Our Top Picks

ActivEngage Logo
ActivEngage
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Transfers/Routing
ActivEngage introduced the first managed live chat service specifically for car dealerships in 2007. It now provides companies with unique digital messaging solutions that improve their customers’ online experience and make it easier for sales teams to convert online auto shoppers. Key features include:

  • Web-Based Software: Handles 10,000+ conversations a day

  • Reporting and Analytics: Tracks chat team’s success within the platform

  • PreRead™: Allows faster responses by pre-reading what’s being typed

  • Lead Form Auto-Fill: Eliminates re-keying errors by instantly detecting and capturing lead information in customizable forms

  • Media Sharing: Provides a shareable media library of pictures and videos

  • CRM Integration: Sends leads directly into CRM systems

  • Lead Routing: Sends leads to appropriate departments

  • Chat Queues: Picks up conversations where they left off

  • Mobile App: Allows messaging on the go

  • Multi-Language Translation: Utilizes an in-console translation feature

  • Google Ads: Engages Google searchers with messaging features in Google Ads

  • Facebook: Connects with social customers through Messenger on business pages and Marketplace listings

  • Other Integrations: Digital retailing, reputation enhancement, service scheduling/appointment setting, trade valuations, vehicle history reports, and so much more

Pros & Cons

ActivEngage delivers a fully managed messaging service for car dealerships, but their robust software is adaptable for any industry. While it doesn’t offer a free trial, interested individuals can request a demo online.

Pros

  • Demo available
  • Transferring and routing features
  • Reporting features

Cons

  • No free trial

What Customers Are Saying

ActivEngage customers frequently comment about its level of customer service and ability to evolve as needed. One long-time customer said, “We use Active Engage for our managed chat on our dealer websites and love them. The appointments they set close at 80%.”

Summary

ActivEngage Logo
ActivEngage
  • Starting Price
    • $99.00/month
    • Contact ActivEngage for pricing details.
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    no
  • Chat Forms
    no
  • Chat Rating
    no
Features
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Transfers/Routing
Website-alive-chat Logo
AliveChat
  • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
AliveChat works with favored browsers and devices and helps companies interact with its website visitors through live chat and automated 24/7 chatbots. Customizable chat windows and multiple window launch options allow businesses to pursue customer engagement in unique ways. Popular features include canned responses, proactive chat, offline chat forms, visitor tracking and third-party integrations, plus:

  • Widgets and Links: Add a welcoming face and easier access to social media or website engagements.

  • Triggers and Automated Messages: Create automatic pop-ups based on set rules with multiple trigger options, including time delays and page visits.

  • AliveMessage: Saves chat messages in an email inbox when agents aren’t available, allowing agents to send replies directly to senders’ emails.

  • AliveChat offers a simple, intuitive interface to reduce agent training time and visual and audio notifications to ensure incoming requests aren’t missed. Management features include chat transcripts, performance stats, log in summaries and robust reporting for administrators.

Pros & Cons

AliveChat offers a 30-day free trial and completely flexible deployment with Mac, Windows, cloud-based, SaaS and iOS and Android device options. With a starting rate of $30 per month for one user and $20 per extra user for basic service, it’s a little higher priced than other options.

Pros

  • Flexible deployment options
  • 30-day free trial

Cons

  • Higher cost
  • Doesn’t have chat rating feature

What Customers Are Saying

“It is very easy to use and has all the features needed for live chat. Screen sharing is still an option, which is rare with live chat integrations these days. It’s nice to see a good implementation,” said one customer. Other customers recommend its easy-to-use tools and well-designed chat boxes.

Summary

Website-alive-chat Logo
AliveChat
  • Starting Price
    • $50.00/month/user
    • SaaS based pricing, cancel anytime and no contract
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    yes
  • Chat Forms
    yes
  • Chat Rating
    no
Features
  • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
BirdEye Logo
BirdEye
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
Designed for businesses of all sizes, BirdEye allows companies to chat in real-time with new and existing customers using a comprehensive platform that scales with the business. Customer service representatives can easily track and share customers’ conversation histories, so they don’t have to re-explain themselves. BirdEye’s wide range of live chat features include:

  • Chatbot: Frees up employees’ time by automatically responding to simple questions and scheduling appointments.

  • Business Texting: Keeps leads engaged after they leave a company’s website by routing messages to their mobile phones and allows businesses to send bulk text messages to numerous contacts with one click

  • Customization: Allows companies to add personal touches to chat windows to make the Webchat widget uniquely theirs.

  • Multi-Location Webchat: Lets companies create different Webchat widgets for as many locations as they need.
    Other popular features include canned responses, proactive chat, chat forms, typing insight, third-party integrations, video chat and lead management.

Pros & Cons

BirdEye offers a broad array of features, including popular features like typing insight, canned responses and proactive chat. It delivers its product over numerous deployment options, including cloud, SaaS and iOS and Android devices. It offers a free trial, but without a known time period, and doesn’t disclose its pricing.

Pros

  • Wide array of deployment options
  • Offers typing insight and proactive chat

Cons

  • Unknown pricing
  • Unknown trial period

What Customers Are Saying

BirdEye customers frequently remark on its superior customer service, quick response when help is needed and positive results in a short time. One customer said, “BirdEye Webchat has helped us capture and convert more leads than ever before, and our customer satisfaction increased substantially.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Not provided by vendor
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    yes
  • Chat Forms
    yes
  • Chat Rating
    yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
Comm100 Logo
Comm100
  • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
Comm100 delivers configurable live chat software with completely flexible deployment options, including on-premise with Mac and Windows installation and web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone, iPad and Android applications. Companies can also connect Comm100 live chat with their shopping carts, CRM and other core business systems.

