Interactive Market Radar™
<iframe id="market-radar" type="text/html" width="500" height="500" src="https://crozdesk.com/customer-service-crm/customer-chat-software/radar" frameborder="0"></iframe>
<p>Source: <a href="https://crozdesk.com/customer-service-crm/customer-chat-software#top-list" target="_blank">Customer Chat Market Research</a>, Crozdesk</p>

Best Customer Chat Software in 2018

Products in this category aim to improve customer support by providing immediate help to customers via live chat on the company website. A win-win for both parties, the software allows customers to multitask while waiting for a response, while also letting the customer service agent handle multiple chats at a time. Businesses save time and money on customer support, while customers benefit from round-the-clock support, and an ability to keep the transcript of the conversation for future reference. Advanced features include the ability to chat with multiple visitors, video chatting, viewing remote screens and mouse movements, file sharing, and feedback analysis.  Read the full software guide...


Software Buyer Guide 2018

Customer Chat Software Buyer Guide 2018

Product recommendations, vendor rankings, market overview and tips on how to select Customer Chat software for business. Published in December 2018.

Products in this category aim to improve customer support by providing immediate help to customers via live chat on the company website. A win-win for both parties, the software allows customers to multitask while waiting for a response, while also letting ...

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Customer Chat Software Guide

What is Customer Chat Software?

Businesses are increasingly relying on customer chat software solutions for their customer service needs. This software is a new type of communication channel that allows clients to instantly connect with a representative of a company or establishment. Its features are simple, easy-to-use, and practical. Both small and large businesses can benefit from this software.

Customer chat software solutions are a significant partner for businesses that want to provide a fast and efficient guide not only to its customers but also to potential clients. For example, if someone is interested in a company’s product, he or she can open the chat box (which is often integrated into the company website) and directly communicate with a representative who can answer queries and provide additional information about the product. The process is definitely easier and more efficient compared to phone calls and emails (which usually get replies after several hours or days—or even weeks, in some cases).

But, customer chat is not only about answering customers’ inquiries about products and services. It is also about providing a line for addressing a variety of issues and needs like technical assistance, legal or financial assistance, and even professional consultation.

As such, customer chat software solutions are the tool of choice for companies and businesses that value their market—in particular, its customers and potential clients.


Types of Customer Chat Software

A significant proportion of consumers and clients express satisfaction and appreciation for the prompt and efficient support they receive from customer chat channels. It is common for many B2B companies that use customer chat software solutions for customer support to report an increase in their conversions. Furthermore, the conversion numbers are higher when compared to email and phone support.

One of the major advantages of customer chat software is the wide array of functions. Unlike email and phone support systems, clients (and businesses) enjoy a variety of features. An interesting and useful one is its proactive chat function. This allows company operators to get in touch with clients by initiating the chat and offering assistance. When a customer opens the company’s website, a small window usually pops up. This is the live chat or customer chat window. It often comes with a short message like, “Hi! I’m Martha (or any other name). How may I help you?”

Aside from paving the way for businesses to reach out to clients, customer chat software solutions also provide visitor tracking information. As such, companies are able to monitor the behavior of their clients and website visitors.

Other features of customer chat software includes operator (or chat agent) monitoring, chat routing when the volume of chat inquiries increases, chat conversation and agent rating, real-time chat monitoring, queue times (waiting time for visitors/customers), offline forms that allow customers to get in touch with agents 24/7, and many other features.

However, these features are not the only ones that make customer chat software an effective and efficient support system. It also helps that there are various types of customer or live chat tools aimed at fulfilling various user needs.

Live text chat

This is the most common type of customer chat software and is the number one choice of many businesses. Text-only chat support is simple and easy to use. It is capable of increasing engagement and conversion rates.

Live text, voice, and video chat

This type of customer chat software is for clients who want to talk to and see agents that they are communicating with. Those who prefer this type of interaction are after credibility. They want to see who they are talking to because it makes them feel comfortable. As such, this type of customer chat support allows clients to develop a more personal connection or engagement with a company’s agents.

Live text, voice, video, and co-browsing chat

This is an all-in-one customer chat support tool that not only allows text, voice, and video chat but also real-time co-browsing for the client and agent. For example, a client asks for information about a particular product. Instead of just talking about it and verbally describing the product’s features, the agent can navigate to the product page together with the client. This enables both parties to view the product details at the same time. This is more convenient than screen sharing because both parties can access and view the page/screen individually.

