Software6 Best Live Chat Software For Online Businesses in 2021

6 Best Live Chat Software For Online Businesses in 2021

Business is all about making money. Online businesses need to respond quickly to customers’ questions, so they feel supported and confident in their buying decision.

I am certain all business owners understand the significance of customer service. Unless you want to lose your customers or bankrupt your business, you could not let them wait too long when they have problems or issues.

Benefits of Online Live Chat Software

Live Chat is the fastest way for your website visitors and customers to get answers from real people via an instant messaging service. With live chats, you can connect with your customers directly to help them solve their problems immediately.

Customers will be satisfied with your speedy service and become loyal to your brand. Some could even become frequent buyers or long-term subscribers (for SaaS.)

Live Chat from Freshchat in action

Moreover, every business can use live chat software in lead generation.

Modern customers are always in a hurry and expect instant replies on social media, the web, and phones when it comes to their queries.

Hence, your team members can use live chat software to provide real-time information, answer customer inquiries, or even grant special discounts to convince them to buy your product or services.

The potential customer will be satisfied (like I was many times) and decide to purchase your product or subscribe to your service, so your team can change a visitor to a customer within a single session by utilizing the live chat software.

Although there are numerous live chat software providers, not all are worth consideration. This blog post will cover the 6 best free and paid live chat software solutions for small businesses.

I will try my best to explain what these software products offer, how they stack up against each other, and which subscription plan provides the best value for money.

However, this is by no means an exhaustive list. It would be best if you did your own research further to find the one that best suits your needs.

Disclaimer: This post from Victory Tale contains affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from some live chat software companies if you subscribe to their services through my links. I will use this income to create better content for all visitors.

As I always value integrity and responsibility for our audience on top of anything else, you can be certain that products or services recommended on site would be of high-quality and provide good value for money.

1. Freshchat

Are you looking for a live chat solution that gives you the ability to provide a high level of customer support? You have come to the right place. Freshchat is exactly what you need.

Freshchat is an all-in-one live chat software designed by Freshworks. The software is effortless to use and has a range of excellent features which will revolutionize your customer service like you never imagined.

Freshchat, one of the best live chat software
Freshchat is one of the best live chat software

Key Features

Freshchat is probably the live chat software that provides the most features to guarantee customer satisfaction. In addition to messaging channels, you will gain access to chatbot features that will help shape the customer experience.

Below are the key features that Freshchat offers.

Unified Live Chat – Apart from your business and eCommerce website, your support team can connect with customers on all messaging apps from the Freshchat platform, including Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Line (a messaging app popular for East Asian users.)

Unified Chat Box
Unified Chat Box

Freshchat will collect all messages from all sources inside Inbox on the platform. Thus, you and your team do not need to open various apps to respond to customers’ inquiries. This will improve response times and ensure better customer satisfaction.

You can also set up a priority inbox based on the response due. Thus, you can be certain your team will not forget to reply to your customers.

Multilingual Support – Freshchat is a customizable chat software. You can customize your messenger in the language of your choice. As of 2021, Freshchat supports as many as 33 languages.

Moreover, your sales and marketing team can respond in their language by utilizing the Live Translate feature. Many customers would welcome this.

Messenger 2.0 – The web messenger will be very similar to the one that customers are familiar with in real life, as it will have chat history, rich media support, and team profiles.

You can also create “topics” for customers to select when they open their chatbox. Thus, your customer can reach part of the support team that can help them in a second, eliminating the nuisance of being directed back and forth in the process.

Unlimited Contacts – Freshchat allows unlimited contacts, so your team does not need to delete old contacts to accommodate new ones.

Freshchat has numerous features, waiting for you to use it to provide excellent customer support
Freshchat has numerous features, waiting for you to use it to provide excellent customer support

Co-Browsing – An advanced feature that allows you to utilize screen sharing and audio chat for customer support

Self-service – You can add a highly-detailed FAQ to the chat window. Therefore, many users can solve the problem independently, reducing the need for the support team to approach them.

Chatbots – To communicate with customers after office hours, you can create an AI-powered chatbot. Thus, customers will always receive high-quality canned responses when your team is not available.

