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What is Live Chat Software?

Live chat software can be used by companies to offer instant assistance to their website visitors and customers. Top live chat solutions offer text chat, video, help desk, voice, and CRM features. Chats can be categorized into two main types: pro-active chat in which the website visitor is greeted with a pop-up box they can use to chat with an agent, and broadcast where the visitor can initiate the chat. Companies should look for live chat software that integrates seamlessly with their existing e-commerce, help desk, and CRM systems. Show moreThe platform should also offer useful features such as capability to share discussions, preference settings for chat windows and reminders, and archive and reporting tools. Top vendors of live chat software include LiveEngage, SnapEngage, LiveChat, and Olark. We currently rate Zendesk as the leading live chat application in our database, but you can also check out other good quality apps to get a wider choice.Show less

How was this ranking made?

In order to devise this list of best Live Chat Software we have evaluated 523 popular solutions currently available on the market, analyzing their features, ease of implementation, customer support, offered integrations with other systems as well as mobile support using our exclusive SmartScoreTM rating algorithm. This ranking has been prepared by Nestor Gilbert, our software authority responsible for the Live Chat Software category.

List of Top 12 Live Chat Software

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1. Zendesk

Our score: 9.6 User satisfaction: 98%

One of the leading live chat apps trusted by over 40,000 organizations worldwide. It provides a complete suite of chat, call center, and knowledgebase modules. With all of these features, it is easy for representatives to engage with and prioritize high-value leads. It also comes with Zendesk Message, a unique tool to help you engage with clients on social media platforms.

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2. Freshchat

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: 96%

Freshchat is a modern messaging software for sales teams offered by Freshworks. Using this, businesses can personalize their interactions with customers. Thus, they can elevate the experience they offer and meet or even exceed expectations. What’s more, users can do so in a modern and user-friendly interface.

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3. LiveAgent

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 100%

Designed with simplicity in mind, LiveAgent lets a powerful engine underneath do all the heavy lifting. On top of being intuitive, it centralizes communications by keeping messages in a single inbox. This ensures that customer service agents can give attention to high priority requests. This also lets them pick up where their colleagues left off to narrow down tickets.

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4. Velaro

Our score: 8.7 User satisfaction: N/A

Velaro is a web-based live chat solution that lets you improve your communication with your customers and visitors in a matter of seconds. The software gives you an accurate picture of how visitors interact with your website, so support agents can have additional context for conversations with customers. Features such as tiered chat routing also ensure that agents' skills are maximized.

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5. Paldesk

Our score: 8.5 User satisfaction: N/A

Paldesk is an omnichannel communication platform developed to enable businesses to truly reply in real time. The platform combines the features of live chat and help desk tools, allowing agents to connect to customers on different channels using just one hub. And since the software is web-based, agents can resolve tickets and provide support even from mobile devices.

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6. Smith.ai

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 96%

A modern live chat solution that captures website leads, books clients, and completes client intakes in the fastest way possible. With this, you can provide around-the-clock assistance to website visitors and customers. You can also filter out spam using this solution so that agents can be more productive.

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7. RichCall

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction: N/A

A rich, comprehensive communications platform for contact centers with video call and web-based collaboration capabilities. This lets them see exactly what troubles customers for them to provide on-point assistance. And because it is powered by Amazon Cloud, you can expect it to have a 99.99% uptime.

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8. Salesforce Live Agent

Our score: 9.1 User satisfaction: 92%

A real-time live chat support solution for your customer inquiries on your website and application. This puts your support team on standby 24/7. This connects them with clients anytime for immediate issue resolutions. And since it can open multiple chat tabs, one agent can take on multiple tickets simultaneously.

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9. LiveChat

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 96%

This software is a full-featured live chat and help desk solution for customer service and support. It is web-accessible, making it an attractive addition to your tech stack. What’s more, it has website traffic monitoring to ensure that agents provide contextualized assistance.

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10. Zoho SalesIQ

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 100%

Zoho SalesIQ is an advanced tool for tracking website visitors and providing live chat support to customers, which helps companies evaluate business opportunities. It is a powerful platform that can offer valuable information like website browsing behavior, customer location, visiting frequency, and more.

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11. Smartsupp

Our score: 8.6 User satisfaction: 100%

Smartsupp is a live chat software that helps companies to improve sales conversions and understand customer behavior.

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12. Drift

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 100%

Drift.com is a robust, conversation-driven live-chat messaging platform.

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Live Chat Software Guide

Table of contents

There are scores of good quality online chat software programs in the market. This makes it difficult to distinguish the good live chat tools from the average systems. This buyer’s guide aims to help you select the best Live Chat software platforms for small business and large enterprises by giving you pointers on the list of aspects to look for.

