Live Chat Software

Best Live Chat Software include:

Gist, Bold360, and Intercom.

Live Chat Software TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Live Chat Software Overview

What is Live Chat Software?

Live Chat Software allows website operators to interact directly with visitors on their websites in real-time, typically through some combination of instant messaging/chat, video, and survey forms. With live chat software maintaining the spotlight, many live chat vendors are also branching into “webchat” which can take live chat conversations into other modes of communication, namely SMS/text messaging. This is a great development for organizations looking to work with only one vendor to manage both website chat and text-based chat.


The two major use cases for these tools are sales qualification and customer support. The majority of leading live chat software functions both as live chat for lead generation and live chat support software.

Live Chat Software Features & Capabilities

At minimum, live chat software should include the following capabilities:
  • Real-time messaging
  • Canned responses and greetings
  • Notifications
  • Chat transfer

  • Ticket forms

  • Chat history and transcripts

  • Customization tools for branding, agent profiles, languages, etc.

  • Chat reports

  • Encrypted messaging

  • Access restriction

  • Visitor banning

  • Single sign-on

  • Compliance

More advanced features include:
  • Pre-built AI bots to handle conversations without a human agent
  • Customized AI bots for the same purpose

  • Intuitive FAQs

  • Unified inboxes

  • Integrations with scheduling and client management applications like Freshdesk, Google Calendar, Zapier, etc.

  • iOS and Android versions

Live Chat Software Key Use Cases: Sales & Support

Using live chat software, salespeople can answer prospects' questions or initiate a consultative conversation--at a key point in the buyer's journey, when the prospect is already engaged with the website or free trial (for online software products). They can also collect the prospect's contact information to follow up based on the prospect's readiness/likelihood to buy, for example trying to set up a call vs. entering them into a marketing nurture drip sequence.


Used by support or customer success teams, live chat software allows customers who have questions or problems to connect with an individual agent and receive a response in real-time, without having to call in and navigate an automated phone tree or submit a support ticket. (Although sometimes the agent on the other end of the live chat will end up submitting a support ticket for them.)


Like social customer service tools, proponents of live chat support consider it to be a better customer service experience, because recognition is immediate, there's a personal connection, and help can be delivered in context of the website or application. Also, issues addressed via IM are kept more informal than filing a help desk ticket, and more discreet than a social support case.


Live chat point solutions for the support use case are lighter-weight and easier to implement than a full help desk, but using an integrated live chat/help desk solution has its advantages, since the customer interaction history can be stored in one unified record, and tickets can be created/routed directly from the chat interface.


Live Chat Software Comparison

To compare different live chat tools, consider these factors for each product offering:

  1. Automation: This will not be applicable for all use cases, but you should determine whether the live chat software you are considering supports automated messages or not, should you choose to utilize them. Automated messaging can save your agents time and route people to the appropriate resources to keep your support team and sales agents from handling requests that do not need human assistance.

  2. Integrations: Choose live chat software that integrates with your existing sales engagement and CRM tools. Do not assume that any given live chat platform supports the other tools you'd like to import data into. This is likely one of the most important factors to consider. If a tool doesn't already have an integration designed for the tools you'd like, it should at least give you the option to set one up.

  3. Security: Users often share personal information via live chat programs, so invest in tools that are transparent about the security features of their software. You also want to make sure that it complies with both your local and international cybersecurity regulations.

Pricing

Unlike a lot of SaaS tools, live chat software options do not proliferate free versions. However, a few tools like Gist and Freshchat feature totally free starter options. You can expect pricing tiers to be differentiated by the size of your contact list and the number of account managers. Paid plans can start as low as $16/mo with enterprise plans starting at $79/mo on the lower end. Enterprises looking into live chat software should keep in mind that many live chat vendors do not offer pre-designed plans for larger organizations and require that you reach out to them for a quote and estimate of what your account may actually cost.


