14+ Best Live Chat Software, Services and Solutions Compared [2021]

In a survey conducted by Hubspot, customers reported expecting a response within 10 minutes of posting a query. Welcome to the new world of business where customer satisfaction = instant gratification.

Live Chat support – the single, viable resolution to instant customer responses, is on the rise. Over the years, live chat has evolved with the evolvement of technology. Most live chat services now include chatbots that use artificial intelligence to engage with website visitors. 

The Contents

  • Does your business really need a Live Chat? 
  • Checklist before buying a live chat service
  • 14+ Live chat software reviews 

Does your business really need a Live Chat? 

Even before choosing from the many options available for live chat services in the market, consider if your business needs a live chat function at all.

Your business definitely needs a live chat function if you are

  • in a core customer-centric B2C business, i.e., your business directly caters to customers.
  • Selling tangible products that encompass a return, change, and refund window. 
  • Offering virtual products and services to clients all across the globe.

Some businesses that can possibly do without a live chat option in their websites are blogging websites (learn how to start one here) and restaurants that enable booking through 3rd party apps. Most businesses would ideally benefit from some sort of direct communication with their clients, best facilitated by a chat button on their websites.

A good yardstick to measure if you need live chat support is to analyze if your customers are looking for instant answers. You can also keep a check on your competitors to see if they are adopting live chat support to keep themselves ahead of the customer retention and acquiring spree.

If your top competitors are doing that, it’s time for you to go thoroughly through our 14+ live chat service and software reviews and find out the best-suited one for your business. 

best-live-chat-services

Checklist before buying a live chat service

Now that you have decided to go for a live chat service, consider the following quickly before reading the reviews :

Resource: Do you have the staffing arrangements to operate your customers’ live chat support 24/7? Would your customer support team operate on weekends? 

Type of inquiry: Do you receive inquiries mostly on a few questions about how to operate your software or how to subscribe to a plan? If yes, a chatbot might be better suited.

Or are your queries more product-specific and need a live human interaction most of the time? 

Sales-geared or support-geared: Do you need a live chat service for sales and upselling, or is it for customer service?  Perhaps a mix of both?

14+ Live chat software reviews 

Let us now look at the top choices for live chat software.

tawk.to

Has Chatbot Feature No Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

tawk.to-free-live-chat-service

As improbable as it may sound, tawk. is a 100% free live chat platform that provides ticketing, live chat, knowledgebase, and team support. 

As per the tawk.The website has the largest market share in the live chat software market, and the reason is not hard to guess. Thousands and thousands of businesses worldwide use the tawk. To the platform for their live chat requirements. 

Tawk. has all the features that the advanced chat services have, except perhaps the bot feature. Instead, tawk.to has an incredible Chat Pages functionality. The Chat Pages are for-chat landing pages that help you turn prospects from social media like Twitter to prospective clients. Ideal for freelancers, I would say. 

Some prominent features are mentioned below. 

Features of tawk.to:

  • Quick startup by implementing an HTML code to your website (not a difficult task, your dev should be able to put it up for you in less than a minute). 
  • Visitor tracking in real-time. 
  • Chat feature in more than 45 languages.
  • Android and iOS devices compatibility. 
  • Message sneak-peek, tags, shortcuts, and spam filtering of visitors. 
  • File transfer and screen sharing. 
  • Team chat
  • Ticketing and chat routing. 
  • Emojis and progress tracking.

Pricing: tawk.to is completely free. All of its features are offered in the free plan. 

Try tawk.to completely free

LiveChat

Has Chatbot Feature No Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan No

livechat-website-chat-platform

LiveChat is one of the few live chat services that provide many amazing features and wide customization at affordable rates.

You can pretty much do anything with your LiveChat chat widget – customize it differently for different pages, position it in the pages as you wish to, or set it up differently for desktop and mobile. 

Let us look at some of the interesting features of LiveChat.

