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How to choose the best live chat software


Article Summary:This guide will help you evaluate your needs and select live chat software that fits your business.

As more and more customers prefer chatting with businesses online rather than calling, live chat has become an essential part of customer service. However, with so many live chat software options on the market, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. This guide will help you evaluate your needs and select live chat software that fits your business.

Determine Your Must-Have Features

Start by making a list of features that are most important for your live chat software to have. Some common ones to consider include:

  • Agent availability settings: Will you need the ability to customize agent schedules?
  • Queue and routing: Does the software need to route chats to the next available agent?
  • Chat transcripts: Will you want a record of past chat conversations?
  • Customization: How customizable do the chat widgets and branding need to be?
  • Integrations: Which other systems like CRM or helpdesk software does it need to integrate with?

Think about your business goals and processes to identify 2-5 core features the software must offer. This will help narrow down your options.

Evaluate Pricing and Plans

Live chat software pricing varies widely depending on the number of agents, chat volume, additional features, and support levels. Review pricing plans and models from different vendors to understand options and budget requirements.

Some questions to consider include - Will you be charged per agent or per chat? Do plans include essential features or require upgrades? Are set-up, customization or add-on services extra? Getting clarity on true total costs of ownership is important.

Test Drive Demo Versions

Once you've identified a few options based on features and pricing, request demo access from vendors to test drive the software. Take the demo chats seriously - role play as an agent and customer to get a feel for the user experience from both perspectives.

Pay attention to ease of use, functionality, customization options, and support available during the trial period. This hands-on evaluation is crucial before making a purchasing decision.

Ask for Referrals and Read Reviews

Reach out to existing customers of the shortlisted software to understand real-world experiences. Ask about implementation process, ongoing support quality, and resolution of any issues faced.

Reading online reviews on third party sites also provides valuable insights from unbiased users. Look for consistency in feedback around ease of use, reliability and customer support.

Choose a Partner, Not Just Software

The best live chat vendors will become long-term partners committed to your success. Consider factors like reliability, responsiveness, upgrade policies and commitment to the product roadmap. Opt for a vendor that offers comprehensive onboarding, training and ongoing support.

By taking the time to thoroughly evaluate your needs and options, you can select the live chat software that works best for your business goals and budget. With the right partner, live chat can become a powerful tool for improving customer satisfaction.

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The article is original by Udesk, and when reprinted, the source must be indicated:

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