At no cost, Comm100 offers unlimited chats and unlimited agents for life. The premium versions of Comm100 start at $29 per user per month, but its popular Business package starts at $49 per user per month with key features including:

  • Configurable chat button and window

  • Web, desktop and mobile app for agents

  • File and image sharing

  • MaximumOn™ high-availability servers

  • Audio-video chat

  • Routing by department

  • Auto chat invitation

  • Custom data importing for visitor info

  • IP Restriction

  • Post-chat survey (star rating, NPS or custom)

  • Access to prebuilt integrations

  • Comprehensive reporting

  • Post-chat agent wrap-up

  • Live chat reporting

  • Uncompromising security and privacy

It’s also worth noting that Comm100 does a lot more than just live chat — their platform is built to manage all digital channels together, including email, SMS and social media. They offer an AI chatbot add-on that can be deployed on every channel except email. And they have AI-powered answer suggestions built right into the platform with a tool called Agent Assist. When agents are asked a question, Agent Assist will suggest relevant answers from your knowledge resources (canned messages, knowledge bases, AI chatbots, etc.).

Comm100 is an especially good fit for regulated industries such as healthcare and higher education, as they have a plethora of data security certifications, standards and practices in place.

Pros & Cons

Comm100 offers free basic service and a lower price than many for premium service. Customers have multiple deployment options, both on-premise and web-based, but Comm100 doesn’t provide a timeframe for their premium service free trial, making it difficult to determine whether it’s long enough to judge the service.

Pros

  • Lower starting price
  • Multiple deployment options
  • Third party integrations

Cons

  • Unknown trial period

What Customers Are Saying

Comm100 customers frequently remark on the many features provided with their service. One customer said, “With a user-friendly platform and outstanding support, Comm100 made the integration of digital communication into my daily work easy and straightforward. My clients now have a choice as to how they want to connect with me!”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $29.00/month/user
    • First 3 agents free for our most popular Business edition.
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    yes
  • Chat Forms
    yes
  • Chat Rating
    yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
Drift Logo
Drift
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
Drift is a cloud-based live chat solution that helps businesses increase customer engagement with live chat windows that give customers a direct line to their sales team. It also includes chatbots to handle conversations when a business isn’t online and offers mobile apps compatible with iOS and Android devices for chatting on the go. Notable features include:

  • Canned responses to save time answering common questions

  • Live view to initiate proactive chat conversations

  • Geo-targeting to deliver personalized, relevant experiences

  • Transfer and routing to get conversations to the right reps

  • Drift Intel to identify buyers utilizing chat

  • Drift Playbooks to target leads and route them to account executives

  • Drift Meetings to ensure qualified buyers can book a meeting without leaving the site

  • Chat to Call or Chat to Zoom to start phone calls instantly

  • Conversational ratings to get feedback from new/existing customers

  • Conversation analysis to analyze customer conversations and discover hidden insights

Pros & Cons

Drift offers a free version with basic chat capabilities and Essential, Premium and Enterprise plans with varying advanced features. Basic plans have a higher than average starting cost, but customers can earn discounted rates by paying annually. It also offers a 15-day free trial to test it out first.

Pros

  • 15-day free trial
  • Free version
  • Third-party integrations

Cons

  • Higher than average starting cost

What Customers Are Saying

Customers frequently remark on how easy it is getting set up and started with Drift and their improved customer engagement. One customer said, “It was very quick to set up and start using. I feel that we have improved our business and had better interactions with clients because of Drift.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $50.00/month
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    yes
  • Chat Forms
    yes
  • Chat Rating
    no
Features
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
EngageBay Logo
EgageBay
  • Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web-based
  • Marketing Automation
EngageBay is a live chat software that helps in CRM management. It has been a partner to over 29, 500 growing companies helping them in their marketing, sales, and CRM software. It helps companies in automating sales funnel, nurturing contacts and increasing engagement including sending newsletter, measuring email click through rates and other metrics. Its key features includes:
  • Holistics customer review

  • Automate the creation of tasks and receive periodic reminder alerts

  • Store each and every interaction you have ever had with the customer

  • Slice and dice the data in as many ways as you need

  • Draw powerful insights to streamline sales process, boost efficiency and grow revenue.

  • Manage your email communication end-to-end with CRM Email Integration

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

What Customers Are Saying

Summary

EngageBay Logo
EgageBay
  • Starting Price
    • Basic: $8.99/month
    • Growth: $29.99/month
    • Pro: $47.99/month
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    yes
  • Chat Forms
    yes
  • Chat Rating
    no
Features
  • Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web-based
  • Marketing Automation
Freshchat Logo
Freshchat
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Third-Party Integrations
Freshchat is a cloud-based live chat solution with mobile apps for on the go messaging and a flexible platform that provides custom integration, smart analytics and automated workflows. Businesses can scale with the platform as customer service and sales teams engage with prospective customers.

