In the customer service and support world, it’s no secret that live chat is changing the game. From driving sales to boosting customer experience and growing retention, live chat has arrived as a fundamentally new way to interact with and support customers. Customers and support professionals alike have taken notice.
A Kayako study found that a whopping 41% of consumers prefer live chat over other forms of support, like phone, email, and social media. That’s why nearly 4 in 10 customers say they’re more likely to do business with companies that offer live chat support.
The benefits of using live chat for customer support are clear, but how can you be sure you’re using the best live chat software available? Read on to learn about what you should look for in a live chat solution.
The Features You Really Need
Like any other software solution, certain live chat support tools come with a laundry list of features—some of which you may not even understand and probably don’t need. Beyond the confetti, what are the features your team really needs from a live chat solution?
Any solution you invest in is less about features and more about what those features enable your team to do. The best live chat support should empower your business to do 3 main things:
- Cut first response and handle times
- Reduce back and forth and customer frustration
- Grow sales and customer retention
Just like your team and company are unique, your needs are, too. But no matter what business you’re in, you can be sure these features are must-haves.
Speaking of how unique you are, everything about your business, your customers, and the way you support them is different from other businesses. That’s why the number one most important feature a live chat solution can offer is flexibility. Flexibility to customize things like:
- Which pages show your live chat box,
- Your welcome message and chat availability, and
- Automated workflows and notifications, among other things.
Another thing customizability offers? Scalability. The best live chat software grows with your business, allowing you the simplicity you need at the start and the flexibility and robust features a growing business needs.
Proactive Chat Capability
One of the chief benefits of live chat support is that it enables your team to reach out proactively—something traditional support channels lack. That means you can get proactive about moving customers through the buyer journey, answering common questions, and providing effortless customer experiences throughout the customer lifecycle.
Integration with Your Help Desk Software
Even the best live chat tool falls short of its potential when chat conversations are siloed inside that tool. To get the most out of live chat and all it can offer your business, your team needs to be able to get the whole picture when it comes to customer relationships.
That only happens when your live chat solution integrates seamlessly with your help desk software—allowing support agents to more easily stay on top of chat conversations and get a holistic and complete view of customer problems, so they can offer better, more efficient solutions.
Seamless Integrations to Bring the Customer Journey Together
Speaking of integrations, the best live chat tool needs to work seamlessly with more than just your help desk. Integrating various other tools with your live chat solution enables your team to:
- Showcase and understand the entire customer journey,
- Unify communications and notifications across support channels, and
- Work better together with easy collaboration.
While the integrations your team needs can be as wide and varied as the features above, there are few that every team should ask of their live chat software.
Ecommerce Website and Point-of-Sale
If you’re selling online, you need a tool that works with your ecommerce website and point-of-sale solutions. From questions about your product or service to website errors and payment issues, plenty of support issues are born on your ecommerce site.
That’s why—whether you use Shopify, WordPress, or another solution—you need a fully native live chat app that can be right there for customers.
When these queries do arise, your team needs easy access to see where customers have been and what’s gotten them stuck—so you can cut down on the back and forth and provide quicker, more accurate support.
Team Communication and Collaboration
Your team needs to be able to communicate seamlessly and easily collaborate on support cases. That need multiplies as your team grows—onboarding more agents and taking on more and varied customer problems.
That’s why the best live chat app works hand-in-hand with both your help desk and preferred communication tools. Whether your team uses Slack, email, or another messaging tool, you need communication and notifications to run smoothly and consistently. From working together to escalating support queries, your live chat tool should be part and parcel with your help desk solution.
Customer Journey and Context
It’s no secret that customers have their own preferences when it comes to the support channels they choose to reach out for help. Between their engagement on your website and traditional support channels, to social media and offline interactions with your team, you need a live chat tool that brings it all together.
A tool that pulls every thread and conversation to weave a holistic and complete picture of each customer’s journey and provides support agents the context they need to solve customer problems. By integrating with social media (like Twitter) and your CRM software (like Salesforce), the best live chat app keeps track of it all—so your team can focus on the customer.
The Best Live Chat Software
Like any software solution today, you have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to using live chat for your business. We designed Kayako for today’s customer support teams, not yesterday’s, and our live chat solution (Kayako Messenger) embodies that. The full-featured tool offers everything a growing business needs, and it’s totally flexible to change and scale with your team.
If you’re still weighing your options, see how Kayako compares to other popular help desk solutions like Zendesk, Help Scout, and Groove.
If you’re ready to empower your team with the best live chat software, start your 14-day absolutely free trial of Kayako today.