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Top Live Chat Software: Intercom vs Drift (2019)

Live Chat 6 min read

As a customer service team, we work with a wide range of tools on a daily basis. One such tool is live chat software. Customers love when businesses have a live chat feature available for many reasons, including:

  • immediate answers to questions,
  • the ability for customers to multitask
  • better information compared to email support
  • and it’s available on the customer’s schedule.

As this technology has exploded over the past few years – some surveys suggest it could grow 87% in the near future – more software options have become available. If you’re interested in adding live chat to your business, you might be wondering which service is right for you.

Below is a complete review, based on our own personal experience, of two popular options – Intercom and Drift – to help you make your choice.

Why is live chat important in 2019

More than 30% of customers now expect a live chat feature to appear on your website. By not providing this service to your customers, you’re essentially ignoring a large percentage of them. Luckily, the benefits of live chat often outweigh the costs.

For example, one study found that 77% of customers won’t even make a purchase on your site if you don’t have live chat available. Another found that 63% of customers were more likely to come back to your website if it has live chat on it.

Live chat makes your website more engaging, by allowing customers to directly interact with your brand. With live chat, you can learn more about your customers, provide better customer service, and generate more leads. All these things are essential if you want to grow your business well beyond 2019.

 

Top live chat software comparison: Intercom vs Drift

Overview

Intercom offers 3 different product packages, each with its own tools, that are designed to assist you in improving your customer relationships. They are broken down as follows:

  • Intercom Acquire: reach out to new customers and better qualify your leads. It includes live chat software, chatbots, and comprehensive reporting.
  • Intercom Engage: better engage with your customers. Comes with messaging campaigns, software tutorials, and live customer data.
  • Intercom Support: Provide better support to your customers with an integrated knowledge base, support chatbots, and full conversation histories.
Drift bills itself as “the world’s first and only conversational marketing platform”. With their platform, you can easily chat with your customers and have access to automated marketing tools. The whole purpose of Drift is to make it easier for you to generate more leads, convert more traffic, and automate your sales funnel.

Features

✔ Bots for Sales, Marketing & Support

✔ Account-based marketing

✔ Book meetings via chatbots

✔ Knowledgebase integration with live chat

✔ Canned messages/Shortcuts

✖ Customizable templates

✔ Customizable branding

✔ Built-in CRM

✖ Hide messenger during off hours

✔ In-app messaging

✔ Activity tracking

✔ Visitor targeting

✖ Only one trigger per visit

✔ Chat routing (smart/manual)

✔ Custom sales goals

✔ Chat & agent reporting

✔ Agent roles & permissions

✔ Bots for Sales, Marketing & Support

✔ Account-based marketing

✔ Book meetings via chatbots

✔ Knowledgebase integration with live chat

✔ Canned messages/Shortcuts

✔ Customizable templates

✔ Customizable branding

✔ Built-in CRM

✔ Hide messenger during off hours

✔ In-app messaging

✖ Activity tracking

✔ Visitor targeting

✔ Only one trigger per visit

✔ Chat routing (smart/manual)

✔ Custom sales goals

✔ Chat & agent reporting

✔ Agent roles & permissions

Inbox: allows you to quickly chat with and qualify leads. You can customize your messages with different colors and wallpapers, display your average response time, and set office hours so your customers know when to expect live help. It even comes with a lead qualification bot, so you can let their Operator do the work of qualifying leads for you.

Messages: find high-quality leads and send them targeted messages. It comes with different styles, auto messages, automatic collection of customer contact info, A/B testing and custom email templates, among many other features.

Platform: track your leads and users, segment them based on specific behaviors, create customer profiles, and restrict access to certain features based on specific team members. The Platform makes it easier to organize your team and customers and learn more about them.

Custom greetings depending on the page the customer is browsing,

Conversational Landing Pages that will get you started with Drift quicker

Meetings: let your customers schedule a meeting with you through a simple calendar

Chatbot that can automatically respond to customers when you’re unavailable,

File sharing between you and your customers,

Analytics: comprehensive insights, including conversation performance and visitor behavior

Integrations

  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • MailChimp
  • WordPress
  • Facebook

For more information on Intercom’s integrations, including a full list of available tools, you can visit their app store here.

  • Slack,
  • WordPress,
  • Google Analytics,
  • Hubspot,
  • Shopify,
  • Salesforce,

You can learn all about Drift’s integration capabilities here.

Supported languages

Arabic, Bosnian, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, German (Formal), Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latviski,  Lithuanian, Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Vietnamese. Chinese (Simplified), Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Georgian, German (formal), German (informal), Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, , Korean, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovene,Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Vietnamese

Supported devices

  • Web-based platform
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web-based
  • iOS
  • Android

Pricing options

  • The Essential Plan: $87/month for the most basic features
  • The Pro Plan: $153/month, comes with the same features as the Essential, but with more automation and customization options
  • The Premium Plan: Custom pricing for more advanced features
  • Personal Plan: Free to use, limited to 100 contacts per month.
  • Standard Plan: $50/month, 1,000 contacts and some limited features
  • Pro Plan: $400/month, 1,000 contacts and additional features, such as automated bots
  • Premium Plan: $1500/month, 10,000 contacts and a dedicated manager

 

What live chat software to choose for e-commerce business

Which live chat software is best for your e-commerce business will mostly depend on the size of your business. If you’re just starting out, Drift is probably the better option since it’s cheaper, including its free plan. With this, you’ll still get live chat functionality, but you won’t have to pay for more advanced features that you don’t need yet.

However, if you have a larger e-commerce business, consider going with Intercom. Since their live chat software costs the same as getting their entire suite of products, you might as well get them all. This will give you the ability to do things like create a knowledge base, create automated marketing campaigns, and view live customer data.

 

How to use live chat to increase conversions

Hopefully, the above guide is able to help you decide on a live chat software. However, once you choose, you still have some work to do. Running a successful live chat campaign, and ultimately increasing your conversions, is about more than just installing the software. And this is where LTVplus comes in.

Not only can we help you decide on which live chat software is best for you, but we can help you set it up, then run it for you. By outsourcing your customer service operation you can provide around the clock support, multi-language conversations, and gather real-time customer feedback, all for a fraction of the cost. To learn more about outsourcing your customer service to LTVPlus, schedule a free consultation with us today.

Digital Marketing Manager @LTVplus Actively participating in the digital marketing world for more than 5 years. Currently making sure that our website content is up-to-date and our blog is filled with actionable tips and advice for online retail businesses. Very passionate about dogs, topics on spirituality and Unicorns.

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