This article is all about finding an SDK to implement a live chat into your application. It is not about integrating support or a "get-help" function with it. It's more for building and strengthening relationships with your customers.
Follow along with this article to get a clear view of what providers are out there and when to choose them for feature scope and hosting system.
Having a long-term vision is essential when it comes to communication platforms. While a basic chat that includes text, emojis, and occasionally photos and videos may suffice for some, it's important to consider the possibility of incorporating advanced features such as video calls, voice chat, and file uploads for a more comprehensive and engaging user experience.
Another key consideration is the number of active users.
Most SDKs have a pricing model that charges per active user, so it's important to choose a solution that fits your user base, whether it's 1,000 or 1 million users.
On-Premise vs Hosted
There are two options for hosting the chat software: on-premise or hosted. Some companies prefer on-premise solutions because they have control over the data and its security.
However, on-premise hosting requires setup, maintenance, and regular updates, which can be costly in terms of time and money. Hosted solutions, on the other hand, relieve you of the responsibility of data security and offer the benefits of having a third party handle any loss or leak of data.
Mesibo - The new comer 👶🏽
This solution offers both on-premise and hosted options and is a great choice if you're forced to host the software yourself.This is a relatively new solution that is easy to integrate and offers .NET compatibility. However, its pricing model may not be suitable for everyone.
GetStream.io - the fast-to-integrate but bad-pricing-model one 💸
This is a relatively new solution that is easy to integrate and offers .NET compatibility. However, its pricing model may not be suitable for everyone.
You can choose on what AWS storage bucket region your data should be stored.
Twilio - the dominator 🎉
Twilio is most known for the ease of sending SMS. But the Messaging X API offers all the tools one needs for integrating an n-to-n chat.
Although the notify API will be suspended in Oct 2023, with the Messaging X API you can build the notification channels yourself.
One good thing is the huge community. From what I have experienced personally and read from the reviews, Twilio offers great support.
The servers are located in Ireland according to this post.
In conclusion, this article presented three solutions for integrating live chat into your application to build customer relationships. The right choice depends on your feature scope, number of active users, and hosting preference.