LiveChat is a versatile conversation starters that turns traffic into a flow of sales opportunities, helping leads at every step of their journey. For the customer, it’s a quick and easy way to get the answers they need. For the business owner, it also doubles up as a sales qualifier, customer service agent, newsletter grower and new feature cheerleader.
Chances are you’ve already been helped by LiveChat. With a client list including Virgin, TED, Sony, Adobe and PayPal, they’re one of a handful of companies powering almost all conversational marketing across the web.
It lives where your customers are: on your website and app, and around the web on FB messenger, Email, Slack, WhatsApp and SMS, initiating and enabling quick conversations with customers. Within LiveChat you can let customers pay, schedule meetings, start trials, contact support or self-serve. There’s not a lot it can’t handle. The result is more engaged prospects and happier customers, who fly through the funnel.
Every interaction is assisted by AI automation, insightful analytics and stored in a single dashboard in the backend. And if that’s not enough, you can use LiveChat to build a Knowledge bank and power your HelpDesk. That’s promising a lot, so let’s see if it lives up to the hype…
LiveChat’s longest-serving staffer is Chief Executive Officer Mariusz Cieply.
Mariusz has been with LiveChat since it started 2002 – first as software developer, later as project manager and now as its CEO. Twenty years ago, the tool was little more than a theory on how customers could get closer to their customers.
The first iteration was just a simple app that allowed our customers to introduce new channel of communication. From those humble beginnings LiveChat has grown into a household name synonymous with turning traffic into turnover and keeping customers happy. 2020 and remote working were the making of LiveChat, with the service growing exponentially to serve over 30,000 companies around the world.
Going into this review, I’d set-up a small number of live chats for clients using HubSpot’s free plug-and-play product. Previous dabbles also included Landbot’s landing page chatbots, the Tidio Live Chat plugin for WordPress and Zendesk’s enterprise solution. Live chat and chatbots are now central to their customer service offering, keeping customers happy and coming back, and chipping in with more than their fair share of sales.
I’m stopped short of installing LiveChat on Surges but being able to support visitors in realtime and make personal marketing tool recommendations is something I’d love to do, so expect a proper experiment soon. For now, this is a simple rundown of LiveChat’s core functionality and how it compares against the competition.
LiveChat practices what it preaches when it comes to making life easy for customers. Onboarding comes in the form of their exhaustive Help Centre and in-app notifications.
Installing the chat widget on your website involves adding a line of code to your site’s source code or, far easier, you can use LiveChat’s many CMS integrations for Squarespace, WordPress, Webflow, Ghost and more.
One you’ve customised it and run a few test chats with yourself, set your agent status to ‘on’ and the chat widget will start welcoming visitors with its distinctive ping. A 15-minute job, from start to finish, max!
If you go down the ChatBot route, there’s a whole library of templates to choose from so the learning curve is minimal.
It’s easy to drown in LiveChat’s features, it’s that complete a product. If you’re bought into the conversational marketing mantra, then you’ll be pleased to hear they’re built an entire world around it.
I’ll do my best to give you a taste of its core features, its unique touches and how they can help you, whatever your size.
Thought live chat can only exist on your website? Think again.
LiveChat lets you be present around the clock and around the web, showing up anywhere your customers around choose to hang out. Be that on email, Facebook Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, you name it. Nobody likes being made to wait longer than necessary, so this is a far more customer-friendly way of doing business than the more traditional contact forms, call centres or emails.
And if you’re worried about keeping up with all those different touchpoints, fear not. LiveChat centralises all your customer service efforts in the backend too.
Automatic chat greetings detect when a visitor is taking certain actions on your website and start a relevant conversation. For example, somebody reading case studies might respond well to a free trial, a visitor to your pricing page might want to hear about your money-back guarantee, or a returning customer may not have heard about your latest features or products.
Whatever the use case, by making the first move you can turn invite window shoppers into your virtual store. What’s more, LiveChat supports chat in 45 languages, meaning you can greet visitors in their native tongue more often than not.
It’s what happens next where LiveChat and its ChatBot service really come into their own.
A ChatBot is the first responder for your business, answering most customer questions, or taking down details for anything leftover. Creating them is easy, with the visual builder lets you to drag-and-drop your way into AI chatbots, so no coding. Yey!
Most people turn to chatbots to speed up response times. However, it’s resolution times that really count – helping customers to get from Get from Q to A as quickly as possible. A common frustrations with chatbots is that they can lead customers down a dead end an often lack the human-touch. I was impressed with Cards feature within LiveChat’s ChatBot. These are readymade buttons that quickly take visitors to the right place or outcome. Programmed correctly, they’re generally helpful shortcuts for customer self-serve, whether that’s to start a trial, find the most suitable product, get updates on their order, and so on, rather than forcing customers into a long-winded chat with a robot with zero chance of a productive ending.