Chatbots and AI help businesses automate chat responses and initiate proactive chat campaigns to engage customers with targeted outbound messages. It has many third-party integrations with tools businesses already use and chat history that provides full access to previous messages to both team members and end users. Other key features include:

  • Unlimited Contacts

  • Custom Views

  • Web Messenger

  • Team Profiles

  • Priority Inbox for VIP Site Visitors

  • Team Widgets

  • Automated Lead Generation

  • Integrated Customer Self-Service

  • Freshchat offers five service plans, including the free Sprout plan that allows up to 10 free team members and 10,000 unique visitors monthly. Remaining plans include unlimited contacts and 100,000 unique visitors monthly

Pros & Cons

Freshchat offers a 21-day free trial and multiple service plans. While the free basic service has limited capabilities, it works well for smaller businesses with limited live chat needs. It also offers a considerable discount when paying annually, but smaller businesses might not have the budget to take advantage.

Pros

  • 21-day free trial
  • Free basic service
  • Multiple service plans

Cons

  • Doesn’t include typing insight
  • Pricey for upper tier plans

What Customers Are Saying

“Very clean and simple user interface. Instant messaging is very convenient and comes bundled with many features like sharing images and videos,” said one customer. Freshchat customers also frequently comment on the lower cost, convenience of using it on mobile devices and good overall design.

Summary

Freshchat Logo
Freshchat
  • Starting Price
    • $15.00/month/user
    • Sprout (For Startups) : Free Blossom (For all teams) : $15 Per User
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    yes
  • Chat Forms
    yes
  • Chat Rating
    yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Third-Party Integrations
HappyFox Logo
HappyFox
  • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Third-Party Integrations
HappyFox delivers fully customizable live chat software on desktops, the web and mobile apps so businesses can provide real-time customer support from anywhere. Set up live chat widgets to improve lead generations, increase conversion rates and reduce abandoned carts. Use custom-built chatbot solutions to reduce customer support volumes by automatically answering common questions. Other key features include:

  • Canned Responses

  • Routing and Queueing

  • Widget Customizations

  • Live Chat Translation

  • Multi-Brand Chat Widgets

  • Reporting and Analytics

  • Proactive Chat

  • Transfers and Routing

  • Website Visitor Tracking

  • Geo Targeting

  • HappyFox live chat integrates with all popular CRM software, eCommerce platforms, social media sites and analytics tools. It also offers essential security features, including SSL-enabled help desks, encryption by 256-bit AES algorithms, restricted access based on IPs and role-based permissions. Pricing packages start at $29 per month, with unlimited agents on all plans and double the amount of monthly chats when paying annually.

    Pros & Cons

    Some essential features like concurrent chats and unlimited chat histories are only available on HappyFox’s higher tier plans, but monthly pricing includes unlimited agents instead of per-agent pricing like most providers, making these plans more affordable. It does have monthly chat limits, but these are doubled when paying annually.

    Pros

    • Unlimited agents on all plans
    • 14-day free trial
    • Multiple deployment options

    Cons

    • Limits number of monthly chats
    • Some features only available with premium plans

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers frequently commend HappyFox for including unlimited agents with every service plan and how well it integrates with existing services. One customer said, “The system is a much sleeker version than we had before, with some clever features that have really helped improve our service.”

    Summary

    HappyFox Logo
    HappyFox
    • Starting Price
      • $29.00/month
      • All plans comes with unlimited agents licenses. Starting at $29/mo.
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    HubSpot Logo
    Hubspot
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    HubSpot live chat software helps businesses engage with their website visitors in real time to provide better customer support, convert new leads and close more deals. Live chat integrates with HubSpot CRM and automatically stores all chat conversations in a universal inbox for a clear-cut view of every interaction. Business owners can customize chat widgets to match their brands and create targeted welcome messages for different pages or audiences.

    Users can also use chatbots to automate and scale live chat conversations to lighten the load by answering common customer support questions, scheduling meetings and qualifying leads. HubSpot’s chatbot builder integrates with HubSpot CRM, so bots deliver more personalized messages based on information already known about each contact. Other key features include third-party integrations, geo targeting, canned responses, proactive chat, typing insight, chat forms, transfer and routing, site visitor tracking, reporting and file sending.

    Pros & Cons

    HubSpot offers a 14-day free trial for live chat, which automatically integrates with its CRM software. Its web-based and cloud services allow users to access live chat from anywhere, but it doesn’t offer a mobile app or on-premise solutions.

    Pros

    • 14-day free trial
    • Automatically integrates with HubSpot CRM

    Cons

    • No installed deployment options

    What Customers Are Saying

    Many HubSpot customers like the integration between chat and CRM solutions, including one customer who said, “Hubspot is our CRM … I’m very excited that they now have a customer chatbot to plug right into our CRM. I think this genuinely is going to help with our sales efforts.”

    Summary

    • Starting Price
      • $50.00/month
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Hybrid.Chat Logo
    Hybrid.Chat
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Hybrid.Chat is a hybrid live chat platform that combines humans and chatbots, proactively engaging with website visitors 24/7. Businesses can power their chatbots with ready-to-use templates or customize their chat widgets to integrate their brand themes. Chatbots rely on user inputs, including URLs, data, numbers, text and phone numbers and are easily programmable. Chatbot features include:

    • Multilingual chatbots to eliminate language barriers

    • Training chatbots to auto complete questions using its knowledge repository

    • A/B split tests to continuously enhance user experience by testing multiple user responses

    • Adding buttons to give chat flow new direction

    • Adding images and GIFs to make chat flow more engaging

    • Adding emojis to enrich the customer’s conversational experience

    • Human customer support or sales team members can seamlessly take over chats anytime using the messaging platform of their choice to converse with customers in real-time and provide personal assistance. Use Hybrid.Chat alone or integrate it with third-party apps.