Taking advantage of the various features and types of customer chat software is one way for a company to develop an effective and efficient client support system. First off, however, companies should know which particular customer chat software solution to go with and how to differentiate between the myriad of options.


How to Choose Customer Chat Software

A company or business can fully benefit from a customer chat tool only if the right one is chosen and applied. There are several factors to consider and some details to look out for if one is to get the most effective and efficient live chat customer service tool.

Deployment options

A good customer chat software solution should give users the freedom to choose how the tool is to be deployed. For those who want one that can be hosted using the company’s technical infrastructure, the ideal choice would be an on-premise or self-hosted customer chat software. On the other hand, those who prefer to and are comfortable working with a third-party server should go for a cloud-hosted option.

Customizability

Customer chat software that can be customized according to a company’s needs and preferences is ideal because it will help businesses personalize features according to the product’s particular branding. As a result, it will be easy to create consistent branding elements.

Pricing

It is important to remember that going for the cheapest option is not always the best thing to do. Check the features of the software first before you refer to the price tag. Always choose the one with the highest value for the company. Keep in mind that the software is an investment that can offer more conversions, an increase in loyal customer base, and higher profit rates.

Third-party software integrations

A flexible tool is a comprehensive and efficient tool. A good customer chat tool should allow seamless integration with the other essential applications that your business utilizes.

Easy-to-use and set up

Go for a customer chat tool that features a simple setup process so time won’t be wasted studying, understanding, and setting up the software. Some of the most popular tools can be added to a website by just copying and pasting chat codes.

Mobile-ready

Everyone is on-the-move and mobile nowadays, so it’s important to go for software that’s mobile-ready. The more platforms and devices it can be used on, the better. This will ensure the maximum amount of users will be able to benefit from access to the customer chat software solution.

Multiple channel support

Added features for a wider coverage of chat support processes are a big help. The most common ones are knowledge base and call-back support integrations.

24/7 security and support

Customer chat tools also need reliable security and support. Do not forget to ask about privacy policies, firewalls, and backup plans for data, among others. These features help keep live customer chat software safe from data breaches and cyber hackers. In addition, there should be open and available communication lines between the vendor and the agents/company tech specialists. This is an assurance that technical issues will be dealt with promptly and efficiently.


Benefits of Customer Chat Software

In our fast-paced digital world, reaching out to customers and taking care of their concerns promptly, efficiently, and effectively is important. The expectations of customers grow by the day, so when you promise that the product will be at their doorstep the day after they paid for their orders, they will be waiting for the doorbell to ring. If this promise is broken, customer satisfaction can go to the lowest levels.

This is the time when you need to reach out to your customers and let them know that the delay was not your doing and is also not to your liking, but circumstances happen—and you need to communicate this to them right away. Social media messages can’t be relied on because replies can take days or weeks. It’s the same for email. Furthermore, phone calls are too vague; you’re not able to establish a personal connection. Customer chat, which works real-time on the other hand, is the fastest and most convenient way to settle the issue with your clients.

Switching to and integrating customer chat software into your website will not only satisfy your customers’ needs (and wants), it will also help increase conversions and sales. Additionally, live chat customer support is also 50% cheaper than using a phone. This means support costs are also significantly reduced.

Lastly, aside from making customers happy, you’re also able to establish a more personal connection with them. As such, they will be more comfortable talking with you. Since the process is simple, they’ll also find it extra convenient. Their concerns are immediately acted on and their inquiries are answered in real-time. Overall, they’ll have a fun experience on your website. That’s complete customer satisfaction for you!


Common Features of Customer Chat

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Batch Permissions & Access Control user or group access and permission settings for software or other systems.
Chat Live text chat with customers, website visitors, mobile contacts and others.
Click-to-Dial Dial telephone numbers with one click.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Customer Management Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Email Integration Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Google Apps Integration Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.
Lead Management Manage business leads to improve sales outreach processes or stay on top of prospect inquiries.
Lead Scoring Manually or automatically assign quality scores to business leads to target / segment sales outreach efforts.
Marketing Automation Automate marketing processes, such as outreach emails, customer engagement, chat replies through the use of chatbots and others.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.

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