These days, companies can offer customer service via a multitude of channels. But which channels are most likely to help you increase customer satisfaction?
Well, the customer satisfaction rate for live chat is 85%, making it a pretty compelling place to start
That's because live chat allows you to interact with website visitors and customers in real-time when they're already engaged. Meaning, customers get the answers and support they want and need on their time. And as a result, you can increase customer satisfaction which directly contributes to customer loyalty and retention (a.k.a. revenue).
Not to mention, live chat tools integrate with CRM platforms, like HubSpot, and sales software, such as Sales Hub. These native integrations keep all contact records, conversations, transcripts, and data in a central location so your sales org has a single source of truth when it comes to your customers.
To help you select the right tool for your team, website, and customers, here are 24 of the best live chat software and services.
Best Live Chat Software
- HubSpot Live Chat
- Pure Chat
- Zendesk Chat
- Zoho Desk
- Help Crunch
Key features: Collaborative, customizable, automated, flexible, and easy-to-use.
Connect with your website visitors in real-time quickly with HubSpot's customizable live chat and chatbot builder that requires no code. Create welcome messages that appear on your web pages to target your business's unique visitors when they're already engaged on your site — this will help you increase the chances of a conversion.
Live chat conversations with visitors are saved to the Conversations Inbox and the visitor's Contact Timeline for easy record-keeping. Streamline live chat conversations by responding to your visitors from the Conversations Inbox — you can also schedule meetings, place calls, send emails, or plan follow-up messages via this Inbox.
Customize the look of your live chat widget so it matches your branding and website. Receive notifications about incoming chats via Slack, and respond to those messages over Slack (by using HubSpot's Slack integration).
Lastly, use this tool to add a chatbot that can qualify leads, answer FAQs, and book meetings for you to save you time. These chatbots can conduct personalized conversations with visitors by pulling contact information from your HubSpot Contact Database.
Key features: Smart routing and lead qualification.
Intercom's chat software is specifically for sales teams. You can route leads to specific reps, continue messaging via email, and target contacts by browsing behavior. Plus, it integrates with other business tools such as Slack, Zoom, and HubSpot.
As a conversational relationship platform that offers both live chat and chatbots, Intercom focuses on lead generation, customer engagement, and customer support. The tool has smart routing and lead qualification and it uses chatbots to automatically qualify leads 24/7, route them to sales reps, and book demos when your team isn't online.
Additionally, personalize content, introduce products, segment customers, and trigger outbound emails based on the web page the visitor is on and what they're doing.
Intercom also has smart automation and self-service. If a customer is looking for support, they can click on the chat and search for articles in the "Help Center" located directly in the chat. Not only does this improve user experience, but it also helps your agents spend more time with customers who need in-depth assistance.
Key features: Message sneak-peeks and multi-website chat.
LiveChat turns your website visitors into qualified leads. Key features of LiveChat include chat transcripts and archives, multilingual chat, software integrations (including HubSpot), and report creation.
Manage your team with ease by keeping track of your sales or customer service team performance. The extended report features include "chat tags" which give you well-rounded data so you can make informed decisions.
A few more unique characteristics of LiveChat include message sneak-peeks, ticket forms, and the ability to chat on multiple websites.
Message sneak-peeks allow sales reps to see what customers are typing before they send the message. This gives them more time to develop a response or research an answer for prospects.
Ticket forms exist when employees are offline, so you don't lose those prospects on your site. Additionally, each live chat begins with a custom, pre-chat survey asking customers for their email, order ID, and any other crucial information so reps have it from the get-go.
4. Pure Chat
Key features: Comprehensive free plan and multi-website chat.
With PureChat, you can get started for free with unlimited chats and historical chat transcripts. It can be customized to fit your brand and allows canned responses so you can quickly reply to visitors.
PureChat is a great option because the free chat plan is comprehensive. It offers unlimited chats and transcripts, advanced customization, integrations with your CRM, chat alerts, canned responses, visitor information, and chat notifications.
However, the tool's free plans don't include tracking or analytics. For advanced teams, the Growth or Pro plans offer real-time analytics, visitor tracking, and comprehensive account statistics and reports.
Additionally, with paid plans you get more operators and it can integrate with multiple websites. Plus, PureChat integrates with software like HubSpot, Infusionsoft, and Axosoft.