    Pros & Cons

    Hybrid.Chat offers a 14-day free trial and multiple plans that all include unlimited agents, instead of charging per agent like most providers. It even offers a free version with limited features. All plans limit the number of monthly conversations, and only the Pro plan allows unlimited concurrent chat sessions.

    Pros

    • 14-day free trial
    • All plans include unlimited agents
    • Low monthly cost

    Cons

    • No installed deployment options
    • Limited concurrent chats with basic plan
    • Limited conversations

    What Customers Are Saying

    “Automating conversations is easy. You just edit an online spreadsheet and it is converted into a chatbot … The chatbot can send SMS, create call conferences, which we can use to connect with agents,” one customer said. Customers also comment on how well Hybrid.Chat increased their leads.

    Summary

    Hybrid.Chat Logo
    Hybrid.Chat
    • Starting Price
      • $29.00/month
      • Free plan start with 1 domain / chatbot with 100 monthly conversations.
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      no
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Kayako Logo
    Kayako
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Kayako live chat software provides real-time customer service and help desk support that engages website visitors and converts prospects into leads. Customize and integrate Kayako into websites to support desktop users or embed it into mobile apps for an integrated experience on iOS and Android devices. Key features include:

  • Customers can start conversations even when a business isn’t online

  • Automatically sending messages to emails when customers step away from chat to continue conversations

  • Customers can pick up previous conversations in the live chat widget when they return to a business’ website

  • Using canned responses and macros to automate responses to common questions

  • Monitoring team performances with team analytics, reports and customer feedback

  • Requesting customer satisfaction ratings to rate live chat conversations and improve service

  • Kayako also logs customers’ page views, help desk searches, orders, shipping history and other events to let businesses’ see their customers’ activity at a glance.

    Pros & Cons

    Kayako offers a 14-day free trial and four pricing plans with different levels of service. Basic plans start at $15 and $30 per user per month, which is at or below average. Premium plans for large businesses and enterprises start at $60 and $100, which can get expensive.

    Pros

    • 14-day free trial
    • Low cost for basic plans

    Cons

    • Per-agent pricing makes premium plans more expensive

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers frequently comment on the modern, easy-to-use interface and increased customer satisfaction. One customer commented, “Kayako helps keep all of our customer communication centralized into a single support suite. It allows our customers to engage more frequently with self-serve help (knowledgebase), chat, and email.”

    Summary

    • Starting Price
      • $15.00/month/user
      • Pricing starts at $15/agent/month for small teams
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      no
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    LiveAgent Logo
    LiveAgent
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    LiveAgent delivers live chat via four predefined chat window styles that allow businesses to define the size, color and position of the chat window and define custom CSS code to fine tune the look and feel. Pre-made live chat buttons allow businesses to place buttons anywhere on their websites and start interacting with customers instantly via live chat, or they can create their own custom buttons using an image upload or HTML code. Chat routing assigns chats to customer service agents through random assignments, average utilization or max utilization or by alerting all agents. Other features include:

    • Drag and drop files directly into chat boxes

    • Add notes to chats that are only visible to agents

    • Invite other agents to chat within the same chat session

    • Automatic proactive chat invitations that encourage customers to talk with an agent

    • Chat feedback that lets customers rate customer support responses during chat sessions

    Pros & Cons

    LiveAgent offers a 14-day free trial and forever free plans with limited functions. Ticket plans don’t include live chat, so customers must subscribe to Ticket+Chat or All-Inclusive plans to receive this service. Each paid plan offers average per agent/per month fees but doesn’t offer on-premise installations as a deployment option.

    Pros

    • 14-day free trial
    • Free account
    • Average per agent fees

    Cons

    • Ticket plans don’t include live chat
    • No installed deployment options

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers frequently commend LiveAgent for its functionality, monitoring reports and unique service channel. One customer said their favorite features were “functionality, and the ability to instantly provide solutions to our clients, and prospective clients. The ability to attach files directly in the chat window is my most favorite feature.”

    Summary

    LiveAgent Logo
    LiveAgent
    • Starting Price
      • Ticket: $15/agent/mo
      • Ticket+Chat: $29/agent/mo
      • All-inclusive: $39/agent/mo
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Livehelpnow.net Logo
    LiveHelpNow
    • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone / iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    LiveHelpNow is a customer messaging and engagement platform that connects businesses with customers in real-time using live chat with SMS integration, call management, support ticket email management, and Facebook messenger integration. Its live chat support suite is highly configurable for each user with an interface that handles chat requests immediately upon submission from the company’s website, Facebook page, SMS text or other channels. Key features include:

    • The ability to accept chat over SMS (customers can text for support)

    • Use your own toll-free or local number to allow customers to text for support

    • Advanced analytics including conversion tracking

    • Accept chat over SMS (customers can text for support!)

