Improve customer engagement with live chat support
Managing sales and support requests online becomes simple and effortless with the use of the finest live chat software that operates on a single platform.
While most people are already familiar with chat boxes on business websites used for front-facing customer services, live chat software can also be used for staff support requests within an organization. This type of software is particularly useful for employees working remotely as well as in-office. A significant benefit of live chat software is its versatility in usage.
Live chat is crucial and should not be overlooked, as it offers a prompt and conspicuous method to handle inquiries from customers and staff, in a straightforward and effortless way. With the internet being so fundamental to both internal and external communications, live chat’s significance cannot be overstated.
Moreover, live chat software can offer omnichannel capabilities, enabling communication not only through a chat box on the company’s website but also via social media, email, and phone support. This ensures that every inquiry is addressed, regardless of the channel used to make the request.
The best live chat software of 2023 in full:
The best live chat software overall
LiveChat is our top pick for live chat software due to its impressive range of features and user-friendly interface. By implementing LiveChat, you can create a chat box that allows you to communicate with customers on your website, send files, links, calendars, and canned responses that address common questions. Additionally, LiveChat offers the ability to transfer chats to other customer support representatives, which is useful for businesses with multiple teams.
In addition to these features, LiveChat allows you to view what customers are typing before they even send their message, assign contextual tags to each chat, and access previous chats using an archive. You can also receive chat notifications, ask customers to rate chats and complete short surveys, prompt new visitors to chat, announce new products or updates, and much more.
LiveChat also provides a user-friendly dashboard that organizes all your communications, including emails, chats, SMS, and apps. The software integrates with over 170 platforms, including Facebook, Messenger, WordPress, Salesforce, Shopify, Dropbox, and many others.
Pricing for LiveChat starts at around $20 / £30 / AUD$30 per month when paid annually, with additional plans offering more advanced features.
2. HubSpot Live Chat
The best free live chat software
For businesses without the funds to invest in a comprehensive live chat solution, HubSpot provides a fully free alternative. With HubSpot Live Chat, you can initiate live chats with website visitors and customers, and easily transfer chats to the appropriate team if necessary.
Customize the live chat widget with your business branding and personalized welcome messages for different audiences. All live chat conversations are stored in a centralized inbox for future reference.
If you can’t respond to every customer chat, you can create chatbots with the integrated chatbot builder to handle frequently asked questions, schedule customer meetings, and more.
HubSpot Live Chat integrates with Slack, enabling you to receive live chat notifications and message customers directly. Additionally, live chats can be conducted through the HubSpot mobile app.
While the free version has some limitations, HubSpot offers paid content and marketing plans that can expand your live chat capabilities into a comprehensive CRM platform.
Mix of live and chatbot conversations for a bargain price
Tidio is a solution designed for mid-size businesses seeking to enhance customer support and sales. It offers live chat, chatbot, and ticketing functionalities, with a wide range of chatbot templates available for both support and sales scenarios. For an additional fee, an advanced AI response bot can handle conversations.
Tidio’s sleek design, fast messaging, and user-friendly features make it an attention-grabbing option. It provides customers with various support choices, including live chat, chatbots, ticketing, Instagram messages, and Facebook Messenger chat. Its self-learning AI response bot distinguishes it from similar competitors, and the free plan is ideal for those on a tight budget.
However, although Tidio’s combination of live chat, chatbot, and ticketing is excellent for startups and growing businesses, if you require advanced support and analytics features, you may need to explore other alternatives.
The best live chat and help desk software
LiveAgent is the ultimate solution for businesses seeking a powerful live chat and help desk system. This software seamlessly integrates live chat boxes and email ticketing into your website or app, enabling you to provide excellent customer support. The live chat feature lets you automate frequently asked questions, allocate support agents to different chats, administer surveys to collect customer feedback, and set up multiple chat boxes or emails depending on your preferred plan.
In addition, LiveAgent integrates with major messaging platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, although it does not offer a chat-to-SMS feature like some other providers. The platform also offers a comprehensive ticketing system that allows you to auto-route tickets, assign them to different agents and teams, transfer tickets, and more.
