Every year, more and more customers are using live chat to interact with customer support teams. In fact, it is now one of the most frequently used service channels for U.S. businesses.
Recent surveys show that the majority of customers (82%) think that it’s important for websites to have customer service options, such as live chat or chatbots, to offer a quality customer experience.
Obviously, live chat is a popular option among customers, but meeting this demand doesn’t have to be pricey. There are quite a few quality live chat software tools that are currently offered for free.
In this post, we’ve put together seven of the best free live chat software tools out there in 2021.
What is Live Chat Software?
Live chat is a tool that allows your company to engage with your customers in real-time, via messaging. The software that enables live chat is commonly referred to as live chat software or chatbot. You can use live chat software to initiate conversations with first-time website visitors, interact with returning customers, and support your existing users. It is a modern, efficient, and contextual way to close more sales, provide better support, and retain customers for the long haul.
Live chat helps your support team offer personalized customer experience by meeting the customer where they are. Implementing a live chat solution for your business can be used by your customer support teams and be wildly beneficial for your customers’ journey.
What to Consider When Choosing Live Chat Software
The software you choose will depend on your business and support team's specific needs, but there are a few standard features you should look for when choosing a live chat option.
- Ability to integrate the software with your current website
- Keeps a record of your chat history with individual visitors in your CRM
- Customization options (your company's branding)
- Flexibility to determine pre-set hours or automatic bot chat flow
Now that you have an idea of what to consider, here are some of our favorites:
Chaport is a modern live chat software option with chatbots, auto-invitations, integrations with Facebook, offline messaging, employee-to-employee transferring, group chat capabilities, and much more. It is designed as a modern messenger to make communication with customers as efficient and pleasant as chatting with friends.
In addition, it provides desktop and mobile apps so that you can chat with customers from any device and location.
Its free version provides unlimited chats, 30-day chat history, and basic customization. It also offers an email address request form that helps support reps collect visitor email addresses for consolidating data. While an unlimited number of operators can be registered on the free plan, only one operator can be online at a time.
This is a phenomenal option for small businesses.
Chatra is a modern live chat and messaging solution designed to facilitate personal communication between companies and their customers. This software welcomes potential customers with the faces of your team and invites them to get in touch through friendly, targeted auto-messages. Its much easier for them to send you a quick instant message than to send a formal, stuffy email from a contacts page or get through via a phone call.
It includes features like typing notifications and read receipts that notify customers whenever your team is reading and responding to their issues, including the unique options of its offline messaging tool. When none of your reps are available, Chatra displays a message that lets customers know your team is busy and will get back to them soon.
This is a great choice for E-commerce, software and other B2B companies who understand the need to be accessible to their visitors and customers.
3. Pure Chat
Pure Chat helps small and mid-sized organizations engage their website visitors with our powerful, easy-to-use live chat software. You can use this solution throughout the entire customer journey to share information with visitors, nurture leads and deliver exceptional customer service to increase leads and improve satisfaction.
When it comes to live chat software, Pure Chat is a very user-friendly option. It's easy to install and you only have to add a few lines of code to your website. If you're not happy with how it looks or performs, you can simply remove it at a moment's notice. This makes Pure Chat a low-risk option for live chat support.
Additionally, Pure Chat gives you the option to customize your chat widget.
HubSpot's live chat software is integrated with its CRM, so your incoming chats will be automatically logged to your customer's contact profile. Your agents can look up previous chats and recall information that may be relevant to their current case. That way, if a customer is experiencing a reoccurring issue, your team can provide a different solution to ensure long-term success.
Another cool feature that HubSpot provides is its chatbot builder. You can create a chatbot, personalize its response logic, and install it onto your website for free. This lets you provide 24-hour support because you can keep your chatbot active outside of your normal working hours. Even if you don't have a human rep to transfer to, the bot can refer customers to self-service resources like your community forum or knowledge base.
Userlike is a cloud-based live chat solution that offers chat customization, forwarding of chat transcripts, and automatic customer profile creation, among other features. Its free version provides only one chat widget (i.e., one unique chat window configuration for a site) and one operator. However, it offers unlimited chats.
The software allows users to create operator groups, usually segregated by department or role. These groups help reduce waiting queues (as customers can directly select which department to speak to) as well as manage agent workload. Customers can also rate chat sessions and give instant feedback to operators.
Drift has some unique features that make its live chat solution stand out from others on this list. For example, it has a built-in scheduling tool that allows your reps to transfer a chat to a phone call or video session if needed.
Another useful feature is its targeted messaging. You can categorize different groups of customers by their value to your business, then display personalized messages based on your relationship with them. That way, your reps know when they're speaking to your most loyal customers and can be sure to go above and beyond for them.
Drift also has an easy-to-use Visual Flow Builder, where you can assign custom fields & tags and make user segments, has a really good live chat, advanced landing pages, an advanced website widget and good analytics (so you can make improvements as needed).
When you think of live chat, you usually think of Zendesk, which is considered a leader in customer service helpdesk solutions. Their live chat service comes in four pricing tiers, but you can get started for free with their Chat Lite option.
With Chat Lite, you can have one concurrent chat and offer visitors the ability to rate the chat after an interaction. The one limitation, aside from the amount of chats you can have, is that your chat history will be available for only 30 days. But don’t pass on this one. Chat Lite still has plenty of features that will fulfill your needs, and Zendesk has extensive documentation to help you work out any kinks and troubleshoot any issues.
How do over 50% of Fortune 500 Companies save time with CloudApp?
The team at Social Tables has used CloudApp to close support tickets 7 minutes faster than their previous average. Read more about how you can provide a better support experience here.