    • Automatic or manual tagging of every chat

    • On-the-go response with iOS and Android apps

    • Customizable post-chat surveys for immediate customer feedback

    • HIPAA and PCI compliant data collection through secure chat forms

    • Plug-ins and third-party integrations with all major CRM and CMS

    • Chat translations that allow agents to instantly respond in any language

    • Real-time visitor monitoring

    • Visitor triggers to provide visitors proactive help or special offers

    • Facebook Messenger integration

    • Live Help Chat Bot

    • Canned responses to common questions

    • Transfers and routing

    • Screen sharing through Zoom and join.me integrations

    • ADA compliant

    LiveHelpNow Challenge provides gamified agent engagement tool
    Knowledge base so customers can help themselves
    Dedicated US-based 24/7 support with real-time agent monitoring, coaching, permissions and restrictions

    Pros & Cons

    LiveHelpNow offers a 30-day free trial and average pricing for live chat/SMS software. However, the starting price of $19 per month per user is for those who pay annually. The cost for this service paid monthly is $21, which is still average.

    Pros

    • Average per user/month pricing
    • Discounts for paying annually
    • 30-day free trial

    Cons

    • Higher cost when paid monthly

    What Customers Are Saying

    One customer said their favorite feature was “the ability for the software to take off-line messages when we are away or during off hours … and have their responses emailed to us.” Customers also touted LiveHelpNow for being user-friendly and easy to integrate into their websites.

    Summary

    Livehelpnow.net Logo
    LiveHelpNow
    • Starting Price
      • $19.00/month/user
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone / iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    LivePerson Logo
    LivePerson
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    LivePerson’s AI-powered live chat platform called LiveEngage allows businesses to chat with customers via their website, mobile apps, SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat and other digital channels. It offers real-time, intelligent customer engagement and tailored solutions for customer care, marketing and sales with features including:

    Multiple built-in automation options that integrate with third-party bots
    Advanced routing and scaling capabilities that utilize algorithms to prioritize customers
    In-depth reporting using pre-built and customizable dashboards to measure operations’ success
    Conversation builder that creates automated conversation flows
    Conversation manager that engages with consumers and manages conversations
    Conversation analytics to monitor customer care, marketing and sales KPIs in real time
    Campaign personalization to create digital engagements based on business goals, target audiences and types of engagement desired
    Monitor chatbot and agent performance in real-time
    Convert inbound calls to messaging conversations
    Proactive chat to send promotions, offers, campaigns and even care alerts

    Pros & Cons

    LivePerson offers a 31-day free trial but doesn’t provide pricing details, making it difficult to compare affordability and decide whether testing the live chat platform is worth the time. It does offer robust features including visitor tracking and geo targeting, but it doesn’t provide chat forms.

    Pros

    • 31-day free trial
    • Visitor tracking and geo targeting

    Cons

    • Pricing not provided
    • Doesn’t provide chat forms

    What Customers Are Saying

    “I love the feature where we can have multiple chat boxes opened simultaneously,” said one customer. “It improves our overall sales experience because we can now manage multiple pages but not compromising customer relationships,” said another. Customers also recommend the interface for its ease of use and customization.

    Summary

    LivePerson Logo
    LivePerson
    • Starting Price
      • Not provided by vendor
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      no
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Nextiva Logo
    Nextiva
    • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Nextiva live chat allows companies to provide faster service to their customers while boosting overall efficiency and solving customer issues swiftly. Companies can communicate with customers on any channel they choose and take advantage of customer data and analytics to grow their business. Popular features include:

    • Shortcuts that allow agents to type commonly sent messages using limited keystrokes to save time and ensure consistent, typo-free messages

    • Utilize chat, email and voice support in one place to increase efficiency and convert chats to sales

    • Set availability to establish live chat hours and provide an offline form for after hours

    • Internal chat to collaborate on customer cases, broadcast messages to teams and increase frontline agent’s efficiency<.li>
    • Unlimited chat history to easily reference past conversations and never make customers repeat information

    • Monitor reports and charts, review transcriptions, website visitors and agent performance

    • Third-party integrations, canned responses, proactive chat, chat ratings and transfer/routing

    Pros & Cons

    Nextiva offers the long free trial of all companies, providing customers with a full 60 days to test the live chat software for compatibility. While it provides multiple on-premises and web-based deployment options and numerous helpful features, it doesn’t include typing insight, which can help agents respond to customers quicker.

    Pros

    • 60-day free trial
    • Average monthly cost
    • Multiple deployment options

    Cons

    • Doesn’t include typing insight

    What Customers Are Saying

    Nextiva customers frequently comment on how easy the live chat platform is easy to use and how much it has helped with outcomes. “I have used other chat services but this one has been created with all the features needed to support good service and reduces busywork,” said one customer.

    Summary

    • Starting Price
      • $25.00/month/user
      • Basic, Pro, and Enterprise plans are available on a monthly or annual basis
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Olark Logo
    Olark
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Olark’s live chat software and customer data tools let businesses chat in real-time and learn from every online interaction to improve customer support and sales. Businesses can engage customers, gather feedback and benefit from numerous features, including:

    • Custom pre-chat forms

    • Triggered messages

    • Offline messaging

    • Unlimited integrations

    • Real-time dashboards

    • Google Analytics integration

    • Chat tools include chat transfers, visitor details, file sharing, visitor tracking and desktop notifications.

    • Chat analytics include chat volume, visitor history, transcript archives, chat tagging and daily, weekly or monthly emailed reports.

    • Automation includes proactive chat, canned responses, chat routing, automatic greeters, visitor targeting and offline contact forms.

    • Customization includes API, custom logos, unlimited domains, language selection and chat box themes.

    • Security includes data encryption, data redaction, AES symmetric encryption, GDPR consent, pre-set visitor consent options, troll blocks and IP bans.

      • Team management includes agent groups, activity monitoring, conversation limits, agent performance reports, pre-chat surveys and customer satisfaction surveys.

