions should it get confused.

9. Bold360 (Humans and Chatbots)

Bold360 live chat software offers proactive messaging, detailed customization, visitor monitoring and a built-in knowledge hub of frequently asked questions so website visitors can retrieve the information they need without having to speak to an agent.

10. Intercom (Humans and Chatbots)

Intercom is made up of three products: "Respond" which focuses on enabling agents to respond to sales-related queries, "Engage" to send targeted messages to onboard users, make announcements, and re-engage customers, and "educate", for solving customer problems faster with an integrated help desk and public knowledge base.

Their bot can also qualify leads, suggest articles and collect data.

11. LiveAgent (Humans Only)

With proactive messaging, visitor tracking and a real-time look at what customers are typing before they hit send, LiveAgent is a capable enterprise live chat software. It also transforms all customer queries — whether they come from the live chat interface, email or Twitter — into tickets before funneling them through a ticketing system for agents to act upon.

12. Moxie (Humans and Chatbots)

Moxie is mobile-first live chat software geared towards eCommerce websites. Along with file sharing, screen sharing and real-time translations, Moxie deploys a chatbot that can offer snippets of information to help customers through the purchasing process.

13. LivePerson (Humans Only)

LivePerson features co-browsing so agents can guide customers through things like lengthy forms and checkout pages. It also gives agents a detailed customer view, including the customer’s name, account information, website actions, shopping cart content and value and error messages.

14. Freshdesk (Humans Only)

Freshdesk’s live chat software allows agents to convert chats into tickets, route chats to the right division and monitor chats as well as traffic. It also has gamification built it to encourage agents to deliver better experiences.

15. Livechat (Humans Only)

Livechat serves up message sneak-peeks, CSS customization, automated greetings, analytics, agent profiles, white labelling and even the ability to chat to customers via Facebook Messenger. It also has a ticketing system to help manage more complicated issues.

16. Kayako (Humans Only)

Kayako gives agents a look at each customer’s journey, so they can approach each chat with the customer’s context in mind. Proactive messages can be personalized around data such as customer location, the page they’re viewing and the number of times they have visited the site before.

17. Botsify (Humans and Chatbots)

Botsify is a chatbot that offers several plugins which allows you to integrate your website or app via RSS Feed or the JSON API. You can teach the chatbot new responses and sentences, and humans can step in at any time to manage conversations. It also features a drag-and-drop template builder.

What’s your favorite enterprise live chat software? Share them with us in the comments section below.