Live Chat Products

(1-25 of 81) Sorted by Most Reviews

LiveAgent
115 ratings
98 reviews
Top Rated
LiveAgent is a help desk software designed to help users bring personalization to customer interactions. LiveAgent presents an omnichannel universal inbox, real-time live chat, built-in call center, and a customer service portal. The vendor states users can increase productivity by taking advantage …
Gist
94 ratings
93 reviews
Top Rated
Gist is a unified marketing, sales, and support platform. It includes live chat, a help desk, knowledge base, email marketing, marketing automation, opt-in forms, and more.
Intercom
206 ratings
65 reviews
Top Rated
Intercom is a contextual messaging system that supports live engagement with customers via text, chat, or email. It also supports triggered emails, customer segmentation and analysis, as well as integrations with MailChimp and Salesforce, and further extensibility via APIs and webhooks.
BirdEye
48 ratings
34 reviews
Top Rated
BirdEye is a set of online business reputation management tools focused on customer reviews and social media activity. It includes review monitoring, review generation, review marketing, customer surveys, social listening, social publishing, social engagement, social ticketing for customer support, …
LiveChat
100 ratings
34 reviews
LiveChat serves as a customer service platform with live chat support, help desk and web analytics functionalities, with the goal of allowing users to provide 24/7 support to customers. The core feature of the software is its chat tool, where both service and sales team can answer customers' questio…
Bold360
74 ratings
34 reviews
Top Rated
TRUE
Bold360 is a customer engagement solution delivering personalized interactions and the fastest time-to-value. According to the vendor, the product leverages the power of AI, to help personalize and enhance every engagement no matter where it takes place, allowing companies to deliver richer and more…
Drift
65 ratings
29 reviews
Drift is an AI-driven sales and marketing tool that acts as a virtual assistant, facilitating conversations with leads, qualifying them, enriching CRM data with information gathered, and automatically booking sales meetings.
Kayako
41 ratings
20 reviews
Kayako is a help desk / ticketing product and is available is both SaaS and on-premise configurations. Is is built in PHP and uses my SQL. The product competes with HelpSpot, ZohoSupport, Freshdesk and Zendesk. The Kayako Engage edition may be deployed as a live chat system without ticketing at a r…
Olark
30 ratings
16 reviews
Olark is a website live chat tool for engaging website visitors while they browse. It can be used to to track leads, drive sales, provide support.
LivePerson LiveEngage
25 ratings
13 reviews
LivePerson headquartered in New York offers solutions for AI-guided live chat and conversational messaging, with LiveEngage, supporting sales and service teams with answering questions across all popular messaging channels.
GoSquared
22 ratings
13 reviews
GoSquared provides real-time website analytics to sites of all sizes. The real-time dashboard displays website analytics on an individual visitor basis. The Now App displays concurrent analysis (the visitors who are on your site right now) of your site performance. The Trends App displays historical…
SnapEngage
23 ratings
11 reviews
SnapEngage can be installed on any website and is designed for companies of any size. Sales and Support teams can chat with company website visitors while they browse and offer assistance in real time. This solution includes a "Call Me" feature to incorporate voice and text communication in one bund…
Zendesk Chat (formerly Zopim)
42 ratings
9 reviews
Zendesk Chat (formerly Zopim) is a live chat tool developed by the Singaporean company also called Zopim, acquired by Zendesk in April 2014.
3CX Phone System
28 ratings
7 reviews
Cyprus based company 3CX offers an IP PBX phone system.
Smith.ai Live Website Chat
4 ratings
4 reviews
Smith.ai Live Website Chat is presented by the vendor as a fast & friendly way to capture, screen & convert website leads. The Smith.ai live chat agents answer questions, screen leads & schedule appointments 24/7. Custom AI chatbots can assist with screening basic questions to maximize m…
Freshchat
11 ratings
4 reviews
Freshchat is a modern messaging software built for sales and customer engagement teams to talk to prospects and customers on the website, mobile app, or social pages. A leap from legacy live-chat, Freshchat helps businesses and its teams focus on a continuous and context-driven messaging experience.…
Zoho SalesIQ
22 ratings
4 reviews
Zoho SalesIQ is a solution that is designed to help companies convert website visitors into customers. This solution enables business users to track visitors in real-time, engage them effectively and increase sales conversions.
Provide Support Live Chat
5 ratings
3 reviews
Provide Support has been a live chat and website monitoring software provider since 2003. The vendor says more than 30000 customers use their live help software globally. The vendor also says they are serving businesses and organizations from a variety of industries such as E-Commerce, Travel, Touri…
Stride
6 ratings
3 reviews
Atlassian is discontinuing Stride. Users are being migrated to Slack.
Zoho Chat
21 ratings
3 reviews
Zoho Chat is a live chat tool, from Zoho Corporation.
Helpshift
3 ratings
3 reviews
Helpshift is a help desk software deployed as an in-application SDK to provide users with in-app service.
ClickDesk
7 ratings
3 reviews
ClickDesk is an engagement platform offering live chat, video and social capabilities. ClickDesk also includes help desk functionality (ticket management, email support, alerts, etc.).
HelpCrunch
5 ratings
3 reviews
All-in-one software for better customer communication HelpCrunch toolset includes: Live chatEmail marketing automationSimple HelpdeskIt's a perfect solution for customer support, sales & marketing teams at SaaS, E-commerce, and any other online businesses. Acquire, convert more leads, and suppo…
Glia (formerly Salemove)
2 ratings
2 reviews
Gila (formerly Salemove) creates customer engagement solutions that enable companies to provide an in-person customer experience online. Through its all-in-one platforms, companies are able to identify high-value website visitors, communicate through live chat, audio, and video, and provide visual c…
Pure Chat
5 ratings
2 reviews
Pure Chat is a live chat tool with a free version for limited usage or paid versions with unlimited chat, from the company of the same name in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is live chat software?

Live chat software supports adding a built-in chatbox to your websites for users to utilize. In this chatbox users can carry out text-based correspondence with a human representative or AI-powered robot. Advanced features allow users to upload files to share and reference in their conversation.

How much is live chat software?

While most live chat software is only available as paid plans, Gist and Freshchat have free versions available. Enterprises will get the most out of paid plans, as free plans do not typically support advanced features that the nature of their operations require.

Paid plans can start as low as $16/mo to as high as $100/mo. This pricing is usually by number of "seats", or agents you would like to have utilizing the software at any given time. So be mindful of your team size when budgeting for live chat software.

What type of businesses need live chat software?

While we cannot say any particular business needs live chat software, some types of businesses benefit from live chat software greatly. B2C companies can really benefit from using live chat software because it allows customers to receive support easily. It also helps B2B businesses in particular with easily capturing information from prospective buyers. Being that many customers come to business websites to find information, live chat software allows them to remain on the site without having to fill out a contact form and waiting for an email, or having to place a phone call.