    Pros & Cons

    Olark offers month-to-month service that customers can cancel anytime, or they can save money by signing up for a one-year contract and save even more by signing up for a two-year contract. It also offers a limited free account that allows only one agent and 20 chats per month.

    Pros

    • 14-day free trial
    • Discounts for one-year and two-year contracts

    Cons

    • Free account has limited features

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers recommend Olark because it provides a user-friendly interface for senders and receivers. One customer said, “Olark allows you to pre-assign quick responses that keep your customers from having to wait for an answer. Our employees love this feature because they don’t have to type the same response again and again.”

    Summary

    • Starting Price
      • $17.00/month/user
      • Plans start at $17 per user per month. Annual price is $15 per user.
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    ProProfs Logo
    ProProfs Chat
    • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    ProProfs Chat software offers instant customer support experiences and reduces resolution time. Answer faster with canned responses and boost engagement with proactive chat through invitation pop-ups or customized greetings. Add announcements about upcoming products or services and give product tours. Other key features include:

    • Chat Routing for Faster Resolution

    • Visitor Monitoring

    • Operator Performance Monitoring

    • File Transfers

    • Live Chat Customization

    • Multiple Customer Support

    • Escalations and Chat Transfer

    • Knowledge Base and Help Desk Integration

    • Multiple Language Support

    • Mobile Support

    • Operator to Operator Chat

    • Smart APIs

    • Customer Feedback

    • Post-Chat Survey

    • Operator Ratings

    ProProfs Chat also provides 50+ third-party integrations to connect to favorite apps, including popular CMS and eCommerce platforms. Create support bundles with native apps like ProProfs Help Desk, ProProfs Knowledge Base, ProProfs Training Maker and ProProfs Survey Maker. Track unlimited chat data and access reports and analytics to measure customer satisfaction and operator performance.

    Pros & Cons

    ProProfs offers a 15-day free trial and a free plan that’s best for start-ups with a limit of one agent and 100 tickets each month. It also offers lower per agent/per month fees than other companies, with annual billing. However, some features, such as a help desk, increase the cost.

    Pros

    • Low monthly fee
    • 15-day free trial
    • Free plan

    Cons

    • Certain features add to cost

    What Customers Are Saying

    One customer said ProProfs Chat “… has helped our organization to reduce response time in delivering online customer service. Its associated analytical services have helped us to analyze sales trigger points and redefined our customer satisfaction parameters.” Customers also comment on the ease of setup and use and its customer support.

    Summary

    ProProfs Logo
    ProProfs Chat
    • Starting Price
      • $9.00/month
      • Starts at $8 when paid annually, $9 when paid monthly
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Third-Party Integrations
    SnapEngage Logo
    SnapEngage
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    SnapEngage’s digital conversation platform is built to enterprise-class standards. It’s designed for forward-thinking companies that recognize the power of conversation to amplify growth and nurture lasting relationships. SnapEngage is a scalable live chat and automation platform that allows sales and customer service teams to drive revenue and deliver exceptional customer experiences. They provide tailored solutions to provide a customizable solution for each client, including chat and chatbot appearance, branding, and language can all be customized so you never miss a conversation. Robust reporting capabilities provide data for informed business decisions. Plus, there is a focus on customer experiences across the entire customer journey, from acquisition and adoption to expansion and retention. SnapEngage users can also offer chatbots to ensure customer service solutions are available 24/7/365.

    Other key features include:

    • User-friendly AI and automation to maximize efficiencies

    • Advanced routing for more first-chat resolutions

    • Drive actionable results with powerful analytics and reporting

    • Auto-Translation to operate at a global scale

    • Proactive outreach that targets visitor activity (including geolocation and cursor path)

    • Customizable canned responses for quick answers

    • International security requirements

    • Omnichannel platform so visitors can reach you from Facebook Messenger, SMS, and more

    • Industry-specific playbooks to better engage clients throughout the customer journey

    • Google Analytics integration

    • Salesforce, HubSpot, Jira, and more natively built integrations

    • Flexible chat design, including skill-based routing and hours of operation

    • Built for teams with flexible chat transfers, team chat, and surveys

    • Easy chat-to-phone capabilities

    SnapEngage is SOC 2 certified with ADA Accessibility, GDPR, PCI, and HIPAA compliant. Its security features reduce the risk of global cyberattacks and protect critical assets and data access points, and include Single Sign-On using SAML 2.0 and Microsoft Active Directory Federation Server, SSL and double-layer encryption and data masking.

    Pros & Cons

    SnagEngage offers three pricing plans with low per user/per month fees with annual and monthly billing options. Each plan requires a minimum of three users to start, which could be difficult for some smaller businesses. Chatbots cost extra and are only available with Professional and Enterprise.

    Pros

    • 15-day free trial
    • Low monthly cost with discounted annual rates

    Cons

    • Plans require a minimum number of users
    • Chatbots cost extra

    What Customers Are Saying

    “My favorite component of the setup is the ability to tailor Chat windows and proactive messaging depending on the specific page the customer or website visitor is visiting,” said one customer. Customers also often comment on the ease of customer engagement and high conversion rates that SnapEngage supplies.