Furthermore, you can use chatbots to screen out repetitive or frequently-asked customer queries to reduce the burden on your team. Thus, the help desk can help other customers that have more urgent problems.

Creating chatbots on Freshchat’s platform is straightforward. There is no coding involved.

Proactive Campaigns – Sales reps can send a proactive message to a customer viewing the website. The customer could become interested and enter the chat. Your sales team could then use this opportunity to market your products to them or solve their inquiries that may hinder their purchase.

Chat Analytics – Freshchat provides a dashboard that tracks all the data in real-time. You can monitor the performance of your team, including resolution rates or other productivity metrics.

Creating reports is effortless on Freshchat.
Creating reports is effortless on Freshchat.

Visitor Intel – Freshchat will conduct visitor tracking, including their behavior on your website, navigation path, and many more. Thus, your team can see what products a visitor is interested in and respond accurately.

In addition to these key features, Freshchat offers many more. I suggest you take a look at their complete list of features by clicking the button below.

Pricing per Agent

Freshchat offers five-tier pricing plans as follows: All the pricing below is billed monthly.

  • Free
  • Blossom – $15 per month
  • Garden – $29 per month
  • Estate – $45 per month
  • Forest – $69 per month
Freshchat Pricing
Freshchat Pricing

The Free plan allows you to initiate chat support for your company at no cost. Though you will get only very primitive features, I think they are adequate if your budget is minimal at this point.

You can install the chat tool on your WordPress website and receive as many as 10,000 monthly unique visitors on the live chat.

If you want more of its powerful features, you can choose to upgrade. However, I don’t think small businesses need more than the Blossom plan, as included features are adequate for creating decent live chat support.

Larger businesses or enterprises may ignore all higher plans and choose the Estate omnichannel option instead.

Freshchat Omnichannel Pricing
Freshchat Omnichannel Pricing

This option will cost $79 per month/agent, which is higher than the Forest plan. However, you will get all the features available in Freshchat, Freshdesk, and Freshcaller.

These tools will provide a complete customer support solution (email, social, chat, and phone support) at a reduced price. Thus, you will save a lot on other tools.

Also, Freshchat has several useful add-ons. For example, if you want to send target messages to customers, you need an acquisition & Engagement add-on at $19 per month (flat fee, not per support agent.)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The free plan is equipped with useful features, and it incurs no cost for life.
  • Unarguably one of the best live chat software in the market.
  • Powerful live chat service with many useful features + Excellent chat experience
  • Integrate perfectly with numerous other CRM and email marketing tools such as Hubspot, Salesforce, MailChimp, Constant Contact
  • Works best if you use Freshchat along with other of Freshworks’ customer service software such as Freshdesk.
  • WordPress – Compatible
  • Multilanguage support
  • Unlimited Chats
  • Free 21-day trial (You will access the Garden plan.)
  • Flat-fee add-ons.

Cons

  • Access to full features is costly. You will need to pay for add-ons to access some features.
  • Chatbot is an advanced feature and costs $69 per month/agent to access
  • Limited MUV (Monthly unique visitors) per agent

From an overall view, equipped with many features at a reasonable price, Freshchat is one of the best live chat software. I suggest you start the free trial or use the Free plan to see if it fits your needs.

2. LiveChat

LiveChat is an industry leader in the live chat software space. This chat software allows you to communicate instantly with people browsing your site.

Besides providing real-time customer support, it’s the easiest way to start a conversation, improve customer engagement, and convert more visitors into customers.

LiveChat, another best LiveChat software
LiveChat, another excellent LiveChat software

Key Features

Similar to Freshchat, LiveChat offers a variety of features on its live chat app. Below are just a few key features that LiveChat offers for businesses that desire to build live chat and help desk support.

Chat Tools – LiveChat allows you to create an innovative chatbox. You can send canned responses and rich messages and files to your customers.

You can also create a chat rating or a survey to evaluate customer satisfaction. Transferring chats between team members is handy with one click.

LiveChat’s chatbox

Unlike other chat tools, Message Sneak-peek can reveal what the customers are typing before the message is sent. Hence, your team can ensure that the reply is always on-time.

Finally, you can insert chat tags or access chat archives to find old chat conversations to help some customers.

