A lot of people think that customer service is what happens after the sale. If you own a Shopify store, odds are you have received emails or phone calls from your customers about shipping, product usage, and so on. If you think this is time consuming and annoying - but if you think this way, you’re losing money!
Every opportunity you get to talk to your customer is an opportunity to make them a loyal and repeat customer of yours. Because of that, you want to make the customer service experience professional and friendly.
According to the American Express Customer Service Barometer:
- 50% of U.S. consumers have abandoned a purchase due to a poor service experience (omg)
- 7 in 10 shoppers say they’ll spend more money (17% more, on average) with a business that provides consistently great customer service
- 33% of customers say they’d look to switch to a competitor after a single bad service experience
If you haven’t set up anything like this before, don’t worry! In this post, we’ll compare some of the solutions out there and explain how you can set up a professional, high-quality customer service for your customers. We installed every one of these apps and tested them out!
1. Shopify Inbox
Shopify Inbox is a chat widget solution released by Shopify. To set up Shopify Inbox, you have to install it via Shopify app store. Because it’s a Shopify-created app, there are pros and cons related to that:
- Super simple app to chat with customers. It’s very easy to get started with no customization.
- Can assign conversations to staff members of your store.
- Can add on other channels, like Facebook Messenger or Instagram.
- You can set up instant replies for basic customer questions.
- You can set up desktop notifications and email notifications.
- Has basic customer info like when they joined, how much they spent, and links to past orders.
- Customization is not hard but it’s hard to find. The actual web page where you chat with customers and the customization of the chat widget’s appearance are in different places so you have to remember where to go.
- If you want to grow your customer service team, you also have to upgrade your Shopify plan. You get 2 staff members at $29 a month, 5 staff members at $79 a month, and 15 staff members at a whopping $299 a month.
- You have to add and tweak a whole new app for adding other channels like Facebook Messenger or Instagram.
- It doesn’t merge customers across channels, so if the same person messages you from different places, you’ll have to have separate conversations with them.
- Can’t manage or view past orders in app, you have to go to another page to view them.
- When customers aren’t on your page, the app should email them instead but sometimes it’s wonky and the message doesn’t go to email.
Live chatYesSocial integrationsNoChatbotNoAINoDifficulty🌶️
This is for you if…
It’s your first day and you want to get connected to your customers. Might leave you wanting more as your interactions grow or as your business grows and you want to scale up agents. Limited customer view and customization.
Tidio is a multifunctional customer service platform that is also free. It’s an awesome free app that gives you live chat, chatbots, and email integration.
- Slick and beautiful chat widget that will command the attention of your customers
- Instagram, Email, and Facebook Messenger integrations are available
- Requires customers to add email before chatting (this can be a negative, depending on your preference)
- Can set up automations by programming a chat bot
- Shows you what customers are typing and viewed pages
- The free plan is over after you chat with 50 people
- Anything beyond just chatting is an additional charge. For example, removing branding is $20/month. You pay an extra $39/month for automations. Any additional team member is another $19/month. And this is on top of the base monthly price!
- Website explains everything well and has great tutorials, but has a LOT going on, there’s a lot to master and set up. You’ll definitely spend a lot of time getting to know this chat app.
Live chatYesSocial integrationsNoChatbotYesAIYes, paidDifficulty🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️
This is for you if…
You love getting immersed in learning and setting up a new app. There are tons of great features, but it will take some time to learn and set everything up. This is also for you if your store has money to spend - it’s a great experience but it gets pricey very fast.
Gorgias is an all-in-one customer support platform that provides a centralized help center for your customer support agents to work from, live chat support widgets, and a wide range of rules and macros for automating time-consuming customer support tasks such as ticket generation and prioritization.
- Shows detailed order info and has customer and order search
- Can create orders and process refunds in the app
- Has built-in auto answers for basic use cases (order status, returns, refunds)
- Suggests tags for you to add to the ticket so it’s easy to find later
- There are so many views, which is good if you have a large team with the need to segment the work of answering questions
- Lots of customization involving how to welcome, available hours, self-service questions
- Has Facebook Messenger and Instagram integrations
- Has lots of additional integrations with other Shopify apps
- You can add as many users to your team to respond to tickets
- There’s a bit of a learning curve - there’s a ton of different ways to configure your chatbot.
- Additional customization such as for self-service questions will cost you another $30/month. You’ll have to set up specific flows for different use cases of your customers.
- Pricing is based on tickets, or the number of different conversations you have. It’s about $60/month to chat with 300 customers, and the next tier is $360/month to chat with 2,000 customers which is the priciest option we’ve seen so far.
- Tutorials and explanations aren’t as rich as Tidio so you might have to dig through documentation for answers.
Live chatYesSocial integrationsYesChatbotYesAINoDifficulty🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️
This is for you if…
You want to only use chat when it’s necessary, such as when a customer has a problem and not for sales, upsells, or getting to know your customers’ needs. This is also for you if you are a Shopify power user and you have a very robust set up of apps for other parts of your business and you want a seamless integration between them.
Talkvisor is also an all-in-one customer support platform that provides live chat, Facebook integration, and email integration. Talkvisor’s main focus is to automate customer support agents’ tasks utilizing the state of the art artificial intelligence, instead of making Shopify owners learn macros and templates. Talkvisor believes that by doing so, you can provide the best customer service experience to your customers, because the AI will be trained for you and your customers with the industry best practices.
- Simple and beautiful chat widget
- Onboarding is really easy
- Shows you what customers have in shopping cart, helpful for on-the-spot sales
- Shows you customer information and past orders
- Shows you which step the customer is at - from browsing, added to cart, checkout started, order sent, and so on. Super useful for understanding your customer.
- Can set up auto responses for different scenarios such as welcome, shipping questions, abandoned carts, etc. The easiest setup of them all - you just need to type out how to respond and the bot learns right away.
- Has email and Facebook Messenger integration.
- Beautiful analytics for no additional charge.
- Pricing starts at $10/month, really affordable.
- Doesn’t have Instagram integrations
- Missing a mobile app if you want notifications on the go
- Can’t assign tickets to other team members
Live chatYesSocial integrationsYesChatbotYesAIYes, freeDifficulty🌶️️
This is for you if…
You want a really beautiful and robust chat widget that gets the basics right at a really affordable price. Also for you if you want someone to draft responses for you to review and send - the auto responses work really well.
If you’re operating an online business in 2022, you have to provide a modern customer service experience for your customers and that’s not an option. There are a lot of good paid/free solutions in this segment to provide exactly that.
If you want to provide an okay experience and do not have energy to set this all up, Shopify Inbox is a really great option. It’s all nicely integrated in the admin UI, and it does the job. You still need to learn how you should help your customers and what you should reply with in each situation.
If you want to provide the best experience and can afford to invest time in setting up and running a customer service, Tidio’s free plan is for you. There are a lot of YouTube videos and blogs that teach you how to set up Tidio, so that’s a plus, too. Some of the chatbots will have some prebuilt modern experience flow for your customers, but you still need to learn a lot like Shopify Inbox.
If you have a team of experienced customer service agents and don’t mind paying a higher monthly amount, Gorgias provides a good range of features for that situation.
If you want to provide the best experience but do not have the energy to set this all up like me, Talkvisor automates a lot of tasks with an AI chatbot pretrained with industry best practices and is perfect for busy ecommerce entrepreneurs. It has a free plan, too!