15 Best Live Chat Apps (Free & Paid) to Boost Sales and Support

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You may already know that live chat can improve customer service, but did you know that adding live chat to your website can increase conversions by 12%? With a live chat app, you can answer customer questions immediately, help website visitors find the information they’re looking for, and establish the kind of rapport that keeps people coming back to your site.

If you’re just starting to research live chat apps, you may find that you have an overwhelming number of options, at a number of different price points. This post may help you zero-in on the best website chat app for your business — read on to learn more about the 15 best live chat apps in 2021.

**The 15 best live chat apps to boost sales and support in 2021

  • JivoChat

  • LiveAgent

  • Olark

  • Chatlio

  • LiveChat

  • Tidio

  • Smartsupp

  • Tawk.to

  • Chatra

  • HubSpot live chat

  • Userlike

  • Pure Chat

  • ClickDesk

  • SnapEngage

  • Zendesk messaging**

7 Considerations When Choosing a Live Chat App

Before purchasing a live chat app — or downloading a free one — think about what you want the app to do for your business. Do you need a basic chat app for a small team, or a feature-rich platform that provides detailed analytics?

Following are some points to consider when choosing a live chat app:

Affordability. Many live chat apps offer a free version, but they often lack the features that businesses need. Before choosing a live chat app, compare pricing for different service tiers to make sure you get the features you want within your budget. Pay attention to add-ons, too — some platforms charge a premium for certain features, while other apps may offer those features at no additional cost.

Ease of setup. When you purchase a live chat app, you’ll want to start using it immediately, so look at whether you can easily install it. Also consider a trial-run, so you can evaluate the user-friendliness of the interface — some apps are not intuitive and may require training.

Scalability. If you have fluctuations in business or anticipate growth, you’ll probably want a live chat app that’s scalable. Free live chat apps, and some paid versions, typically limit the number of users.

Feature set. The best live chat app for your business is one that has all the features your team needs — and ideally, no features you don’t need. These are some of the features that many live chat apps offer:

  • Behavior-based chat triggers

  • Transfer chats between agents

  • Multilingual chat

  • Co-browsing

  • Real-time visitor tracking

  • Canned responses

  • Omnichannel customer communication

  • Away messages

  • Upselling/cross-selling

  • AI chatbots

Security and privacy. If you anticipate your customers sharing personal or financial information via live chat, look for a live chat app that uses transport layer security (TLS) for end-to-end security and a web application firewall.

Integration options. If you intend to offer live support chat for website users, your live chat app will need to be compatible with your content management system. Choose an app that integrates with your CMS, and if applicable, with your CRM and project management platforms.

Omnichannel capabilities. Don’t limit yourself to a website chat app — choose a live chat app that you can use to communicate with customers on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, SMS, and any channels your customers use. Customers expect excellent customer service across all channels, not just on your website.

JivoChat

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

JivoChat is an omnichannel live chat app that lets busy agents engage in multiple conversations, across multiple channels - website live chat, email, phone callbacks, facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat and more - at the same time, from a single dashboard. JivoChat’s chatbots can respond to simple customer queries and transfer chats to live agents, if necessary. On the backend, agents can see a record of all client communication across every platform. That means customers never have to repeat themselves, and your agents can mention details from previous interactions to show customers that your business is paying attention to them.

Key chat features:

  • Behavior-based chat triggers

  • AI and rules-based chatbots

  • In-chat product sharing

  • Cross-selling and upselling

  • Instant callback option

  • TLS security and web application firewall

  • Quick installation

  • Webhooks API

  • Automatic translation

Best app for: Companies looking to improve their omnichannel sales and support.

Pricing: Free, or $13/user/month. | Free Trial

LiveAgent

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

LiveAgent is a ticketing system with chat functionality in its higher-tier versions. Its primary function is the management and routing of support requests.

Key chat features:

  • Audit log

  • Agent ratings

  • Canned messages

  • Chat satisfaction surveys

  • Unlimited ticket history

  • Ticket transfers

$29-$39/user/month | Free Trial

Olark

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Olark is a basic live chat tool that can be expanded with the use of paid “Power Ups.” Cobrowsing is one such Power Up — it’s $99/month. Olark offers fully accessible live chat and is compatible with screen readers.

Key chat features:

  • Canned messages

  • Searchable transcripts

  • Chat analytics

  • Numerous integrations

  • Webhooks API

$19/user/month, with enterprise pricing available upon request | Free Trial

Chatlio

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Chatlio is a live chat tool that integrates with Slack, so agents can communicate with website visitors from within Slack, and multiple agents can participate in the same conversation. Unlike many of the other live chat apps on our list, Chatlio is strictly a chat app for website — it’s not an omnichannel communication tool.

Key chat eatures:

  • Customizable chat widget

  • Canned messages

  • Action-based triggers

  • Real-time website visitor information

  • Agent ratings and analytics

Starter plan for up to two users is $29/month. Plans for unlimited users range from $49-$199/month | Free Trial

LiveChat

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

LiveChat is an omnichannel messaging platform that lets agents greet website visitors with animated images and product offers. Its automation and rules-based chat routing help agents work more efficiently.

Key chat features:

  • Notifications

  • File sharing

  • Chat transcripts

  • Customizable widget

  • Credit card masking

  • Agent reports

$16-$50/user/month, with enterprise pricing available upon request. | Free Trial

Tidio

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Tidio is a live chat app with an optional email marketing upgrade that lets teams integrate their live chat and email strategy. The intuitive email editor makes it easy to create engaging and colorful emails, without the need for a designer.

