Live chat solutions are the number one digital method of communication today, beating both email and social media by a huge margin. The reason for live chat’s popularity is multifold: it is quick, efficient and boosts engagement. Live chat solutions have consistently offered users increased efficiency and satisfaction, leaving as much as 92% of customers satisfied according to a study conducted by Zendesk.

Over the years, live chat solutions have seen a significant growth both in terms of sophistication and use. With more and more businesses adopting live chat solutions for customer service/satisfaction, it is bound to grow further. Live chat solutions applied with best practices offer increased customer satisfaction, growth, increased conversion rate, and therefore, increased revenue. However, with the market flooding with live chat solutions it can be slightly tricky to find the perfect fit for your business.

From budget, to customization, to maintenance and support, a lot of things need to be taken into consideration before zeroing in on your desired live chat solutions. Following is a list of free and paid live chat solutions, some of the best the market has to offer! 

1. Zendesk

Zendesk offers one of the most loved hosted live chat solutions with Zendesk Suite, formerly known as Zendesk Chat. With a high level of customization and a clean user interface, Zendesk Chat is easily integratable with popular CMS like Shopify, SquareSpace, Wix etc.

Zendesk offers automated responses using bots to resolve queries or connect customers to the right agents. Here’s how Zendesk describes their self-learning AI chatbot:

Chatsbots can tell jokes, process payments, and give you taco recommendations

The chat shows agents full profiles of the customer, including the past history. It is optimized to organize conversations with workflows like reporting, tags, and routing.

Users can opt for the SDK for granular control and try their hand at ground level customization. With the role based access control, managers can set tiered permissions and triggers to initiate conversation when a new lead pops up on the website. Further, users can configure scripts to create their personalized chat setup without having to modify any script or code whatsoever.

Cost: Free and Premium packages available.
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

2. Podium Webchat


Webchat from Podium puts your website to work! It is a standalone web chat client that offers everything from conversations to payment channels. Webchat from Podium follows a slightly different model compared to other web chats, in that it lets agents continue conversation even after the lead leaves the window. Webchat starts the conversation with a real name and phone number so your leads are always hot. And it uses the Auto Responder to carry conversations and capture leads even when an agent is not present.

Webchat lets you easily capture leads while they’re on your turf- straight from your website to a text conversation.

Webchat has created its platform to match the needs of sales and is built to drive conversations, or close deals. From answering questions to after-hours reminders, greetings, FAQs, Webchat does it all. WebChat widget offers a great deal of customization, including branding and buttons. Agents can even pick their own avatars. Multiple location transfers, smart responses from FAQs, leaderboard to manage response times, and analytics are few notable features of Webchat.

Cost: Free and Premium custom packages available on request.
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

3. Olark

Olark is a sales and customer support live chat software. It offers a plethora of unique features and easily integrates with most CRMs to ensure you can offer standalone support through its live chat software. With an easy to configure live chat solution, Olark makes automation pretty easy for efficient workflows. You can customize greetings, messages, and route chats.

Olark offers users custom chatbox forms to collect information from customers before the chat even begins. You can create a problem form, a contact form or pretty much anything you want with a drag and drop editor. The customer profiles offered by Olark are remarkable. You get in depth customer movement so you can convert based on customer behavior.

Olark also offers a pretty good custom chatbot called Co Pilot. Here’s what they have to say about their sophisticated chatbot:

Chatbots for people who hate chatbots, custom-made by people who hate chatbots.

Cost: Starting $19 per month
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

4. Livechat

As the name suggests, LiveChat is a thorough live chat solution. LiveChat can be customized to receive messages from anywhere on your support channel. Be it Facebook, Whatsapp, your website or well, direct chat. An omnichannel customer support desk, LiveChat offers chat as an experience rather than a tool. Focused on proactive chats, it actually anticipates questions so you can respond faster.

It starts with chat. Then it just keeps getting better.


Offering easy integration with 200 something tools, LiveChat is a pretty set when it comes to connectivity. You can send the data collected on LiveChat to your CRM and payment channels.

It might be useful to mention that LiveChat is used by tech aficionados at Adobe, and burger aficionados at Mc Donald’s. Making it another one of the popular live chat solutions.

LiveChat stores responses starting with the hash symbol and suggestions pop up as you type. It offers filter reports using tags and customizable buttons. Canned responses, sneak peak, targeted messages, ticket form and chat transcripts are some of its exceptional features. Further, the agent profile and personalization options offered by LiveChat are easy to use.

Cost: Starting $16 per month
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

5. Userlike

Userlike calls itself,

The first and only live chat software to help your business win and nurture customers across messaging channels.