Multiple Communication Channels – Managing customer interactions cannot be easier. You can connect across all channels by replying to customers’ inquiries from the LiveChat platform.

Managing all channels on the same platform
Managing all channels on the same platform

LiveChat supports web chat, Facebook Messenger, SMS, Apple Business Chat, Whatsapp, and many more.

Furthermore, you can also manage multiple websites’ chat boxes from the same account. There is no need to switch back and forth.

Ticketing System – Livechat provides a built-in ticketing system to help customers submit their issues. These tickets are visible to all team members. It is impossible to lose track of any ticket as you can create tags for each.

Furthermore, the system also reports the status of every ticket so that your support team can deal with urgent ones first.

Customer Engagement – Besides using LiveChat as a customer support software, you can use it as a sales and marketing tool. You can send real-time eye-catching interactive messages to grab their attention, providing an opportunity to market your products or even offer extra discounts.

Customization – LiveChat offers a high level of customization. You can customize your chat widget, agent profile, or other messages to best suit your visitors. The platform supports as many as 45 languages. You can translate chat widgets or greetings with ease.

Customer Details – LiveChat will collect customer details such as name and email to help facilitate customer requests. This will relieve the burden of searching for customer data from the sales reps.

Reports & Analytics – You can view the data that LiveChat gathers from all chats and tickets to evaluate your team’s productivity. All data is well-visualized. Thus, it is effortless to understand.

Reports & Analytics
Reports & Analytics

Security – LiveChat emphasizes security. For example, the chat window will automatically mask all credit card details. You can also ensure that your data is safe with SSL encryption.

Additionally, you can block access to several IPs to prevent spam chats that could drain your team’s time and resources.

Above are some of the main features that LiveChat offers. I highly recommend trying all the features on your own to get a grasp of the software’s capability.

Pricing per agent

LiveChat offers four-tier pricing plans as follows: All pricing is for annual plans.

  • Starter – $16 per month
  • Team – $33 per month
  • Business – $50 per month
  • Enterprise – Custom pricing
LiveChat Pricing
LiveChat Pricing

For small and medium businesses, I think the Starter plan is adequate in most cases. You will get all the essential features except advanced analytics and some customization and monitoring features that you may not need.

However, you have to pay extra for add-ons to connect LiveChat with some popular tools such as Zoom or Snapcall for your team members to start a voice and video chat with customers.

LiveChat does not include chatbots within its live chat plan. If you want one, you have to subscribe to another separate plan starting at $50 per month, which is much more expensive than Freshchat or other chat software.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the most customer-friendly chat solutions, providing an excellent user experience
  • Straightforward to install
  • Customizable chat widgets
  • 200+ Integrations including email marketing, CRM and analytics tools including MailChimp, Salesforce, Hubspot, and Google Analytics
  • Integrate with Zoom for voice and video chat
  • WordPress – Compatible
  • Unlimited chats
  • Definitely one of the best live chat software

Cons

  • You need to pay for add-ons (per month per agent) to access several important integrations, including Slack, Google Analytics, and Zoom.
  • No free-forever plan
  • 60-day chat history for the Starter plan
  • Have to subscribe to a separate plan for the chatbot service

LiveChat offers a 14-day free trial for everyone to try their chat tool. No credit card is required.

3. LiveAgent

Though there are software products for handling calls, chats, and emails separately, some businesses just want to incorporate them into a single platform. LiveAgent offers just that – an all-inclusive help desk system for all customer service needs.

LiveAgent - excellent customer service platform
LiveAgent

Key Features

Live Chat Support Software – You can easily install the chat widget on your website to start providing real-time support to customers within minutes. Customizing the chat window is also painless as no code is involved.

The software can connect with email, Slack, Viber, and social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thus, all possible communication channels will be under one roof.

Smart Routing – Powered by artificial intelligence, LiveAgent will automatically direct customers to the most suitable agent.

Proactive Chat Invitations – You can start a conversation with every visitor online. This feature will help you a lot in lead generation and assisting customers in navigating the website.

Website Monitoring – You can track the behavior of any particular visitor on your website to provide optimal assistance to them.

