You must have noticed it too: it’s becoming increasingly common to find live chat software on websites. Whether you’re browsing an online store or a company page, you’re pretty likely to see that little window pop up in the bottom right of your browser.
The reason? Live chat is becoming more affordable, sophisticated, and gives great results. But if you’re wondering which is the best live chat software for your own website. Here is a roundup of the top solutions available in 2020. But first:
Why Live Chat Software is the Best Tool for Businesses
Just like having a live salesperson in your store, a live chat agent can do a lot for your online presence.
- It’s ideal for support: in fact, eConsultancy calculated it delivers the highest level of customer support satisfaction (73%, versus 61% for email and 44% for phone support)
- It boosts sales: live chat is one of the best ways to reduce cart abandonment, upsell, cross-sell, and generally guide customers towards that checkout page of yours.
- It’s just friendly: customer experience is the new battleground for businesses. A website that looks clunky, slow or confusing can turn people away in seconds. So how about assisting users through their journey on your site via live chat?
It’s a pretty bold move to name your company after an entire technology. Imagine a web browser called “Browser”, or a social media platform called “social media.” Regardless, the move seems to have paid off for LiveChat. In 2019, it’s one of the most used live chat software around, with around 25,000 users worldwide.
But it’s not just popular. It’s also the best one we’ve tested. The chat console is superbly designed, and the interface is intuitive, even for the less tech-savvy. It’s also super easy to integrate into your website: you only need to copy a few lines of code. For advanced users, you get tons of triggers and automations that let you refine your marketing or support technique.
Finally, LiveChat also works great as a helpdesk when nobody is available. They also offer an iOS and Android app, so you can chat with users and customers online, even when you’re on the go.
- LiveChat Pricing: The Starter Plan costs $16 per month for one seat. For teams, it’s $33 per month. The Business plan costs $50 a month. Note that prices are per seat, so you can have multiple agents sharing the same plan.
- Why it’s number #1: Great ease of use, fantastic features, smartphone app, and a decent monthly price make LiveChat the best software to use – especially for small businesses.
A quick browse of the Olark website reveals that the company makes live chat software fun, intuitive and easy to use. It’s also wallet-friendly, as it offers a completely free plan, or at least a two-week free trial if you go for one of the paid plans.
In terms of features, there’s loads of great stuff there too: you can create shortcuts for specific actions, collect feedback, export conversation logs, and remove the chat option based on certain geographic locations.
Just like LiveChat, you only need to paste a code snippet on your site to get started. But Olark probably has better automation, which can be a time-saver for pre-generated greeting messages, integrations with CRMs, or popping up based on user behavior.
- Olark pricing: Forever Free is, as the name suggests, $0 a month. After that, you pay $17 monthly for each agent, but the price goes down based on the length of your deal: $15 a month for yearly subscriptions, and $12 for 2 years plans.
- Why it’s number #2: Powerful features and a decent free plan. A bit expensive if you have multiple agents. There is no iOS or Android app like with LiveChat, but it’s still a fantastic live chat software.
Worried users are losing interest in your live conversations? How about chatting about the weather! The ability to see what the weather is like at your users’ location is just one of the small, but thoughtful features SnapEngage puts at your disposal to keep people interested.
Aside from that, it’s got a good amount of standard features such as conversation transcripts, shortcuts, and canned messages (pre-written text). The offline mode turns the live chat into a contact form, and you can automate some messages.
- LiveChat Pricing: The Essentials Plan costs $16 per month for 3 users. It comes with SnapEngage branding, which you can’t remove. The Professional Plan, at $26 per month, gives you more integrations, and with Enterprise ($40 a month) everything is included.
- Why it’s number #3: Very efficient and well put together. The design options look a bit dated, and it’s missing advanced features like analytics – which are available with LiveChat and Olark.
ZenDesk is well known for being one of the leading providers of support software worldwide. But did you know they also offer a live chat option? It’s called ZenDesk Chat, and it comes with great analytics, AI-powered chatbots, and beautiful templates that you can customize.
The integrations are great, especially if you use WordPress, Salesforce – and of course ZenDesk. This means you can implement a full-scale solution for your site, from ticketing to knowledge bases and live chat for complete coverage of user questions, requests, and support.
- LiveChat Pricing: Start at $14 a month per agent.
- Why it’s number #4: Great features and templates at a decent price. It should probably be number one if you already use any of the other ZenDesk products because integrations are fantastic.
Userlike is based in Germany, which means two things. One: it’s beautifully engineered and well-designed. Two: it’s fully GDPR compliant, in case you are worried about collecting data from your European users.
Aside from that, it’s got everything you could want from a great live chat software, with nice extras like the ability to request screenshots from your visitors, multilingual capabilities, and CRM integration.
Noteworthy: there is a free plan that includes unlimited chats! It’s limited to one agent but could be a great solution if you run your online business alone.
- Userlike Pricing: There is the aforementioned free plan. For 3 agents, you need the Team Plan (29€ per month). Corporate is 99€ a month for 5 agents, and Business is 229€ a month for 10 agents.
- Why it’s number #5: Decent features, and good for European businesses. The prices are a bit steep if you move away from their free offer.
Best Live Chat Software Comparison
|Lowest price per agent||Best Feature||Setup||Customization|
|LiveChat||$16 per month||Native iOS and Android app||Very easy||Good|
|Olark||Free (with branding)||Messaging automations||Very easy||Good|
|SnapEngage||$16 per month||Access user local info||Easy||Ok|
|ZenDesk Chat||$14 per month||ZenDesk integration||Easy||Great|
|Userlike||Free plan||GDPR compliance||Ok||Good|
The Bottom Line
There is no shortage of fantastic live chat software available these days. We believe LiveChat is the number one thanks to its features and ease of use. But there are other points to consider too:
- Want the cheapest option? You should look at Olark or Userlike
- Want good integrations? ZenDesk has them
- Are you based in Europe? Userlike might be best for you
Hopefully, this guide will be enough to get you started with your first live chat implementation.