Disclosure: This content has a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

What is Live Chat?

In simple terms, live chat is a window that shows up on your site and displays some text. Using that window, your site visitors can ask you questions. In return, your agent can respond to them with the live chat tools.

It’s very similar to a messaging app. However, it will only work when one of your agents is online. When your agents are not visible, you can choose to hide the live chat widget or allow visitors to submit questions that your agents can respond to later via email.

What is Live Chat Software?

Live Chat software is any platform, tool or software developed to allow immediate responses to customers who need support, as well as supply additional information if needed.

Live Chat tools function as real time messaging applications that allow support team members to actively communicate with customers in need of help.

It’s an important part of ecommerce especially, since the difference between a customer purchasing a service or product, or not, can be the fact that they couldn’t reach support and the FAQ did not have the information they needed.

Important Features of Live Chat Tools

When you’re shopping for the right live chat tool for you, you need to make sure it has all of these important features.

Proactive Chat

Proactive chat is when the operator at the other end is able to initiate the chat. A lot of website owners prefer this, even if it’s simply greeting and reminding the customer that there is an available operator and that they can ask any questions if needed.

This reassurance tells customers that they matter, and instills a sense of trust between the customer and the brand.

It might also convince customers who might have been unwilling to initiate the chat, but had a question, to contact support.

Visitor Tracking

Visitor tracking is an important feature that live chat tools need.

Visitor tracking is a comprehensive tracking system that is able to monitor and record all parts of the live chat experience.

This includes tracking response times, time spent on the chat tool, both parties' responses, and conversion tracking.

Chat Rating

Chat ratings are an important feature to have in your live chat tool since feedback is an integral part of customer service.

Allowing customers to rate and leave feedback about their customer support service will allow you to gauge customer satisfaction, as well as identify areas where improvements can be made.

Chat Routing

Chat routing is when an operator transfers a customer to another operator, or the software automatically transfers customers to the correct correspondent.

This isn’t as much an issue for customers, but it will help your customer service team manage customers and issues that might arise better.

Whether a customer service rep is currently busy, or they might not have all the information required to answer a customer’s questions, being able to transfer customers to another respondent is important.

Mobile Optimization

If your chat tool doesn’t work on mobile, you’ll lose out on all mobile device users.

A lot of tools are already programmed to work on all devices, whether it be desktops, laptops, mobile phones, or tablets.

How to Choose the Top Live Chat Tools

Choosing the right tool for you requires an understanding of what your customer’s needs might be.

Not all tools are made the same and not all tools have the same features. I’ve already gone through some of the most important features you need to look for.

From there, you’ll need to decide which live chat tool you’ll need, depending on a few things:

  • Budget. If you’re working with a small budget, you might be looking for free software or something relatively affordable. There are plenty of great options that are free or inexpensive. Make sure the tool you pick, regardless of price, fits your brand’s and customers’ needs.
  • Features. Some features might not be important for your business, which might allow you to opt for a more affordable product.
  • Cloud-based or self-hosted. These two types of live chat software have some important distinctions that will affect your decision. Cloud-hosted services won’t require you to host your own server, instead using third-party servers. The main benefit of self-hosted servers is that they are more secure than third-party servers, but cost more than using a third-party hosted server.
  • Onboarding. If you’re just starting out, it might be difficult to know how to implement the software. That or sometimes certain tools are too complicated for beginners. So make sure to choose a tool that fits your level of skill, or has a training program.
  • Support. Read online reviews about the chat tool and its support. Support is important, especially 24/7 support. Although mostly reliable, software can sometimes have issues, and at the worst of times. That’s why it’s important that you can get support if a tool starts acting up.

Best Live Chat Software Solutions

If you still haven’t leveraged live chat, it’s time to jump in. 

After all, you want to get an edge over your competitors. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve compiled a list of the best live chat software that you should check out.

1. LiveChat

With a clientele of more than 27,000 companies across 150 countries, LiveChat is clearly one of the most popular live chat providers. Its biggest strength lies in its simplicity.

Image via LiveChat

It’s clean, clutter-free, and easy to use. You can seamlessly integrate it with more than 130 tools, including Shopify, WordPress, MailChimp, and others.

So, you can chat with your potential customers while adding their details to your CRM software from the same platform.

Key Features

  • Message sneak-peek
  • Chat tags
  • Inactivity messages
  • File sharing
  • Chat archives

Pricing

  • Starter: $20/month
  • Team: $41/month
  • Business: $59/month

Click here, and get your 14-day free trial.

