- Integration with other HubSpot tools and contacts
HubSpot is a suite of sales, marketing and service tools built around a free CRM. They released live chat as part of their offering in 2018.
I tried their live chat tool, but found it has quite a few quirks.
If you are using HubSpot or want to start using and also want to add chat to your website, then I would recommend Live Chat. After you've signed up for that service, you can add the official integration via the Hubspot Marketplace.
The chat widget looks good in both desktop and mobile browsers.
Users are given the option of leaving their email address in an inline field in the chat, rather than in an old-fashioned pre-chat form.
The chat interface can confuse visitors if you create a chatflow and do not uncheck the 'disable free text input' box. In this scenario, users still see an input with 'write a message' but can in fact only use the quick reply option buttons.
HubSpot's chat interface may confuse visitors in another way. After a visitor selects quick reply option (and you have not left a conversation open for free text replies), the chat is automatically ended. The visitor can start a new chat, but he or she may not notice this.
Internal users also benefit from a well laid-out interface.
The leftmost panel shows how many chats are queued, unassigned and assigned and can be collapsed in order to concentrate on specific chats.
The rightmost panel shows information about the visitor, which is associated with the CRM.
HubSpot has a free forever CRM plan which includes live chat, unlimited users and the ability to store up to 1 million contacts and companies.
You can upgrade to one of the Service Hub plans for support-orientated features like a knowledge base, which is integrated with live chat.
Note: the pricing charts stops at 50 users but it is possible to have more than 50 users.
The Sales Hub plans introduce more CRM-related features and/or remove caps on these as you upgrade.
You can choose which users have access to which Hub features in order to limit your costs.
For example, user A might work in support and can be given access to Service Hub features only and user B might work in sales and can be given access to Sales Hub features only.
The Marketing Hub plans introduce marketing automation and content features.
Pricing for these plans is based on the number of contacts in your CRM database.
HubSpot are currently offering 25% off the HubSpot Growth Suite which gives you access to all marketing, sales and services features.
You can support this site by signing up here.
You can edit the color of the chat widget by going to Settings > Conversations > Inboxes and then selecting the Chat Channel. Show Screenshot
In the free plan, there is a link at the bottom of the live chat widget advertising HubSpot. This can be removed if you upgrade to a paid plan.
You can set the business hours for when visitors can chat with your team. You can also choose what should happen with the chat widget outside of business hours: you can select to hide it completely, show your return time, or show a message. Show Screenshot
You can only create one team in the Free or Starter plans. To create multiple teams you need a Professional plan and, for teams with hierarchical relationships, an Enterprise plan. Show Screenshot
You can route incoming chats to specific teams or users. This requires the Sales Starter Plan. Show Screenshot
You can save replies for frequently asked questions by creating Snippets. Show Screenshot
Users who are, for example, being abusive can be blocked.
You can select to hide the chat widget outside of business hours. You cannot, unfortunately, choose to hide the chat widget in specific countries (or conversely only show it in specific countries).
You can trigger chats by creating "Chatflows". You can for example create a chatflow which is only seen by contacts tracked in HubSpot CRM. Another example is creating a Chatflow based on the website URL. Show Screenshot
HubSpot has bots for qualifying leads, booking meetings and for customer self-service. The Support bot requires an upgrade to the Service Professional plan. Bots are managed through Chatflows. Show Screenshot
You can create a shared team email address for each Inbox. One Inbox is provided in the free account, but if you need separate inboxes for support and sales, for example, you will need to upgrade. HubSpot provides a hosted email address (in the form firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can have a custom email address (see below). If you use the hosted email address from HubSpot, you will need to setup up email forwarding from a public email address (e.g. email@example.com). You can add rules to incoming emails to assign them to people or teams, and/or apply actions such as creating a ticket. Show Screenshot
You can connect your team's shared email address (typically something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) to HubSpot if you use Gmail, Office 365 or Google Groups. Show Screenshot
You can create CRM contacts for your chats.
Marketing automation is included in the Marketing Professional and Enterprise plans.
HubSpot enables compliance with the GDPR, see https://www.hubspot.com/data-privacy/gdpr
HubSpot offers mobile apps for iOS and Android. As well as being able to carry out live chat conversations, you have access to your CRM contacts.
You can create help docs for your customers if you upgrade to the Service Professional plan.
HubSpot offers an extensive api. Go to developers.hubspot.com for more information.
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Review by Matt
Matt is a product manager with extensive experience in building and supporting software-as-a-service products. This includes implementing live chat for customer support and customer success teams.
Our work is supported by affiliate links.