What Is Live Chat Software?
Live Chat Software enables customers and businesses to converse in real-time directly on a company’s website.
Live chat tools generally function as a smaller window or box on the page. A live chat conversation is generally initiated by the customer, at least upon first contact, though can be initiated by the company as an auto-prompt feature to get a lead to engage with a chatbot or directly with customer support.
A company can host private live chat features on its own servers (i.e., on-premise) or it can do so from the cloud where space is “rented” on a vendor or service provider’s servers under a SaaS model.
Live chat hosted through the cloud is becoming increasingly common. This enables organizations to quickly and easily install chatbots and live chat features on their website.
In both instances, a chat feature can be inserted through code directly into the HTML of a website. Based on the conditions, the code can have a chatbox display automatically upon loading the page or only when certain actions activate it.
How to program the chat feature depends on a company’s needs. Do customers have a lot of questions? Does the product or service being sold require ample customer communication (e.g., product is complex and/or sold at a high price point)?
It will also depend on the layout of a page hosting it, beliefs regarding the general intrusiveness of a chat feature with respect to the user experience, among other considerations.
Features of Live Chat Software
For inclusion into the Live Chat Software category, the product should have a combination of the following features:
- Customer support ticketing
- Co-browsing (i.e., customer support agent can take control of a page)
- File sharing between support representatives and customers
- Feedback and surveys
- Transcripts of live chat session
- Mobile, desktop, and tablet support
- SMS and API integrations
- Social media integrations