The Best Free Live Chat Software for Websites in 2020

Lying around the corner, minding its own business, customer services started going through a paradigm shift only in the recent years. From phone support, to emails, to social media queries, and now live chat, customer service has really undergone a 360-degree transition.

The extent to which demands change nowadays, people want things instantly. And let’s be honest, they get them too. Which is why, customer service is of utmost importance to any business. This massive change only makes sense for companies to plug in live chat software in their online platforms and websites.

There are tons of free and paid live chat software available online. It’s worth mentioning that these software bring along some super speedy solutions for customers and businesses alike.

Benefits of Live Chat Software

Before we dive into the list of best live chat software you can pick, let’s have a quick rundown of benefits that come along with these software:

Low Cost More Value

It’s no rocket science that long waiting times on call support are excruciatingly painful for customers. Of course, these long holds also come with additional costs – besides mental stress.

So, in my opinion, the biggest advantage of live chat software is the nosedive these expenses take. A study has deduced that a web chat costs around 33% less than a phone call. One reason is that the customer support agent is able to handle multiple chats simultaneously, which in result cuts phone support costs. However, you might need to properly train your representatives before expecting them to magically free you of additional expenses.

Increase in Sales

This benefit is an extension of the previous one. With multiple customers being handled at one time, the prospect of getting more sales increases. It has been reported that live chat enables businesses to drive 3 – 5 times more conversions, which in turn, raises the overall return on investment.

Better Customer Relationship

No matter what, at the end of the day, customer really is the king. With everyone being a little too impatient nowadays, live chat on website allows you to instantly respond to customer queries and solve them with little slack time.

This quick response invokes a sense of trust and loyalty in customers, hence improving the overall relationship you have with them.

Best Live Chat Software for Websites

With that being said, let’s have a look at my top picks for best live chat software and the benefits you can reap with them:

  1. Intercom
  2. HubSpot
  3. Drift
  4. Olark
  5. Freshchat
  6. JivoChat

1. Intercom

A smart live chat software dedicated to sales and customer support teams.

intercom logo

A modern solution for teams specifically focused on lead generation, engagement, and support.

Starting from: $39 per month
Pricing model: Subscription Based
Free Trial: Available
Devices: Android, iOS, Web

  • Customizable Chat Bots
  • Customer User Profiles
  • Automatically Directed Answers
  • Targeted Messages
  • Live User Data
  • Message Composer
  • Live Chat
  • Multi-language Support
  • Powerful Third-Party Integrations
  • Android and iOS Apps

  • Steep Pricing
  • No Free Version
  • Lack Email Templates

Intercom is a great live chat service which makes the best use of artificial intelligence and user-based targeting. The software provides a complete solution to sales team and gives valuable insights about who what where and when of your target audience.

The tool provides excellent user-interface and real-time updates which help customers move quickly through the sales funnel. Not only this, Intercom also comes with self-service. So basically if a customer wants something specific, they can search for articles in the ‘Help Center’ and practically get access to any form of support required.

The only turn off of the service is the price it offers. With no Free version and quite hefty pricing tiers, Intercom might not be suitable for start-ups or beginners. But large teams or enterprises should totally go for it!

Key Features

  • Automated response to customers based on their spend and type
  • Target multiple segments simultaneously for a customized chat experience
  • Conversations’ routing to the concerned service representatives for better response
  • GIFs and emojis support to make things fun
  • Business messenger coming with customized branding options

2. HubSpot

A powerful live chat software which comes with one of the most innovative features.

hubspot logo

A free live chat software perfectly suited for small and medium sized businesses.

Starting from: $50 per month
Pricing model: Subscription Based
Free Trial: Available
Devices: Android, Web

  • Free Version Available
  • Email Templates
  • Targeted Welcome Messages
  • Conversation Inbox
  • Unlimited Conversations
  • Support Tickets
  • Follow-Up Scheduling
  • Integration with HubSpot CRM

  • Advanced functions are available in paid version only
  • No workflow automation in free version

If simplicity, yet elaborateness had a face, it would probably look like HubSpot. It is my personal favorite best live chat software for small businesses. With most of the core features available in the free version, HubSpot instantly hits all the right notes.

Just to give you a basic idea, HubSpot puts together almost everything that you’d expect from a live chat software. Conversation routing, support tickets, deals, email tracking, contact records, and much more. What’s even more interesting is the fact that the software doesn’t have a steep learning curve and provides a sleek user-experience.

Key Features

  • Auto back up and saving of messages in conversations
  • Specific office hour settings to let customers know your availability
  • Slack integration for instantly responding to messages
  • Chat bots for automatic responses to customer queries
  • Email scheduling, along with email tracking and notifications
  • Reporting dashboard for detailed customer insights

3. Drift

A simple software which comes with easily automated functions to quickly get things done.

drift logo

Best live chat software which automates most of the customer support components.

Starting from: $40 per month
Pricing model: Subscription Based
Free Trial: Available
Devices: Android, iOS, Web

  • Free Version Available
  • Chatbots and Automatic Replies
  • Chats Rerouting to the Right Reps
  • Sales Leads Management
  • Custom Welcome Messages
  • Unlimited Contacts
  • Multiple Workspaces and Single-Sign On
  • Live View and Live Chat
  • Custom Branding and Desktop App

  • Only 100 contacts in free version
  • Very limited free functionality
  • Pricing of high-tiers is a little too steep
  • A little rigid in functionality

Drift makes the cut by trying to automate most of their functions. In the first look, you might find the software to be less flexible than you’d expect, and you’re right! Since the tool is mostly about automations, it does gives off a very robotic vibe. But the tool doesn’t try to show off otherwise, so all in all, I’m fine with how it operates.