Key features: Social integration and smart automation.
LiveHelpNow offers a full live chat suite and help desk system to enable customer service agents. It's easy to set up, and there are advanced customization features so you can tailor your workspace to your needs.
Another great feature is that this software supports multiple brands at no extra cost or hassle, making it ideal for call centers and partner relationships. In addition, save an unlimited number of canned messages for common issues, allowing your reps to respond to customers quickly and cohesively.
LiveHelpNow is also a great choice for managers due to its vast amount of monitoring and coaching features. Routing and round-robin assignment features save time by eliminating admin work or escalation. In addition, you can monitor and score agents in real-time.
LiveHelpNow's patented Whisper Technology even allows you to send coaching suggestions during a chat without the customer being any wiser. The logistics and training of service reps don't get much easier than that.
Not only does this platform offer live chat, but customer service reps can take advantage of SMS messaging, support tickets, self-service features such as internal and external knowledge bases, and call management software.
You'll be able to integrate with other software such as HubSpot and Salesforce as well as connect to video conferencing software for remote assistance.
Key features: Screen share and smart suggestions.
Acquire is a multi-channel messaging platform featuring co-browse and live chat. Bots help onboard new customers and answer common questions quickly, live chat makes it easy to deliver fast, personalized support, and profile management allows you to escalate certain customer conversations.
Acquire differs from other live chat software with its screen share options on desktop and mobile. With "Co-Browsing," sales teams can improve prospect conversations and reduce friction in the sales process.
Additionally, you can use an automated or canned message to answer common questions. With smart suggestions, Acquire's artificial intelligence recognizes specific words and auto-suggests responses. This will send auto-replies to common customer questions without involving your team.
Two unique elements of Acquire are the note and multilingual features. With the chat notes, your team can privately leave critical information about conversations for teammates to expedite resolution time. Lastly, Acquire will automatically detect and translate your customer's language, so you can converse in their preferred language.
Key features: Personalized proactive chat invitations and automated distribution
LiveAgent is an omnichannel help desk software with a native live chat. It uses a hybrid ticket stream system that allows you to engage with customers on all of the traditional communication channels. Each interaction is stored in the form of a ticket in the universal inbox. For easy organization and quick search, each ticket can be tagged with a specific phrase and color scheme. When an agent applies a filter, they can find the chat conversation history within seconds.
LiveAgent has an automated chat distribution that can be set up in multiple ways based on the agent's skills and availability. To maintain an average waiting time, you can predefine a limit of the chats waiting in the queue. If the limit is reached, the chat button changes its availability to offline mode. The offline chat button functions as a pre-chat form, leaving visitors with an option to submit their email addresses and leave a message, allowing you to contact them later once you're back.
Productivity is further supported by a real-time typing view feature, which previews a visitor's live chat message. It allows agents to prepare in advance and answer customers immediately when they hit send.
Suppose you want to know the overall impact of your live chat customer service. In that case, you can enable the plugin that connects you with Google Analytics and quickly analyze the data for your reporting.
LiveAgent offers over 142 integrations, including HubSpot, WordPress, Shopify, with new ones being continually added.
Key features: VIP targeting and meetings.
Drift is a chat software that allows you to automate portions of the chat process. Use the LeadBot to qualify leads, help book meetings, and convert prospects faster.
Uniquely, you can use highly-personalized messages targeted to specific accounts or individuals, increasing engagement and responses.
For instance, your sales reps should be informed when a VIP account visits your website. When VIP target accounts arrive, they're greeted with an automated, personalized message from their account owner or sales rep. Then, your sales rep will get a notification that one of their accounts is currently on your website.
How will Drift know when your target accounts are on your website? Well, by integrating with HubSpot, Salesforce, or Marketo, your list of accounts and contacts will be automatically tracked.
When a VIP account arrives on your site, either your sales reps can book meetings or the automated LeadBot can. It uses Drift Playbooks and routing to find the ideal sales rep or account owner for your customer.
Key features: Omni-channel chat solution and HIPAA compliance.
SnapEngage integrates with a variety of CRM databases and chats can be managed from many channels (e.g., Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Tweet-to-Chat via Hootsuite). A unique feature of SnapEngage is that the tool is HIPAA compliant, so it's secure for medical businesses that handle patient information.