Real-time typing view – Similar to LiveChat’s message sneak-peek, the support agent can view what the customer is typing even before they click “send.”

Productivity Enhancement – LiveAgent provides several features to help increase the sales team’s productivity, including a universal inbox, automation rules, canned messages, ticket segmentation, and many more.

Multilanguage support – LiveAgent is equipped with a translation feature that supports as many as 43 languages. Thus, the support agent and customers can use languages of their own choices.

Built-in CRM – LiveAgent offers a built-in CRM to collect customer details. This CRM can integrate well with other CRMs that you might already use.

LiveAgent also has built-in call center features besides live chat, which will help you build a reliable and professional call center with ease. This will integrate perfectly with the live chat and ticketing system.

Pricing per Agent

LiveAgent offers a four-tier pricing plan, including a free plan. Unfortunately, I don’t think the live chat feature in the free plan is useful as you will only get a chat button with no other features.

If you want to use LiveAgent’s live chat software, you will need either of the below plans.

  • Ticket + Chat – $29 per month
  • All-inclusive – $39 per month
LiveAgent Pricing

It is a no-brainer to select an all-inclusive plan. Why?

The all-inclusive plan includes a feature where a support team can directly respond to social network messages from LiveAgent’s platform. However, the Ticket+Chat plan does not include it, and you need to pay an extra $39 flat fee per month if you want this feature.

Furthermore, you will get better customization, video call, and improved security features. Thus, I think additional features are worth more than $10 per month. If you are interested in LiveAgent, please don’t hesitate to select this plan.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the best live chat software available
  • Customizable chat widgets
  • Smart Routing can increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
  • The all-inclusive plan offers excellent value compared to peers.
  • Integrate directly with hundreds of third-party software including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot and Salesforce
  • Integrate well with many CMS, including WordPress
  • No annual contracts. Hence, you can cancel your subscription anytime.

Cons

  • No chatbots to use with live chat
  • The entry plan is not worth subscribing to.
  • The free plan is too limited in features.

LiveAgent offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.

4. Pure Chat

Pure Chat is an affordable, feature-packed live chat tool that can help you engage with your target audience. It lets you initiate interactions over instant messenger channels, generating many conversions for your business.

Pure Chat
Pure Chat

Key Features

Live Chat – You can create high-quality live chat support for your customers within minutes. Pure Chat already has features that you will need, including canned responses, file transfer, email forms when unavailable, and many more.

Customization – It is easy to customize the appearance of your chat widget. You can use the editor to design it to fit your brand with ease.

Chat History – Pure Chat offers a full chat history with no limits. Therefore, the customer support team can find useful information about past sophisticated issues easily.

Visitor Tracking – Pure Chat can track visitor details such as location. This will help the support team to provide personalized assistance to all customers.

Analytics – Pure Chat will collect statistics and present them in an easy-to-read format. All data will be in real-time.

Pricing per Agent

Pure Chat uses a different pricing structure than other live chat software. You will not pay monthly per agent, but you will pay a flat fee unless you need more agent slots than provided in the plan.

All pricing below are annual plans.

  • Growth – $39 per month
  • Pro – $79 per month

Both plans have similar features. Thus, it would be best for small and medium businesses to stick with the Growth plan. This plan allows up to 4 agents to use the plan, sufficient for a small support team.

On average, you will pay only $9.75 per month per agent, which is considerably cheaper than other services. The only drawback is that the plan includes only 1 website. If you want to use Pure Chat on more than one website, you must upgrade to the Pro plan.

Adding a single agent would cost an extra $13 per month. If you plan to add three or more agents, it would be better to upgrade to Pro, as this plan includes as many as 10 agents. Furthermore, adding agents as a Pro plan subscriber is cheaper ($8 compared to $13.)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable and cheaper than other live chat software
  • Effortless to set up
  • Customizable chat widgets
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Mobile chat support apps (iOS and Android) to connect with customers anytime, anywhere
  • Unlimited Chats
  • WordPress – Compatible
  • Generous 30-day free trial

Cons

  • Fewer direct integrations than peers (You need to connect to Zapier to increase them.)
  • Lack of advanced Live Chat features of Freshchat and LiveChat
  • No chatbot features

Pure Chat offers a 30-day trial for potential customers to test their live chat software at no cost.