Image via LiveChat

2. Olark

Olark is for those who want to leverage data to understand customer behavior. It allows you to engage and identify with the leads that seem the most promising.

Image via Olark

This live chat solution provides features like custom pre-chat surveys, live chat transcripts, automated messaging, visitor insights, and detailed reports.

One of the most interesting live chat features of Olark is that it allows you to 

tweak the look of your live chat box to match your brand colors.

Key Features

  • Team management
  • Automated messages
  • Real-time reporting
  • Searchable transcripts

Pricing

  • One price fits all: $29/month

Click here to start your free trial today!

Image via Olark

3. Intercom

Want to add an element of fun to your live chats? Use emojis and GIFs.

Intercom’s modern live chat tool is aimed at sparking conversations that can help you connect with your target audience while keeping it light. 

Image via Intercom

It allows you to customize your live chat support and also configure different settings for the web, Android, and iOS.

This software solution allows you to route customer queries to the concerned representatives. Using its Custom Bots add-on, you can easily identify leads, route them, and answer queries round the clock.

Key Features

  • Handles complex queries
  • Advanced ticketing workflow
  • Next-gen inbox
  • Excellent support and help center articles

Pricing

  • All three pricing tiers are custom quoted depending on your needs

If you want to schedule a free demo today, click here.

4. Kayako

If providing live chat support is your ultimate goal, Kayako is the best way to go about it. You can easily add a feature in your live chat software for a mobile app, website, or help center.

Even when your team is offline, Kayako live chat support allows customers to send their queries.

Image via Kayako

On the other hand, if the customer steps away and misses your message, this live chat support software automatically emails them so you can continue the conversation.

Key Features

  • Simple, unified messenger
  • Easy integration
  • Advanced ticker workflow
  • Excellent support and 100 out-of-the-box help desk reports

Pricing

  • Kayako pricing starts at $625 for 5 agents

Start your free trial today!

5. Acquire

Live chat solutions are all about extending immediate customer service. Sometimes, chatting over text may not be enough.

In such times, Acquire’s video and voice call functions come in handy. It can do wonders to improve the quality of your conversions with customers and improve customer engagement.

Key Features

  • Co-browsing feature
  • Video and audio chat
  • Integrated chatbot
  • File sharing
  • Real-time translation

Pricing

  • All pricing is done by request

Book a demo by clicking here.

6. LiveHelpNow

LiveHelpNow aims to make customer support simpler with their live chat services, FAQ dashboard, SMS support, and other seamlessly integrated tools.

Image via LiveHelpNow

The best part is that you can support an unlimited number of brands with just one account. 

So, you can manage all of your websites from one platform.

Their Email Ticket Management System is designed to help you track conversions that you get via live chat. It enables you to be available to your customers 24×7 and be present on multiple channels.

Key Features

  • SMS support
  • Unlimited agents
  • Email ticket system
  • FAQ dashboard support

Pricing

  • Their Chat, Support Ticket, Call Management, and FAQ services all cost $21 per agent per month.

Try it free for 30-days, right here.

7. Tawk

To get this live chat software working, all you have to do is copy a simple Javascript line and paste it into your site’s HTML. Within a minute, it’s up and running.

Tawk.to will monitor your live chats in real-time and analyze them. They are presented to you in an easy-to-read manner. It also offers options for voice and video calling.

The platform archives the history of your live chats, so you can always go back to a previous conversation. It secures the history with encryption, so you don’t have to worry about privacy.

Key Features

  • Simple copy and paste live chat solution
  • Monitor live chats in real time
  • Options for video and voice calls
  • Keeps transcripts of chats stored

Pricing

  • Tawk is entirely free. If you don’t want to answer customer queries on your own, you can hire a chat agent from them for just $1 per hour.
Image via Tawk

8. OCC Live Help

OCC is an acronym for Online Chat Center. 

Their software is designed to cater to all levels of website owners. For those who have just started their business, they have a free basic chat for one operator and one website.

Key Features

  • Multiple operators
  • Real-time engagement with translation
  • Missed chat requests notifications
  • Customizable sound notifications
  • URL masking

Pricing

  • Starter: Free
  • Premium: $5/month
  • Enterprise: $50/month

Get OCC Live Help for free right here.

