Best Live Chat Software 2020

Discover the best live chat software systems on the market. Use the tools below to engage your customers, generate leads, and grow your business.

Best Live Chat Software

Live chat software is used by all types of organizations to provide customer support to website visitors. Live chat software can be used for lead generation, customer support, and customer engagement. Different software vendors offer a variety of features including chatbots, ticketing systems, and email campaign capabilities.

Intercom

Intercom

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: $39 per month
Intercom is a customer messaging software with over 30,000 customers. It offers features like cross-channel messaging, A/B testing, and chatbots. Intercom is ideal for large and technology-forward companies looking to improve customer engagement.
Pros:
  • Powerful for cross-channel messaging and data tracking
  • Unique marketing features like product tours and A/B testing
  • Ability to create custom-built apps for Intercom Messenger using API
Cons:
  • Missing some basic live chat features like message sneak peek
  • One of the most expensive solutions on the market
  • Lacking in customer support availability
Birdeye

Birdeye

Reputation Management Software
Rating:
Price: $299 per month
BirdEye is a popular reputation management platform used by thousands of businesses to improve their online presences and attract new customers. The platform includes several tools that help you reach and engage customers including business listing management, online review generation, two-way text messaging, customer surveys and a mobile application. BirdEye integrates with all major review platforms and the top ERP, PMS, POS, and CRM systems.
Pros:
  • Listing management tool ensures your business information is accurate & consistent across online directories
  • Online reviews tool allows you to generate hundreds of customer reviews that improve your online presence
  • Interactions tool streamlines two-way text message conversations with customers
Cons:
  • Platform does not include tool for payment processing
  • Does not include team chat feature for your team to communicate inside BirdEye
  • Surveys, insights, benchmarking & ticketing applications are not included in the $399 Premium Plan
HelpCrunch

HelpCrunch

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: $15 per month
HelpCrunch is a modern and powerful customer communication platform. With features that help streamline customer support and marketing, it’s a solution that will benefit most teams, ecommerce organizations in particular.
Pros:
  • One of the most powerful and intuitive tools we tested
  • Includes website pop-ups, which few live chat solutions offer
  • Helpful and detailed metrics regarding campaigns and knowledge base
Cons:
  • The Chat + Email plan can get expensive if you have a large team
  • The chat widget was somewhat slow to load during our testing
  • Slightly limited integrations list and doesn't integrate with Zapier
LiveChat

LiveChat

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: $19 per agent per month
LiveChat is a live chat and ticketing software with over 30,000 customers worldwide. LiveChat's main features include advanced reports, a ticketing system, and a broad integrations list. Overall, we found LiveChat to be one of the most feature-rich live chat solutions, but also one of the most expensive.
Pros:
  • One of the most powerful live chat tools on the market
  • More advanced reporting section than found in alternatives
  • Unique features like interactive reports and direct canned response creation
Cons:
  • Lacks built-in email marketing capabilities
  • Expensive compared with other platforms, especially for smaller teams
  • No free plan
Podium

Podium

Reputation Management Software
Rating:
Price: $399 per month
Podium is an Interaction Management™ Platform used to generate and manage online reviews, streamline customer interactions through messaging, and monitor customer sentiment. The company has over 45,000 customers in healthcare, home services, retail, auto services, professional services, and hospitality.
Pros:
  • Customers can leave Google reviews in two clicks
  • Highly-rated mobile app allows you to manage customer conversations on-the-go
  • Includes a team chat tool for individual and group conversations
  • Each account gets a client success manager
Cons:
  • Does not include a business directory listings tool
  • Customer survey feature is more limited than some competitors
  • Conversations that start with webchat must be handled via text message
Gist

Gist

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: Free
Gist is a customer messaging software with over 10,000 customers. Its notable features include event tracking and cross-channel campaigns. It is ideal for anyone looking for an affordable mid-tier customer messaging solution.
Pros:
  • Free plans are more robust than competitors' free plans
  • Advanced cross-channel messaging capabilities
  • Buildable forms and popups to capture and convert leads
Cons:
  • Chat history feature is not designed practically
  • Customer support wait times can be long
  • Limited integrations list
tawk.to

tawk.to

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: Free
Tawk.to is a free live chat solution with over 3 million users. It focuses solely on live chat, with features like ticketing and screen sharing, and tawk.to also allows customers to directly hire virtual assistants and chat agents. Tawk.to is the best free live chat software and would benefit any company searching for a free option.
Pros:
  • Entirely free
  • More robust than competitors' free plans
  • Tawk.to customers can directly hire chat agents and virtual assistants
Cons:
  • Not quite as user-friendly as paid competitors
  • No chatbot or email marketing features
  • Must pay to remove "Powered by tawk.to" branding
Crisp

