7 Best Live Chat Software for Sales & Customer Service 2022

Check out our independently reviewed list of the best live chat software options, including the best use-cases for each provider.

Live chat software allows you to add chat widgets to your website so you can communicate with customers and prospects in real-time. The best live chat solutions can be live-chat-specific software, help desk platforms that connect customers with live agents, as well as CRMs with chat capabilities. To help you choose the best software for you, we reviewed dozens of options and ranked the best live chat software and their primary use cases.

Here are the top live chat software for customer service and lead generation:

  • HubSpot CRM: Best free and best overall live chat option for sales & service (free starting price)
  • Freshsales: Best live chat option with premium sales features (free starting price)
  • ChatBot: Best software option for AI-driven chatbots (14-day free trial)
  • LiveChat: Best live chat software for third-party integrations (14-day free trial)
  • Tidio: Best live chat choice for well-designed chat widgets (free starting price)
  • Chatra: Best live chat software for online visitor analytics (free starting price)
  • ClickDesk: Best live chat option for text, voice, and video chat (free starting price)

How We Evaluated the Best Live Chat Software

Live chat can be used for lead capture on a lead generation website or for customer service. To determine the best, we looked at both live chat software as well as help desk and CRM solutions offering live chat functionality. We scored each top option on six specific categories, using key subcriteria to assign each option an overall score out of five. Also identified were primary use cases for each of the best choices.

Evaluation Criteria

The three most important categories to choosing a live chat option are pricing, features, and ease-of-use. Also included in our scoring was customer service and a roundup of user scores across the Internet.

Pricing:
25%
Core Features:
20%
Ease-of-Use:
20%
Expert Score:
15%
Advanced Features:
10%
Customization:
10%

Note: All per-user prices are with a one-year commitment unless noted.

Overall, we found HubSpot CRM 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 CRM: Best Free Live Chat Option

Hubspot CRM offers a robust free option with live chat the ability to upgrade to premium tiers later.

Price Range: Free to $1,200 per month

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Expert Score star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Solid integration with marketing and sales
  • Free and advanced live chat
  • Robust free tier available

Cons:

  • Marketing and Sales Hub are seperate
  • Limited support ticketing system
  • Upgrades can be pricey

HubSpot CRM offers a robust free CRM with basic contact management and pipeline features as well as live chat for free. Upgrade into one of its more premium tiers for advanced live chat and other sales features, such as conversation routing, lead scoring and distribution, and more. You also have access to their free marketing and service hubs, however, to get the most out of those features you may have pay for their premium levels.

HubSpot CRM Pricing

  • Free-for-Life: Supports unlimited users and one million sales contacts
  • Starter: $45 per month for up to two users
  • Professional: $450 per month for up to five users
  • Enterprise: $1,2000 per month for up to 10 users
  • Additional users can be purchased for extra
  • Access to the free Marketing and Service Hub tiers

HubSpot CRM Key Features

  • Free Tools: While there are paid versions that offer even more functionality, many users will meet all of their company’s needs with HubSpot CRM’s free tools.
  • VoIP: Voice over IP, or VoIP, is included amongst HubSpot CRM’s free tools, so you’ll be able to chat with customers via live text or audio.
  • Premade Templates: HubSpot’s paid services offer numerous templates, including email designs, customer surveys and canned snippets to help you get started right away.
  • Customer Insight: Gain even more insight into your customer’s habits, likes and dislikes through detailed analytics and comprehensive reporting.

hubspot live chat dashboard

Visit Hubspot CRM

Freshsales: Best Live Chat & Help Desk

Freshsales is a sales and marketing CRM offering live chat along with the ability to integrate with their helpdesk platform.

Price Range: Free to $69 per user, per month (21-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Expert Score star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Free software with premium upgrades
  • Solid CRM features for sales & service
  • Add Freshdesk for help desk features

Cons:

  • Customization options can be lacking
  • Can struggle with email integrations
  • Premium help desk features cost extra

Freshsales is a robust sales CRM with a free option and premium tiers with advanced sales features. Its live chat functionality is available with all tiers, allowing you to communicate with website visitors in real-time. Also included in all tiers is a built-in dialer and contact management. You can upgrade for more sales pipeline functionality like AI forecasting and reporting as well as integrate with Freshdesk, their help desk platform.