Image via OCCLiveHelp

9. Userlike

The ultimate goal of Userlike is to help you build relationships with your customers. Using this software, you can create personalized messages using Sticky Chat.

Image via Userlike

What it does is if a customer returns for a chat the second time, they connect them to the operator they talked to before. In this way, they want to establish a sense of continuity in the conversation.

Key Features

  • Built-in chat panel
  • Custom design templates
  • Team management functions
  • Built-in chatbot
  • Custom chat behavior

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Team: $90/month
  • Corporate: $290/month

Get Userlike for free by clicking right here.

10. My LiveChat

Want to chat with your site visitors without any cost? Use My LiveChat’s floating chat button. 

To get it on your site, you just need to insert an HTML code. It doesn’t interfere with your site design, so you don’t need to fret about it.

Key Features

  • Co-browse feature
  • Push-link to visitors
  • Real-time data
  • Customer journey reports

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Starter: $15/month
  • Basic: $29/month
  • Corporate: $59/month
  • Enterprise: $99/month

Get My LiveChat for free here.

Image via My LiveChat

11. WhosOn

WhosOn knows that a cookie-cutter approach to live chat doesn’t work with everyone. So, they have come up with a solution for those who need software tailored to their needs. 

Their seasoned team can help you with any challenge that you’re facing.

Image via WhosOn

With WhosOn, you can keep your chat data in-house and tailor your chat across different brands. 

It offers advanced features like sentiment analysis, omnichannel chat-call transitions, real-time chat translation, auto-text suggestions, and more.

Key Features

  • Contact management
  • Google Apps integration
  • Email integration
  • Omnichannel chat-call transition

Pricing

  • WhosOn cloud: $33/month/1 user
  • WhosOn on-premises: $46/month/1 user
  • WhosOn enterprise: $46/month/1 user

12. Pure Chat

Pure Chat’s live chat software includes features like a customizable chat widget, native iOS and Android apps, unlimited chats, and a powerful operator dashboard. They allow 3 operators for free in this package. 

You can also use their free automated chatbot to capture leads, schedule appointments, and finish payments. Other notable features of this software program include chat notifications, pre-chat info forms, and canned responses.

Key Features

  • Co-browse feature
  • Push-link to visitors
  • Real-time data
  • Customer journey reports

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Starter: $15/month
  • Basic: $29/month
  • Corporate: $59/month
  • Enterprise: $99/month

13. Comm100

Comm100 allows you to reach customers via traditional messaging, audio, and videos, and also provides co-browsing and remote browser control. To resolve issues faster, you can also share URLs and files on its platform.

You can make stronger connections with your visitors using its personalization feature. It gives you access to information like your visitor’s location, purchase history, and more.

Its multi-language capability ensures that you can reach out to your visitors in their native languages with ease.

Key Features

  • Multi-language chat
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Canned messages
  • Automated chat distribution

Pricing

  • Live Chat Startup: $24/month
  • Live Chat Plus: $41/month
Image via Comm100

14. JivoChat

This all-in-one business manager makes sure you can get in touch with your customers on all possible platforms. You can receive calls, emails, and chats on a single screen.

To reduce your bounce rate, you can also proactively invite your customers for a chat. It allows you to translate your messages into 20 languages, so you can reach a diverse audience.

Image via JivoChat

What’s more, JivoChat works on all modern operating systems, mobile devices, and browsers. It also has options for integration with platforms like Weebly, Wix, BigCommerce, and others.

Key Features

  • Real-time visitor monitoring
  • Page view history
  • Email chat transcripts
  • Performance reports

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Professional: $6.29/month per agent
  • Enterprise: Custom quotation

15. Freshworks

Conversion, support, or onboarding — whatever your aim is, Freshworks has something for you. Through all the stages, Freshworks' live chat can ensure that the customer experience is cohesive.

Its IntelliAssign feature is great for team collaboration.

Image via Freshworks

With this feature, Freshworks can assign any conversation automatically to agents in your organization based on their skills. It also takes into factor the conversation load that they can handle.

You can keep track of important metrics like resolution time, average response time, first response time, and more from your dashboard.

Image via Freshworks

Key Features

  • Internal notifications
  • Transactional emails
  • Journey builder
  • Auto resolve chats

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Growth: $15/month
  • Pro: $39/month
  • Enterprise: $69/month

16. REVE Chat

This omnichannel live chat software allows you to interact and collaborate with your customers using co-browsing. You can also share your screen with them to communicate with them more effectively.

