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Live Chat Options – A Comparison

By March 25, 2020April 24th, 2024No Comments

Professional service firms and practices aren’t selling shoes or guitars or fish tanks; they’re selling their expertise and experience. That’s why live chat for professional service firms like law firms, senior living, cosmetic and elective medicine, and financial planners has to be a big step above the typical retail or commercial “sales” offerings. When choosing a live chat provider for your practice or company, keep in mind the following option comparisons.

Proactive vs. Reactive Live Chat

If you want live chat that provides a return on investment, proactive live chat is the way to go. According to Forrester Research, “A Total Economic Impact (TEI) analysis of interactive chat shows that investment in reactive chat is likely to produce a small positive return on investment (ROI) of 15%, while an additional investment in proactive chat capabilities will produce an incremental 105% ROI and millions of dollars in positive business benefits in a typical business-to-consumer (B2C) organization.”

Why is this? offers a number of reasons:

  • Proactive live chat helps the hosts take control of the conversation.
  • Proactive live chat helps hosts prepare in advance.
  • Proactive live chat elicits “Higher visitor engagement” and “Positively affects conversion.”
  • Proactive live chat helps start more conversations.
  • Proactive live chat provides a “Better understanding of the client base.”

Humans vs. Chatbots

Chatbots have come a long way and are great at handling more straightforward questions associated with many types of retail and commercial businesses (i.e., sizes and colors available, etc.). But bots can only know what they are “taught” directly, while humans retain the knowledge gained in training as well as in life. For professional service firms and practices, it’s all about people, real live people who need help, empathy, even patience from another human being. In fact, according to, 43 percent of consumers prefer to deal with a human chat host, while only 15 percent are not adverse to using chatbots. The reason? In a word — trust! GetApp Lab Research found that despite the improvements in chatbot capabilities, when it comes to what is most valued in customer service, 36.6 percent of consumers ranked talking to a real person first, followed by knowledgeable support staff at 21.1 percent. Learn more about the differences in our blog, “To Chatbot or Not: How it Compares to Live Chat in Senior Living.”

Human Knowledge vs. Scripts

A highly educated and trained team of live chat hosts is the core of effective and productive live chat for professional service providers. You want real humans who know your company, your specializations, and your expectations to represent you, not a prewritten script. Even the best-written scripts cannot anticipate every question in every context, nor can they provide the empathy, understanding, and concern tailored to each visitor and conversation. According to, the statistics show, “29 of consumers find scripted, impersonal responses the most frustrating,” and “38% of businesses say their users find their scripted responses most frustrating.” Again, the desire for skilled human chat hosts beats out the competition!

Conversion Tools vs. Conversion Services

If you want to maximize conversions of website visitors to clients using live chat, it’s essential that you understand the difference between conversion tools and conversion services. Live chat is a conversion tool. A great live chat company offers conversion services that make that tool meet and exceed expectations. It sounds simple, and it is with the right team working for you. Our blog, “What’s the Difference Between Conversion Tools and Conversion Services?” spells it out in plain English.

Scalability vs. One-size-fits-all

No two professional service companies or practices are the same, but each is entitled to a live chat service package that is designed specifically for them and their clients. Moreover, once your live chat is online and operational, those services should be continuously monitored and tailored to fit like a glove. Whether you need more hosts, more hours or less of both to get the ROI and conversions you expect, every part of your service package should be scalable. Your live chat service provider should constantly analyze your live chat to assess and reassess what works best and when. In short, you want a team of professionals working with you to optimize your live chat performance, impress visitors and, ultimately, make them your clients. Anything less isn’t good enough.

The decision to provide live chat is an important one for professional service firms and practices. Find out how SiteStaff can deliver the most complete and productive live chat services available. We can help you build your clientele and your reputation for great service.


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