As an omni-channel solution, your sales reps can engage with prospects right where they are. The chat integrates with your CRM and offers custom workflow mapping, creating an efficient, high-quality experience for your sales workflow.
Distinctly, SnapEngage has implementation specialists who guide you through the setup process and ensure your chat is up and running quickly. Specialists will help with account setup, integration, and admin trainings, and optimize your chat sales initiatives. Additionally, the chatbot can answer common questions and take visitor information to ensure you don't miss out on a sale.
Key features: Customizable forms and powerful add-ons.
Olark helps you customize chat messages by looking at which page an individual has viewed and by pulling up any past conversations (assuming they chatted before).
Add the chat tool to specific pages and it can automatically send a targeted chat message based on the page the visitor is viewing. Plus, it integrates with popular business software and platforms including HubSpot, Google Analytics, and Salesforce.
Additionally, Olark collects information from visitors before a chat begins providing your sales reps with the context needed to have a productive conversation. Customize the information gathered during pre-chat as well with unique details such as name, email, team size, product preferences, or problem.
If you're managing a larger team, Olark can distribute chats, monitor team performance, and create shortcuts for a shared database of canned responses.
Although Olark is affordable, they also offer a la carte items that you can add to your plan with flexible subscriptions. These can quickly add up and inflate the overall cost. Named "Power Ups," these add-ons include visitor screen-sharing, live chat translation, and visitor insights.
With visitor insights, you can score leads, prioritize chats, and personalize your sales approach with information gathered from public social media pages and company websites.
Key features: AI-powered and self-service options.
Bold360 is another provider that integrates AI with the chat process. Plus, you can increase customer acquisition with personalized engagement.
This software focuses on tightly integrating artificial intelligence and live-agent software for a simple, customer engagement solution. The goal is to provide employees all the information they need to help customers get immediate and personalized results.
Bold360 offers several live chat solutions including conversational AI, live chat, proactive AI, and omni-channel engagement. Additionally, Bold360 identifies opportunities to improve customer outcomes.
Key features: Multichannel messaging and AI-powered conversations.
This chat software helps you reach prospects through channels like SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. It also offers a tool called BotStudio that simplifies bot creation with pre-built templates. With AI-powered conversations, consumers can easily buy products and get answers to questions in their preferred messaging channel.
According to LivePerson, nearly 70% of consumer inquiries can be automated. With this live chat tool, you can build, manage, and optimize chatbots that are scalable for your business. LivePerson also offers industry-specific chatbot templates that are easy to implement and customize. Then, when a prospect uses your chat, they'll trigger the bot responses for a seamless conversation.
Additionally, your sales reps can answer questions, give advice, and help prospects understand their options before making a purchase. Live chat can expedite the process and get prospects through the sales cycle faster.
13. Zendesk Chat
Key features: Robust chat analytics and shortcuts.
Zendesk Chat is a customizable chat tool that integrates directly with Zendesk and other popular software. It offers robust chat analytics to help sales teams identify issues and evaluate agent performance.
Zendesk has features including automated triggers, pre-chat and offline forms, chatbots, chat routing, tags, shortcuts, and analytics.
With automated triggers, you can send targeted and behavior-based messages to prospects. For example, if someone is on your pricing page, they're further along in the buyer's journey.
An automated chat can then appear and help them in their decision-making process. During offline hours you can use pre-chat and offline forms to ensure these customers can still contact you while you're away.
Reps can use Zendesk as a one-stop-shop for conversations, since you can link multiple profiles from Facebook, Twitter, and LINE (a communication app), funneling all conversations into one location.
Additionally, with analytics, you can track your chat volume, monitor rep productivity, and analyze metrics to anticipate customer needs. Plus, you can measure how often your customers convert using metrics like "making a purchase" or "leaving feedback."
Lastly, Zendesk can integrate with many CMS tools including HubSpot's CMS Hub, WordPress, Drupal, Wix, and Squarespace.
Key features: Video and voice chat software.
A unique feature of ClickDesk is that it includes voice and video chat. Visitors can even initiate a chat from interactive maps. Additionally, pre-chat surveys help you gather valuable contact information.
