The 6 Best Live Chat Tools for Marketing Agencies Erin Posey Think about the last time you were at the store and couldn’t find what you were looking for. Now, if this was a big box store, there probably wasn’t a sales associate in sight. You look around, grumble, sigh, keep hunting and sometimes just plain give up. Now, imagine a potential customer, clicking around on your agency’s website. They have questions as they’re reading about your services, but maybe not so much so that they’re driven to send an email. They’re interested, but in our world of instant gratification, that interest may not last long. We’ve all been there. The last thing you want is for a potential client to bounce. Live chat tools on your website are amazing tools to stay connected with new and potential customers. They give your clients a quick and easy way to ask questions or connect with you instantly. So, what sets one chat tool apart from the rest? It’s time to compare six of the best and see for yourselves. Zendesk Image courtesy of Zendesk Zendesk is an extremely well-known name in the customer support industry. They are mostly known for their help ticket service, but they also operate an awesome live chat tool. Setup only requires adding a simple widget to your website and downloading a client on your computer. Some of its best features are triggers that let you open a chat box automatically when a customer performs an action and AI-powered chatbots that can handle simple tasks automatically. Zendesk is made for companies big and small, so their system is scalable, too. It can be managed by a single member of your administrative staff or a whole team of chat-dedicated professionals. Zendesk Chat starts for free for the lite version and scales up to $59/per agent, per month. Freshdesk Image courtesy of Freshdesk Freshdesk, much like ZenDesk, is a help support software to manage website support and ticket requests. Unlike ZenDesk, Freshdesk’s live support chat is built directly into their support software and is not available solo. Freshdesk’s chat platform integrates well within their ticketing service. It allows you to see if that customer has a help ticket open and their history with the company easily. So, if your company wants a full-service support system, FreshDesk is worth looking into. Freshdesk’s live chat feature is only available with the omnichannel add-on for their Blossom package and up. Pricing starts at $15/per agent, per month and scales to $109/per agent, per month. Help Scout Image courtesy of Help Scout Help Scout is a customer support software that is extremely customer focused. This live chat service also features a ticketing service and help documentation builder. The great thing about Help Scout is how all these services work together. When a customer messages in, their previous tickets are shown to the agent, along with relevant FAQ entries. Another nice feature, though not related to the chat function, is that their ticketing system feels more like a friendly email client than help tickets. It gives your support system a kind and personal touch. Help Scout starts at $20/per user, per month and scales up based on users from there. Intercom Image courtesy of Intercom Intercom is great for collaborative sales forces. This live chat software features detailed customer profiles, easy customer routing, and the ability to share chats with multiple agents. Their smart, AI-chat also allows you to create custom sales and support bots to answer simple questions or book meetings without having to wait for an agent to be on-hand. Intercom offers a start-up service at $49/per month for teams of 5 or less and scales up from there. Olark Image courtesy of Olark Olark offers attractive, custom-branded chat boxes with standard features like customer tracking, performance monitoring, and automated functions. Where Olark really shines is its featured powerups. With add-ons, their chat box can support co-browsing your site with visitors, live translations, and visitor data insights. Olark is free for 1 agent at 20 chats per month. For the powerup features, more users, or more chats, Olark starts at $12/month when billed every two years. Podium Webchat Podium is a little different than their competitors. While they offer a live chat service, their main difference is the chat takes place on customer’s cellphones through SMS. This allows you to easily collect lead’s phone numbers and build a more personal relationship with the potential client. Not only that, but it means that neither of you is tied to a computer! While customers can easily bounce on most live chats, you can message a device right on their person. Now that is powerful. Podium doesn’t publish their pricing online, but you can request a demo on their website. Live chat software can be a real lifesaver when you’re trying to seal the deal with a new client or solve problems they’re experiencing. These services are inexpensive, easy to set up, and customer-focused. But, before you decide on one, it’s good to test drive a few. Most of these platforms offer free demos, so gather up some willing tributes in your office and give them a whirl to see how a live chat software can benefit your business.