    Summary

    SnapEngage Logo
    SnapEngage
    • Starting Price
      • $16.00/month/user
      • SnapEngage offers Essentials, Professional, and Enterprise plans.
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Tidio
    Tidio
    • Deployment: Web-based, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Freemium version
    • Perfect for SMBs
    Tidio is an all-around communication and marketing tool allowing one to provide an unforgettable customer experience. Adding Tidio to a website can be done in 5 minutes, and no coding is required. At the same time, the live chat is easily customizable so that the widget can blend with the look of any website. All interactions are located in one panel, and there is also a mobile application available to simplify the processes. Notable features include
    • Integrations with the most popular selling platforms like Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Woocommerce, and more.
    • Easy use with CRMs, email marketing platforms, and social media.

    • Live typing to preview what visitors are typing in real-time.

    • IOS + Android applications.

    • Viewed pages feature to explore what a visitor has already viewed on the website to
      tailor the responses better.

    • Visitor lists to see who is viewing a website in real-time.

    • No-coding design and customization

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Customizable templates
    • Integrations with most popular shopping platforms
    • Multiple languages

    Cons

    • Lack of third-party integrations

    What Customers Are Saying

    The features of Tidio’s free plan are impressive for their customers. One of them mentioned, “It is easy to use and has a lot of features. Developers of this app are not into the money and it is very nice to know that there are some people who still share their skills.”

    Summary

    • Starting Price
      • Chatbots: $39/month
      • Communicator: $15/month
      • Mailing: $25/month
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-based, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Freemium version
    • Perfect for SMBs
    Velaro Logo
    Velaro
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Velaro’s live chat is geared to support the needs of enterprise customers. It fully integrates with popular eCommerce and CRM platforms and social networks. Configurable reporting and analytics help businesses filter, view and analyze live help performance. Basic features include:

    • Click to Chat

    • Chat Shadowing

    • Proactive Chat Requests

    • Personal and Shared Canned Messages

    • File Transfer

    • Offline Forms

    • Customizable Branding

    • Real-Time Visitor Dashboard

    • Real-Time Visitor Tracking

    • Visitor Page Navigation History

    • Geo Targeting

    • Advanced Geolocation

    • Customer Surveys

    • Chats and Survey Submissions Archives

    • Chat Review and Feedback

    • Custom Conversions

    • Sales and Conversion Tracking
    • Conversion Reports

    • Website Visitor Tracking

    • Workflow and Routing

    • Skill-Based Routing

    • Queue-Based Routing

    • Agent Scheduling

    • Customer Service Tiers

    • Knowledgebase Software Integration

    • Dashboard and Newsfeeds

    • Key Performance Indicators

    Security features designed with privacy and compliance at the forefront include:

    • 256-Bit SSL Security

    • Role-Based Security

    • IP Address Blocking

    • Sensitive Data Masking

    • Enterprise Password Management

    • Custom Data Retention Management

    • Administrative Audit Logging and Reporting

    Pros & Cons

    Velaro offers a 14-day free trial with three plans available. Pricing is per user/month paid annually and the highest of all companies listed. Small business plans run $64.95 per user/month, which could be unaffordable to some small businesses. It also limits groups to five and proactive chat rules to three.

    Pros

    • 14-day free trial
    • Tons of features in professional plan

    Cons

    • Highest cost of all companies listed
    • Limited features on small business plan

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers consistently comment on the Velaro’s ease of use and its user-friendly interface. One customer said, “Easy to use product that is a great tool for converting website visitors to sales leads and ultimately to closed deals. It’s got great reporting, automated triggers for proactive chat invites, and great support.”

    Summary

    • Starting Price
      • $64.95/month/user
      • $64.95/user for Small Business $179.95/user for Professional
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      yes
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      yes
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    • Third-Party Integrations
    Zoho-Campaigns Logo
    Zoho Chat
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Geo Targeting
    Zoho SalesIQ is a website visitor and customer engagement software with visitor analytics, live chat, and AI capabilities. With chatbots for 24/7 customer support, cloud-based platforms and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, it enables customer service and sales teams in e-commerce, financial services, travel, education, real estate, and restaurants to help customers in real time. It allows users to track visitors and initiate real-time conversations by setting up automatic triggers. Companies can also make it easy for website visitors to find what they want by embedding links in live chat windows to popular items like articles, blogs, and FAQs. Other features include:

    • Adding live chat widgets to mobile apps using Mobilisten

    • Integrating with most business applications

    • Customizing chat widgets to be in sync with branding

    • Personalizing welcome messages

    • Canned responses for quick access to frequently asked questions

    • In-chat articles for self-service

    • JavaScript APIs

    • Screen sharing and remote access

    • Smart chat routing rules

    • Chat rating and customer feedback

    • Customer access to chat history

    Pros & Cons

    Zoho offers a 15-day free trial with four pricing plans available, including a free version with limited features. The three paid options have lower-than-average pricing if businesses stay below the user limits. These plans also limit the number of chat sessions businesses can have per month

    Pros

    • Discounts for paying annually
    • 15-day free trial

    Cons

    • Limits number of users and chat sessions

    What Customers Are Saying

    “We have raised the bar of customer relationship. Our customer support has never been so efficient,” said one customer. Another said, “Zoho SalesIQ literally changed the way we provide assistance to thousands.” Customers also talk about Zoho SalesIQ being available on mobile devices as well as its personalization and ease of use.

