To kick things off, let’s talk about the technical assets and capabilities of the help desk software. As a buyer, you are interested in the functionalities and looking forward to streamlining the service team performance. All that plays one of the key roles while you evaluate any business software, but the customer support from vendor shares that position too.
How is this presented? The customer-focused approach is two-fold.
- The first one deals with the support service. Despite the pricing package you have bought, you receive 24/7 support without any changes or limits. The vendor states that the support team works in-house and tracks the feedbacks and feedforwarded messages. Moreover, they claim that you, as a customer, can get your issue forwarded to the higher management or development head. LiveAgent also takes care of the on-premise customers and promises to handle the problems via email, phone or live chat during one day.
- The second aspect is about scaling certain features to specific business needs. Basically, you can choose the functions you actually use and pay only for them. LiveAgent also suitable for you if you have two websites. There is no need for buying another license, and you can simply embed separate live chat buttons, contact forms and customer portals.
The help desk platform focused on SMBs. No wonder that it delivers flexible pricing packages that can be tailored to meet the requirements and adapt to the workflows. There are also presented mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. Anyway, you can run 14 days free trial to test LiveAgent in action and then make the final decision on purchase or migration.
Highlighting the benefits
Many businesses leverage LiveAgent to get their productivity forward, boost the response time, reduce the workload along with increasing the number of handled queries. The software is developed to enhance your support team routine in the four areas: ticketing, live chat, call center, and reporting. There are also a customer portal and gamification options. So it makes sense to look at the benefits provided within these areas.
Advantages in ticketing
To facilitate the process of issue tracking, responding and overall managing, LiveAgent brings in the universal inbox. The things are going up as this is a single place for emails, chat conversations, calls, tickets from Facebook and Twitter, forum posts and the like.
A hybrid ticket stream adds up to the productivity of your team. Despite the communication channel, the tickets are always in the same structure. You may get chat or voice messages, emails, feedback forms, messages from Facebook or/and Twitter in a single hybrid ticket and keep the pulse of any updates for delivering a quality support service.
Your support agents are different - some of them can handle more tickets, others can manage less. LiveAgent brings in an automated ticket distribution that helps you to set the balanced workload for all agents. Here are also helpful options to improve the support agents productivity:
- to solve button feature allows the admin to choose whether the agent will work with the “All tickets” list or handle the tickets from “To solve button,”
- responsibility is an option to set or change the ticket ownership so each ticket will have a responsible-for agent
- agent collision detection to show who is viewing a ticket and exclude responses from two agents on the same issue
- agent ranking option will show how helpful were each of your support agents to deal with the poor service quality.
Ticket management and ticket view in LiveAgent. Source: LiveAgent
Some companies look for a ticket routing option. If you need this one too, the vendor provides departments feature. You can set filters and routing rules for specific preferences so the tickets get solved by the right agents in a most efficient manner. It delivers a quick view of new, open and fixed queries in every department.
Another bundle of features to facilitate the support team routine includes mass actions (fast resolve, transfer or delete of multiple tickets,) merge and split tickets, email templates (can be formatted in HTML, plain text or with WYSIWYG editor,) macros (canned responses,) predefined answers (for making responses to repetitive queries personal.)
Benefits offered by live chat
The modern technologies pairing with live chat apps help to help customers before they ask for help. LiveAgent has a built-in chat that works as live chat and internal chat too. The app can be customized in terms of
- window position on the website
- chat buttons, styles and animations
- proactive invitations to chat
A built-in live chat in LiveAgent. Source: LiveAgent
The options of chat overview and online visitors help your support service team to see what pages the customers are browsing and collect the referrers, IP addresses or country (due to embedded Google Analytics.) That provides the background for initiating a chat with a customer and boost the purchase possibility.
The built-in live chat app has a distribution option (round robin, ring to all, or max utilization), max queue length (works as an offline button if there way too many customers awaited,) and history with filtering capabilities (to see data according to your preferences.)
Call center strong side
With LiveAgent, you receive actionable tools that help to work your call center in an organized way. Get in touch with customers via phone or PC to PC calls. There are no additional expenses on the phones, and you can use softphones or receive calls directly on the computer. On the plus side, you also can get a 1-800 number for your service.
For more personal service, you can use browser-based video chats, so there is no third-party app integration or software installation. The added benefit is IVR (Interactive Voice Response) online designer. You don’t need any level of technical mastery to design your own IVR trees.
A calls history organization in LiveAgent call center. Source: LiveAgent
The calls can be routed automatedly due to the priority, as well as assigned randomly. There is also unlimited recording options for legal or learning purposes.