5. Chaport

Chaport is an excellent live chat software for online stores, eCommerce websites, and any other company that needs fast customer service.

In addition to live chat, Chaport provides fully customizable chatbots, which can help your team deal with repetitive queries, enhance team productivity, collect feedback and automatically skyrocket conversions.

Though Chaport is less well-known than other best live chat software, its features are powerful and affordable, becoming an attractive option for every business.

Chaport - excellent and affordable live chat software
Chaport – excellent and affordable live chat software

Key Features

Live Chat Software – You can easily set up live chat support on your website. Within minutes, you and your team can provide high-quality chat support to your customers from all communication channels, including email, social media, and many more.

Thus, customers will always be satisfied with fast replies from your support team.

Customization – You can customize the live chat widget to make it fit your business.

Group Chat – Your agent can add another team member to the chat window to ensure every issue is dealt with suitably. All agents can also leave notes for colleagues for future reference.

Automatic Chat Transfer – If any support agent is overwhelmed by inquiries, Chaport can automatically direct some inquiries to another agent who is not that busy. This feature can help improve the customer experience and reduce the burden on the live chat support team.

Mobile App – Chaport has a mobile app (iOS and Android) for businesses to provide quality customer service from any location.

Auto-invitations – Similar to other tools’ proactive messages, your sales reps can initiate a conversation with a visitor. You can help him navigate your website, give him an extra discount or assist in the checkout process.

Lead generation – You can collect emails in your chat window and lead them through your sales funnels. Chaport also allows you to create a pre-chat form to gather visitor info before starting a chat.

Multilingual Support – Chaport now supports as many as 31 languages. The live chat software will determine each visitor’s language and switch responses to that specific language automatically.

Visitor Tracking – Chaport will collect information about each visitor’s behavior so that sales reps can use it to create personalized offers, resulting in conversions.

AI-Powered Chatbots – You can build chatbots by using chatbot templates with ease to collect leads, send proactive messages or even solve simple inquiries for customers.

This feature blends perfectly with live chat, as chatbots work 24/7/365. Thus, they can serve customers when your team is away or too busy with urgent requests.

This section is just a summary of the key features that this live chat software provides. Since Chaport has numerous features, I suggest you visit their features page for more information.

Pricing per Agent

Chaport is one of the most affordable and excellent live chat software in the market, providing good value for money for all its users.

There are four plans for customers to select as follows (Below pricing is for annual plans.)

  • Free
  • Premium – $15 per month
  • Business -$23 per month
  • Enterprise – custom pricing
Chaport Pricing
Chaport Pricing

Chaport’s pricing is relatively cheaper than most other live chat software. You will get almost all the features on the Premium plan.

However, I think the best plan you should subscribe to is the Business plan. At only $23 per month per agent, or only $7 extra to the Premium plan, you will gain access to chatbots (1,000 chats per agent), advanced chat reports, and most importantly, Zapier integration.

For the Free plan, there is no limit to chats, websites, or contacts. However, you can only have a single user on the account and a few basic features are available for use. Still, it could be beneficial if you own several small online businesses.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent live chat features
  • Affordable pricing
  • Integrate with third-party apps directly or through Zapier
  • Use it on various websites without additional charge.
  • Unlimited chats
  • WordPress-compatible
  • Mobile apps provided

Cons

  • The Free plan allows only one agent.
  • Self-service features are not ready for use (upcoming.)
  • No screen sharing or co-browsing

In general, I think Chaport is one of the best live chat software. The tool has many powerful features, and it is effortless to use. The pricing tag is not too high. I believe it could help many online businesses provide flawless support to customers.

You can use a Free plan or start a free trial to try the Business plan for 14 days.

6. Chatra.io

Chatra is a live chat software that allows you to communicate with your customers in real-time and increase conversion rates. It’s also packed with several great features that can help you improve your customer relationship and communicate more effectively.

If you want reliable live chat software, you don’t need to look beyond Chatra. This tool is more than adequate for most online businesses.

