Best Live Chat Software 2021

Olark vs.

Is Olark or the better live chat solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best live chat tool to help support your company’s customer engagement efforts.

Live chat software is used by various organizations to connect with website visitors. Chat capabilities are particularly advantageous because live chat allows for instantaneous communication between businesses and clients.

There’s a wide variety of live chat solutions on the market today, and many offer different features like email campaigns, chatbots, and website pop-ups. This guide will walk through Olark and, two solutions that are focused solely on live chat. Throughout this article, we’ll help you understand the key differences between the two and make recommendations to simplify your decision.

Olark & Comparison Summary

Olark and are two popular live chat solutions. They’re particularly comparable because both offer just live chat—they don’t include chatbots or marketing features that can be found in other solutions. While there are major similarities between them, there are also differences related to features and overall cost that are worth noting.

Olark is a no-hassle live chat software with most basic features to support chat capabilities. Its most popular plan is the monthly plan, where companies will pay $19 per agent per month. Olark is easy to use and is slightly more modern in appearance than is an entirely free live chat tool. Its standout feature is the chat agents and virtual assistants for hire. This tool will be very advantageous for companies who are looking to outsource live chat. There is also a ticketing system within the inbox, which will help companies keep track of tasks and customer concerns.

Here’s a quick breakdown to determine which solution is best for you:

You'll prefer Olark if:

  • You have a small team of 4-6 customer support agents
  • You’re interested in particularly detailed chat transcripts
  • You want to manage live chat in-house rather than outsourcing

Try Olark Today

You'll prefer if:

  • You want to incorporate live chat on your website free of charge
  • You’d like to hire 24/7 chat agents to handle live chat on your behalf
  • You want a ticketing system to keep track of customer concerns

Try Today

Table of Contents

Who Should Purchase Olark?

Olark is used by almost 12,000 businesses across many industries. Their target customers are small businesses, so large or enterprise businesses will likely not benefit from what Olark has to offer. Olark has particularly strong reports and transcripts sections.

We found that Olark includes most essential live chat features, though there are a few things missing, such as a mobile application and live typing previews. In spite of these minor limitations, customers are very pleased with Olark overall. They note that Olark is easy to implement and does the job well.

Who Should Purchase should be a strong contender for companies of any size, given that it’s free. There’s also a ticketing system, which Olark does not have, that streamlines customer support efforts.

The biggest downside to is that many customers have noted that notifications on the mobile application can be unreliable. However, customers are happy with the tool in other regards. One thing that stood out to us while researching was that their free software is far superior to other free live chat plans on the market.

Olark & Price Comparison

Olark operates on a pay-per-agent model, and customers can pay monthly or sign up for one or two-year plans. These rates range from $12 per agent to $19 per agent. As mentioned above, is entirely free and you will only be charged for hired agents or add-ons, which range from $12 to $29 per month.

Olark Pricing Details

Olark offers a free plan, which includes basic live chat capabilities. The monthly plan costs $19 per agent per month, while the two-year plan costs $12 per agent per month. There are also PowerUps that can be added to any plan for an additional cost.

  • $19 per agent per month
One Year
  • $15 per agent per month
Two Year
  • $12 per agent per month
  • Live Chat Translation: $29 per month
  • Non-Branded Chat Box: $59 per month
  • Visitor Insights (Social): $59 per month
  • Visitor Insights (Social & Professional): $99 per month
  • Co-Browsing: $99 per month Pricing Details

For live chat and ticketing, is free. Hired chat agents can be hired starting at $1 per hour and there are also add-ons that are charged monthly.

Hire Live Agents
  • From $1 per hour
Hire Virtual Assistants
  • From $7 per hour
Remove Branding
  • $12 per month
Video, Voice, & Screen Sharing
  • $29 per month

Olark & Feature Comparison

Olark and are two live chat tools that offer many of the same features, but that differ both in terms of a few key offerings. For example, includes a Knowledge Base and a mobile application, which Olark does not.