Valuable things in reporting
The collecting and analyzing data play an essential role in workflows, performance and strategy improvements. Yet too many reports may leave you with the feeling that you are lost. LiveAgent reporting delivers options to gather insights from the key areas such as performance, department, tag, time, agent (each one separately) and agent availability, channel, SLA log and compliance reports.
Statistics and leaderboard in the reporting view. Source: LiveAgent
These are depicted in the analytics overview shows all the customer interactions, services they receive and statics on the help desk platform usage. Also, you get the agent overview to see who of the support reps were rewarded and rebuked by the customers' comments. That may serve as a resource for:
- identifying the weak spots in the customer service
- rewarding the great performing agents
- encouraging and helping those who underachieved the goals.
Reduce the cost and workload with a customer portal
Self-support portal proves to be a win-win feature for:
- customers who can get the answer to their question in the FAQ section or on the forum,
- support agents who get reduced workload from the repetitive requests, and
- the business which cuts the expenses cuts the expenses.
Customer portals overview in LiveAgent. Source: LiveAgent
As a customer-focused vendor, LiveAgent offers a customer portal with a range of customizations available. The knowledge base may contain the categories of your products or services, customer’s feedbacks, forum messages, as well you can create search widgets and set where it is the most useful.
Are you run a few products or brands? In LiveAgent, you create separate customer portals with unique style and content.
Gamification to keep the motivation levels
The job of a support agent is exciting and stressful, and you need to energize the team with motivation to perform great (and even better). LiveAgent makes happen with the gamification feature. There are a set of standard badges (that can be customized anytime) and leaderboards (which are corresponding to the activities) to keep track of best performance and encourage healthy motivation.
Gamification option with the ability to view team statistics, badges, and levels. Source: LiveAgent
The mechanism works a bit funny than school stickers. The badges are received nearly on a daily basis - according to specific rules or conditions, while the levels are taking more time to be earned.
How to get started with LiveAgent?
To kick things off with this help desk platform, you may start with the 14-days trial with all-inclusive features. If the software suits you - purchase the licenses. LiveAgent enables the monthly subscription for the cloud version and one-time payment for the on-premise version.
There are no contracts - you get billed from month to month. As a plus, you can upgrade or downgrade anytime. On top of that, there are no setup fees, and customer service and product updates are free of charge.
You need to buy at least one agent seat to the setting off. Later on, you can add more agents and reduce them as you wish. The packages go from ticket support, then ticket + chat, and the third one is all-inclusive. You can start with ticket and then - if it is suitable for you - introduce the live chat and feedback to increase the efficiency of support service and customer experience.
Technical details to notice
The feature list of LiveAgent is pretty impressive. As the other help desk software vendors, this one offers different toolsets available in the three price tiers: ticket, ticket + chat, all-inclusive. But there is a short list of options that come with an additional fee in lower price tiers and free in the all-inclusive package.
The ticket package delivers such features as custom domain and white glove setup. As for the tickets management, there are email ticketing and contact forms. You can merge, split and export tickets while the custom fields allow to collect more information on a customer.
To streamline the performance, support agents can use custom email templates, canned answers, email notification, internal tickets, SPAM filters, attachments.
As for team productivity, you can set up workflows with rules & time rules, business hours, to solve button, SLA, contact and contacts groups, as well as upload data from your CRM.
Many businesses welcome the reporting, ticket satisfaction survey, multibrand support, API and integrations, native mobile apps for iOS and Android devices and EU or US data center.
The self-service support of LiveAgent delivers an extensive toolset: knowledge base, customer forum and customer portal.
As for the paid options, in this price tier, you can purchase an additional knowledge base for $19/mo and branding free for $19/mo.
The ticket + chat package brings the functionality of the ticket price tier plus a live chat, real-time visitor monitoring for more accurate chat invitation, feedback management and chat satisfaction survey.
For an additional fee, you can buy sound configurations ($5/mo,) Facebook integration ($6/mo,) Twitter integration ($6/mo,) audit log ($9/mo,) search and replace information in the incoming messages ($9/mo,) and time tracking ($19/mo,) an additional knowledge base ($19/mo) and branding free ($19/mo.)
LiveAgent all-inclusive price tier offers all ticket + chat features and strengthens support service by means of call center, video calls, Interactive Voice Response, call routing, transfer and unlimited storage, gamification and hardware IP phone compatibility.
The features of an additional knowledge base and branding free are also coming for $19/mo each one.
LiveAgent is supported on Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Unix, IBM OS/400, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, Windows 10.
Awards and Certificates
What does it take to be innovative in a heavily regulated industry? LiveAgent keeps its popularity on user reviews platforms and gets the industry awards from several leading B2B and SaaS related organizations.