From website chat, to customer messaging to chatbots and WhatsApp, Userlike offers a well rounded omnichannel customer support live chat tool. It prides itself on it’s all-inclusive button integration with which agents can support customers throughout their wild ride through the sales funnel.

Userlike lets agents forward messages to colleagues with an added context. And the entire chat transcript accompanies the forward, making routing super easy for complicated problems. Further Userlike lets users add operator skills so the questions can be directed at agents best fit to answer them.

Cost: Free and Premium packages available.
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

6. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a complete helpdesk solution offering everything from ticketing, to call center to a knowledge base. LiveAgent’s live chat option is built to create instant connections and convert incoming leads into paying customers. It has a pretty solid backing of automation and with a smart channel for routing.

Create instant connections with proactive live chat software.


LiveAgent gives a lot of importance to customer relationships and inline with that offers advanced features to maintain it as such. For example, it offers automated answer chats with accurate automated responses. Users can also customize the chat window, choose chat buttons and integrate it to their website. One truly unique aspect of LiveAgent’s live chat solution is the video chat feature. Customer service agents can greatly benefit from video chat, as it also includes an option to screen share and solve issues!

Cost: Free and Premium packages available.
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

7. Converse.js

A favorite of open source enthusiasts and activists out there, Converse.js is a web based XMPP/Jabber (XMPP is the open standard for messaging) chat client written in JavaScript. Meaning it can be used either as a web chat app hosted on conversejs.org or can be integrated on your own website.

Professional support and custom development.

Converse.js offers a plugin architecture, multi-user chat rooms, direct invites to chat rooms, hidden messages and much more. It is arguably one of the more advanced live chat solutions out there, and if you have the knack for software jargon, it is a perfect solution.

Cost: Free

Hosting: Hosted or self-hosted

Source Code: Open source

8. Chatra

Chatra is a complete customer service messaging solution with a multichannel dashboard. It offers a live chat for your website, and hosted web app and mobile app.

Answer questions, solve problems, increase conversions.

Chatra offers easy integrations with WordPress, Ecwid, Shopify and more with premium tiers. Chatra’s chatbots are state of the art and can carry a conversation with frequently asked queries easily. It also doubles as a form and lead capture bot that can throw out targeted messages and triggers! Chatra is available for iOS, Android, web and desktop.

Cost: Free and Premium packages available.
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

9. Hubspot

HubSpot is undoubtedly a leader in customer communication solutions, and it offers a pretty powerful free live chat solution. However, many people note that HubSpot’s free live chat solution will have you hooked in a few months and you will be craving for that premium plan.

Connect with your website visitors in real time to convert new leads, close more deals, and provide better support to your customers.

In terms of features, HubSpot offers a clean chat widget customizable for branding and segmentation. It allows users to send out targeted messages for different web pages and segments as well. HubSpot’s chatbots can conduct personalized conversations to ensure only qualified leads are sent to agents. From booking meetings to answering common questions, their sophisticated chatbot can handle it all.

Cost: Free and Premium packages available.
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

10. Salesforce

Salesforce is another big name in the service industry known for its service and support communication solutions. The Service Cloud Live Chat offered by Salesforce is a centralized messaging solution. The dashboard can be integrated to address queries incoming from WhatsApp, Facebook, and more. In fact, it also supports SMS, much like Webchat from Podium.

Build trusted customer experiences on the most complete service platform.

Considering the Service Cloud is a puzzle piece in the Salesforce CRM, it is highly beneficial to integrate it as such. Feature wise, Service Cloud offers AI powered chatbots, multilingual support, personalized live chat, sneak peek, shortcuts, prewritten messages and easy routing.

Cost: Starting $25 per month with limited functionality
Hosting: Hosted
Source Code: Proprietary

Live chat is not a new technology. It’s been around for more than a decade. But what is new is how it’s being used and what it can do for businesses. In the old days, it was mostly used internally for customer service. But now, live chat solutions are being used more and more to boost sales and engagement. We’ve seen live chat used by startups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. We’ve seen it used in just about every industry you can think of. 

If you’re yet to leverage in-app chats, it’s time to build one. A live chat solution can help you increase conversions, improve customer service and foster conversations. The right live chat solution can also reduce your cost-per-customer, which is the best thing for any business. We’ve built it for many businesses already, take a look how they ramped up customer engagements and eventually, revenue using Applozic in-chat API.  

Author

Shalini is a content creator (and an aspiring yogi) busy telling product stories and exploring the tech genius behind them. Her love for communication keeps her sane in this ever-disruptive world - hence she writes!