As displayed in the table below, each platform also includes unique features. For a full analysis of each solution’s features, read our Olark review and review.
Chat WidgetYesYes
Visitor Typing PreviewNoYes
Canned ResponsesYesYes
Co-BrowsingYes (costs extra)Yes (costs extra)
Visitor InformationYesYes
File SharingYesYes
Mobile ApplicationNoYes
Knowledge BaseNoYes
Chat TranscriptsYesYes
Real-Time ReportsYesYes
Email CampaignsNoNo

Olark's Top Features

Olark offers live chat capabilities. The strongest features are the chat transcripts, which are unusually detailed, and the chat rating system. Additional features are outlined below.

Live Chat

The Olark live chat interface is shown below. The inbox view includes information about current interactions on the left, the current chat in the middle, and visitor information and behavior on the right.

Olark Inbox

The Olark widget includes a button for visitors to rate their chat experience. This feature is more detailed than’s, because there are five ratings that visitors will give after the chat has ended:

  • How satisfied were you with this chat?
  • How knowledgeable was the chat agent?
  • How responsive was the chat agent?
  • How friendly was the chat agent?
  • Additional feedback


Olark includes a searchable database of all chat transcripts. These transcripts include smaller details, such as which URL the visitor started chatting from and how many words were sent during the chat, as well as larger details like the overall chat rating. This section is one of Olark’s strongest, because the amount of data contained in the transcripts is significant compared with other tools.

Olark Transcripts


Olark’s reporting feature is well-rounded and the data updates in real time, which is not true for all live chat softwares. The reports section within, on the other hand, takes a few hours to update, which can be detrimental to understanding current metrics.

Olark Reports's Top Features offers hired agents, live chat, ticketing, and a knowledge base. There are also additional features like visitor information capture and comprehensive reports. If you’re searching for this mix of support tools, would be a good choice for you.

Hired Chat Agents & Virtual Assistants

The hired chat agents and virtual assistants can be hired starting from $1 per hour and $7 per hour, respectively. This feature is helpful for companies that don’t currently have a dedicated support team or would benefit from’s agents handling the live chat. Pricing breakdowns are shown below.

Agent Pricing Agent Prices

Virtual Assistant Pricing Assistant Prices

Live Chat

Both and Olark have inboxes and chat widgets. Though the chat appearance is slightly more outdated than Olark’s, there are a few features that Olark doesn’t have, like the visitor typing preview, where agents can see what the visitor is typing before messages are sent. Within the inbox, agents can also view up to four chats simultaneously. The image below shows two active chats side by side. Chat Interface

Ticketing includes a ticketing system that operates in collaboration with live chat. This is a feature that Olark doesn’t have, so if your team is searching for ticketing, will be the better choice. Ticketing System

Knowledge Base

Customers will design landing pages, hosted by, that contain knowledge base articles. This feature, which isn’t offered by Olark, is a helpful resource that visitors can access when they have questions about policies, products, and more. Knowledge Base

From this searchable knowledge base, website visitors will also be able to access the widget and submit a ticket directly to your company’s customer support team.

Bottom Line

Olark and are two widely-used live chat tools. While both solutions have notable benefits and drawbacks, the main difference between them lies in the features that are offered and the price.

  • Olark is ideal for small businesses that have between four and six chat agents. The price ranges from $12 to $19 per month per agent.
  • is ideal for teams of any size that are looking for free live chat and ticketing capabilities. Teams that want to outsource their live chat will also benefit from

If you’re interested, visit Olark or today to get started.

Katelyn Anderson

Katelyn is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where she conducts in-depth analyses of technology markets & products and writes software-related content. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in English and Psychology. Her main areas of interest are content creation, user experience, and search engine optimization. You can connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn.

Katelyn is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Accounting software
  • Integration software
  • Live chat software
  • Vacation rental software
  • Video conferencing software

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