Crisp

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: Free
Crisp is a live chat and email marketing software with over 200,000 customers. Its notable features include chatbots, which are very intuitive to build, and unlimited seats in the most advanced plan. Crisp is a reliable software at a relatively low price, especially for for startups and small businesses.
Pros:
  • Prompt and reliable mobile application notifications
  • Chatbots are more intuitive to configure than competitors' bots
  • Good value for the price, particularly with the Unlimited plan
Cons:
  • MagicBrowse tool requires a strong Internet connection to function properly
  • Agent-specific reports must be custom-built with API
  • Email editor is slightly more complicated than in competitors' tools
Pure Chat

Pure Chat

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: $49 per month
Pure Chat is a basic live chat software with features to facilitate customer support like a chat widget, file sharing, and conversation transcripts. It would work best for teams that are ultimately focused on having a no-hassle solution. However, it likely will not support advanced customer support goals.
Pros:
  • User interface is clean
  • Proactive chat functionality is helpful
  • Installation and setup are quick and easy
Cons:
  • Limited reports, details, and integrations
  • Users have stated that mobile notifications are fickle
  • Lacks advanced information capture forms and chatbot functionality
Freshchat

Freshchat

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: Free
Freshchat is a messaging software offered by Freshworks, a company with a wide variety of products. Its main features include live chat and email campaigns; Freshchat also includes advanced in-house reports. Overall, Freshchat is a solid yet slightly expensive live chat solution.
Pros:
  • Advanced in-house reporting metrics
  • Free plan comes with 100 seats - more than most competitors offer for free
  • Effective and user-friendly
Cons:
  • Chatbot is expensive and only included in most expensive plan
  • Lacks integrations found in similar tools
  • Comes at a higher cost than similar competitors
Smith.ai

Smith.ai

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: Free
Smith.ai is a virtual receptionist and chat agent service that is used by companies across industries like finance, legal, and real estate. With features like a smart chatbot and customizable playbooks that gather visitor information, Smith.ai is ideal for small companies looking to outsource customer support services.
Pros:
  • Ideal for companies looking for external agents to handle customer support
  • Chatbots are "smart" and can be trained to learn correct answers over time
  • Smith.ai's customer service was exceptionally helpful and proactive
Cons:
  • We ran into a significant software issue while testing the product
  • Because there are call and chat limits, it can become costly if you have a high-traffic site
  • Outsourcing your live chat is convenient, but means you'll have less control over your customer experience
Olark

Olark

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: Free
Olark is a basic live chat software with features like chat transcripts, canned responses, and reports. It is ideal for small companies searching for a no-hassle live chat solution.
Pros:
  • Searchable chat transcripts are robust and detailed
  • All plans come with the same features
  • More detailed chat rating system than most competitors offer
Cons:
  • Lacks marketing features like email campaigns and pop-ups
  • Fairly limited integrations list
  • Best for small teams, so larger teams may not benefit from the product
Tidio

Tidio

Live Chat Software
Rating:
Price: Free
Tidio is a live chat and email marketing software that’s used by over 300,000 websites. It offers features like chatbots and email marketing templates. Given its ease of use, Tidio is ideal for those searching for a hassle-free live chat solution.
Pros:
  • Advanced and varied chatbot workflows
  • Interface is user-friendly
  • Flexible pricing options
Cons:
  • Chat notifications can be unreliable
  • Included reports are fairly basic
  • Somewhat limited integrations list

Live Chat Software FAQs

Live chat software is technology that allows companies to engage with their website visitors in real-time, via messaging. It is often utilized as an alternative to phone and email support, providing superior convenience and speed.
There are numerous benefits that live chat softwares offer. These include:
  • Instant messaging with customers
  • Building trust and familiarity with clients
  • Proactively engaging visitors to your website
  • Capturing customer contact information
The cost of live software depends on the features you need. Plans with advanced features are typically more expensive. In general, here's the price you can expect to spend per user per month for live chat software:
  • Entry plans: $0 to $19 per month per agent
  • Standard plans: $20 to $49 per month per agent
  • Business and Pro plans: $50 to $99 per month per agent
  • Enterprise plans: Contact the vendor for pricing
The best live chat software for you depends on your budget and the features you need. The best options for large companies that want an advanced system are LiveChat, Intercom, and Drift. Tawk.to is an ideal tool for companies who want live chat capabilities for free.
The most popular free live chat software is tawk.to. Drift is another popular option, with over 150,000 businesses using the software.
The most common live chat software features are:
  • Live Chat
  • Chat Widgets
  • Chatbots
  • Automated and Canned Messages
  • Helpdesk
  • Integrations
  • Email Campaigns
  • Issue Tracking Systems
  • Reporting

Live Chat Software Research & Advice

HelpCrunch vs. Intercom

By Katelyn Anderson |

Is HelpCrunch or Intercom the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best live chat...Read More >

Olark vs. tawk.to

By Katelyn Anderson |

Is Olark or tawk.to the better live chat solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best live...Read More >

Freshchat vs. Intercom

By Katelyn Anderson |

Is Freshchat or Intercom the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best live chat...Read More >

tawk.to vs. Tidio

By Katelyn Anderson |

Is tawk.to or Tidio the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best live chat tool...Read More >