A Magento live chat extension is one of the smartest business moves for eCommerce stores.
It’s true that online shopping makes perusing, comparing, and purchasing products and services infinitely easier for customers. However, one of the most common complaints about online stores is the lengthy process it takes to get your pressing questions answered – from how to find the perfect product, to specific shipping requests, to how to return an order.
For eCommerce store owners, this means a decrease in sales and fewer happy customers, which can put a sizeable dent in your business and earnings.
Live chat extensions work to bridge this customer service gap, bringing personal attention and immediate support to your most inquisitive and interested customers. For serious eCommerce ventures, especially those with complicated or niche product lines and services, live chat is a no-brainer Magento extension solution.
Live Chat benefits include:
- allowing customers to connect with store representatives immediately
- increasing time users spend on your site and boosting sales
- providing personalized customer support
- gaining insight into customer behavior and interests
- building relationships with customers
But, you might be asking yourself — With so many live chat options out there, how can I find the one that works best for my eCommerce store? It’s important to find an option that best serves your customers and is also manageable to operate for your store representatives. Lucky for you, we’ve already done the research!
What better way to get an idea of the live chat products and services than to use the live chat on the providers’ websites? I spoke with live agent company representatives at five of the most competitive companies on the market to test out their products and services. Once you take a look at the pros and cons of these different live chat options, you’ll be sure to find the solution that works best for your customers, your store representatives, and your eCommerce business.
Provide Support Live Chat – A Basic Live Chat Platform
Provide Support Live Chat is a great option if you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive live chat extension with limited customization options, making your store representative’s job of connecting with consumers straightforward and uncomplicated. I chatted with “Helen” from Provide Support to get the scoop on their products and services.
- Multiple, simultaneous chat sessions
- Transferable calls that allow other store representatives to answer a specific question and to hand over conversations for additional help or at the end of a shift
- Operator-to-operator chats that allow store representatives to communicate in separate chat rooms in order to request assistance or exchange important information
Integrations: Many CRM integrations are available as well as integrations with some communications applications, including MailChimp, Microsoft Office and GetResponse.
Pricing: From $99 per year or $15 per month for one operator.
Perks: Provide Support is considered one of the most reliable live chat extensions on the market. You can’t beat the simplicity and the price tag!
Downsides: This may not necessarily be a downside, but the live chat initiation is opened in another browser window and you need to answer a couple of questions in order to speak to an agent. The look and feel of the chat is less elegant than competitors.
LiveAgent – Live Chat and Helpdesk Support
LiveAgent is the perfect option for eCommerce sites that deal with frequent technical questions from customers and that would also benefit from a robust platform for helpdesk ticketing.I spoke with “Katka” from LiveAgent about what their Magento live chat extension has to offer.
- Helpdesk support that allows you to handle customer requests from one universal helpdesk inbox and all-in-one ticket support system
- Smart chat setting and routing options, including chat history that matches customers with representatives that they have already spoken with — a personalized touch!
- Drag and drop file sharing over live chat
- Pre-made or customizable live chat buttons and automatic invitations that can be initiated when a customer visits a specific page
- Chat feedback, FAQs, and community forums
- Chat and visitor overview with geolocation tool and map that allows you to get real-time insights on who’s chatting, who’s waiting in queue and who’s browsing your website. You can also see how much time customers spend on each page and what they browse
- Customer portal “knowledge base” that allows you to support your customers even when you are offline
Integrations: LiveAgent integrates with more than 30 email marketing, eCommerce, billing management systems, social media, CRM, and content management tools. The “HelpDesk” ticketing works through email, a call center, Facebook & Twitter, the live chat, Feedback buttons, and the “knowledge base”.
Pricing: From $14 per month with one time $199 dollar branding fee
Perks: Installing LiveAgents is fast and no additional setup is required. Also, this LiveAgent is currently available in 27 languages.
Downsides: The price tag may make it an overzealous option for sites that don’t need a detailed ticketing support system.
Olark Live Chat – Highly Customizable Live Chat That “Makes the Sale and Keep Customers Happy”
Founded in 2009 in the USA, Olark has served more than 10,000 customers in 150 countries. The company boasts a 40% increase in cart size and 3x retention rate. “Barbara”, an Olark live agent, spoke with me about Olark’s many features and creative company vision. She told me that everyone from the CEO to the newest hire, regardless of department, comes on to chat to answer questions.
- Customer feedback option allows you to track results with detailed reports
- Chat control lets you choose when to accept chats and set automatic limits
- Proactive Chat allows you to see all customers on your site and lets you chat with all of them
- Targeted Chat lets you set rules to interact only with customers who go to a specific page or perform specific behaviors — It can also allow you to offer VIP support to premium customers
- Olark Chat console offers a simple system for user information management, including information about the user and if you have chatted with them before. You can see where the customer is currently browsing on the site, and co-browse with them
- Olark Cartsaver lets you see what’s in the customer’s cart in real time so you can reach out and upsell in the moment or answer their questions before they leave the cart behind
Integrations: Olark offers sales, customer service, eCommerce, and marketing integrations including with Salesforce, Zendesk, and Highrise.
Pricing: From $17 per month for one operator.
Downsides: For live agents, commands have to be keyed in, for example !block for blacklisting a user or !transfer to pass a visitor on to another agent.
Official Zopim Live Chat – The “Virtual Salesman”
Zopim is a young and growing ZenDesk company that is quickly becoming a major competitor in the live chat extension market. I spoke with “Mark” from Zopim, a very helpful and engaging live agent, about Zopim’s products and services.
- Monitor visitors live as they surf, including their entry, location, history, current URL, repeat visitors
- Proactively initiate a chat with your visitors
- Customize the chat widget to your store’s branding
- Access a well-designed Dashboard with saved chat history, template messages, visitor prioritization, Q & A, smart responder
- Choose to reply to visitors on the go via your favorite IM client or our Dashboard
- Analytics and monitoring tools including char reports, agent reports, and real-time monitoring
Pricing: From $11.20 per agent per month for a basic plan.
Perks: Quick and simple installation. A huge perk is that Zopim also offers a free version that includes one operator, one concurrent chat, and a 14 day chat history.
Downsides: Zopim doesn’t offer any integrations with social media platforms at this time.
Click Desk – The Market’s Leading Chat Service Provider
ClickDesk was founded in 2011 and is based in the USA and India. “Scott” from ClickDesk gave me an inside look at what makes ClickDesk a leading live chat service provider.
- Voice and Video chat available straight from your website, without the need for additional software or installations
- “Automatic triggers” pop up after a pre-defined timeframe which allow you to specify different messages to appear on different parts of your site
- Backend supports multiple languages
- Set up departments. Each department has its own website code: you can automatically send visitors of your website to sales, and users logged into the backend to tech support. Chats can also be transferred
- Transcripts can be created of chats and subsequently stored in the backend and/or sent to visitors — for example, I received a transcript of my chat with Scott
- Integrated Helpdesk ticket management — you can create multiple departments (sales, support etc.) to handle issues effectively, assign agents, and set permissions
Integrations: ClickDesk offers integrations galore — from communications platforms such as MailChimp and Join.me, to management platforms such as BaseCamp, and Help Desk support services like ZenDesk and SalesForce. It also integrates with Skype and GTalk.
Pricing: From $16.99 per month for the “lite” version, but Scott — the live chat agent I spoke with — says that he recommends the “pro” version which is offered from $21.99 per month.
Perks: ClickDesk offers the most competitive pricing for included features and is the top market competitor. The countless integrations make it easy to incorporate this new extension in your existing systems.
Downsides: Many people were disappointed by ClickDesk’s customer service, but satisfied with the product.