With so many different live chat software solutions available, finding the best fit for your needs is tricky. You know you want to speed up your customer communication and provide answers to customer queries quickly, but you need to figure out which system is best. In this post, I'll help you make this choice simpler by sharing my insights on the best live chat software to connect with customers, based on my own CX experience.
What is Live Chat Software?
Live chat software is a messaging help desk tool that allows end users to connect with members of your team in real time. They're often used by customer support teams or sales teams to provide information and support. Many have automated chatbot tools to answer FAQs or offer self-serve resources from your knowledge base. They often also have multi-channel management capabilities, chat history, automated follow-ups, support ticket distribution, and analytics tools to monitor your processes.
Using live chat software offers numerous benefits, including faster customer support, increased engagement with your customers, and improved customer satisfaction. These modern tools also make it easy to request immediate feedback from your customers, giving you a competitive advantage.
SysAid is an ITSM Software designed to help bring clients closer to help desk teams at scale through many channels, live chat included.
SysAid's help desk software improves team efficiency through several automation features like ticket routing. With ticket routing, users concerns no longer sit in a queue waiting for a help desk coordinator to assign them to team members. Instead, the platform automatically routes the information based on pre-defined people structures.
One of the many features that this platform has is a self-serve portal in which users can access services like password resets and live chat. SysAid lets you view all users, which ones have initiated a chat, who are waiting in a queue and which IT administrator is chatting with which user.
One thing I like about their queueing system is that you can configure different queues for different services. That way, you won't have people waiting for their turn when there is someone available from the team that can help them solve their problem.
Finally, this platform can let your team perform remote control sessions directly from SysAid's console and save the conversation within the ticket so that you always have context and can help users in the most personal way.
Integrations can be accessed through SysAid's marketplace and include pre-built integrations with Jira, Teamviewer, Solarwinds, Azure, Openam, Slack, Okta, and Google Apps. You can also connect to thousands of additional apps using a paid subscription with Zapier.
Zoho SalesIQ is live chat software that enables businesses to communicate with their customers in real-time. The software provides features like live chat, website visitor tracking, and analytics to help businesses connect with their website visitors on a deeper level.
One of its standout features is its robust functionality. The software allows for easy customization of chat widgets so it matches the company branding, and its chatbots can handle basic customer inquiries, leaving human agents to handle more complex ones.
Zoho SalesIQ also includes visitor tracking, which shows visitors' behavior in real-time, and advanced reporting and analytics to help businesses make informed decisions about their engagement strategies. Additionally, the software offers integration with popular CRM systems, making it easy for businesses to track customer interactions and follow up with leads.
In terms of integrations, Zoho SalesIQ seamlessly integrates with other Zoho tools like Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, and Zoho Campaigns. It also integrates with other popular tools like Google Analytics and Slack, making it an all-in-one tool for customer engagement and management.
Plans start at $7/operator/month, and they offer a 15-day free trial.
3CX is an enterprise communications system that offers software-based PBX functionality with a cloud-hosted option. It includes multiple features like live chat, instant messaging, CRM integration, web conferencing, and native mobile applications.
3CX’s live chat solution is a great way to initiate a non-intrusive connection between agents and customer at scale. Since most live chats end up being forwarded to a call center agent more than half the time, the live chat tool is designed so that it’s easier to elevate the conversation from live chat to an actual call. The customer or the agent can initiate the call to expedite the resolution of whatever issues there might be.
The live chat tool is available with 3CX’s free plan, which means that small businesses and startups can take full advantage of this feature for no charge. They can easily assign more agents (up to 10 users) to group chats without having to worry about added monthly fees. They can also customize the live chat tool to add voice and video call functions too.
3CX also comes with free Android and iOS apps, allowing contact center agents to respond to live chat, WhatsApp, and SMS messages through their smartphone or tablet. This can help boost the productivity and efficiency of any company’s customer service program.
Pricing for 3CX starts at $175/year for 10 users. They also offer a freemium version with limited features that includes their live chat tool too.
Hiver is a dynamic live chat software solution designed to revolutionize team collaboration and customer support. It seamlessly integrates with email platforms like Gmail, allowing businesses to transform their email inboxes into shared collaborative spaces where teams can respond to customer inquiries and internal messages in real-time. Hiver empowers organizations to provide timely and efficient customer support, streamline internal communication, assign tasks, track progress, and maintain a unified approach to managing email interactions, all within a user-friendly interface.