With video and voice chat, sales reps can close deals faster by quickly jumping on exploratory calls and by conducting product demos. Reps can be on simultaneous chats, and even collaborate on a three-way conference with reps and visitors.
ClickDesk is a great option for sales teams because you can transfer chats to other agents. For example, if a visitor is speaking to a sales rep that specializes in partner relationships as opposed to individual customers, they can transfer the conversation if needed.
Additionally, ClickDesk offers daily and weekly chat statistics, so you can track how many chats were missed while offline, how much coverage your live chat is offering, and the average duration and length of chats in a given time period. Analyzing your chat statistics will give you insight into improved performance.
ClickDesk also offers personalized greetings, unlimited websites, and a translation feature in over 90 languages.
Key features: Operator routing and scalability.
Userlike helps salespeople create personalized conversations and allows contacts to provide feedback on service and features. When a person provides their email address, the chat tool turns this anonymous data into a contact with a smart profile.
Additionally, website visitors can choose which department they want to talk to (sales or service) and which skills they need a representative to have. For example, if you own a music store, someone could choose a sales rep who has experience teaching guitar.
If a visitor has been to your site before and has chatted with someone they like, Userlike will favor that sales rep and assign the chat to them. These personalized options allow visitors to get connected to the best representative for their needs quickly.
No matter how smart the chat routing is, a conversation may still need to be manually forwarded. Userlike does offer that option too — with transcripts included — so prospects won't have to repeat their problems.
Userlike also offers screen share and the ability to chat with multiple prospects at once. Plus, it integrates with CRMs and other tools including HubSpot, Slack, Salesforce, Squarespace, and Mailchimp.
Key feature: Video recording.
A unique feature of Smartsupp is its live chat with video recording. It integrates with platforms like WordPress and Shopify and you can track the impact of your chat conversations with Google Analytics.
With the live video recording, sales reps can see the movement of each visitor on your website, giving them a better understanding of customer behavior and friction points in the sales process.
Although there's a free plan, the paid plans provide more robust features including unlimited shortcuts, greater customization, automated messages, chat transfer, and detailed analytics.
With automated messages, you can engage with visitors at the right moment and create personalized messages that are specific to your business.
17. Zoho Desk
Key features: Customizable and automated responses.
Zoho Desk is a live chat software that helps automate the easier parts of customer conversation. Although Zoho Desk is typically used for customer service, the live chat software can make your sales reps' lives easier.
For example, you can set assignment rules for each channel, so reps work more efficiently and customer interactions are seamless. Plus, it automates the slower parts of the process, including gathering contact information and responding to common questions with canned responses.
Additionally, Zoho Desk offers feedback forms within the chat widget, allowing prospects to let you know if they've found the responses helpful or not. Gaining this insight can help you improve the sales process and remove friction from all points of contact.
Key features: Multichannel and group chats.
Chaport can help your sales team generate leads, reduce cart abandonment, and build brand loyalty. Collect visitor emails and connect with customers whenever. And if you aren't the right person to talk to, forward the message to a colleague or start a group chat. You won't miss a sales opportunity.
Plus, you can send personalized greetings and auto-invitations based on specific rules. For example, if a customer is on the checkout page, you can send an automated message to help them make the purchase.
Additionally, your sales reps can answer questions from all communication channels in one place. You can connect with customers on Facebook, live chat, or Telegram in the Chaport dashboard.
Chaport can integrate with your CRM or any app, including Facebook, HubSpot, Slack, Salesforce, Mailchimp, and Google Suite.
Key features: Multichannel and priority inbox.
Freshchat is a live chat software by Freshworks that provides conversational, proactive, and automated one-on-one messaging to improve your sales performance.
Freshchat is largely focused on conversions and reaching the right prospects at the right time. It offers triggered messages which encourage completing a purchase, email campaigns that drive action after they've engaged with your brand, and chatbots that qualify leads.
Additionally, reps can gain insight into prospects including their navigation path, behavior on your site, and the language they speak. This will create more natural conversations that will resonate with your target audience.
Two great features are the omni-channel and priority inbox capabilities. With omni-channel chat, you can talk to your prospects from any channel in one place. Plus, you can filter messages based on the response time and priority inboxing will help your reps manage their workflow.
Key feature: Collaborative and internal chat.