Features of LiveChat:

  • Available in 45+ languages for international and domestic customers. 
  • Completely secure with 256-bit encryption. LiveChat even detects card details and masks necessary information like credit card numbers. 
  • Hugely customizable with options for making your chat widget stand out. You can use pre-built images or upload one of your own to use in your chat widget. 
  • Advanced chat routing – automatic and manual – to the sales team and other support teams. 
  • An off-hours ticketing system is available. This means, when you are off your active hours, a support ticket form will be available. Customers can use this form to reach out and be responded to later. 
  • Detailed reports on total chats, missed chats, conversion from greetings, duration of chats, and other important metrics. You can stay on top of your support team by checking on agent activity. You can also get predictions on support staff requirements. 
  • Facebook and Twilio messaging integration right from within the LiveChat widget. 
  • Canned response feature available for your most-asked questions.

Apart from the above features, LiveChat allows for 170+ integrations with 3rd party apps. 

LiveChat also allows you to check what your customers are typing. This enables faster replying. After all, one of the major requirements fulfilled by live chat functionality is fast answers and faster resolutions. 

Pricing: LiveChat has no free plan. The Starter Plan that is good for startups and medium enterprises is priced at $16 per agent per month when billed yearly. LiveChat has plans that support larger businesses too. 

Try LiveChat Today for 14 Days Free. 

JivoChat

Has Chatbot Feature No Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

jivochat-live-chat-services

Founded in 2012, JivoChat is a popular choice when it comes to live chat service.

One of the best things about JivoChat is its simple plan and pricing structure. They have a single plan based on per agent usage. You get all the features of the live chat service within that paid plan.

And not just the pricing – everything about JivoChat spells simplicity. The chat widget does not come with a lot of paraphernalia. You can definitely brand it as per your company, but there’s not too much unnecessary customization available, which makes it desirable for many users. After all, with live chat functionality, the decoration is a secondary purpose – usability is primary. 

Let us look at some of the striking features of JivoChat.

Features of JivoChat:

  • The super fast loading speed of the chat widget.
  • Works with Android and iOS devices perfectly. 
  • Seamlessly helps communicate through phone, email, and Facebook from the same chat window. 
  • Ability to create canned responses for most-asked questions. 
  • You can handle multiple chats at the same time. You can even color-code chats for ease. 
  • You can invite visitors for a chat and mark unwanted visitors as spam. 
  • Transfer chats to different departments or agents. 
  •  Advanced metrics on chat – missed chats, average time spent on chats, and much more. 
  • Total control over agents through the agents’ analytics. It allows you to tackle agent performance with the help of user reviews. 
  • Integrates with your CRM to have a better workflow. 
  • Reminder feature for callbacks and other activities.

With JivoChat, you can also check messages as users type them – a feature that is commonly known as message sneak-peek.

You can also check the visitor’s location and details of the source from where the visitor found your website. What’s more, if you receive chat in a foreign language unknown to you, JivoChat has an inbuilt translator that translates more than 90 languages. Cool!

Pricing: JivoChat is priced at $13 per user per month when billed annually. There is also a free plan that hosts unlimited chats for up to 5 agents. 

Try JivoChat for free. 

Olark

Has Chatbot Feature No Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan No

olark-live-chat-software

With a completely remote team spread around different time zones, Olark is a live chat service provider that itself provides great customer support to its users worldwide. 

Olark has a really competitive pricing structure that sets it apart from its competitors. The live chat service is armed with almost all the important features needed. 

You can custom brand the chat widget, use the shortcuts for a faster communication, and integrate with tons of 3rd party apps. 

Here are the most important features of Olark for you to browse –

Features of Olark:

  • Automated chat messages to greet and engage customers.
  • Drag and drop editor to build pre-chat customer data collection forms.
  • Route chats to the concerned departments and team members. 
  • Advanced chat transcript filtration and data sorting. You can find customer name and email and actionable information like follow up requirements from your chat transcripts. 
  • Live chat analytics to check agent activity, chat activity, and customer satisfaction.

Getting started with Olark is easy. They also have good resources on the website to help you get started. 

Pricing: Olark is available at $12 per agent per month when purchased for a 2-year subscription. 

Try Olark for Free for 14 Days

Chaport

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

chaport-website-live-chat-service

Chaport is a relative newcomer in the live chat SaaS front. Chaport is in our top 10, mainly because of 2 reasons – the simplicity of the interface and the competitive pricing. 

The Chaport paid plan supports multi-channels like Facebook and Telegram. The following are the most important features of the chat service. 

