So you are pondering whether to install a free or a paid chat solution on your website or online shop. Well, let us tell you this – live chat is all the rage now.
To quote the conclusions of a recent study (that you can read about in this post about the global live chat market), live chat not only increases customer satisfaction, but it became the primary contact point with a website. You are probably thinking – why you should pay for such software when there are free ones available out there? Alright, let’s do this.
How live chat works
Live chat is a type of software which enables your team to engage in conversation with visitors on your website. A chat pop-up window is installed on your website via a piece of code. The live chat solution is then integrated with other associated tools, such as CRMs. From this point on, you will need a team to manage the flow of chats taking place.
What you should ask before deciding on a live chat solution
First of all, you need to assess your business needs. What do you need from your support team and how can a live chat solution help them achieve their objectives?
Secondly, what are the features that are most likely to bring about the results you need?
Thirdly, how much are you willing to invest in this type of software?
We think we were able to condense a list of things you should take into consideration.
- Is the live chat solution easy to install and easy to use?
- Does it provide a thorough analysis of traffic on your website?
- How customizable is the live chat solution? Will you be able to promote your brand and convey a positive image when using it?
- Do your agents have all the features they need to interact in an efficient and pleasant way with your customers? Do they have everything they need to convince a user to take action?
- Does the live chat solution provide value? Are the expected results worth the time, money and training you are considering investing in it?
Free live chat solutions
What are the benefits of a free live chat solution?
- Obviously, a free live chat solution is…free. It costs nothing. If you are on a really tight budget or if you are just starting out in business, a free live chat solution could be your only option.
- Usually, it is very easy to install. It could be something you can take care of by yourself. Most probably, you would need to sign up for an account and copy a piece of code on your website. Such a solution goes easy on both your finances and your time.
- It is customizable. You can usually optimize a lot of things when it comes to free live chat solutions.
- It is easy to use. With this characteristic, it can be operated by anyone in your in-house team.
What are the downsides of free live chat solutions?
- Usually, such solutions are temporary. The influx of traffic you can take on will be limited, since the solution has its own hosting space – which costs money and equipment maintenance. Remember, you are paying nothing. So it is only natural that at a certain point, you will be asked for payment.
- Such solutions usually have limited functionality. Free solutions provide basic functionalities and features designed for you to test. Also, customization options might be limited. Sometimes you might get access to an upgraded version, but only for a limited amount of time.
- Usually it is the first step in the acquisition of another service. A free solution is most likely an upsell technique. Some companies offering live chat free will sometimes pursue the sale of other services, such as mods, add-ons, upgraded versions of your chat solutions or other types of software.
- Reliability and tech support is not something you can expect. Remember, you are using free software. For a company to provide tech support, best practice techniques or training for your agents, it would mean to invest additional manpower, time and money. Since it will not get those resources back, it will not invest.
Ergo, the up-sell. Why? First of all, because all resources are limited – from money to time to server space. Second of all, no matter how helpful a company is, no one likes to work for free.
Paid live chat solutions
What are the advantages of paid live chat solutions?
- Multiple users. With a paid chat solution, you can have an unlimited number of users. Depending on the size of your team, you can acquire the number of chat licenses necessary. This is one of the criteria on which the pricing scheme will be elaborated. And you will always have the option to add more operators as your team will grow.
- Multiple features. With a paid chat solution you will get all the options and features you need to operate your customer support agency efficiently. Do your customers like to just write? Great. Do they need video support? Also great. Do they need your operators to help them by operating their accounts remotely? Done. Another great thing here – you will be able to personalize them all according to your brand lines.
- Enhanced security and safety. A paid live chat solution entails benefits regarding online security. Since you are paying and operating with customer data, the chat provider will have all the necessary resources to invest in security.
- Accountability & dedicated support. Whenever you need help or something goes wrong, you will be able to receive dedicated assistance. Since you are a paying client, tech support will be available to you. Also, all serious live chat solution companies have a development team behind them, not only assuring operations go smoothly, but also constantly developing and improving new functionalities.
- Training and consulting for your team. As a paying customer, you get to enjoy everything a live chat system has to offer, including the training part. The provider’s consultants will be on point to train your team regarding the usage of the solution. Also, they might help you with advice on how to grow your business and how to strategically place the live chat button on your website.
What are the possible disadvantages of paid live chat solutions?
- Well, obviously, you will have to make a financial investment. That investment will be higher or smaller according to a multitude of factors, from the number of features to the number of operators you will need.
- Whether the desired live chat solution is costly or not, you will still need to invest in a dedicated support team.
- Navigating the premium features and their benefits might be confusing. Your customers respond to a certain type of communication and this type of communication can be ensured with the help of certain features. You might not realize straight away what features are needed or what you can add in order to enhance the quality of chat.
Live Guide Chat as a great choice for a live chat solution
Why we say Live Guide Chat is an excellent choice? Here goes.
Worried about the price? You shouldn’t be. A final quote will be sent to you when you have decided on the features you need and the number of operators you use. What we can tell you is that our prices are extremely competitive. You can see pricing options on our website. Also, feel free to use our savings calculator (where you will be able to use your own figures) to get a glimpse of how we can help your support team become more efficient.
Worried you might have difficulties in choosing the right features for you? Our operators will have a conversation with you to assess your business needs. Our most used features are preview chat, (the feature that allows you to see what a user is typing in real time), audio/video chat, co-browsing (the feature which allows operators to see what the customer sees and to assist in real time), canned messages (pre-prepared messages that you can serve to your users when they ask frequently asked questions), proactive chat (our advanced sales tool that can serve users an invitation to chat when they have performed certain actions). Also there are many other features that you can use.
Worried about assessing efficiency? You will have access to all the numbers. The supervisor console is the place where you can both evaluate and improve the efficiency of your support agents. With Live Guide Chat, you will have usage statistics at your disposal thanks to our comprehensive reporting tool.
Worried about security? Live Guide has enterprise security level and complies with the ISAE 3402 standard.
Live Guide Chat offers a tailor-made chat solution that will enable you to offer live chat everywhere. Contact us today for a live demo of Live Guide Chat or start a free trial to see for yourself, how chat will improve the customer service experience and increase efficiency.
Netop develops and sells market leading software solutions, enabling quick, secure and easy transfer of video, sound and data between two or more computers. We have done this for more than 30 years and we have used this knowledge to make Live Guide the most secure and reliable solution on the market. Live Guide helps companies deliver excellent customer service, reduce support costs comply with strict security demands.