Best Live Chat Software of 2020

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Our live chat software reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 90+ live chat software companies from across the web. These reviews and our live chat software guide help small businesses and startups find the best live chat software for their business.

The Best Live Chat Software Companies of 2020

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.

The 20 Best Live Chat Software of 2020

CompanyPriceFree Trial/DemoMore
ActivEngage$99/monthNoneVisit ActivEngage
AliveChat$50/user/month30-Day Free TrialVisit AliveChat
BirdEyeCustom QuoteFree Trial
# Trial Days Not Indicated
Visit BirdEye
ChatSmartCustom Quote30-Day Free TrialVisit ChatSmart
Comm100Starting at $29/user/monthFree Trial
# Trial Days Not Indicated
Visit Comm100
Drift$50/month15-Day Free TrialVisit Drift
FreshchatFree for Sprout
$15/user/month for Blossom when billed annually
21-Day Free TrialVisit Freshchat
HappyFoxStarting at $29/month14-Day Free TrialVisit HappyFox
HubSpot$50/month14-Day Free TrialVisit HubSpot
Hybrid.ChatStarting at $29/month14-Day Free TrialVisit Hybrid.Chat
KayakoStarting at $15/user/month14-Day Free TrialVisit Kayako
LiveAgent$15/agent/month for Ticket
$29/agent/month for Ticket+Chat
$39/agent/month for All-Inclusive
14-Day Free TrialVisit LiveAgent
LiveHelpNow$19/user/month30-Day Free TrialVisit LiveHelpNow
LivePersonCustom Quote31-Day Free TrialVisit LivePerson
Nextiva$25/user/month60-Day Free TrialVisit Nextiva
Olark$19/user/month when billed monthly14-Day Free TrialVisit Olark
ProProfsStarting at $8/month when billed annually or $9/month when billed monthly15-Day Free TrialVisit ProProfs
SnapEngageStaring at $16/user/month, billed annually15-Day Free TrialVisit SnapEngage
Velaro$64.95/user/month for Small Business
$179.95/user/month for Professional
Billed annually
14-Day Free TrialVisit Velaro
Zoho Chat$19/month for 3 users
$59/month for 5 users
$129/month for 10 users
15-Day Free TrialVisit Zoho Chat

ActivEngage

ActivEngage Logo
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
  • Messenger: Connects with social customers through Messenger on business pages
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$99/monthNone>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Transfers/Routing
>More features at ActivEngage

Pros & Cons of ActivEngage Live Chat Software
ActivEngage delivers a robust live chat service strictly for car dealerships. It doesn’t offer a free trial but interested individuals can request a demo online.

ProsCons
>Demo available>Strictly for car dealerships
>Transferring and routing features>No free trial
>Reporting features

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%.”

AliveChat

website-alive-chat Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$50/user/month30-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at AliveChat

Pros & Cons of AliveChat Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>Flexible deployment options>Higher cost
>30-day free trial>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.

BirdEye

BirdEye Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteFree Trial / # Trial Days Not Indicated>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at BirdEye

Pros & Cons of BirdEye Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>Wide array of deployment options>Unknown pricing
>Offers typing insight and proactive chat>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.”

ChatSmart

chat-smart Logo
ChatSmart by Gubagoo delivers a fully managed omni-channel live messaging services for car dealerships wanting to instantly connect with consumers from their websites or Facebook to enhance the online car buying experience. It instantly connects consumers to dealerships anytime, anywhere through live chat, text, video and Messenger, to convert high quality leads. ChatSmart’s patented Beast AI behavioral engagement system is the core component and makes each interaction more targeted. Popular features include:

  • Easily move a chat to a live call and back to chat
  • Easily move chat from web to SMS
  • Turn a chat or SMS into a live video call
  • Watch and jump into chats with customers
  • Search and view entire chat history and transcripts
  • Facebook Marketplace and Messenger integration

Dealers can easily view all their individual leads across all Gubagoo services and get real-time analytics, including interactive graphs that offer a clear view of a dealership’s performance.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Custom Quote30-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at ChatSmart

Pros & Cons of ChatSmart Live Chat Software
ChatSmart strictly works with car dealerships, but it’s been servicing this industry since 2011. It also provides third-party integrations that make it easy to send car-buying leads directly to CRM systems. ChatSmart offers a 30-day free trial but doesn’t disclose pricing, making it difficult to compare affordability of services provided.

ProsCons
>30-day free trial>Strictly for car dealerships
>Third party integrations>Unknown pricing

What Customers Are Saying
“Very easy to use … Alerts for chats and it works with our CRM to send the lead directly to us and merge with existing files for the customers,” one customer said. Customers also comment on ChatSmart’s support from account managers and the quality leads it provides.

Comm100

Comm100 Logo
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. All installations include its AI-powered chatbot that uses an advanced NLP engine to provide accurate, proven results. Companies can also connect Comm100 live chat with their shopping carts, CRM and other core business systems.

Comm100’s Team package starts at $29 per user per month, but it’s popular Business package starts at $49 with the first three agents free and key features including:

  • Unlimited chats
  • 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
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starting at $29/user/monthFree Trial / # Trial Days Not Indicated>Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Comm100

Pros & Cons of Comm100 Live Chat Software
Comm100 offers an average starting price for basic service and a lower price than many for premium service. Customers have multiple deployment options, both on-premise and web-based, but it doesn’t provide a timeframe for its free trial, making it difficult to determine whether it’s long enough to judge the service.

ProsCons
>Lower starting price>Unknown trial period
>Multiple deployment options
>Third party integrations

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!”

Drift

drift Logo
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
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$50/month15-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Drift

Pros & Cons of Drift Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>15-day free trial>Higher than average starting cost
>Free version
>Third-party integrations

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.”