In addition to helping visitors, ChatBot can also pre-qualify and fast-track leads without you needing to lift a finger, be that to generate and segment leads, grow your newsletter subscribers or capture contact details for a follow-up.
However, one annoyance as a visitor is likely to be that you find yourself having to off the chat on every page you visit. Doing so entirety involves muting, which takes another couple of clicks and should be far more obvious.
If you’re not comfortable leaving the bot in charge and worried about how you’re going to handle all these extra leads, don’t fret. LiveChat is on hand with:
LiveChat’s HelpDesk product is a simple ticketing management tool, organising a wide range of customer support activities in a clean and centralised fashion. Customer enquiries can come at you at all directions. Use it to swap potential confusion for better collaboration with your teammates.
HelpDesk is very easy to integrate it with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook and Office 365, and works seamlessly with LiveChat, as you’d expect, so you can respond to emails and talk on chat within the same app. Another great feature is ‘Canned responses’, which lets you prepare answers to repetitive questions and use them to speed up your response time.
This Help Centre acts as an oracle for your business. Feed it with useful content and it’ll speed up query resolution no end and even reduce enquiries as customers help themselves. It’s extremely scalable, with easy article management, AI-suggested answers and feedback loops, so your customer service doesn’t drop off a cliff as your grow.
Another benefit of a good Help Centre is more organic traffic. Use it not just to answer common queries but also as a SEO-rich lead generation tool in its own right.
Turn even more maybes into yesses with LiveChat’s stellar line-up of integrations. LiveChat’s Marketplace covers everything from Google Analytics (see the impact of website chats on conversion), HubSpot (CRM), MailChimp (grow subscriber numbers), Calendly (book appointments), Dropbox (share files), Stripe (accept payments), Shopify (serve order info) and so much more, all within the chat.
One of the integrations worth paying for is Agent Performance reporting. Use it to optimise response times and successful outcomes across your entire team of customer service agents.
from $16 per month
Basic plan includes 60 day chat history and customisable live chat widget. You’ll also get proactive and reactive chats across your website, app, Facebook Messenger and email, feeding into a ticket management platform, with some automated chat routing.
Upgrade for additional channels, agents and see how effectively you’re handling enquiries. It’s not a huge leap in cost but it’s charged per user so it can add up. Knowledge Base and ChatBot charged separately.
Extended trial and your first month (almost) free!
There’s dozens of LiveChat alternatives, including pure players Drift and Intercom, and live chat and chatbot features of more comprehensive marketing and customer service tools such as HubSpot and Zendesk.
One criticism often labelled at LiveChat is the price for big teams. It’s up against some freemium alternatives, but users report up to a 10x increase in conversion, so if you value great customer service and know you’ll make good use of LiveChat’s comprehensive feature set one day, it’s a wise investment.
If you’ve got questions, LiveChat has answers. The LiveChat knowledge base has most things covered in step-by-step format. LiveChat have also built a community around conversational marketing, with fellow users and expert happy to jump in and provide an answer, or you could connect with consulting services, lead generation agencies and AI specialists via the LiveChat Marketplace for anything more specialist.
The LiveChat product is put to good use for its own customers service too, so help is only a click away.
In summary, LiveChat’s little widget can transform any website into a 24/7 lead generation machine.
The company has done more than most to establish the field of conversational marketing to a point where most transactional websites without live chat are seen to be doing their customers a disservice.
It’s not unknown for many busineses to hide from their customers and prospects, making it impossible to get timely support or forcing them to book a demo to get answers. And if it’s like that before you buy, imagine how hard it is once they’ve got your custom. LiveChat has a different vision…
One of being open. Delighting customers. Making their life easier.
Every feature is built with this in mind. LiveChat’s proactive greetings, human-like intelligence and ecommerce product cards are genuinely useful interventions that can turn first-timers into stayers and shepherd them towards a sale. That’s true, wherever they are, at LiveChat can power conversations right across the web.
Should they have any obstacles they need to overcome or post-sale niggles, LiveChat also offers the complete customer experience. If a question isn’t answered in chat, help tickets can be tagged, routed and collaborated on by team members in a single place, without any other distractions. So not only do you move fast to capture their initial interest, you can also move them through the funnel in record time and keep them happier for longer.
There’s so much going for LiveChat that all the features might be a bit overwhelming at first. However, at its heart is a really simple widget, that’s easy to install and just as easy to use. Start small and you can grow into the rest.
With LiveChat, the days of the customer service form are surely numbered.
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