To illustrate a few, the help desk platform received:
- the first place in the G2Crowd Help Desk Software list
- the best customer service software by Chamberofcommerce.org version
- the top performer live chat software by Featuredcustomers.com
- the top-rated help desk software 2018 by Trustradius.com
- the best live chat software 2017 by studio-40.com
Apps, Integrations and Plugins
Business requires a lot of tools to manage various processes. LiveAgent addresses that need and offers API reference for developing private apps and a list of apps and plugins already available to use.
LiveAgent integrations and plugins page. Source: LiveAgent
Here are the categories and apps offered:
- Billing management (2Checkout and Braintree)
- Chatbot (Quriobot)
- CMS (Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Weebly, uKit, Adobe Business Catalyst, Wix, GoDaddy, Web.com, Squarespace, Expression Engine)
- Collaboration tools (Slack)
- CRM (Highrise, SharpSpring)
- eCommerce (Shopify, PrestaShop, Opencart, 3DCart, CS-Cart, BigCommerce, Actinic, Fortune 3, Volution, Core Commerce, X-Cart, Post Affiliate Pro)
- Email marketing (MailChimp, GetResponse, AWeber)
- Feedback (Nicereply)
- Migration plugins (Help desk migration)
- Project management (ProjectManager.com)
- Tracking (Google Analytics)
- VoIP Partners (Nexmo, Twilio, Flowroute, Voyced, Didlogic, Mobex, GoTrunk, VNet, Benemen, Swan, Fieber, Fayn, Benestra, Telsome, Actio, Voiptiger and the list goes on)
- Workflow (Zapier, CloudApp, Meetingbird)
Customer support from the vendor
One of the leading values of LiveAgent is caring about its customers. The vendor provides 24/7 customer service, support portal and forum, change log, bug tracker, blog and webinars. Apart from looking for help, you can acknowledge other possible questions and avoid them in the future.
The pricing policy
The optimum balance between costs and benefits describes LiveAgent pricing. The SaaS version has three tiers:
- Ticket $15/agent/mo with a custom domain and native mobile apps, email ticketing, contact forms, automation, SLA, self-service (a knowledge base and forum) and API.
- Ticket + Chat $29/agent/mo adds to the Ticket functionality - a live chat, chat invitations and reports, visitor monitoring, feedback management and multibrand support.
- All-Inclusive $39/agent/mo strengthens the Ticket + Chat with a call center, social media integration, time tracking, audit log, gamification mechanism and advanced reports.
The on-premise software has two types:
- Downloadable for $11.950 There are 20 agent seats and to add an agent will cost $690. The plan includes 23 months of product updates.
- Enterprise plan is considered for 50 agents, and the price should be discussed with the vendor.
Sometimes the information or inspiration needed to solve a problem lies behind the right question. Does LiveAgent correspond to your business requirements? If you aren’t sure about this, then take time to look at possible alternatives. Get ready to meet the dozens of help desk platforms share the features and look alike in design, and the price differs a little. Nevertheless, many organizations search the LiveAgent alternatives to optimize various business processes and ultimately the productivity.
LiveAgent vs Freshdesk
With the expense of the features that perform the same functions, Freshdesk can be seen as an alternative due to the freemium plan, social media integration is lower price tiers.
LiveAgent vs Samanage
If you choose Samanage instead of LiveAgent, you will get ITSM compliant help desk software. That brings incident, problem, change, release and asset management, internal knowledge base to leverage the best practices.
LiveAgent vs Zendesk
If LiveAgent doesn’t look like a tool to maintain the vision of your product, then turn your attention to Zendesk. Unlike LiveAgent, this software is easy-peasy to deploy, has robust automation and analytics, customizations, branding and online community. But the advanced version of these functions come with a price.
LiveAgent vs TeamSupport
The number of apps in business is exploding and comparing TeamSupport to LiveAgent, you get product and inventory management. That is the only feature that LiveAgent doesn't offer currently. And TeamSupport is more expensive than LiveAgent.
LiveAgent vs Intercom
The benefits of Intercom is the data and how the software allows to leverage it for creating targeted campaigns on selected audiences. And the analytics in some aspects stronger than LiveAgent’s. The pricing policy of Intercom is rather complicated as it is calculated on the number of agents, messages and the functionality itself.
LiveAgent vs Help Scout
This alternative has the ticketing system presented like shared inbox, workflow automation, self-service options, live chat, reports, SALM Sign-On and HIPPA compliance. The pricing is a bit higher than LiveAgent, but they guarantee a 30-day money back.