Features of Chaport:

  • Chaport enables auto-invitations for a chat to visitors based on pre-set rules. 
  • Detailed visitor information and visitor message sneak-peek available. 
  • The advanced message features present like read-receipt, editing, and deleting already sent messages. 
  • Multiple languages supported. 
  • Chat transfer and group chat available for faster resolution of queries. 
  • Ability to set canned responses. 
  • Attach files and images through the chat widget. 
  • 3rd party app integration for a large number of apps. 

Chaport also allows for brand customization. The Chaport branding, however, gets removed only if 5 or more user accounts are paid for.

Pricing: If you are interested in using Chaport, you can go for their free trial. Chaport has single pricing of $9.80 per user per month when paid annually.

Chaport also has a forever free plan for 1 user. 

Try Chaport for Free. 

Freshchat

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

freshworks-live-chat-service

If you are looking for a multichannel chat platform powered by artificial intelligence, Freshchat is for you.

With a focus on integrating multiple messaging tools all in one, Freshchat combines Whatsapp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and Line messages for you all under its chat widget. 

Freshchat also has advanced AI and bot builders that help set up chatbots. 

Some other noteworthy features of Freshchat are –

Features of Freshchat:

  • Calling, chat, and email is available in the single chat widget.
  • More than 33 languages are supported. There is also the option for live translation from other languages. 
  • Tracking of customer and visitor behavior on the website.
  • Ability to send targeted messages to customers.
  • Supports multiple agents at the same time.
  • Priority Inbox feature helps focus on the most important conversations that have actionable items. 
  • Numerous 3rd party integrations are available. 

Pricing: Freshchat is perfect for product-based businesses that can help benefit from its progressive customer behavior tracking. Freshchat has several plans available as you scale your business for greater growth. The lowest plan starts at $15 per month per user

Freshchat also has a Free plan that supports up to 100 agents. Impressive!

For all paid plans, there is a trial period of 21 days.

Try Freshchat for Free for 21 days. 

Smartsupp

Has Chatbot Feature No Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

smartsupp-live-chat-service

Smartsupp was built keeping fair pricing in mind, and it still does go by its mission. 

Smartsupp is incredibly simple and has been built keeping small and medium businesses in mind. It is available for Android and iOS platforms. It is a very lightweight application that loads up fast. 

Features of Smartsupp:

  • Custom branding with the ability to put up photos of your customer reps. 
  • Email and Facebook messenger integrated into the live chat widget. 
  • Easy to understand visitor metrics. 
  • Creating automatic messages to send to customers based on their browsing behavior. 
  • Video recordings of customer behavior on your website are a novel feature of the Smartsupp live chat service.
  • Ratings from customers help assess team performance. 
  • Custom positioning of the chat widget, blocking visitors and shortcuts for fast resolution available. 

Pricing: Smartsupp has a free plan for up to 3 agents. The paid plans are affordable. 

The Standard Plan is priced at $10 for up to3 users per month when paid annually. 

Try Smartsupp for free by clicking here.

LiveAgent

Has Chatbot Feature No Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

liveagent-live-chat-and-ticketing-service

LiveAgent is one of the few live chat services with a demo presentation available for customers to test drive the software before buying it. 

What is best, they have a separate ticketing system that comes off as a separate product if you do not have the staff to employ for live chat sessions, but nonetheless want to capture real-time queries of customers and prospective buyers. 

The Ticket + Chat Plan of LiveAgent is super packed with features that make customer support and ticketing easy for your customer support team. Some important features are mentioned below. 

Features of LiveAgent:

  • You can build predefined answers to commonly asked questions.
  • Advanced ticketing system with options to add relevant data to existing tickets.
  • Different tags for live chat customers and tickets. 
  • Reminders for solving ticket queries. 
  • Agent time tracking and rating available. Agents can pause responding activities when going for a break.
  • Attachment of images and files and copy-pasting of images is available. You can also use gifs to animate conversations. 
  • Integration with CRM, Slack, and a lot of other apps. 
  • Auto hiding of live status of chat when there is a long queue. 

LiveAgent comes with a lot of customization in terms of the look and feel of chat buttons and widgets. They have taken the ticketing system to a whole new level with a lot of advanced options. 