Hiver excels as a live chat software by offering several key strengths. Firstly, its seamless integration with email platforms like Gmail makes it an exceptional tool for businesses already heavily reliant on email communication, allowing them to transform email inboxes into collaborative workspaces for real-time customer support and internal team communication. Secondly, Hiver's shared inbox and task assignment features enable efficient collaboration among team members, ensuring that customer inquiries are addressed promptly and that tasks are delegated and tracked effectively.
One of Hiver's standout features is its capability to turn standard email inboxes, such as Gmail, into shared collaborative spaces. This unique approach allows teams to manage customer inquiries and internal communication within their existing email infrastructure, eliminating the need for separate live chat platforms. Competing live chat software often requires businesses to adopt a new interface, whereas Hiver integrates seamlessly with familiar email clients, enhancing user adoption and reducing the learning curve.
Hiver offers a distinctive feature by allowing users to assign tasks directly within email threads. This means that customer inquiries can be converted into actionable tasks, assigned to team members, and tracked efficiently, all within the same email interface. This feature streamlines workflow management and ensures that customer issues are addressed promptly, setting Hiver apart from competitors that may require external task management tools or lack this level of integration.
Hiver distinguishes itself with the ability to add notes and tags to email conversations. This unique feature enables teams to add context, instructions, or important information directly to email threads, enhancing collaboration and ensuring that all team members are well-informed about customer interactions. Unlike many competitors that lack this level of integrated note-taking and tagging within live chat, Hiver provides a seamless way to manage and share vital information, improving the quality and consistency of customer support.
Hiver offers collision alerts and prevention to ensure that multiple team members don't accidentally respond to the same customer inquiry simultaneously. This distinctive feature enhances customer service by preventing redundant responses and potential confusion. It helps maintain a professional and streamlined customer support process, setting Hiver apart from competitors that may lack built-in mechanisms for preventing and managing collisions in live chat scenarios.
Hiver integrates with Slack and Gmail. More can be accessed through Zapier, but that requires another product subscription and may incur additional costs.
Hiver costs from $19/user/month and offers a 7-day free trial.
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.
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.
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 $74 per month when billed annually. Larger businesses can contact the company for further pricing options.
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.
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.
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. Plans start at $25/month for the chatbot plan. You can grab a free 7-day trial by signing up on the website.
Need expert help selecting the right Customer Chat Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Customer Chat Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business's needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
Live chat with a powerful agent dashboard
Offer self-help resources within your chat widget
Best for its standalone and embedded chat options
Best for offering voice support
Best for streamlining customer interactions with scalable live chat solutions
Powerful help desk software with chat features
Live chat with features to power shopping experiences
Live chat with CRM or help desk integration
Live chat with CRM or help desk integration
Live chat with customer data insights
What do I look for when I select the best live chat solution? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): I looked for user-friendly solutions that are easy to learn and quick to implement. The goal is to make managing your customer interactions easier, not more complicated.
- Functionality: I took into account whether the software went beyond live chat features. Some options provide things like workflow management, a ticketing system, or even a more complete customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
- Integrations: The best live chat tools integrate with other communications channels so you can offer multichannel customer support. This might include Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and email integrations. 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. But you need to choose one with appropriate pricing for your needs. Some have a price per user, while others offer a free version. I’ve included pricing details in my overviews.
Live Chat Software Key Features
Here are some of the core features I looked for to include a platform on my best live chat software list:
- Live chat widget: All the tools on our list let you add a chat widget to your website. I also looked for advanced 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 could be calling, video chat, social media messaging, email, or other channels.
- Chatbots: Chatbots allow you to provide real-time support without needing to have an agent live in the chat. You can create chat transcripts that help walk through a customer’s needs and offer self-serve options before they get through to an agent.
- Proactive support: Some live chat software enables you to send proactive chats to website visitors through a popup chat window. This helps you address questions and improve conversion rates on your website. You can also use this as a lead generation channel.
- 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.
What are the Benefits of Using Live Chat Software?
These days, people want their questions answered quickly, without having to wait on hold or dig through a knowledge base. It’s no surprise that 41% of customers prefer live chat over other forms of support. You can use live chat software to proactively contact customers, provide chatbots to offer self-service support, and offer contextual help in real-time. All of this can improve the customer experience and boost customer engagement.
But those are just the benefits to customers. The software also makes life easier for agents by connecting conversations from multiple channels into a single inbox. You can manage your social media messages, emails, and even SMS communications in the same place.
What do you think about this list?
All the tools on this list are good ways to offer live chat support to your customers. The best platform for you depends on the specific features you need and how much you are willing to spend.
The good news is that most of the tools offer free trials, so it’s easy to try a couple of them out to find one that you like.
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Related Read: Shortlist of the Best Customer Tracking Software