Finding the best live chat software for your business is no easy task. Options range from simple live chat apps to full-fledged customer support platforms for complex sales processes.
And what does best live chat software mean anyway? What’s perfect for one business is overly complicated for another. Or not enough. The live chat landscape is competitive and the functionalities available are exciting for marketers. It’s definitely a big plus to add a live chat to your website, whatever the industry.
This comparison of the leading providers of live chat software will help you find the one service that best fits your business needs and budget.
The Benefits of Live Chat Software for Business
Among all digital marketing tools, you might be wondering why live chat is important. Above all, it’s a customer service and direct communication tool. Reaching visitors directly as they browse your site increases customer engagement, improves the customer experience, and directly or indirectly, increases your sales.
A live chat app:
- streamlines customer support;
- can answer inquiries outside office hours thanks to automation;
- can offer self-help resources to decrease the workload of your team;
- lets you contact leads without an email signup form;
- enables you to initiate direct contact proactively;
- keeps a customer on the site for longer and even converts them;
- delivers better user experience through a targeted approach and personalization;
- gathers customer insights for improvement.
Live Chat Software Comparison
Let’s take a look at the top live chat apps on the market and what businesses we think they’re most suitable for.
Chatra — best live chat software for websites
LiveChat — best live chat for big teams
LiveAgent — best customer service platform for large businesses
Zendesk — best live chat for tech scale-ups with knowledge management needs
Gorgias — best live chat software for ecommerce
Freshdesk — best customer support tools for big companies working both offline and online
Tidio — best live chat software for small business
Intercom — best live chat for SaaS
Olark — best live chat app for businesses dealing with people with disabilities
Hubspot Service Hub — best live chat for sales teams
The 10 Best Live Chat Software Compared
Chatra is a complete live chat software for websites and ecommerce stores. It streamlines conversations from the most used channels — email, messenger, and on site, for better organized and faster customer service.
Chatra lets you talk to site visitors in real time or automate engagement with triggered messages and answer at your own pace. This takes off the pressure from you and your support team to man the live chat at all times while still enhancing the customer experience.
Another great feature is the ability to target visitors on specific pages — like a product page, where you can help them choose in real time and improve your conversion rates.
And on top of that, Chatra integrates with most major ecommerce platforms and lets you see what the visitor has added to their cart. This way, you can make sure they pick the right size, for example, and make them a happy customer. It also opens opportunities for upsells!
Some of Chatra’s notable live chat features include:
- Integration with Facebook Messenger and Instagram so you can manage all channels from one place
- Visitor details — location, what pages they’re on at the moment when you’re talking to them
- Shopping cart contents — if your ecommerce store is on Shopify, BigCommerce, Ecwid, or WooCommerce, you’ll be able to see what they’ve added to their cart on this visit
- Targeted messages and triggers — proactively contact visitors on certain pages or after they’ve been stuck on a page for some time
- Typing insights — you’ll see what the visitor is typing before they hit enter so you have more time to prepare your answer and still get back to them fast
Price: Free plan available; starts from $21/ month per agent
LiveChat is positioned as a multichannel customer support service. It covers Facebook, SMS, email, WhatsApp, and Apple Business Chat on top of its website widget. It also integrates with many tools and most ecommerce platforms.
LiveChat offers a ticketing system, chat routing (assigning chats to support agents), team management tools, and sales goal tracker among many other features. This makes it suitable for bigger teams of reps, looking for a live chat software to service a large number of visitors and customers.
What makes LiveChat stand out as a live chat solution is the ability to add clickable buttons, quick replies, and cards and carousels in the chat. This makes it very engaging and helpful to visitors willing to get assistance this way.
However, although LiveChat offers automations like canned responses, if you want to use chatbots, you need to add another app. ChatBot is also made by the same company and works seamlessly with LiveChat, it’s just a separate thing to buy and set up.
LiveChat features worth mentioning:
- Product cards let you feature and recommend products directly in the chat
- Extensive reporting available
- The chat widget for websites is customizable by page — for example, the pricing page can benefit from more eye-catching colors, while a welcome message on the home page doesn’t need to be that intrusive
- You can add a “Chat now” button to pages instead of having the chat widget pop up.
- Being able to save answers to FAQ and reuse them is quite a useful feature.
Price: 14-day free trial; plans start from $19/month per agent
LiveAgent is another 360-degree live chat software. In addition to live chat, it boasts a ticketing system, built-in call center, knowledge base builder, and a customer access portal. These additional features provide self-service help options so visitors and customers can find the answers to FAQs and check the status of their support tickets without going through your team.
LiveAgent’s website chat software offers customization options, video chat, and multilingual chat boxes. It also lets you set chat assignment rules so customer questions get answered by the most suitable agent.
Proactive chat invitations are another interesting feature. They’re set up to reach out to a visitor on a specific page but it’s still one of your chat agents answering live. LiveAgent uses AI to trigger those proactive invites when your agents are free to engage with another customer.
LiveAgent integrates with multiple communication channels such as Slack, Twitter, Viber, forums, and Facebook to bring all support queries under one roof.
Price: 14-day free trial; ticketing + live chat app starts at $29/month
Zendesk is a live chat for customer service, and the same company makes Zendesk Sell, a Sales CRM platform. With AI and automation focus, a ticketing system and reporting, Zendesk’s chat software is suitable for companies looking to scale up.
It’s geared towards bigger teams, offering routing, collaboration tools, and knowledge management to boost agent efficiency.
Zendesk brings conversations from messaging platforms, social, website, email and voice over in one agent workspace. And an Answer Bot is available on all of those channels. You can also create various flows for the bot to follow in different situations with customers.