Pricing: LiveAgent has 4 plans to choose from. Their Tickets only plan is priced at $15 per agent per month. The Ticket + Chat plan is priced at $29 per agent per month. Though costlier than some of the other chat services, the features and customization are totally worth paying for. 

You can also try the free plan that offers both ticketing and live chat. The paid plans come with a 14 day trial period.

Try LiveAgent for Free for 14 days. 

Zendesk Chat

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

zendesk-chat-for-your-business

Zendesk Chat is one of the most widely used chat services and has a wide reach worldwide.  Integrating voice, email, and social media, Zendesk helps create a powerful presence that can help boost sales and retain customers. 

Zendesk Chat is a part of a total help desk solution from Zendesk with apps and services related to sales, marketing, help desk, knowledge base, and ticketing support. 

Features of Zendesk Chat:

  • AI-powered chatbots simplify automation by posing queries and responding to queries.
  • Files and images attachment to chat. 
  • Offline ticketing available. 
  • Pre-chat forms feature available. 
  • Chat invitations to visitors for better conversion. 
  • Easy to understand chat report and conversion tracking. 
  • Agent activity reports and ratings. 
  • Customizable chat widget and buttons. 
  • Chat routing, tagging available. You can set chat hours. 
  • Available for mobile devices. 

Zendesk lets you handle multiple chats at the same time. They have a complete Resources section with articles, APIs, webinars, and customer stories to help you get started. 

Pricing: Zendesk has a forever free plan that has very limited features. There are 3 paid plans. The lowest plan is priced at $14 per agent per month. If you would like to try one of their plans, there is a free trial for you to sign up before you actually pay for the service. 

Try Zendesk Chat for free. 

Chatbot

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial No
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan No

chatbot-ai-powered-livechat

While many live chat services include some form of bot powered service within their plan or as an auxiliary product, ChatBot takes AI technology to a new level to provide (almost) complete automation to live chat function. 

ChatBot is a perfect fit for businesses that have large customer queries flowing in. ChatBot is also perfect for a small business that wants to cut down on employee costs and have a trained bot work with accuracy on customer queries. 

Features of ChatBot:

  • Drag and drop bot builder that does not need tech knowledge. 
  • Build chatbot stories and use ready-made templates to get you started. 
  • Rich messaging system with image and gif and clickable elements. 
  • Integration with Facebook Messenger for multi-channel messaging. Also, the most popular 3rd party apps and CRMs can be integrated. 
  • You can add a real customer rep to the chat conversation if needed. 
  • Advanced machine learning integrated for fast training of bots.
  • Chart representation of reports of chats. 
  • No worrying about your chatbot’s performance – the better trained, the better your chatbot is at responding to queries. 

ChatBot also comes with a lot of brand customization features. AI-powered bots are the future of live chat services. Though bots ideally cannot replace human conversation, they do come very close to and can save up to 70% of your customer service time. 

Pricing: ChatBot has comparatively expensive pricing. However, it is worth paying given the fact that it acts as your human customer representative, saving the cost of an employee. The Started ChatBot plan is priced at $50 for 1 active ChatBot and 1000 chats per month

Try ChatBot Chat for free. 

Drift

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

drift-live-chat-for-websites

Drift has tools that target revenue acceleration for businesses. The live chat is a part of their tools.

A well-known name in the world of live chat services, Drift is the chosen business partner for many well-known companies worldwide. 

Features of Drift:

  • You can connect on a phone call or zoom call right from your live chat widget.
  • You can proactively send messages and ask visitors to schedule a meeting right on the chat widget. 
  • Multiple inbox feature to manage sales and other queries separately. 
  • Internal note-taking to communicate with team-mates regarding a conversation.
  • Chat and visitor insights. 
  • Ratings for your customer reps. 

Pricing: Drift has a free plan that offers a live chat service. The paid plans offer chatbots and all the advanced features. The pricing is not disclosed on the website – the sales team has to be contacted to get custom pricing as per your business needs. 

Try Drift for free

Zoho Desk

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

zohodesk-chat-service

Zoho Desk is the customer service section of Zoho. Known best for its CRM, Zoho Desk is another great tool from Zoho at affordable pricing. 