In all honesty, the tool has some pretty impressive set of features. Apart from all the standard functions, Drift enables sales representatives to make the sales by only sending the best leads to them. This not only ensures efficiency, but also reflects the quality of sales done.

Key Features

  • Automatic phone number update from email signatures
  • Tracking and management of customer responses
  • Automatic booking of meetings through chat bots
  • Highly customized messages for specific individuals
  • Syncing with marketing automation platform for tracking emails

4. Olark

A fun live chat software which adds a hint of freshness to your website.

olark logo

Best helpdesk software for teams rooting for modernism and simplicity.

Starting from: $19 per month
Pricing model: Subscription Based
Free Trial: Available
Devices: Android, iOS, Web

  • Easy-to-use Interface
  • Free Plan Available
  • Targeted Chat
  • In-browser Chat
  • Customized Messages
  • Real-Time Chat Reports
  • Sophisticated Customer Insights
  • Drag and Drop Editor
  • Android and iOS Apps
  • Third-Party Integrations

  • Lacks advanced reporting capabilities
  • Free version limited to 20 chats per month
  • Absence of screen sharing feature

Olark is one of the best help desk software which brings flexibility and fun on the table. The interface of the tool is a breeze of freshness and you instantly fall in love with the way it looks. The flexibility is not limited to the functionality only; the software also enables customers to customize the plans according to their requirements.

Another plus is the seamless integration with other core systems. So, if you want to up your sales game or boost your performance, you can easily integrate Olark with Salesforce or multiple other tools without putting in Herculean effort.  This is the reason why it can be considered as one of the best live chat services for websites.

Key Features

  • Search and sort filters to pitch in the desired results
  • Power-Ups for enhancing the functionality
  • Team performance tracking, along with shared database
  • Real-time metrics for analysis of customer behavior
  • Workflow automation which allows for automatic responses

5. Freshchat

A modern helpdesk software which makes customer messaging a top priority.

freshchat logo

Freshchat works essentially on developing long lasting customer relationships.

Starting from: $15 per month
Pricing model: Subscription Based
Free Trial: Available
Devices: Android, iOS, Web

  • Free Plan
  • Multiple Messaging Platforms
  • In-App Chat Functionality
  • Multiple Conversations Simultaneously
  • Real-Time Reporting
  • Triggered Messaging
  • Scheduling of Targeted Messages
  • Android and iOS Apps
  • Powerful Integrations

  • Can improve documentation
  • Limited features in free plan

Freshchat is another modern edition to the best live chat software for small businesses. It is a direct product of Freshworks, which comes with a pretty impressive product-line to be honest.  At its heart, Freshchat is designed for sales teams and customer engagement at large. Taking the leap from traditional chat, the software helps teams pay more attention towards context-driven communication.

Furthermore, sales reps can gain valuable insights about prospective customers through certain metrics. These include their behaviors, the language they speak, and their online activity.

Key Features

  • Emojis, GIFs, images, and video support to keep things fun
  • Customer segmentation based on their usage behaviors and activity
  • Key metrics like opened, clicked, seen, and reply for better insights into actions
  • Location based messaging for accurate customer targeting
  • Message previewer to avoid any mistakes while composition
  • Priority inbox for keeping the important chats on top

6. JivoChat

A cost-effective live chat solution for small to medium sized businesses.

jivochat logo

A simple live chat software which offers multi-channel support for customer conversations.

Starting from: $13 per month
Pricing model: Subscription Based
Free Trial: Available
Devices: Android, iOS, Web

  • Free Plan Available
  • Customizable Chat
  • Chats Rerouting
  • Real-time Monitoring of Visitors
  • Unlimited Chat History
  • Chatlogs and Blacklists
  • Callback Functionality
  • Single Team Inbox
  • Multi-language Support
  • Desktop and Mobile Apps

  • Interface looks cluttered at first and makes it difficult to find certain settings
  • Limited features in the free version, and allows only up to 5 agents
  • Chat history storage is restricted to 2 months in free version

If multi-channel customer support is your priority, JivoChat might be the best online chat service for websites you can get your hands on. Along with many impressive features, the one that stands out for me is the ability to call customers. Not only this, your customers also get the leverage to schedule a callback facility, in case of unavailability of agents.

The light-weightiness and the flexibility of pricing suggests that it’s best suited for start-ups, or medium sized teams. Also, if you have a diverse team with presence in multiple countries, JivoChat’s translator got you covered for that as well. It provides translation for 90+ languages. Now, that’s pretty jaw dropping, isn’t it?

Key Features

  • Customer targeting through IP addresses, region and visit source
  • Customization of color, font, and labels through chat widget
  • Canned responses for frequently asked questions (saved responses)
  • Triggered chats with visitors based on the triggers of your choice
  • Google analytics integration, along with the ability to export reports to excel

Final Verdict

So, all in all, the main selling point of almost every live chat software is the ease with which you can communicate with your target market, and provide them viable solutions in real-time. Of course, the best live chat software for you will come down to the nature of your business and what you want to accomplish through it.

It might look like an easy job at first. Plot twist – it isn’t!

But with an all-out effort, you can definitely pull this off. All you need to do is to jot down your requirements and get to work! I hope my review will help you narrow down the best one for you and the investment is worth it.

If there’s any software that you’d like to be included in this list, feel free to comment below and I’ll definitely review it.

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