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Online chat is a great way to connect with modern consumers as well as generate inbound leads. Not only does it use a platform that is already familiar to most, but it lets you interact with potential leads or customers whether they’re at home or on the go. To help you choose the best option for your needs, we ranked the eight best live chat software and identified a primary use case for each.
Here are the top eight live chat software for customer service and lead generation:
Live chat can be used for lead generation or customer service. For our tests, we put a great deal of emphasis into three distinct features: price, ease-of-use and expert score. Additionally, we included three more metrics: live chat capabilities, core features and customization. Check out how we approached our specific analysis below.
Note: All per-user prices are with a one-year commitment unless noted.
Overall, we found Hubspot Service Hub to not only be the best overall live chat option, but also the best free sales software option for those on a budget or looking to try before they buy. Check out our analysis for each of our top options below, including the use cases for each.
Hubspot service hub offers a robust free option with the ability to upgrade to premium tiers later.
Price Range: Free to $1,200 per month
Most software solutions provide a limited free trial, but Hubspot boasts tools that are free for your entire lifetime. Not only does this include their live chat service, but it also encompasses a host of other features. VoIP, email scheduling, shared inboxes, document management, reporting and analytics are all available in their free suite of tools. If you need even more functionality, you can opt for one of their three subscription plans.
Zoho desk offers live chat functionality along with an entire help desk platform to support it.
Price Range: Free to $35 per agent, per month
Zoho Desk is more than your typical live chat platform. Instead, it’s a complete help desk solution with live chat functionality that’s meant to work with a team of customer service representatives. Classified as “agents,” these individuals are given all the tools needed to answer customer inquiries, respond in a timely manner and escalate issues as needed.
Live chat software offering powerful, AI-driven custom chat solution for automation.
Price Range: $50 – $499 per month
As the name implies, ChatBot provides a comprehensive, AI-driven platform for automating your customer service needs. It uses a drag-and-drop editor that lets you easily develop conversational pathways, complete with advanced options like appointment scheduling and reservations. While it doesn’t provide a native live chat feature, ChatBot can be integrated with third-party apps — like LiveChat — to handle all of your online chat needs.
Offers live chat functionality as well as robust analytics on website visitors and their interactions.
Price Range: Free to $23 per agent, per month
It’s difficult to understand your online traffic without properly analyzing your day-to-day visitors, but how else can you predict their behaviors and automate your responses? Chatra makes it easy to analyze your online traffic with comprehensive analytics that aren’t available with other solutions. Basic visitor info is available with their free plan, but their paid options give you IP address, real-time activity tracking, shopping cart contents and more.
Offers integrations with the largest number of third-party platforms on our list.
Price Range: $16 – $50 per agent, per month
Some of the best live chat solutions include some complementary tools or features, but most companies end up looking to third-party apps and add-ons to fill the gaps. With the LiveChat Marketplace, which includes 200+ different apps, you’ll find all of your favorite utilities in one place. If you already have a host of reliable third-party addons, or if you’re already familiar with marketplaces like the Google Store or Apple’s App Store, LiveChat is right for you.
Inexpensive option focused exclusively on desktop web browser solutions.
Price Range: Free to $39.99 per month
Those who want a no-frills solution that accommodates text, video and voice chat, ClickDesk is the clear winner. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing option by any means, and it’s missing functionality in some critical areas — like the lack of iOS support — but it’s a highly affordable option that does exactly what it claims. ClickDesk also functions exclusively in your web browser, the only one on our list, meaning you won’t have to download any software.
Offers a solid free option with the ability to scale up as you grow.
Price Range: Free to $999 per month
Whereas other solutions provide random services and features that may or may not be useful, Intercom’s tiers are specifically curated to meet your needs as a small, medium and large company. Starting with a simple live chat platform and working up to banners, chatbots, automation and even service-level agreement rules, Intercom is capable of matching your growth — regardless of how explosive it is.
Seamlessly move between text, voice, and video chat functionality with this live chat software.
Price Range: Free to $399 per month
Whereas most live chat solutions focus on text-based communications, Podium takes this a step further than most by offering options for voice or face-to-face video chat. In fact, it’s the only option on our list that lets you switch between all three formats. Whether you need to switch to a more convenient platform for a customer or if you need to provide detailed instructions through voice or video, Podium has you covered.
Modern consumers want instant gratification. If their messages are left unanswered for too long, most will quickly find another company to meet their needs. The best live chat software makes it easy to connect with customers as well as serve as a lead generation software tool, while some of the more advanced options let you use AI-powered chatbots to provide round-the-clock service.