LiveAgent’s backend platform is user-friendly and equipped with several tools to boost productivity across customer support teams. The internal messaging and tickets system ensures smooth communication and collaboration among agents. LiveAgent even alerts agents when they are responding to the same request.
Pricing for LiveAgent starts from $15 / £15 / AUD$15 per agent per month, making it an affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
The popular live chat software platform
Zendesk’s live chat solution empowers businesses to engage with their customers in real-time, leveraging targeted and behavior-driven chats, file sharing, chat rating, and chat logging and analysis across their operations.
In addition to these features, Zendesk also offers a robust chatbot functionality that enables businesses to respond to frequently asked customer questions outside of working hours or reduce their overall workload.
As a leading provider of customer service software, Zendesk’s live chat solution provides businesses with a comprehensive and powerful tool for engaging with their customers.
The best live chat for small business
Olark is an ideal choice for small businesses that are new to using such services due to its easy setup and operation. It is highly customizable, giving you the freedom to adjust the chat boxes’ colors, position, and shape, and to personalize live chats by adding welcome text and a customer support agent photo.
Moreover, Olark comes equipped with automation features that allow you to engage with people automatically, create canned responses, route chats to different departments, and more. It also provides live reports and analytics on key metrics such as the number of chats in your business, customer satisfaction, support agents’ activities, and other relevant information.
Like other live chat solutions, Olark integrates seamlessly with popular CRM software like HubSpot and Salesforce, automation tools like ActiveCampaign and Zapier, email services like MailChimp, reporting platforms like Google Analytics, ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento, and content management systems like WordPress and Drupal.
Unlike other options, Olark does not offer individual plans with varying feature levels. Instead, everything is included in the $29 / £29 / AUD$49 per agent price point, making it a more cost-effective solution for those looking for a full-featured option, rather than a basic plan that may require upgrading later.
The best live chat with video and voice calling
While most of the providers in this list are focused on text-based live messaging, ClickDesk stands out by offering businesses the ability to conduct video or voice calls with their customers. With ClickDesk, setting up a browser-based voice and video chat facility on your website is fast and easy, and the best part is that no software downloads are required.
In addition to video and voice calling, ClickDesk also offers text-based live chat. This includes the ability to customize greetings, request customer information before beginning a chat, and communicate with customers using smartphones, tablets, and computers.
8. Social Intents
Live chat via Slack or Microsoft Teams
If you’re deciding between Slack or Microsoft Teams for your business, Social Intents enables you to communicate with your customers in real-time through these platforms. With Social Intents, you can easily respond to live chat messages on Slack or Teams and also take advantage of their user-friendly web dashboard. Furthermore, chats are optimized for mobile devices.
Social Intents offers a wide range of features, similar to what you would expect from a premium live chat solution. You can customize your chats, create canned messages, direct messages to appropriate departments, obtain customer feedback, and even utilize automated chatbots.
Unlike other providers that restrict the number of employees who can communicate with customers via live chat software, Social Intents offers unlimited agents across all of their plans. Therefore, it is a useful tool for teams of any size.
What’s the difference between live chat and help desk software?
If you have been exploring various types of customer support software, you may have encountered help desk and live chat solutions. Although both facilitate business responses to customer support requests, they have distinct differences.
Live chat software offers real-time messaging functionality on your website, enabling human staff to communicate directly with customers. Additionally, businesses can employ chatbots to automatically address common customer queries and demands.
On the other hand, help desk software helps businesses manage and respond to customer service tickets. Firms can establish an online help desk where customers can create and submit support tickets. This software includes a back-end dashboard that allows agents to view and answer these tickets.
Which live chat software is best for you?
To choose the right live chat software, start by assessing your specific requirements. If your goal is to communicate casually with a few individuals, using a free tool like email or social media might be the most economical option. However, if you are a professional or a business and need to communicate with a larger audience frequently, you should consider investing in high-end live chat software that can cater to your needs and offer advanced features. These premium options provide the necessary tools to ensure optimal communication and interaction with your audience.
How we tested the best live chat software
In order to identify the top-performing live chat software, we conducted a thorough search of popular options and solicited recommendations from individuals who use such software on a regular basis. We subsequently tested each platform to assess its user-friendliness and evaluate the breadth of tools and advanced features it offered. Our final selection of the best options also took into account pricing considerations.