10 Best Live Chat Software for 2024: In-Depth Reviews & Expert Insights

Live chat has quickly become a must-have channel for businesses to engage customers and provide real-time support online. Consider these eye-opening statistics:

  • 85% of businesses now offer live chat support on their website (Kayako)
  • 79% of customers say they prefer live chat because of the immediacy it provides compared to other channels (Econsultancy)
  • 63% of consumers who used live chat on a website are likely to return to that site (Forrester)
  • Live chat has the highest satisfaction rate (85%) compared to any other customer service channel (Zendesk)

The writing is on the wall – if you‘re not offering live chat support in 2024, you‘re putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage. Implementing live chat can simultaneously boost your conversions, customer satisfaction, retention and support efficiency.

But with dozens of live chat apps on the market, how do you decide which one is right for your business? In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll break down the top 10 live chat software solutions based on hands-on testing and research.

For each tool, we‘ll cover:

  • Key features and unique value proposition
  • Ease of use and setup
  • Chatbot and automation capabilities
  • Customization and integration options
  • Detailed pricing information
  • Pros, cons and ideal use cases

We‘ll also provide expert tips for choosing and getting the most out of live chat software based on your specific needs and resources.

Why Your Business Needs Live Chat Software in 2024

Before we dive into the top tools, let‘s examine the primary benefits of offering live chat support on your website:

Improve conversions and sales

Live chat enables your sales and support agents to engage prospects and customers at the moment they need assistance. By proactively offering help and answering questions in real-time, you can alleviate hesitations and guide more visitors to complete their purchase.

According to Forrester Research, chatters are 4.5 times more likely to convert than non-chatters. Kayako found that 41% of customers prefer live chat because it allows them to multi-task, and 79% because they get their questions answered quickly.

Provide more efficient customer support

A major advantage of live chat vs phone and email support is that agents can handle multiple conversations simultaneously. This allows you to serve more customers without linearly increasing headcount.

Research by Telus International found that with proper training, live chat agents can handle up to 6 conversations at a time, while still maintaining high customer satisfaction. Zendesk reports that live chat interactions have a 90 second average response time, compared to 12 hours for email.

Increase customer loyalty and retention

By connecting with customers in their moment of need, live chat creates a more personal experience that builds rapport and trust. Forrester found that 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.

According to Kayako, 82% of customers are satisfied with their live chat experience, versus 61% for email and 44% for phone. And Econsultancy reports that website visitors that engage with live chat are 4 times more likely to convert than those that don‘t.

Gain valuable customer insight

Live chat provides a wealth of data on your customers‘ needs, pain points, and behavior that you can use to optimize your sales and support strategy. By integrating live chat with your CRM and analytics tools, you can better understand your customers and personalize future interactions.

Differentiate your brand

Despite the clear benefits, many businesses still don‘t offer live chat support. According to SuperOffice, only 9% of websites use live chat. This means implementing it on your site can be a major differentiator, especially if your competitors aren‘t doing it.

The Best Live Chat Software to Consider in 2024

1. Chaport

Best for: Most businesses seeking an affordable, all-in-one live chat solution

Key features:

  • Clean, modern chat widget that‘s easy to customize and configure
  • Powerful AI chatbot builder for qualifying leads and handling common queries
  • Integrated knowledge base so customers can get instant answers
  • Unified inbox for managing chats, emails and social messages in one place
  • Rich messaging, including text, images, videos, file sharing, voice notes
  • Targeted proactive chat triggers based on visitor behavior
  • Real-time visitor analytics and typing insights
  • 200 one-click integrations with CRM, ecommerce and support tools

Pricing: Free for 1 agent, 1 website, unlimited chats. Paid plans from $15/agent/month.