Zoho Desk provides more than just a live chat option. With their paid plans, you get access to advanced ticketing and AI bot options. Some other striking features are mentioned below. 

Features of Zoho Desk:

  • Multichannel presence to communicate with customers over their preferred channel. 
  • The chatbot can source answers from your knowledge base directly to customers. 
  • The chatbot performs advanced actions like tagging tickets and notifying unusual activity on the ticket board. 
  • Customer self-servicing available, enabling customers to find answers from the chat widget. 
  • Team collaboration on a single chat or ticket resolution. 
  • Attach files and images. 
  • Set wait time for chats, and convert to tickets automatically on non-availability of customer reps. 

Pricing: Zoho Desk offers a free plan with up to 3 agents. There are 3 paid plans, with the lowest plan starting at $12 per month per user. You can also try their free trial of 14 days for the paid plans. 

Try Zoho Desk for free. 

SnapEngage

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial No
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan No

snapengage-live-chat-service

SnapEngage, founded in 2008, has more than a decade’s experience in providing world-class live chat services. With multichannel presence and chatbot availability, SnapEngage can help scale up your growth. Let us take a look at the features. 

Features of SnapEngage:

  • Alternatively, use live chat and bots to ensure a 24/7 presence for your visitors. 
  • Engage prospects using preset triggers and open up a conversation. 
  • Facebook Messenger, Tweet to Chat, WeChat, and SMS to chat integrations. 
  • Audit logs for chats and team performance reports are available. 
  • Integration of 3rd party apps available. 
  • Custom branding with advanced security and encryption to enable safe chatting options for your visitors. 
  • Google Analytics integration to further delve into customer-website insights. 

While their website definitely needs an upgrade, the SnapEngage customer team is an award-winning one. They can help out with the integration of SnapEngage in your website and help with a better understanding of the way the widget and service works. 

Pricing: SnapEngage pricing starts from $16 per month per user. They have no free plan, and no trial period is mentioned on their website. You can connect with them and ask for a demo or a trial. 

Sign up for the SnapEngage Essentials plan. 

Pure Chat

Has Chatbot Feature No Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan No

pure-chat-service-for-website-livechat

With a presence in over 150 countries, Pure Chat has all features necessary for you to engage and convert your prospects into customers. With a built-in SSL security, pre-chat forms, visitor details, and other necessary features, Pure Chat is worth considering if your chat requirements do not involve getting a bot.

Features of Pure Chat:

  • Email ticketing when your agents are not available. 
  • Customizable chat widget with photo uploads. 
  • Available on Android and iOS devices. 
  • Pre-made canned responses and chat alerts. 
  • Scheduling of agent availability. 
  • Unlimited chat history and chat transcripts. 
  • 3rd party integrations. 

Pricing: Pure Chat has 2 plans, each of which supports multiple agents. The starter plan, named Growth, is priced at $39 per month and supports 4 users

Pure Chat does not have a free plan but comes with a 30 day trial period. 

Try Pure Chat for free for 30 days. 

HubSpot Free Live Chat Software

Has Chatbot Feature Yes Free Trial Yes
Ticketing System Yes Free Plan Yes

hubspot-free-live-chat-for-business

Hubspot Live Chat finds a special mention in this list as it is completely free, customizable, and has bots.

And that’s not all.

You can have unlimited chat conversations with your customers. You can route leads to your sales team, and transfer customer queries to the concerned team member – all within the free plan. 

The HubSpot Live Chat works best with the HubSpot CRM. However, you can also integrate the Live Chat software into your website independently without using the CRM. 

Let us look at some of the amazing features of Hubspot Free Live Chat.

Features of HubSpot Live Chat:

  • The chat widget is completely customizable to match your business branding. 
  • Chats are stored in a shared inbox called Conversations, and data from the chats can be pulled up when needed. 
  • You can create automated welcome messages for visitors.
  • Free chatbot builder to build bots that respond to common queries and schedule meetings.

Try Hubspot Live Chat by clicking here.

A lot of other interesting live chat tools like Podium, Acquire.io, and Chatra have been kept out of this list as they did not have clear pricing indicated or seemed too expensive in 2021.

Do you have any of the live chat services from the above list integrated into your website? How has it improved your sales and customer retention? Share with us all the hits and misses you had with your live chat service.

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