Key chat features:

  • WYSIWYG email editor

  • Chatbot templates

  • Live visitors list

  • Email address validation

  • JavaScript API

Free version for up to three users. Paid plans are $18/user/month and an additional $10/user/month for email tools. | Free Trial

Smartsupp

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Smartsupp is one of the best live chat apps for analyzing on-page behavior. Its video-recording feature lets agents see how websites visitors are interacting with content, as well as when a shopper is about to abandon their shopping cart.

Key chat features:

One-year conversation history

  • Customer satisfaction ratings

  • Customizable chat box placement

  • Agent photos

  • API

  • File sharing

Free version available for up to three chatbots and three users. Paid plan for unlimited chatbots and up to three users is $10/user/month, or $19/user/month for teams with more than three users. | Free Trial

Tawk.to

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Tawk.to is a simple live chat tool that has a team chat feature and allows users to hire live chat agents for just $1 per hour. For businesses that need to ramp-up support at certain times of year, the ability to add live agents on a case-by-case basis is a real plus.

Key chat features:

  • In-chat payments

  • Geo IP tracking

  • Message filtering

  • Secure encryption

  • Screen sharing

Free, if you use Tawk.to’s branding; otherwise, it’s $19/month. | Free Trial

Chatra.io

Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Chatra claims users can start using this live chat app within three minutes of signing up, so it’s safe to assume that the setup is simple. Users can set up agent groups and assign visitors to specific groups.

Key chat features:

  • Online and offline chat widget

  • Lead capture form

  • Complete conversation history

  • File transfer

  • Visitor banning

  • Multiple integrations

  • JavaScript API

Free plan for one agent. Paid plans are $15-$23/agent/month. | Free Trial

HubSpot live chat

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

This is one of the few free live chat apps on our list, but it’s not clear how useful it is without the full suite of HubSpot offerings. It does allow for basic live chats, and the setup of rules-based chatbots.

Key features:

  • Visual editor

  • Meeting scheduler

  • Chat templates

  • Chatbot builder

  • Shared inbox

Free | Free Trial

Userlike

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Available for: Web

Userlike is a web-based chat application that — while functional on mobile — does not offer native apps for iOS and Android. An “operator skills” feature lets site visitors choose support reps based on their areas of expertise.

Key chat features:

  • Image and video support

  • Canned messages

  • Conversation tagging

  • Registration form

  • File sharing

Free version for single user. Team pricing is $90-$270/month, with enterprise pricing available upon request. | Free Trial

Pure Chat

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Pure Chat is a live chat tool with a pricing structure that could be problematic, if decision-makers don’t look at the fine print (more on that below). Aside from that, this app earns high marks for the ample features included in its entry-level version.

Key chat features:

  • CSV exports

  • Security permissions

  • File transfers

  • Real-time analytics

  • Unlimited chat history transcripts

  • Trigger-based actions

The starter plan is $39/month for up to four users; additional user spots are $13/month. The pro plan is $79/month for up to 10 users; additional user spots are $8/month. | Free Trial

ClickDesk

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Available for: Web, Android

ClickDesk’s main selling point is its simple, color-coded reporting — at a glance, managers can see chat volume by day, missed opportunities, offline instances, and proactive agent chats.

Key chat features:

  • Voice and video chat support

  • Helpdesk software integration

  • Google Talk integration

  • Canned responses

  • Chat transfers

Annual plans range from $14.99-$39.99/user/month, with price breaks for customers who choose a two-year plan. | Free Trial

SnapEngage

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Available for: Web

SnapEngage is compatible with mobile devices, but it does not offer native apps for iOS or Android. This platform is one of the best live chat apps for health care providers, as it offers HIPAA compliance as an add-on feature. Many of the other features that offer top-tier functionality are also available as add-ons.

Key chat features:

  • CRM and help desk integration

  • Tweet-to-chat

  • Canned messages

  • Team chat

  • Chat transfers

  • Post-chat surveys

$16-$26/user/month, with enterprise pricing available upon request. | See Pricing

Zendesk messaging

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Available for: Web, iOS, Android

Zendesk has two platforms — one for sales teams, and one for service teams that includes live chat functionality. Zendesk users can offer customer support via SMS, email, live chat, or on the phone, and track all interactions in a central platform. Channel volume and performance metrics help teams see which channels have the most customer interactions, and agents can easily turn tweets or Facebook posts into support tickets.

Key chat features:

  • Customizable ticket layouts

  • Multilingual support

  • Self-service customer portal

  • Pre-set agent routing rules

  • 1,000+ integrations

Plans are $49-$215/user/month. | Free Trial

Choose the Best Live Chat App for Your Business

So now that you’ve reviewed our 15 best live chat apps, have you decided which one is best for your business? Remember that your needs may change over time, so you might want to consider a live chat app that gives you the flexibility to grow, to integrate with other platforms, and to collect new data on your customers.

JivoChat is a scalable, omnichannel messenger that functions as an extension of your sales and support teams. With JivoChat’s live chat app, you can proactively engage visitors the moment they land on your site, and communicate with them on the other platforms they use every day. On the backend, your agents can see a complete history on every customer — an excellent foundation for building long-term relationships.

See what JivoChat can do for your business — sign up for your free account today!

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