They also allow voice and video calls to make sure that customers get the best experience. 

This software solution distributes your chats intelligently among your agents. Other notable features include multichannel support, live chat analytics, and more.

Key Features

  • Viber messaging
  • Voice and audio chat
  • Auto triggers
  • Visitor analytics

Pricing

  • Standard: $13.50/month/agent
  • Advanced: $22.50/month/agent
  • Enterprise: $45/month/agent
Image via REVE Chat

17. ZaZaChat

Using ZaZaChat, you can send behavior-based messages to your customers. Instead of waiting for them to ask you a question, you can directly send a message based on their actions.

Image via ZazaChat

Even before you begin your chat, you can use their pre-form feature to collect their contact information. 

Its Mobile Chat feature enables your agents to communicate with your customers using their mobile devices. It offers customization options for your chat and auto invitation windows.

Key Features

  • Needs analysis
  • Custom pre-chat surveys
  • Real-time data
  • Live chat transcripts

Pricing

  • Team: $49/month
  • Growth: $79/month
  • Suite Professional: $99/month

18. Zoho SalesIQ

Zoho SalesIQ believes in a proactive approach when it comes to customer support. So, their live chat software feature allows you to send messages to your visitors even before they type a query. Based on their in-chat knowledge base, you can embed links to popular FAQs or other articles.

When your staff isn’t around, Zoho will step in for you. You can set up an offline agent that can handle questions for you.

Key Features

  • Audio calling
  • Screen sharing
  • Instant messaging channels
  • Behavior tracking

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Basic: $7/month
  • Professional: $12.75/month
  • Enterprise: $20/month
Image via Zoho SalesIQ

19. LiveAgent

LiveAgent makes it easy for you to get in touch with your customers on multiple platforms. On its live chat software, you can create a universal inbox for your social media mentions, emails, chats, and calls.

Other features include a powerful ticketing system, a call center, and a live chat support center.

Key Features

  • Ticketing system
  • Agent collision detection
  • Automated ticket distribution
  • Audit log

Pricing

  • Ticket: $15/agent/month
  • Ticket + Chat: $29/agent/month
  • All-inclusive: $49/agent/month
  • Free: $0/agent/month
Image via LiveAgent

20 Happyfox

Happyfox is easy to install and can be set up in just a few minutes. Once it’s done, you can match it to your brand’s aesthetics. 

You don’t need to be a pro at coding for it. It’s a simple process that requires you to follow a few steps.

Image via Happyfox

They have different features for those who want to use the live chat tool for support and those who want to use it to increase sales.

It offers integrations with business applications like Slack, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Zapier, and others.

So, you can access data from these apps directly from Happyfox.

Key Features

  • Multi-dimensional filtering
  • Recent activity tracker
  • Email to ticker
  • Advanced workflow automation

Pricing

  • Starter: $29/month
  • Growth: $49/month
  • Scale: $149/month
  • Scale plus: $299/month

Comparison of the Best Live Chat Platforms

Here’s a quick overview of the best live chat platforms and their key features.

NamePriceKey Features
LiveChatStarts at $20/month1] Message sneak-peek
2] Chat tags
3] Inactivity messages
OlarkStarts at $29/month1] Automated messages,
2] Real-time reporting,
3] Searchable transcripts,
IntercomContact their sales team for a custom quote1] Handles complex queries
2] Advanced ticketing workflow
3] Next-gen inbox
KayakoStarts at $625/month1] Simple, unified messenger
2] Easy integration
3] Advanced ticker workflow
AcquireContact their sales team for a custom quote1] Co-browsing feature
2] Video and audio chat
3] Integrated chatbot
LiveHelpNowStarts at $21/month1] SMS support
2] Unlimited agents
3] Email ticket system
TawkFree1] Simple copy and paste live chat solution
2] Monitor live chats in real time
3] Options for video and voice calls
OCC Live HelpStarts at $5/month1] Multiple operators
2] Real-time engagement with translation
3] Missed chat requests notifications
UserlikeStarts at $90/month1] Built-in chat panel
2] Custom design templates
3] Team management functions
My LiveChatStarts at $15/month1] Co-browse feature
2] Push-link to visitors
3] Real-time data

FAQ

Q1. What is live chat software?

A. Live chat tools combine an instant messaging service with ticketing, CRM, and content marketing to help you provide a great user experience to your website visitors.
 