Chatra - simple, effective and affordable live chat software
Chatra – simple, effective and affordable live chat software

Key Features

Chat Widgets – You can create a customizable chat widget to connect with customers across various channels, including web chat, email, and Facebook messengers on the Chatra platform.

Chat Functions – Chatra offers many features that help your team increase productivity, including group chats, saved replies, typing insights (similar to Message Sneak-Peek), chat notes, and complete chat conversation history.

Chat Ratings – Visitors can give a rating to the live chat support they receive from the team.

Mobile Apps – Chatra has iOS and Android apps for support agents to assist customers from any location.

Screen Sharing – A support person can view which post or page a customer is viewing in real-time.

Visitor Intelligence – Chatra collects all of the visitors’ info, including shopping cart contents. Therefore, a sales rep can provide support that suits their interests.

Chat Bot – Powered by artificial intelligence, Chatra’s chatbots can provide a chat solution when your team is away, including providing contact forms, capturing leads, or sending targeted messages.

Pricing Per Agent

Pricing plans for Chatra are very similar to Chaport. Chatra now offers three-tier pricing as follows (all for annual plans).

  • Free
  • Essential – $15 per month
  • Pro -$23 per month
Chatra Pricing
Chatra Pricing

The Free plan allows only one user and has access to several basic features. The Essential plan will grant you access to most features.

However, this plan lacks Zapier integration and useful features such as creating agent groups, operating hours and chat ratings.

Hence, I suggest you add another $8 per month per agent and subscribe to the Pro plan, which will provide access to everything in Chatra’s arsenal. You can integrate your live chat software with Zapier and connect to any of your favorite tools.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Unarguably one of the best live chat software for small businesses.
  • Provide complete features of live chat and chatbots
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable pricing
  • Access high-quality chatbots by paying only $15
  • No limit on conversation history for all plans
  • WordPress-compatible
  • Integrate with various third-party software products directly or through Zapier
  • Unlimited chats and websites
  • Access to JavaScript API, REST API and developer tools

Cons

  • The Free plan allows only one agent.

I think this is one of the best live chat software for small businesses from an overall view. Chatra’s features resemble those of more pricey chat tools, while the pricing is very reasonable.

Don’t hesitate to try Chatra. You can start a 10-day free trial or use the Free plan to provide live chat support now!

Other Best Live Chat Software

Those on this list are the other best live chat software. However, the pricing is more expensive than those recommended above. Medium-sized businesses or enterprises may consider them as premium alternatives.

Zendesk Chat – Zendesk Chat is part of Zendesk’s help desk tool. It provides an easy and simple text-based interface that allows the customer care agent to resolve customer’s queries easily.

However, Zendesk chat seems to target enterprise clients, as the pricing starts at $49 per month per agent, which is very high compared to other live chat software.

Intercom – Many SaaSes certainly love Intercom, as it is one of the most popular customer relationship platforms. However, I am not a fan of its live chat features. Also, the pricing is high, starting at $59 per month.

PodiumPodium provides an interaction management solution. Its features include live chat, video chat, SMS marketing, and review management. Podium does not reveal its pricing plans. You will need to contact them directly for custom pricing.

Free Live Chat Software

Apart from those I recommend above, there are other live chat software that allows businesses to use it for free forever, including

Respond.io – Respond.io is a free live chat software that every business can use for free forever. The free plan includes up to 5 team members and allows unlimited chats. However, you cannot collect more than 100 contracts.

Tawk.to – Tawk.to offers a full live chat software that has many features for free. Its features are decent. However, according to many reviewers, their servers are often down. Thus, I don’t think it is one of the best live chat software.

This would work best for businesses that want to experiment with providing live chat support to customers but not for permanent usage.

Hubspot Live Chat – Hubspot provides an easy-to-use live chat and chatbot for businesses to use for free. These features will be much more limited than the specific live chat software recommended above. However, it is 100% free, so I am certain it is worth your consideration.

Pun Anansakunwat
Founder of Victory Tale, a multipotentialite who has many different interests, especially in technology. He loves to spend time testing new products and learning interesting topics to broaden his insights. After graduating from Columbia University in 2014, he made a living by being a stock market investor, private tutor, a writer of three published books, and finally a website owner.

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