Freshchat

Freshchat Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Free for Sprout
$15/user/month for Blossom when billed annually
21-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Freshchat

Pros & Cons of Freshchat Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>21-day free trial>Doesn’t include typing insight
>Free basic service>Pricey for upper tier plans
>Multiple service 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.

HappyFox

HappyFox Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starting at $29/month14-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at HappyFox

Pros & Cons of HappyFox Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>Unlimited agents on all plans>Limits number of monthly chats
>14-day free trial>Some features only available with premium plans
>Multiple deployment options

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.”

HubSpot

HubSpot Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$50/month14-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at HubSpot

Pros & Cons of Hubspot Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>14-day free trial>No installed deployment options
>Automatically integrates with HubSpot CRM

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.”

Hybrid.Chat

Hybrid.Chat Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starting at $29/month14-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Hybrid.Chat

Pros & Cons of Hybrid.Chat Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>14-day free trial>No installed deployment options
>All plans include unlimited agents>Limited concurrent chats with basic plan
>Low monthly cost>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.

Kayako

kayako Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starting at $15/user/month14-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Kayako

Pros & Cons of Kayako Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>14-day free trial>Per-agent pricing makes premium plans more expensive
>Low cost for basic plans

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.”

LiveAgent

LiveAgent Logo
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
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$15/agent/month for Ticket
$29/agent/month for Ticket+Chat
$39/agent/month for All-Inclusive
14-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at LiveAgent

Pros & Cons of LiveAgent Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>14-day free trial>Ticket plans don’t include live chat
>Free account>No installed deployment options
>Average per agent fees

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.”

LiveHelpNow

livehelpnow.net Logo
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 provides customizable customer experiences with an interface that handles chat requests immediately upon submission from the company’s website or Facebook page or through SMS text or other channels. Key features include:

  • Automatic or manual tagging of every chat
  • On-the-go response with iOS and Android apps
  • Customer feedback with customizable pre-chat and post-chat surveys
  • Secure chat forms that allow HIPAA and PCI compliant data collection
  • 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 for proactive chat
  • Social network integrations
  • Live help bot
  • Canned responses to common questions
  • Conversion tracking
  • Transfers and routing
  • Screen sharing
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$19/user/month30-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone / iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at LiveHelpNow

Pros & Cons of LiveHelpNow Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>Average per user/month pricing>Higher cost when paid monthly
>Discounts for paying annually
>30-day free trial

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.

LivePerson

LivePerson Logo
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
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Custom Quote31-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at LivePerson

Pros & Cons of LivePerson Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>31-day free trial>Pricing not provided
>Visitor tracking and geo targeting>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.

Nextiva

nextiva Logo
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
  • 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
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$25/user/month60-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Nextiva

Pros & Cons of Nextiva Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>60-day free trial>Doesn’t include typing insight
>Average monthly cost
>Multiple deployment options

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.

Olark

Olark Logo
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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$19/user/month when billed monthly14-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Olark

Pros & Cons of Olark Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>14-day free trial>Free account has limited features
>Discounts for one-year and two-year contracts

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.”

ProProfs

ProProfs Logo
ProProfs live 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 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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starting at $8/month when billed annually or $9/month when billed monthly15-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Mac Install, Windows Install, Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features ProProf

Pros & Cons of ProProfs Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>Low monthly fee>Certain features add to cost
>15-day free trial
>Free plan

What Customers Are Saying
One customer said ProProfs “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.

SnapEngage

SnapEngage Logo
SnapEngage is a scalable live chat platform that allows sales and customer service teams to engage customers and convert website visitors. Chat boxes and buttons are optimized for use on mobile devices, and businesses can customize chat platforms and chat button images, icons, colors and fonts. Gather visitor information using pre-chat and offline forms with an easy drag-and-drop form builder. Use chatbots to offer customer service solutions when agents aren’t online. Other key features include:

  • Proactive Chat
  • Canned Responses
  • Geo Targeting
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Google Analytics Integration
  • Team Capacity Reports
  • Audit Logs
  • Real-Time Activity Monitoring
  • Transfers/Routing
  • Website Visitor Tracking
  • Third-Party Integration

SnapEngage is SOC 2 certified with GDPR, PCI and HIPAA compliance. Its security features reduce the risk of 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.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Staring at $16/user/month, billed annually15-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at SnapEngage

Pros & Cons of SnapEngage Live Chat Software
SnagEngage offers three pricing plans with low per user/per month fees with annual billing required. Each plan requires a minimum of three users to start, which could be difficult for some smaller businesses. Chat bots cost extra and are only available with Professional and Enterprise.

ProsCons
>15-day free trial>Plans require a minimum number of users
>Low monthly cost with discounted annual rates>Chat bots 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.

Velaro

Velaro Logo
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
  • Custom 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
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$64.95/user/month for Small Business $179.95/user/month for Professional. Billed annually14-Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
>Third-Party Integrations
>More features at Velaro

Pros & Cons of Velaro Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>14-day free trial>Highest cost of all companies listed
>Tons of features in professional plan>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.”

Zoho Chat

Zoho-Campaigns Logo
Zoho Chat delivers live chat for customer service, sales, eCommerce, start-ups, financial services, travel, education, real estate and restaurants. With chatbots for 24/7 customer support, cloud-based platforms and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, businesses can engage with customers anytime and anywhere. 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
PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$19/month for 3 users
$59/month for 5 users
$129/month for 10 users
15 Day Free Trial>Deployment: Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
>Geo Targeting
>More features at Zoho Chat

Pros & Cons of Zoho Chat Live Chat Software
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.

ProsCons
>Discounts for paying annually>No third-party integrations
>15-day free trial>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 being available on mobile devices as well as its personalization and ease of use.

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.

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