Nextiva is a cloud-based communication company that offers telephone and technology services including live chat.
Its key features include shortcuts, availability (setting business hours and an offline form for after hours), and unlimited chat history to reference conversations and improve user experience.
Additionally, Nextiva offers an internal chat. Sales reps can collaborate on certain cases, increasing efficiency and close rates. Your team can send broadcast messages to their groups or teams regarding a prospect. Lastly, Nextiva offers detailed reports so managers can review chat transcripts, monitor rep performance, and track website visitors.
Key features: Group chat and automated messages.
Chatra offers live chat software so your reps can answer questions, alleviate concerns, and build relationships with prospects. During a chat, sales reps can cross-sell, upsell, and increase the number of deals closed.
Features include group chats, read receipts, automated messages, and multilingual chat options. With the group chat feature, sales reps can speak with multiple decision-makers and include other representatives or managers in conversations if necessary. This avoids the delay of emailing people individually and setting up separate meetings.
Plus, with automated messages, you can target customers on the checkout page to avoid abandoned carts. This helps sales reps reduce friction at every touch point.
Key features: Video and voice chat and screen sharing.
Tawk.to is a completely free live chat software. It offers common features including automated messaging, widget customizations, reporting, multilingual chat, shortcuts, and integrations (with sites like WordPress, Joomla, and Magento).
With the group chat feature, sales reps can speak with all decision-makers and other reps if needed without ever leaving the tool. Plus, they can jump on a quick video chat and share their screen, moving the sales process further along more efficiently.
Additionally, Tawk.to comes with detailed reporting including engagement tracking and sentiment analysis which designates live chat interactions into positive or negative categories. Also, with an unlimited history of chats and chat tags, you can filter chats to see chat volume and response time.
23. Help Crunch
Key features: Chat transcripts and rating.
Help Crunch is a live chat software that will help sales reps pre-qualify leads by automatically collecting contact information and messages. The software is gathering leads for your reps 24/7, so they can spend more time having productive conversations.
Help Crunch can track user behavior, save responses, gather live visitor profiles (including behavioral data), and keep chat transcripts. These chat transcripts provide data on the best ways to communicate with prospects via chat — in other words, your sales can learn from transcripts in a similar way to how they'd learn from call recordings.
Once reps and managers analyze what works and what doesn't, you can create saved responses — or canned responses — which are designed to save your reps time while responding to FAQs. Additionally, automatically send a chat rating to visitors after closing a conversation for insight into your live chat experience.
Key features: On-demand experts, tailor-made support.
iAdvize helps companies set up a profitable and scalable conversational strategy. It offers a 25,000 on-demand expert community and 24/7, paid-to-deliver, and authentic advice. The intelligent features (targeting engine, chatbot builder) automate engagement campaigns and qualify conversations.
The unified messaging interface allows agents and experts to handle customer queries via chat, call, video in one single conversation thread, whether the conversation started on your website, your app, or social media.
The tool's mirroring feature, as well as the available integrations with market-leading CRMs and APIs, provide your agents with a rich context for a personalized one-to-one customer experience.
Additionally, iAdvize has advanced reporting capabilities to help you track more than 150 KPIs and closely monitor your conversion and satisfaction rates, sales, and more. A dedicated Customer Success Manager supports you to build your conversational strategy, ensure its success, and provide you with valuable insights, too.
Key features: Chatbots and automation.
Tidio Live Chat is an all-in-one live chat tool designed for ecommerce businesses looking to interact with their website visitors, generate leads, and increase sales.
One of its most notable features is its chatbots that help companies uncover the needs and wants of their customers and deliver them solutions in real-time. And, all customer responses arrive in a single, organized inbox to help support agents address these issues collaboratively.
Tidio also offers several automation features. For example, you can set up automatic responses that are triggered by certain conditions or events, like when a customer visits a page on your website twice. This personalizes the website experience and removes friction from the customer journey.
Tidio can be integrated with a wide range of tools and platforms as well. You can use it with tools like Shopify and WordPress for a seamless backend experience for your team.
Grow Better With Live Chat
Live chat software allows salespeople to engage with website visitors in real-time, answer their questions, and hopefully move them to the next stage of the sales process.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 7, 2021 1:30:00 PM, updated June 10 2021