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
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
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
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
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

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.