Live chat services are no longer new in the business world. Their demand among website owners is ever-growing as it provides a simple and easy way to offer customer support. They have reduced the amount of time that was needed to give responses to inquiries, leading to more sales, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.

However, to those who are just getting started with online customer support and the use of live chat service, it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose.  This is because there is a myriad of brands in the market, and all of them come with very diverse features and capabilities. Consequently, it is imperative that you know how to choose the right ones, including the best features to consider so that you get the most out of the chat service. To help you out, here is a look at some of the things you need to consider when choosing a chat service-:

Determine the Features you Need

The first step towards choosing a live chat service is to know the kind of features you will need for your business. This is because most of the decent services have a variety of features, including a laundry list of them that may not be relevant to your business. It is important to remember that the cost of the service will be in tandem with the features chosen, therefore, it will not make any sense for you to choose features that may not be applicable as far as serving your customers online is concerned. Consequently, it is imperative that before you embark on shopping for the service, you come up with a list of the respective features you will need and zero in on the services that have the specific features you need. This is how you will save money while getting the most from the service.

Do you need a proactive service or not?

There are two main types of live chat website services. The first one is the reactive type which will wait until they are clicked by the visitors. Once that is done, the agents behind the chat will then reply to the incoming queries. It can be considered as the standard inquiry department of a business.

The second type is the more engaging one. This one will not wait for the visitors to click or send a query but will pop up with an automated message a short while after a visitor lands on the website. This type is always very effective in helping guide the confused website users, which ultimately lead to increased sales.

Before buying a chat service, therefore, decide which of the two types you want. Most businesses prefer the proactive one which normally pops up in a window with basic questions to guide the website users. However, this type risks being an annoyance and reducing the user experience of the website. It is unlike the reactive one that will fire up only after a user makes contact. If you are concerned about the user experience of your website, then the reactive type will be the most suitable choice in your case.

Ease of set up and customization

When considering the best live chat website, it is imperative that you choose a service you will easily implement and customize. The good news is that most of the services are easy to install and may come down to installing just a few lines of code and you are good to go. However, it is still important to check on this factor, especially if you are not very comfortable with code. In such a case, you should ask the vendor if they will offer any support when it comes to installation, and how long such a support may last.

In addition to the ease of installation, you should also consider the ease of customization of the chat system. In most cases, you will have to make changes every now and then to align the chat to the specific needs of the business. The last thing you want is not to know how to make these changes or having to call the vendor every time you want to effect a change on the software. Again, you should check on the customization features to know if they will serve the purposes of your business, especially when it comes to branding. For example, is it possible to change the location, colors or even add a logo to the service?

Ease of integration with other third-party software

A good live chat service should not restrict their features only to their own. As such, before you make your purchase, you should ensure that the service you want can be easily integrated with third-party solutions. For example, it should be possible to integrate the chat service with social media accounts, e-commerce solutions, CMS and CRM tools, email marketing tool and sales tools amongst others. This will not only help you to expand the horizons of the support you can offer to your website users, but will also increase the effectiveness of your team and the conversions of your website.

Proper analytics

Knowing your numbers is everything when it comes to running a successful business, including managing support. Proper analytics should be one of the major considerations you make when choosing a live chat service. The system you choose should not just report properly, but also retain and recall data whenever necessary. For example, a previous client will expect that you already have their details and should not sign up again. Also, the analytics captured by the service should have the ability to give probable indicators regarding customer behaviors while on the site so that such information can be used to improve the customer’s experience. These are some of the things to factor in when considering the reporting capabilities of a website chart service.