It also has tools to reduce customer service load coming through the business chat software. You can create a help center, a knowledge base, or a community forum to let customers help themselves.
Price: free trial available; plans start from $19 per agent per month, billed annually
Gorgias is positioned as live chat software for ecommerce. It offers detailed customer reporting and sales tracking. Gorgias combines a ticket help desk software with live chat to provide support and increase sales. Through integrations with Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce, you can update customer orders and refunds as you chat with them.
Gorgias pulls conversations from Facebook, Instagram, email, and SMS into one unified live chat app. It also lets you respond to comments on Instagram ads and social media posts to speed up the conversion process.
Gorgias stands out because of its pricing. It’s not based on agent number — the plans include unlimited users.
While automations like instant answers and self-service scenarios are available, they’re an add-on to the monthly plans, starting at $75 per month when coupled with the Basic plan.
Price: 7-day free trial; plans start from $60/month
Freshdesk is a customer service solution, not just a live chat software for websites. That’s why it appears to be geared more towards bigger teams and complex organizations working both offline and online. It includes a few separate products: Support Desk, Messaging, Contact Center, and Customer Success. You can get them separately or all combined in the Omnichannel Suite.
A few features to mention are:
- a comprehensive big-team ticketing system,
- a support platform unifying email, phone, chat, social media, website, and WhatsApp
- field workforce management tools,
- call center system,
- detailed reports.
As a live chat app, Freshdesk offers automation through a chatbot, powered by AI. It can understand the intent of a question and deliver ready answers, engaging the customer for as long as possible before handing over to a live agent.
There’s a help widget that can be triggered on pages of your choice to offer assistance proactively or deliver resources. The standard customization options and contextual support based on where the visitor is on your website are also available.
Price: 21-day free trial; free plan available, Messaging plans start at $18/month per agent
Tidio combines live chat for customer service and chatbots. It’s focused on sales and customer insights, which makes it a suitable live chat software for small business. Integrations with most popular platforms like Shopify, Wix, and WordPress.
Tidio connects email, Messenger, Instagram, and website chat. It also lets you collect emails for further communication. The quick reply feature lets agents reuse answers to frequently asked questions and save time. There are also automation templates and a drag-and-drop editor for building chatbot flows.
A few of the use cases of Tidio as a live chat for customer service are:
- send a welcome message and give a discount;
- reach out proactively to hesitant shoppers and prevent cart abandonment;
- catch people about to leave and keep them on page,
- welcome returning visitors,
- suggest products in chat.
Price: Free plan available for up to 3 chat operators; Chatbots plans start at $39/ month
Intercom is probably the most popular live chat software, especially among SaaS businesses. In addition to live chat, it offers bots, product tours, app integration (like scheduling a Google Meet meeting), and help center tools. It keeps customer history handy, too, to be referenced when needed for future chats.
Intercom’s live chat does it all: live and automated customer engagement. You can set up promotional banners, proactively reach out on particular pages, and broadcast outbound messages. Announcing a new feature or drawing attention to a product is made easy with in-app messages.
The self-support functionality makes it possible to send help articles or automatic templated answers in response to certain questions. Another feature is the resolution bot, which gives visitors a few options to choose from and guide them through an automated service. It’s an active channel of communication completely under your control.
Price: 14-day free trial; starts at $67/ month, billed annually
Olark is a live chat software with a friendly appeal. It provides team management tools like shared canned responses and chat distribution to help small teams manage the customer service load.
For example, the automations by location and browsing behavior are handy for quickly answering inquiries and resolving issues. Custom chatbox forms are another good feature. They ask the visitor predefined questions so you have more information about their needs before you start chatting with them.
Customization options for the Olark chat widget for websites include design and language. The reporting is also quite advanced, showing insights about activity to help you make staff schedules and sort conversations by topic. There are also transcripts where you can search through chat history for insights.
A notable feature of Olark is the accessibility of their live chat widget. It’s usable with a keyboard only and readable by screen readers. It also supports large text. This can be a competitive advantage if your website is frequented by people with disabilities.
Price: 14-day free trial; plans start at $29/month per agent
Service Hub is the live chat support software, part of Hubspot. It includes chat widget, help desk automation, ticketing, knowledge base, feedback surveys, and reporting.
The live chat features include chat window customization options and the ability to reach certain audience segments. You can also build your bots inside Hubspot to answer questions, book meetings, or qualify leads.
Thanks to the CRM integration, agents have all customer data in front of them when chatting, dealing with support tickets, making calls, and so on. It’s not just a live chat app, it’s a sales management platform. Features like VoIP calling, self-service customer portal, video messaging, and team management add to that.
Price: free plan available; Starter plan from $45/month
How About a Free Live Chat App for Your Website?
For many small businesses, adding yet another digital tool to their website can be overwhelming. That’s why Sendinblue offers live chat together with all other digital marketing tools (email, email automation, landing pages, signup forms, CRM, SMS marketing).
Sendiblue’s live chat app takes just minutes to set up on your site and can be customized to match your branding. You can start talking to your site visitors right away and keep track of conversations in a single inbox. With the page tracking feature, you’ll know where exactly people are so you can answer their questions and needs fast.
The best part? It’s free. Sendinblue’s free plan includes free live chat software for one user. It’s perfect for small businesses or ecommerce stores looking to grow on a budget.
Get live chat with Sendinblue’s free plan
Free plan includes access to live chat, inbox, unlimited contacts CRM, 300 emails/day, and ready email templates.