Freshsales Pricing

  • Free Version: Support for unlimited users and contacts
  • Growth: $15 per user, per month
  • Pro: $39 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $69 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 21 days
  • Free tiers for Freshdesk and Freshmarketer available, premium features cost extra

Freshsales Key Features

  • Free Live Chat: Free chat is available at all tiers and can be implemented on your website; upgrade for even more live chat and sales features.
  • Free Sales & Service Features: Take advantage of free tiers for their CRM and help desk offering basic solutions, or upgrade into their premium tiers for advanced features.
  • Workflow Automation: Establish various rules to automate sales and service tasks and take advantage of their AI-powered sales assistant for task management and reminders.
  • AI-Powered Forecasting: In addition, their AI-assistant offered in premium tiers helps with revenue forecasting, predictive lead scoring, and more.

Freshsales live chat example

Visit Freshsales

ChatBot: Best For AI-Driven Live Chat

Live chat software offering powerful, AI-driven custom chat solution for automation.

Price Range: $42 to $424 per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Expert Score star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Handy preset chatbot templates
  • Can create unlimited chatbots
  • Easy visual chatbot builder

Cons:

  • Priced according to number of chats
  • AI has trouble with advanced questions
  • Better live options available

ChatBot is a chat software providing a comprehensive, AI-driven platform to automate basic chats with your customers. 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.

ChatBot Pricing

  • Starter: $42 per month for 1,000 monthly chats
  • Team: $126 per month for 5,000 monthly chats
  • Business: $424 per month for 25,000 monthly chats
  • Enterprise: Contact for quote
  • Free Trial: 14 days

ChatBot Key Features

  • Fully Automated Communications: If you want to take a hands-off approach to lead generation or customer service, ChatBot is one of the best solutions available.
  • Visual ChatBot Builder: The drag-and-drop interface of the ChatBot Builder makes it easy to program and customize your own chatbot — all without touching any code.
  • Integrated With Social Media: ChatBot is easily integrated with the most popular social media channels, including Facebook, WordPress, LiveChat, Slack and others.
  • Multi-Language Support: Communicate with customers in a variety of languages, including English, Czech, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and many more.

chatbot interface example

Visit Chatbot

LiveChat: Best for Third-Party Integrations

Offers flexibile customizations as well as integrations with the largest number of third-party platforms on our list.

Price Range: $16 to $50 per agent, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Expert Score star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Robust app marketplace
  • Highly customizable
  • Automatic lead qualification

Cons:

  • Mobile functionality can be limited
  • Some users report slow load times
  • Reporting & data can be limited

LiveChat is a well-known live chat tool offering a robust marketplace with over 200+ app integrations for customizations and added features. In addition to its large marketplace of apps, it also lets you integrate with other conversation platforms so all of your customer communications can be managed from a single interface. This makes it a great option for those looking to customize their live chat or for those who communicate with customers on multiple platforms.

LiveChat Pricing

  • Starter: $16 per agent, per month
  • Team: $33 per agent, per month
  • Business: $50 per agent, per month
  • Enterprise: Contact for quote
  • Free Trial: 14 days

LiveChat Key Features

  • Multi-Platform Integration: Connect with customers across a myriad of different devices and platforms, including SMS, Facebook Messenger, Shopify, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, or via your lead generation website.
  • AI and Human Interaction: Utilize next-gen AI and chatbots to greet customers and generate leads while letting your team of professionals handle the brunt of the work.
  • Chat Analytics: Analyze your past chats and see exactly how your responses help boost revenue. You can also use this feature to identify common customer issues.
  • Lead Qualification: Automatically qualify leads via customizable forms and queries and then route those leads to the appropriate salesperson for follow up.

livechart dashboard example

Visit Livechat

Tidio: Best Designed Chat Widgets

Well-priced live chat option with good overall user experience and well-designed chatbot templates.

