On a basic level, live chat software is an easy way to connect with customers while they browse your website or app. But the best tools have much more functionality than this.
You can use them to proactively contact customers, provide chatbots to offer self-service support, and offer contextual help within the widget. It’s no wonder that 41% of customers prefer live chat over other forms of support.
And these are just the benefits to customers. The software also makes life easier for agents by connecting conversations from multiple channels into a single inbox.
All you need to do is choose the best live chat software to enable these features at your business. To help, I’ve put together this list of all my favorite tools.
The Best Live Chat Software
Here’s the list of the best live chat apps that I’ll cover in this article.
What do I look for when I select the best live chat solution? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Live chat software often has complex features. A good UI makes it easy for your team to make the most of these tools.
Usability: The software needs to be easy for three groups: those who create the chat widgets, the agents who use the tool, and your customers.
Integrations: The best live chat tools integrate with other communications channels so you can offer multichannel customer support. They also often have WordPress, Wix, or Shopify plugins to make connecting to your site easy.
Value for $: Large and small businesses can benefit from live chat software. You need to choose one with appropriate pricing for your needs.
Live Chat App Key Features
Chat widget: All the tools on our list let you add a chat widget to your website. Look for features like the ability to customize widget content and add resources or documents.
Omnichannel support: If you offer support on multiple channels, ensure your chat software can integrate with these platforms. This can help improve customer satisfaction.
Chatbots: Chatbots allow you to create conversational flows that help customers without them contacting your team. This reduces the number of tickets they have to deal with.
Proactive support: Some live chat software enables you to contact customers as they use your website. This helps you solve customer problems without them needing to contact you, potentially improving the customer experience.
Agent-side features: Look for features like answer templates, the ability for multiple support agents to jump into a single conversation, automated ticket routing, and knowledge base search.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Live Chat Software Solutions
Here’s a brief description of each live chat platform to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.
1. Helpscout – Offer self-help resources within your chat widget
Helpscout is a customer service platform with a powerful live chat toolkit. The chat widget is central to the tool: it allows you to offer live support alongside access to self-support documents, which can reduce the number of chats your team has to deal with.
I like that you can choose which articles to recommend on each page of your website. This makes it easy for visitors to find the most relevant support. And you can also add a survey to find out whether the article answered the customer question or not. If it didn’t, consider updating the information or adding a new article.
Despite the focus on self-help resources, it’s always easy for customers to start a live chat. And the tool has a super clean user interface you can customize to fit with your other branding.
Helpscout’s cheapest plan with live chat starts at $25 per user per month. You can also sign up for a 15-day free trial to test the software.
2. LivePerson – Roll out AI chatbots to multiple channels
LivePerson is a conversational platform that helps you automate customer conversations with AI chatbots. By automating conversations, you’ll reduce the number of tickets your team has to deal with.
The tool makes creating conversations for the use cases you need easy. And it offers pre-built conversations for common issues like payment reminders and order status updates.
A cool feature is that each conversation uses contextual customer data to provide personalized experiences. For example, if a customer wants to return a purchase, the tool can search through their profile to find the most recently ordered item to make their reply relevant. And if the AI has problems, your team can see the conversations and jump in to help.
Another great thing about LivePerson is that you can roll out the chatbots on multiple platforms such as Messenger, WhatsApp, and your website. This means customers can contact you on the channels they already use.
LivePerson doesn’t advertise pricing on its website. But you can contact the sales team to get a demo via the website.
LiveAgent is a powerful help desk and ticketing system with plenty of live chat features. The main tool is the website chat window. It’s easy to deploy this on your website and you can also customize it to fit your branding.
The tool connects with many different channels beyond web chat, including email, social media, and forums. By bringing these into a single inbox, it’s far easier to respond to requests from all your channels.
The tool stands out because it lets you offer phone support through the tool’s virtual call center. And you get access to advanced telephony features such as call transfers, IVR, and automatic call distribution. You just need to connect LiveAgent to a VoIP provider.
There are plenty of features to help you speed up support. For example, you can create templated answers to common questions that chat agents can copy and paste into conversations. You can even start a video chat from within the chatbox to explain complex solutions.
It’s also possible for multiple agents to jump into a single conversation and offer help when needed. This provides a better experience for customers as they can get expert help without repeating questions.
LiveAgent starts at $15 per agent per month, although the call center features come with the $49 per agent per month plan. There’s a 14-day free trial to test the software and a limited forever free plan.
Intercom is a business messaging tool with plenty of live chat features. The main product is the chat widget, which you can install on your website or app. From here you can handle chats, as well as provide easy access to self-service documents, a knowledge base search bar, and relevant content.
One thing I like about Intercom is that the chat tool shows an estimate of response time. Or, if your team is currently offline, it tells them when you will be online again. This ensures customers are never left waiting for a reply that is unlikely to come.
Intercom also has useful proactive chat support features. This lets you reach out to customers to provide help with issues before they know the problem exists. A simple example is providing customers with extra information about shipping times when they spend time on a relevant page.
Intercom’s starter plan costs $67 per month when billed annually. Larger businesses can contact the company for further pricing options.