Get to know each product with free trial

Sign up for the free trials or demo and basic unpaid plans offered by leading live chat software providers to test drive the key features of each system. You need not spend any money and you can do a comparison and identify problems with any system right away. Start by shortlisting and checking out the tools that have received the highest SmartScore rankings and customer satisfaction rating in our Customer Support category to discover the best Live chat software for enterprises, medium, or small business: Freshchat, Tagove, CDMessanger, Zopim, Olark, Engage, and NABD.

Targeted Businesses

In the broadest sense, every company willing to provide online customer support can benefit from live chat tools. Still, there are three specific scenarios in which delivering exceptional customer service depends significantly on the presence of such software:

  • Small Businesses that want to instill trust. Live chat software follows the example of traditional brick-and mortar stores where there are sales people appointed to help customers find what they need. Personalizing the same experience behind the screen is especially difficult for small companies which can’t afford to appoint a large team for the purpose, and should consider a small team of knowledgeable professionals to make their brand trustworthy instead.
  • Medium Businesses that want to anticipate problems. Medium businesses are a specific category of growing and developing entities which can’t really accurately predict questions, inquiries, and problems reported by their customers. For the purpose, they need a live chat system that will simplify the process, track visitors real-time, and offer assistance even without being explained what the problem is.
  • Large companies that want to personalize customer experience. The biggest problem of large companies is the lack of transparency, and so-called second-hand customer relationships where users don’t really feel as if they were taken care of. That’s exactly why large companies can benefit from live chat systems: they can track visitors’ behavior, and invite them to chat whenever that seems necessary.

What are Examples of Live Chat Software?

  1. Freshchata proactive mobile messaging and engagement application developed for sales teams that helps bring chatting experience to a more personalized level.
  2. CDMessenger: A popular digital messenger that helps users communicate in a fast, effective, and secure way. It includes alerts, sticky notes, and task management tools.
  3. Zopim: An immediate solution for professional and timely support, carefully packed with advanced features and able to determine which are the customers that need assistance.
  4. Olark: A well-known chat support platform with clean and intuitive design, that can also gather customer behavior information and report on it.
  5. Giosg. An intelligent live chat platform that informs that reveals critical visitor details, and helps companies engage their prospects and improve the quality of their services.

Types of Live Chat Software

There are three basic types of live chat software, depending on the service companies tend to provide with them:

  • Informational Live Chat Systems. These systems are used simply to provide information and answer visitors’ questions at any moment, usually to help them make a decision or to provide some product-related data. Most of the time, chat personnel handles only incoming requirements, but it is not rare for these systems to enable behavior tracking and to allow agents to intervene without being asked to do so.
  • Sales Live Chat Systems. These systems were designed for online retailers to help them provide vital information to customers intending to make a purchase. Instead of technicians, there will be sales agents behind the desk with a full suite of information, and obviously a talent for converting prospects into buyers.
  • Customer Service Live Chat Systems. Customer service live chat systems are often confused with the informational ones, but the main difference is that they emphasize helping customers who have problems rather than questions, and are therefore operated by technicians and IT departments. Their feature suite is considerably more advanced than those for informal services, and they often enable remote support.

Aside from these, live chat software can also be broken down into two categories depending on the channels:

  • Text Only. With this kind of live chat software, agents and customers can only get in touch with each other through chat. Audiences can usually initiate conversations through chat widgets found throughout a website.
  • Voice or video. There are live chat solutions that include voice and video calling options. These are particularly helpful for complex customer problems that require in-depth conversations.

Key Features of Live Chat Software

Our detailed comparisons show that these are the basic features to expect from your next live chat system:

  • API (application programming interface). Due the fact that all companies have a different software infrastructure to blend the system with, they are rarely industry-specific. Rather than that, they offer a suite of open developer APIs that can be used to integrate the system with any third-party platform manually.
  • Co-browsing. Co-browsing refers to screesharing, a feature that helps you observe visitors behavior, track their actions, and guide them to the action you want them to perform. As you can guess, this is an invaluable asset for intervening whenever you believe a bit of contact could help.
  • Email transcripts. Solid live chat systems transform all of your chats into comprehensive transcripts, and save them on the platform’s database for further usage. The best ones among them, however, are powerful enough to send the data directly to your email address.
  • File-sharing. The same as social network chat boxes, corporate live chat systems should offer a file-sharing option, ideally such that can support files of different sizes and formats.
  • Mobile support. This is one of the features that doesn’t even have to be mentioned, as it is simply imperative when doing business online. Instead of forcing customers to wait until their reach their computers to write to you, you should choose a solution that offers mobile app for them to be able to access support at any point of time.
  • Social media integration. The sooner you integrate your live chat system with the social media you’re using the better – social networks are exactly where people look for you at the first place, so you should make sure to include a connected chat option directly on the profile page, and import that information into your live chat system.
  • Surveys and feedback. One of the biggest benefits you could experience when communicating with customers directly is that you can perform surveys based on their feedback, and to evaluate performance based on the conclusion.
  • Ticketing. You may think that live chat systems don’t need to include a ticketing option, but for most of them that’s highly recommendable: to start with, you may not have an available agent to offer an answer right away, while the other scenario is for him to deal with a complex problem that has to be transmitted to technical support. What can also be a criterion here are customer preferences: some people simply don’t want to chat with an agent, and prefer to explain their problem in a ticket.
  • Visitor monitoring. For on-point support, live chat platforms have visitor monitoring systems. This lets agents know how visitors arrived at the website, which pages they are visiting, and how much time they have spent on a particular section. This way, they can provide personalized assistance and even generate leads.
  • Analytics. Live chat solutions provide insights into the performance of the customer support team. With this, team leaders can determine which areas they need to improve to ensure that they provide the best service.

Benefits of Live Chat Software

Our live chat software reviews show that these are the main benefits companies experience when using this type of system:

  • Reduced Support Costs – Offering phone support is expensive as each agent can handle only one call at a time. However, live-chat agents can manage multiple conversations at the same time which means they can serve more customers in the same amount of time than phone support agents.
  • Increased Online Sales – Online retailers learn about visitor behavior on their website through metrics. They can use live chat software to direct visitors to less popular product pages, proactively reply to questions they may have, and use co-browsing to make suggestions about products visitors might wish to buy.
  • Improved Customer Service – Though many companies offer self-help tools like a knowledge base and FAQ pages, customers may not be able to use them effectively. These companies can provide live chat help along with the self-service resources to help customers make full use of them. This can boost customer satisfaction, and reduce the company’s expenses on phone support.
  • Generating More Traffic – Companies in some industries use their website to advertise their products or services, and hope visitors will contact them. However, prospective customers may be hesitant to contact businesses such as law firms, insurance agencies, and car dealerships until they get answers to their questions. Such companies can use live chat to answer the common questions that may be keeping customers from contacting them.
  • Research and Development Ideas – As customer support representatives interact with customers, they can discover what they need and expect from the company’s products or services. The organization can then innovate using feedbacks.

Automatic chat responses. Whenever agents are not available to chat, you can still inform waiting customers using automated responses. This way, they are aware that their concerns cannot be addressed presently and they need to wait for a specific amount of time.

Chatbots. Even if customer service representatives cannot interact with a customer, a chatbot still can. With this, customers can resolve basic issues without delay.

Screensharing. Some live chat software now offer support for screensharing. With this feature, customers can show support agents their desktop and vice versa. Thus, representatives can better understand the issue and provide optimal solutions.

Potential Issues

Mobile responsiveness. One thing companies need to think about is the mobile adaptability of their live chat software. Since many people prefer to use their mobile devices for many tasks these days, the live chat widget needs to be accessible on mobile devices and without a cumbersome interface. Either way, organizations may miss new leads or lose existing customers.

Agent tone. Through chat, it can be difficult to gauge the tone of either the support representative or the customer. That is why agents need to make a concentrated effort to seem approachable to ensure that customers are not put off. They have to be extra careful with their choice of words, even with their punctuations.

Third-party integrations. Sales, marketing, and customer support solutions can benefit from exchanging data with each other. If a live chat application does not play well with third-party platforms, it can pose an issue. Businesses could miss valuable data that could assist them in improving their products or services.

List of Live Chat Software Companies

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  • User Score
Product name:
Category:
Smart Score:
Price:
User Satisf.
User reviews:
Frontman reviews