The front end comprises an on-site chatbox where visitors type their requests. The back end is more complex. It connects the chatbox to your CRM, email list, ticketing system, and blog to find the right response to the typed requests.
 
Some sophisticated software can generate tickets, assign tasks, and provide personalized shopping suggestions and useful content to keep users engaged and happy.

Q2. What are the common features of live chat software?

A. Most live chat software solutions have these features:
– Visitor tracking
– Live chat
– Chat rating
– Chat monitoring and rating
– Mobilize optimization
– Canned responses
– Operator evaluation

Q3. What are the common benefits of live chat software?

A. You need to leverage live chat software for your website since:

It is the preferred channel for customer support, according to 41% of consumers. People like live chat because it is self-paced, unintrusive, and practical. They can share screens, share documents, and do voice and video calls to explain their issues more clearly.

It offers a connected customer experience. For users with physical impairments, live chat is an easier alternative to voice/video calls.

It delivers first-contact resolution of issues, improving productivity, reducing operational costs, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Q4. Which live chat software is the best?

A. LiveChat is the best live chat software solution around. With a clientele of 27,000+ companies across 150 countries, LiveChat is one of the most popular tools for live chatting. Its biggest strength lies in its simplicity.
 
It’s clean, easy-to-use, and clutter-free. You can seamlessly integrate it with 130 tools, such as WordPress, Shopify, MailChimp, and others.
 
It is available for $16 per seat per month. Prices can go up to $50, depending on the features you opt for.

Q5. What is the best free live chat software?

A. Tawk is a 100% free live chat software. You can hire live agents for $1 per seat to answer customer queries.
 
To get this software working, you need to copy a simple JavaScript snippet and paste it into your website’s HTML. Within a minute, the software is up and running.
 
Tawk.to monitors chats in real-time and analyzes them. The chats are available in an easy-to-read manner. Apart from chatting, Tawk also offers options for video and voice calling.

Q6. Is live chat a real person?

A. More often than not, live chat is done with real people. To check if you’re talking to a human or a bot, you should look at the response rate. Bots will typically answer instantly since they fetch answers from their pre-fed database. Humans, on the other hand, take longer to comprehend the question, formulate a response, and type it on screen.

Q7. How do I install LiveChat?

A. Here are the steps to install LiveChat:

– Create a trial account on LiveChat.
– Set goals and KPIs.
– Bring agents on board.
– Configure the software and perform a trial run.
– Add the chat widget to your website.
– Analyze the first few chats.
– Retune your strategy and track your KPIs.
– If satisfied, buy a paid plan.

Q8. What businesses need live chat software?

A. All businesses with an online presence can benefit from using live chat software. If you have a website, blog, mobile app, or any other customer-facing property, you need live chat services to reach and engage your customers in real time.

The best part is that there are many live chat software solutions like Tawk that are available free of cost, which means they are within the reach of solopreneurs, startups, and small businesses as well.

Q9. Why do you need a live chat software program?

A. You need to leverage live chat software for your website since:

– It is the preferred channel for customer support according to 41% of consumers. People like live chat because it is self-paced, unintrusive, and practical. They can share screens, share documents, and do voice and video calls to explain their issues more clearly.

– It offers a connected customer experience. For users with physical impairments, live chat is an easier alternative to voice/video calls.

– It delivers first-contact resolution of issues, improving productivity, reducing operational costs, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Q10. How can I get LiveChat on my website?

A. Here are the steps to install LiveChat:

– Create a trial account on LiveChat.
– Set goals and KPIs.
– Bring agents on-board.
– Configure the software and perform a trial run.
– Add the live chat widget to your website.
– Analyze the first few chats.
– Retune your strategy and track your KPIs.
– If satisfied, buy a paid plan.

Which is the Best Live Chat Software?

Live chat software can take your customer support to the next level. It allows you to respond to a customer’s queries in seconds. In some cases, you could proactively send them an answer even before they ask you for it.

Not just that, but it can also improve customer satisfaction and get you more conversions. I hope you find the best live chat software for your business from the tools mentioned above.

In your opinion, which is the best live chat software? Please share your views in the comments section.

Disclosure: This content has a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

9 Comments

  1. I have good knowledge of live chat software, but even though I was not knowing about some of the above-given software,
    I got some new piece of information from this post.
    Thank you.

  2. Your live chat software solutions are easier to scale than phone or voice-based customer support. Thanks keep it up.

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