What business Live Chat software works well?
December 17, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I have a client who wants to add live chat to their company website, for customer support. What are your experiences with some of the software packages out there?

I know LivePerson is the most pervasive, but what other packages can provide a solid, customizable solution?

Some things we want in this software:
* Install on PCs at client location
* Auto notification of operators (maybe lives in the tray)
* Customizable button for site, to mimic look and feel

I'm sure many of these are common features.
posted by Chuck Cheeze to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Volusion's Live Chat is free but they offer a premium option with more features which your client would likely require. LivePerson is used by EVERYone, so I assume it's insanely flexible, but it'll probably come down to price/value. For what it's worth, Volusion's offering has the features you describe.
posted by disillusioned at 9:51 AM on December 17, 2008

I'm in the process of setting up Kayako's Support Suite for my work, and so far I'm happy and the folks who'll be using it are happy. From my POV as a webmaster, it's crazy customizable on the visitor side.

We used Active Campaign's TrioLive for a while, but it seems to have been a real server (memory? CPU?) hog for us, and the support folks here just like the other (desktop) software better.

Our requirements included a email contact center ("ticketing" in most systems), so YMMV as far as what would work best for you.
posted by epersonae at 11:00 AM on December 17, 2008

I'd set up Openfire Enterprise from Jive Software back when it was actually called Wildfire and cost money. (it's all open source now. you install the Openfire server, and there's the Fastpath set of plugins that provide you with the Live Chat functionality.) it was pretty configurable and easy to set up; I pretty much ignored it until the project I set it up for moved on. the only oddness about it was that it's totally Java-based, which isn't really that odd but I personally hadn't worked much with it in the past.

the big sell for Openfire+Fastpath was the backend - it's built on Jabber, and while you have to use their client on the agent systems, you can use any client for just normal people. nowadays they have a Web chat application and libraries to build your own Flash or Java-based client as well. the system was pretty configurable and also easy to work inside as well, and there were good reporting tools. plus, if you wanted to, you could tie it in to a knowledge base application (Jive sells a few, obviously).
posted by mrg at 11:07 AM on December 17, 2008

Do any of these have the ability to convert into text on the phone (iPhone), so that you can answer when you are away from your desk?
posted by Vaike at 11:19 AM on December 17, 2008

We use SightMax's Live Chat - it has all the features you're looking for. The buttons for the site are really easy to customize, but it's a little fiddly to customize the chat window, if that's something you want to do.
posted by robinpME at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2008

The oddly named Crafty Syntax Live - does all you want and is free (donation supported).

posted by Xhris at 7:15 PM on December 17, 2008

« Older Cupcakes take over the World.   |   New Business - Where Do I Start Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.