Best Live Chat Software54Live Chat Software allows website operators to interact directly with visitors on their websites, typically through some combination of instant messaging / chat, video, and survey forms.LiveAgent1https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Gr/uQ/I9PBIQE4WBPH-180x180.PNGGist2https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Qo/Iy/V2MD34HVX3QS-180x180.JPEGIntercom3https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/yT/Lr/L72PTH98KRP4-180x180.PNGLiveChat4https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Ok/2U/T68PEGQ14J3E-180x180.PNGBold3605https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/5r/W6/R4G5TD6DM6S7-180x180.PNGBirdEye6https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/RI/tW/JLSL3NM23GDG-180x180.PNGDrift7https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Hy/0d/H8FABXBLO0WB-180x180.PNGKayako8https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/dk/4D/ESCUVR2CT89X-180x180.JPEGOlark9https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Pa/qy/9VSC46TR63BJ-180x180.PNGGoSquared10https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/jO/I5/CTZPVBQHMEVV-180x180.PNGLivePerson LiveEngage11https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/lv/Yj/F9IQ7Z6T3GLF-180x180.JPEGSnapEngage12https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Xv/1a/9WBXVWWN8V1M-180x180.PNGZendesk Chat (formerly Zopim)13https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/gi/9x/TH7QA0KNS3PT-180x180.JPEG3CX Phone System14https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Lh/aD/RGKVVHKVWH13-180x180.JPEGZoho SalesIQ15https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Tb/S3/GM6HDTKVEP4R-180x180.PNGFreshchat16https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/rb/Zj/R0H89SKRG7TH-180x180.PNGProvide Support Live Chat17https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/NL/MC/7O5MB1E2RHBD-180x180.PNGSmith.ai Live Website Chat18https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/cu/m5/C4T0DAK6O99V-180x180.PNGHelpCrunch19https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/uY/VU/JEHKR1I2T90Z-180x180.JPEGHelpshift20https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/uj/QP/I49K4LTKWCK6-180x180.PNGZoho Chat21https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Tb/S3/GM6HDTKVEP4R-180x180.PNGStride22https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/s4/7s/TX4L34W3HKL7-180x180.JPEGClickDesk23https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Ja/fa/76KTPADTZ1NA-180x180.PNGGlia (formerly Salemove)24https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/rL/tk/GJPGL0EDH52U-180x180.PNGApptentive25https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/ja/0A/RHCMLJ1RTFBS-180x180.PNG

Best Live Chat Software

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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

Listings (1-25 of 79)

LiveAgent

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Top Rated
111 Ratings

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

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Top Rated
91 Ratings

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

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Top Rated
203 Ratings

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.

99 Ratings

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

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Top Rated
74 Ratings

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…

BirdEye

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Top Rated
48 Ratings

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, …

59 Ratings

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.

41 Ratings

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…

30 Ratings

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.

22 Ratings

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…

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.

23 Ratings

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…

20 Ratings

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.

11 Ratings

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.…

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…

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…

5 Ratings

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…

6 Ratings

ClickDesk is an engagement platform offering live chat, video and social capabilities. ClickDesk also includes help desk functionality (ticket management, email support, alerts, etc.).

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…

5 Ratings

Apptentive is an in-app messaging tool for mobile application providers. It allows users to provide in-app help and customer support, send in-app surveys, prompt app users to provide ratings, etc. It is designed to foster engagement and build advocacy among the mobile app's user base.

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2020

2020 Top Rated Live Chat Software

There are plenty of options out there, but here's our shortlist of the best 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. To qualify, a product must have 10 or more recent reviews and a trScore of 7.5 or higher, indicating above-average satisfaction for business technology. The products with the highest trScores appear first on the list. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.