Live Chat Software
These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.
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.
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…
Intercom is a Customer Communications Platform that powers in-context exchanges in order to drive an unparalleled user experience that engages customers across their lifecycle.
Birdeye is a customer experience platform boasting customers among 80,000 businesses, who use Birdeye every day to attract new leads with Listings, Reviews, and Referrals, convert them into customers with Webchat and Payments and engage those customers with Surveys, Ticketing, and…
Khoros Care enables brands to serve their customers on their preferred digital channels, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction and revenue. It Offers:Web chat & messaging gives customers convenient, efficient channels to engage brands, while giving brands a single…
Bold360 is a live chat engagement and chatbot AI solution. Bold360 was a LogMeIn product from 2012, and then acquired by Genesys in May 2021. It is now a Genesys product.
Drift helps businesses connect with people at the right time, in the right place, with the right conversation. Using an AI-powered Conversation Cloud, businesses can personalize experiences, in order to drive more quality pipeline, revenue, and lifelong customers.
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…
The Terminus Account-Based Marketing Platform is an end-to-end command center for targeting the right accounts with dynamic data, engaging them with unified multi-channel campaigns, activating sales by separating signal from noise and reporting on the revenue outcomes that matter.…
Freshdesk Messaging is an AI-powered customer messaging software used by businesses of all sizes to offer digital-first customer service across various channels like WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, website, mobile app, and others. With the world moving towards…
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…
Sparkcentral by Hootsuite is a social customer care solution that aims to let users keep a personal touch, as a cloud-based customer engagement platform that caters specifically to customer care teams within large enterprises, enabling them to deliver real-time social customer service.…
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…
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…
LivePerson headquartered in New York offers solutions for AI-guided live chat and conversational messaging, with the Conversation Cloud (formerly LiveEngage), supporting sales and service teams with answering questions across all popular messaging channels.
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.
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…
Qualified is a conversational sales and marketing platform for Salesforce, which, starting with chatbots and live chat, includes advanced routing and omnichannel alerts, so users can prompt sales reps to take immediate action with their named accounts.
Vision Helpdesk, which started in 2005 as a simple help desk software has evolved into three customer service and IT support management tools. Help Desk Software - A multi-channel help desk software that allows users to manage customer communication across various channels like…
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…
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 & CapabilitiesAt minimum, live chat software should include the following capabilities:
- Real-time messaging
- Canned responses and greetings
Chat history and transcripts
Customization tools for branding, agent profiles, languages, etc.
- Pre-built AI bots to handle conversations without a human agent
Customized AI bots for the same purpose
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.