    Summary

    Zoho-Campaigns Logo
    Zoho Chat
    • Starting Price
      • $19.00/month
      • $19 for 3 users. $59 for 5 users. $129 for 10 users.
    • 3rd Party Integrations
      no
    • Chat Forms
      yes
    • Chat Rating
      no
    Features
    • Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
    • Geo Targeting

    How We Chose the Best Live Chat Software

    Live chat software, sometimes called customer messaging software, allows businesses to engage with website visitors via real-time messaging. Offering live chat to new and existing customers provides more personalized experiences and better interactions that give companies a competitive edge. When choosing a live chat software provider, there are numerous options to choose from that all promote multiple features. We evaluated software providers on what’s most important, including customer support, sales conversions and reporting.

    Customer Support

    Live chat software offers numerous features that allow customer support agents to address and solve more customer complaints quicker. Canned responses for popular topics get answers to customers faster and chat archives allow customer support reps to browse previous conversions with repeat customers to understand their situations better and more quickly without the frustration of them having to repeat themselves. We evaluated live chat software based on its ability to intake and solve customer complaints quickly to help improve customer retention and reduce the cost of customer support.

    Sales Conversions

    While customer support tends to be reactive, sales teams need live chat software to be proactive to improve sales conversions. The best live chat software has customizations that trigger automatic messages that invite site visitors to start a chat. Triggers let live chat representatives focused on sales initiate the conversation and demonstrate their willingness to help fulfill a potential customer’s needs. We looked for live chat software with customizable auto-message triggers to cut down on cart abandonment or be the final push to set up a sales demo with a lead to increase sales conversions.

    Reporting

    Reports and analytics are essential features that allow companies to monitor important data regarding their live chat software, including customer interactions, responses and conversion rates. We evaluated live chat software for their reporting abilities to determine whether they collected the data needed to create effective strategies and determine areas for improvement.

    What Is Live Chat Software?

    Live chat software provides a service that works like an instant messenger where customers can communicate in real time with a company using a chat box on their website. Customers often initiate live chat when they have questions about a product or service the company offers, but companies can also initiate a live chat session when they’re being proactive. Live chat agents can engage with first-time website visitors or interact with returning customers in an attempt to bump up conversion rates and provide a better overall customer experience.

    Live chat software is sometimes called customer messaging software, and it can be a real game changer. It provides the opportunity to build a customer’s confidence in your brand and offers an opportunity to get to know new and potential customers better. Live chat solutions may be used for customer support, marketing or sales and add a human factor to your website. Most live chat applications provide text-only chat support; however, some also offer live video chat and voice chat. Text-only chat support tends to be the preferred method of communication for many customers, making it an ideal choice for driving sales, closing deals and retaining customers over the long term.

    Benefits of Live Chat Software

    In today’s fast-paced digital era, companies must cater to customers looking for quick, convenient results, and live chat software fills this need. Communication is a key factor in customer satisfaction, so providing timely, accessible live chat support sets your business apart from your competitors. Some of the many other benefits of live chat software include:

    • Boosting customer loyalty and customer service
    • Increasing leads and sales
    • Providing immediate, real-time access to assistance
    • Expanding market reach
    • Allowing customer services representatives to help multiple customers simultaneously
    • Encouraging repeat business by providing the communication channel customers want

    Live chat is also cost-effective because it’s an easy, affordable way to communicate that saves time and money. It reduces telephone expenses because you eliminate long distance fees. It also takes fewer people to answer multiple chats than it does to answer one phone call at a time, so you also save on payroll due to reduced personnel needs. Because customer support reps can clear chats much faster, customers won’t be stuck waiting in the queue as long. This makes them happier and more likely to follow through on a purchase, increasing your sales.

    Must-Have Features for Live Chat Software

    Several must-have features for live chat software deal directly with sales conversions since these are often your ultimate goal in using live chat. To reach this goal, live chat software should include proactive chat options that allow you to initiate chat sessions with website visitors. Proactive chat also requires customizable smart triggers. A smart trigger might alert you of a recurring site visitor, so you can initiate a proactive chat session and attempt to convert them into a customer. Chat routing can also be an important tool to support transferring chats to the agent best equipped to take care specific customer needs.

    Customer support is another primary reason for providing live chat. To assist with your customer support efforts, live chat software features should include canned responses to common questions to speed up response times, mobile optimization to allow customers to chat using their mobile devices and offline forms to let customers reach you even when your chat agents aren’t online.

    Reporting and analytics are also essential features, which allow you to monitor important data and ensure your conversion rates and customer satisfaction ratings haven’t slipped. Must-have features for live chat software to help fulfill these tasks include visitor tracking, chat ratings, customer surveys and operator monitoring. Third-party software integrations also help pull relevant data into your CRM software and keep customer information combined.

    The Cost of Live Chat Software

    Live chat support reduces phone call expenses, so cost-effectiveness is a prime draw for implementing it on your website. To ensure you’re getting a good deal on your live chat software, it’s important to compare service costs. Software costs vary between vendors because they deliver various tools and features. While some live chat software providers offer a free version, these often have limited features that won’t fit every businesses’ needs. However, free versions may work for small businesses with limited live chat requirements.

    Most live chat providers charge per agent per month, so costs add up for companies with a larger number of agents. The average cost between the companies on our list is $15 to $29 per agent per month with some exceptions, including one that’s lower at $8 and a few that are higher at $50 to $64. Some companies have higher monthly rates but allow unlimited agents, making the rate lower in the long run. All the companies offer several subscription plans, with rates going up as the level of service increases. Many of the companies offer free trial periods ranging between 14 and 60 days to let you try the software first. This provides an ideal opportunity to see if the software matches your needs before you sign up.