Frontman

Live Chat Software
8.1
$25
100%
Smith.ai reviews

Smith.ai

Live Chat Software
8.8
$140
96%
LivProp reviews

LivProp

Live Chat Software
8.0
By quote
98%
IMsupporting reviews

IMsupporting

Live Chat Software
8.7
£9.99
100%
Yekaliva reviews

Yekaliva

Live Chat Software
8.0
$20
-
Provide Support reviews

Provide Support

Live Chat Software
8.7
$15
-
Zendesk reviews

Zendesk

Live Chat Software
9.6
$5
98%
Paldesk reviews

Paldesk

Live Chat Software
8.5
$12
-
BotStar reviews

BotStar

Live Chat Software
8.0
$10
100%
Hybrid.Chat reviews

Hybrid.Chat

Live Chat Software
8.0
$25
-
HelpCrunch reviews

HelpCrunch

Live Chat Software
8.7
$12
100%
Salesforce Live Agent reviews

Salesforce Live Agent

Live Chat Software
9.1
By quote
92%
RichCall reviews

RichCall

Live Chat Software
8.0
$500
-
Acquire reviews

Acquire

Live Chat Software
8.5
$25
99%
Collect.Chat reviews

Collect.Chat

Live Chat Software
8.0
$14
100%

Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

Pricing details are a vital consideration when you analyze SaaS providers. Ask the vendor if they offer price protection and contractual flexibility. “Shelfware” has become a major problem in SaaS licensing as buyers end up shelling out for more than they require. Plus, to get pricing predictability, customers are forced to subscribe to long-term contracts. Make certain you don’t get saddled with long-term licensing and get locked in for a long time with a single provider. Ask about easy exit policies that allow you to migrate to another provider if you are not satisfied with the services provided by the current one. Select a vendor that offers a handy standard annual termination facility as well as long-term cost protection.

Another crucial element to consider is whether the cloud provider meets compliance and security requirements. Your company is accountable to staff members, customers, business partners, and regulators. Therefore, you should pick a vendor that has adopted a technically sound and comprehensive security program. Map your security control requirements such as availability, integrity, confidentiality, privacy, and accountability to the vendor’s capabilities. Ask the potential vendor about the processes and systems they use to protect your private data. Do they meet general as well as industry-specific compliance and security standards? Do they provide special measures to meet the unique security requirements of your specific industry? Get satisfactory answers to these queries before you make the investment.

Frequently asked questions about Live Chat Software

What is the best live chat software?

The best live chat software is Zendesk. It is a full suite of customer support applications that allow a business to ensure high rates of engagement, conversion, and retention. Though its modules are under one umbrella, you can opt to upgrade or modify them separately. Thus, you do not have to worry about breaking the bank in trying to revolutionize your support system. 

By using Zendesk, you can set yourself apart from the competition. That is because using this platform, you can offer 24/7 support. You can also ensure that customers have access to a knowledge base around the clock. With that, they can find answers they need at any time. 

Yet despite its robustness, Zendesk is easy on the pocket. Its payment plans include per agent pricing and per use pricing. Before you commit, you can also sign up for a free trial. 

What are the benefits of a live chat software?

Taking care of customers’ after-sales concerns is as important as paying attention to their before-sales queries. That is why a live chat software exists. It can answer the needs of different teams while ensuring the satisfaction of audiences. Specifically, it provides the following benefits:

On-the-dot customer service. With a live chat software, customer service agents can see immediately when a customer requires assistance. That is because the platform alerts them whenever there is a new message.

Decreased support expenses. Companies can reduce support-related expenditures by using a live chat solution. It is possible because the software enables agents to handle several chat windows at the same time.

Research and development assistance. Customer needs and demands are a minefield for R&D ideas. Organizations can exploit that to create better services or products.

What are the features of live chat software?

The features of live chat software enable customer service representatives to engage customers and would-be consumers. The following are the particular features that can help:

Social media interface. Live chat solutions nowadays can connect with social media sites. This allows your agents to respond to queries immediately even when they are not using the source platform.

Ticketing. In case an agent is not available to attend to a customer, the live chat platform can create a ticket. This way, when members of the support team go online, they can resolve issues posted by customers earlier.

File-sharing. Live chat applications can support file-sharing. This enables customer support representatives to provide files to customers that can help solve their problems.

Communication transcripts. All interactions between agents and customers can be saved by a live chat software. This allows for better conflict resolution if such an issue arises.

What is the easiest live chat software to use?

Ease of use is a major factor in the decision-making process of a company when it comes to live chat software. But it can be challenging because there are many platforms that claim they are user-friendly. To help you with that, we have listed below the top three live chat solutions that are easiest to use:

Freshchat. This highly rated platform is a favorite because it has a sleek interface. It is also intuitive, so users can find their way around it quickly.

LiveChat. Though full-featured, this software is not complex. It is also accessible from the web, hence it does not require complicated configurations.

LiveAgent. This solution is another go-to for organizations needing a live chat solution because it is powerful yet simple. Its elements are situated nicely on the screen, making them easy to find.

What is a good free live chat software?

You do not need to break the bank to have a reliable live chat software. The three examples below provide small businesses with basic support tools to get them started:

Freshchat. It allows up to ten active members on the platform. The free plan already provides access to social media integrations.

Paldesk. The free plan gives access to multiple support channels and lets unlimited agents on board. Additionally, it allows organizations to customize their support widget.

LiveAgent. The software’s free version already gives you a reliable AI bot. Plus, you can have unlimited chats.

Nestor Gilbert

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.

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