Choosing the Right Customer Support Software for You
If there’s one perfect customer support software for all the businesses out there, that’s LiveChat. Obviously, I’m kidding. We love our tool, but let’s face it - people have different needs and there’s no perfect choice for everyone.
Take pizza for example. Even if you think this particular pizza is really bad, there’s someone in the world who thinks it’s the best piece of pie that exists (any pineapple pizza fans?:)).
So, let’s be honest. There are tons of live chat providers on the market. You just need to find the one that suits your business and your goals best.
Let me guide you through the process of choosing the right customer support software for you.
What do you need to change, what’s your goal?
If you’re considering adding live chat to your website, you’re probably facing some issues you want to solve. Actually, these can be challenges as well.
Many companies I’ve talked to while creating their case study, shared what was going on that pushed them to install LiveChat.
For example, GTT - a call center and retail support organization. Their business was growing and they noticed an increase in customer inquiries. At the same time, they didn’t want to hire new people to answer phones, so they decided it’s time to look for more efficient customer communication tool.
Figure out what exact issues and challenges are you facing in your company. What do you want to improve or change? How does perfect customer service look like for you and your customers? Write it down. It will be useful when you will be checking features and pricing in different softwares.
Best if you consider your needs from a few perspectives: your employees that will work on chat and your customers. Also, let’s not forget about the managers, which probably have the last say when it comes to installing a new software.
Employees’ perspective (customer support agents):
- How are they helping customers now? How will live chat change it?
- How many agents do you have to provide the service? Are you opting for 24/7 support? Do you need to schedule shifts for the agents?
- Do you want to automate the service, or is a personal touch more important?
- Is personal service something that customers are seeking?
- Do they need guidance while using your product, such as filling out forms, checking out? Or is self-service enough?
- Would they benefit from 24/7 support?
Customer Service Managers’ perspective:
- Is your company big enough so you need to measure all the analytics from chats? For example, customer satisfaction, a website that a visitor came from. Which chat ended with a sale?
- Do you need to schedule agents’ work?
- Will live chat be your main point of communication? (Maybe you want to reduce the number of phone calls?)
Ask your teammates for a recommendation before you look online
When you ask the questions above, you already have a clue about what you'll need in your company.
If your team is quite big and experienced, chances are, some of them have been already using a chat and they can share their experiences with you. They can tell the benefits of a particular software and what they didn’t like. It’s better to have this knowledge before doing online research yourself.
Don’t forget that the insight from the people who actually will be working on chat is the most important.
Looking for the one – time for an online research
Now, you have a basic clue of what you’re looking for and you’ve gathered insights from your team. It’s time to fire up the review websites on your computer and compare your wishes to the reality. Remember, the most valuable opinion is from the people who actually have been using a software for quite some time.
There are plenty of websites with the real reviews from customers.
You have Capterra, G2Crowd and many more you can find in Google.
On review websites, you will find the list of features and the description of the software. You might be able to reject some right away. If a company doesn’t offer 24/7 support and you know you will need help with the software, look further.
While reading reviews, try to be objective. Some solutions didn’t work for someone, but might be fine for you. Others work great because they have different needs. Reviews always should be your guidelines not the finality.
After the research, you should come up with a list of a few serious candidates - potential live chat software.
Yes or no - it’s time to narrow the choice
Now, that you have a list of customer support software, it’s time to take a closer look at the features, design and the team that is behind it.
Click around the website, go through the product tour, and maybe watch one or two videos on YouTube to see how the app works inside. Compare the features you were looking for with the one they offer.
Are you willing to compromise, or you can reject a particular software right off the bat?
Check the pricing pages and compare them. Often, live chat softwares give a price for particular number of agents or chats. It might take a while when you compare it, but that’s where the website reviews come in handy again, as they often give you the price for one agent and one chat. Be careful though if the data they provide is the same as the software offer.
The customers I was speaking with usually did the market research, limited their options to two solutions and then live tested it out on their website. I think it’s the most reasonable solution.
Try picking 2-3 support software and get ready for all the fun - testing out the software on your website.
Choose me, choose me! Trying out the final software
You have a few top options now and it’s time to test them out. Many providers offer free trials and a credit card is not even required. For example, LiveChat offers a 30–day free trial.
Set up an account, go through the basic onboarding, add the agents and install live chat on your website. You can do a sample chat before a real visitor hits you. You'll learn many features along the way but the most important to see if a software is a good fit is if it’s intuitive and you like the design.
Don’t be the only one person who plays with the new tool. Set up accounts for other employees, as they will also be working on chat on a daily basis, and their opinion should matter too.
A few days of incoming chats should reveal your general feelings about the software. You’ll have a few things you don’t like and if you feel like there’s too much of them, don’t bother yourself, just try out a different solution from your list.
Don’t worry, sooner or later, you’ll find the perfect match!
Take a look at case studies aka happy people
Are you nervous before choosing the one? If there’s a situation when you hesitate between support softwares, there’s one more thing you can do. Dive into content on their website, scroll through their social media, read customer testimonials.
Some companies have really nice blogs with the tips of using the software and providing excellent customer service. It shows these people are specialists in their field, they take care of their customers and have a holistic approach - not just “buy our software and leave us alone.”
On social media, you may find out what project they’re currently working on and who are the people behind the product.
Also, reading case studies and customer testimonials might give you hints. Customers highlight what they love the most about the product and the company, like: “It never breaks the connection” or “the support team is outstanding” or “the design could be better, but I love the functionality.”
This can bring your attention to something you wouldn’t think of yourself.
The perfect customer support software for you
I think it’s worth to dedicate some time to find the right customer support software rather than to do it without proper research and change it after a few months because it wasn’t what you wanted.
Remember, it’s an important decision for the whole team. The ease of use, nice look, reliable support? It’s up to you what you’re looking for.
Good luck with finding the one!
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