LiveChat is a customer service and sales platform that handles all customer communication. You just create the chat experiences and then roll out the widget to your website.
The tool stands out due to its selling features. For example, you can add product cards to the live chat widget to encourage customers to buy. Or you can add forms or AI chatbots to capture leads on your website and then route the conversation to relevant people. You can then measure the tool’s impact on sales using its reporting features.
LiveChat works with plenty of communication channels to handle all communication in a single inbox. You can connect Facebook Messenger, Email, SMS, Apple Business Chat, and WhatsApp alongside your website and apps.
LiveChat plans start at $19 per agent per month and rise to $50. You can also get a free trial of the software to test it before buying.
6. Zendesk Chat – Powerful help desk software with chat features
Zendesk is a powerful help desk platform with plenty of advanced live chat features. It’s easy to roll the tool out to your website and app and then answer queries from the help desk alongside other communication channels.
Zendesk offers plenty of advanced live chat features. Use AI chatbots to handle simple customer requests that don’t need live agent support. Or set up triggers to offer proactive support—for example, if a customer spends a long time on a check-out page, you can reach out to ask if they need any more help.
Another useful Zendesk feature is queue management. If you deal with a high volume of requests, you can effectively create rules to deal with them. For example, you could prioritize sales requests over other types of calls as these are more likely to result in revenue.
Zendesk also offers plenty of integrations. You can connect with Slack to get notifications about new conversations. And if there’s no integration for the tool you need, you can use the API integration.
Zendesk pricing starts at $19 per agent per month when billed annually. Pro plans go up to $99 per agent per month for more advanced features. You can grab a free trial of any of the tools via the website.
CallTrackingMetrics is a conversation analytics platform that helps marketers see which campaigns generate calls and conversations. The tool also has live chat functionality to help support and sales teams provide better experiences.
The tool has a dashboard you can use to manage calls, texts, and chats in a single place. And the live chat widget is easy to install and has plenty of customization options to ensure it meets your branding.
A cool feature is the ability to suggest relevant questions from within the widget on the page the customer is visiting. For example, a pricing page could include questions to help customers get a product demo, while a help page could include questions relevant to the specific problem. You can also create customized templated responses to help your team respond to common queries quickly.
The tool also allows you to set up chat routing rules that ensure conversations always go to the right agent. For example, sales queries go to your sales team, while requests for support go to your support team. And there are also support tools to help you transfer conversations between agents, so you don’t start from scratch every time a new person takes over.
CallTrackingMetrics pricing starts at $39 per month and rises to $299 per month. Each plan comes with a free month.
8. Genesys DX – Live chat with a powerful agent dashboard
Genesys DX is a chat platform that enables businesses to offer both AI and agent-based support. Use the chatbots to provide instant 24/7 support to customers. Your team will have fewer tickets to deal with, and customers will be happier due to the expanded support.
It’s easy to create chatbots that guide customers through their issues. Include question and answer suggestions to simplify the process, and it’s easy to tailor the questions depending on the page the customer is visiting.
When it’s time for agents to take over, they have a full view of the automated chat history which provides instant context into the customer’s needs. This means they can jump straight into helping instead of making the customer repeat their issues. The backend also includes an agent knowledge base so they can quickly find answers to relevant questions when helping customers.
Genesys DX doesn’t advertise pricing online. But you can contact the sales team via the website to find out more.
Tidio is a live chat software with plenty of ways to automate chat conversations and specific features aimed at helping eCommerce stores boost conversion rates. For example, you can create a pop-up to offer a discount to customers at risk of abandoning the cart. Or you can offer a discount promo code to new customers if they sign up for your website.
Creating these flows is easy using the No-Code platform. Or you can use some of the tool’s 20 plus conversation templates on topics like shipping or orders to roll out effective conversations quickly.
If customers need real-time support during the buying process, it’s easy for them to speak directly to agents. And you can connect other conversation channels like email, Messenger, and Instagram to the Tidio inbox.
Tidio has a completely free live chat software plan for three operators and unlimited chats. Premium plans start at $39 per month for the chatbot plan. You can grab a free trial by signing up on the website.
10. Userlike – Live chat with plenty of useful features
Userlike is a website messenger that allows you to assist customers as they browse your site. It offers chatbots, an omnichannel help desk, and many agent help options.
The tool has advanced functionality. A useful lead generation feature allows you to collect customer information before they start a call. You can use the data from these pre-chat forms to build a customer profile.
You can also proactively reach out to customers as they browse your website. And you can include a green circle to show that your help team is currently online which may encourage people to connect.
You can connect Userlike to other communication channels, including WhatsApp, Messenger, and SMS. You then answer all queries from within the Userlike platform and even switch to browser-based voice calls when necessary. The tool also has a dashboard that allows you to track your conversational KPIs. Just choose to highlight the ones most relevant to your business.
Userlike paid plans start at $100 per month for four seats, although you need the $320 per month for ten seats plan to integrate with other channels. The tool offers a free trial as well as an always-free version of the tool for a single user.
Need expert help selecting the right Customer Chat Software?
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Here are a few more tools that didn’t make the top list. These could still be great options for the right business.