6 Free Chat Software Tools for Your Business

Business owners can simplify their customer service by integrating a live chat service into their website. There are many free chat software solutions available online that help small business owners connect with customers and improve user experience on their website. Here’s an overview of how chat software can benefit your business and some of the best free live chat tools available. 

 

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What is chat software?

Live chat software is an application that allows customers to connect with a website representative through text chat. Website owners install an instant messenger on one or more web pages so that customers can ask for help, get updates, schedule appointments and request more information about a business. The chat software directs the conversation to a customer support agent or other employee who can answer any questions and give the customer personalized assistance. 

Related: 7 of the Most Important Characteristics of Great Customer Service

 

Benefits of having live chat support

Having live chat available on your website can help increase customer engagement through real person-to-person interaction. Once a customer visits your page, a well-placed live chat may encourage them to make a purchase in a low-pressure environment. Some of the benefits of live chat support software are:

  • Convenience: Modern customers tend to prefer chatting to phone calls, and the fast pace of instant messaging can be more convenient than sending an email and waiting for a response. Live chat software helps customers get immediate results, improving their experience on your site.
  • Built-in sales funnel: If a customer encounters an issue when trying to check out, they can use live chat software to quickly resolve their problem and continue with their purchase instead of maybe just exiting the site. The person responding to customer chats can encourage visitors to make purchases and guide them through the checkout process.
  • Customer insight: Live chats allow customers to raise their concerns directly to you as they’re happening. Through these conversations, you can learn about common areas where customers feel frustrated, also known as pain points. Understanding the pain points of your website and company provides guidance for making future improvements.
  • Customer loyalty: Talking to a real person instead of an automated chat bot builds customer engagement through individualized attention. Personalized service may improve the customer experience, creating loyal customers who provide repeat business.

 

Who manages chat software?

Consider hiring a dedicated employee to manage your chat software and talk with customers. Depending on the amount of traffic your website gets, one person might be able to respond to all the chats by themselves, or you may want to hire an entire customer service team to respond to the demand. 

When hiring someone to manage your live chat, consider the types of questions your customers usually ask. If they have general questions about your products and services, you may want to hire a customer support representative who can guide them through different processes with patience and positivity. If you have a technical product and anticipate questions about troubleshooting, a more specialized tech support position could be appropriate. For high-traffic websites, build a team of front-facing employees who can answer chats about specific subjects like customer accounts, technical issues or payment methods. When interviewing your customer service team, ask questions about their ability to resolve conflict and build relationships.

Read more: How to Hire a Customer Service Representative

 

Free chat tools to grow business

Here are some of the top free live chat software options for small businesses:

 

Chaport

Chaport is a popular live chat software with basic web customization options for a simple instant messenger. Only one person can answer chats as an operator at a time, so Chaport could be ideal for small businesses with a low expected chat volume. Key features include:

  • Unlimited chats
  • 30-day chat history
  • Contact request form

 

HubSpot

HubSpot’s live chat software is just one tool in their entire free customer relationship management (CRM) system, allowing you to keep all of your customer data and analytics in one place. HubSpot is also known for its advanced chatbots, which can automatically respond to customers based on information gathered from past visits. HubSpot also offers:

  • Ticket creation
  • Unlimited chats
  • Chat history
  • Universal inbox for multiple users

 

Chatra

Chatra offers unlimited simultaneous chats, multiple website integration and unlimited agent accounts. Although only one operator can answer chats at a time, this allows separate users to take shifts answering chats while recording their specific chat history. The free Chatra account includes features like:

  • Google Analytics compatibility
  • Chat transcripts
  • Chat history
  • Offline auto-responses

 

Pure Chat

Pure Chat’s free plan includes three user accounts, so you can have multiple agents responding to chats at once. One of the unique benefits of Pure Chat is its engagement widget, which displays your business’ social media, contact information and instant messenger in a floating widget that appears on all of a site’s web pages. It’s mobile-friendly on Android and iOS systems. Operators chat with customers through the Pure Chat website where they can use features like:

  • File transfer
  • Offline AI chatbot
  • Unlimited chats

 

Tawk.to

Tawk.to is a free chat option that offers an unlimited number of chat operators. Businesses with a high chat volume can assign more people to answer chats without having to pay for a plan upgrade or create a long user queue waiting for a chat response. Tawk.to has many advanced features that other software providers charge for, like automated triggers that automatically open a chat window when site visitors perform certain actions. Other benefits of tawk.to are:

  • Customer ticket creation
  • File transfer
  • Agent ratings
  • Real-time monitoring

 

Zoho SalesIQ

If you want to use your live chat feature to make sales and find leads for customers, Zoho SalesIQ offers a free plan that includes unique sales features. They offer lead scoring, which rates each website visitor’s chance of making a purchase, and Email Genie, which generates detailed user information reports. The free plan allows two operators to answer chats at once alongside other features like:

  • Tracking for up to 5,000 visitors per month
  • 100 chats per month
  • File sharing
  • Referral information

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