Price Range: Free to $12.50 per user, per month (7-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Live Chat Capabilities star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Expert Score star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • AI-driven chatbots available
  • Good overall chat UI and UX
  • Well-designed premade chat templates

Cons:

  • Lacking some advanced features
  • Free plan is limited
  • Limited to 40 total seats

Tidio is a low-cost and well-designed live chat option great for smaller businesses. Their visual chat builder allows for customizations, but they also offer AI-powered chatbots with a wealth of pre-designed templates you can use to generate leads, stop cart abandonments, send welcome messages, and more. Its live chat feature even offers automations as well as insights on the customer. However, some may find that their free tier is limited.

Tidio Pricing

  • Free: Unlimited chats and 100 monthly unique visitors
  • Chatbots: $32.50 for up to three users
  • Communicator: $12.50 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 7 days

Tideo Key Features

  • Visual Chatbot Editor: Create well-designed chatbots as well as AI-driven chat sequences using pre-made templates that help you engage with customers.
  • Live Typing: Allow agents to see what the user is typing before they even send their message so your team can be as proactive as possible.
  • Visitor Data: Get a real-time visitor list for your website, and see which pages a visitor has viewed so you can proactively reach out and tailor your message.
  • Third-Party Integrations: Integrate with platforms like Facebook Messenger or Shopify as well as Zapier integrations to connect with CRMs and other tools.

tidio live chat software example

Visit Tidio

Chatra: Best for Online Visitor Analytics

Offers live chat functionality as well as robust analytics on website visitors and their interactions.

Price Range: Free to $23 per agent, per month (10-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Live Chat Capabilities star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Expert Score star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Offers AI-driven customizable chatbots
  • Compatible across operating platforms
  • Easily integrates with email & social

Cons:

  • Reporting only available for paid tiers
  • Some users report chat slowness
  • Free tier is limited

Chatra is a live chat software that makes it easy to analyze online traffic with comprehensive analytics that aren’t available from 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. They even offer a free tier as well as premium tiers starting at $17 per agent, all of which include unlimited conversations.

Chatra Pricing

  • Free Forever: Supports one agent
  • Essential: $17 per agent, per month
  • Pro: $23 per agent, per month

Chatra Key Features

  • Integrated Visitor Intelligence: Chatra’s free version lets you view basic information on your visitors, but advanced analytics are available with their paid solutions.
  • Unlimited Conversations: Every version of Chatra supports an unlimited number of conversations, so you’ll never worry about missing out on a lead or support request.
  • Web chat, Email and Social Media Integration: Use the centralized interface to connect with customers on their preferred channel.
  • Targeted Chat Triggers: Create automated smart actions that triggers a chat widget on landing pages or for things like cart assistance.

chatra dashboard example

Visit Chatra

ClickDesk: Best for Voice, Video & Chat

Inexpensive option focused exclusively on desktop web browser solutions.

Price Range: Free to $39.99 per month

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Live Chat Capabilities star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Expert Score star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Offers a free version & affordable tiers
  • Mobile smartphone accessibility
  • Voice, video & text chat

Cons:

  • Reporting only available in paid versions
  • Doesn’t offer support for iOS
  • User experience can be better

Whereas most live chat solutions focus on text-based communications, ClickDesk takes this a step further than most by offering options for voice or face-to-face video chat an all of its tiers. 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, ClickDesk has you covered.

ClickDesk Pricing

  • Free: Supports up to 10 users
  • Light: $14.99 per month
  • Pro: $24.99 per month
  • Enterprise: $39.99 per month

ClickDesk Key Features

  • Browser-Based Functionality: Because ClickDesk is a browser-based program, there’s no need to install complicated software.
  • Cater to Your Customers’ Preferred Platform: It doesn’t matter if they prefer voice only, video or web-based chat — you’ll have them covered with ClickDesk.
  • Social Media Integration: Quickly and easily integrate with the most popular social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, to answer inquiries in a centralized location.
  • Unlimited Chats: Although some solutions charge according to the number of agents or overall chats, ClickDesk offers unlimited chats beginning with their lowest-priced tier.

clickdesk dashboard example

Visit Clickdesk

Bottom Line: Best Live Chat Software

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.

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