  • Intuitive agent and customer experience, with minimal setup required
  • Covers live chat fundamentals + nice-to-haves at competitive price point
  • Generous free plan is sufficient for many small businesses


  • Lacks some advanced features of pricier enterprise solutions
  • Reporting is solid but not the most granular compared to some

2. JivoChat

Best for: Providing live chat support across websites, social, messaging apps

Key features:

  • Seamless live chat within FB Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram
  • Assign chats to departments or individual agents based on rules
  • One-click phone call and video conferencing from within live chat
  • Intelligent chatbot and automated triggers to send proactive messages
  • Visitor information and behavior tracking for personalized support
  • In-chat payments, screensharing and co-browsing capabilities

Pricing: Free for 5 agents. Paid plans from $19/month for 1 agent.


  • Centralized multichannel inbox is a time-saver for support teams
  • VoIP and video chat adds more flexibility beyond text-based support
  • Robust features for sales-focused businesses, like CPQ and payments


  • Can be overkill for businesses only looking for website live chat
  • Setup and configuration has a steeper learning curve than simpler tools

3. ActiveCampaign

Best for: Generating and converting leads via live chat + marketing automation

Key features:

  • Engage leads and customers across live chat, email, SMS in automated sequences
  • Highly customizable chat widget matches your branding
  • Chatbot builder for qualifying leads and booking sales meetings
  • Chat transcripts and contact data syncs with built-in CRM
  • Goals and attribution reporting to measure live chat ROI
  • 320+ pre-built integrations with leading apps

Pricing: Starts at $29/month for 500 contacts


  • All-in-one platform aligns live chat with entire customer lifecycle
  • Ideal for sales teams looking to automate lead gen and follow up
  • Advanced segmentation and personalization capabilities


  • Not worth the cost if only using for live chat functionality
  • Steeper learning curve given breadth of features

Live Chat Software Comparison

Here‘s a side-by-side look at how the top 10 live chat software compare across key criteria:

Tool Pricing Web Chat Mobile Apps Chatbots Offline Msgs Integrations
Chaport Freemium 200+
JivoChat Freemium 250+
ActiveCampaign $29/mo 320+
LiveChat $16/mo 200+
Intercom $59/mo 250+
Tidio Freemium 25+
Drift $2,000+/mo 50+
Freshchat $15/mo 100+
Olark $29/mo 10+
Zendesk $19/mo 500+

How to Choose the Right Live Chat Software

With so many great live chat apps available, it‘s important to choose the one that best aligns with your business goals, setup and budget. Here are the key factors to consider:

Ease of implementation

How tech-savvy is your team? If you want to get up and running quickly, look for live chat software with out-of-the-box integrations with your website platform, CMS or ecommerce tool. For example, Chaport offers 1-click setup for WordPress, while JivoChat has apps for all major CMSes. Also consider how intuitive the chat interface is for both agents and customers.


Your live chat widget is often one of the first brand touchpoints prospects have when visiting your site. Ideally, you should be able to customize every aspect of the design to create a seamless experience matching your site and brand guidelines. Most live chat software let you change the color, position and behavior of the chat box. Some like Chaport and Tidio provide pixel-perfect customization.

Chatbots and automation

Determine what level of automation you require. Do you simply need the ability for customers to leave offline messages when agents aren‘t available? Or are you looking to implement AI-powered chatbots to handle front-line support and lead qualification?

The chatbot capabilities of live chat solutions vary widely. Straightforward rules-based bots that provide scripted answers to FAQs can be built with most tools. But for more complex use cases, like dynamic product recommendations and appointment scheduling, you‘ll need a live chat tool with an advanced visual chatbot builder, like Drift or Intercom.


Besides your website, which other channels do you want to provide live chat support on? For example, if you get a lot of inquiries via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, it‘s worth investing in an omnichannel live chat solution like JivoChat that centralizes all messages in one inbox.

On the other hand, if you‘re an ecommerce brand mainly focused on reducing cart abandonment, you may prioritize deep integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. over other channels.

Routing and assignment

How large and distributed is your customer-facing team? Large organizations supporting multiple products or languages should look for live chat software that makes it easy to route conversations to the right agent or department.

Solutions like Groove and Intercom let you build sophisticated assignment rules based on customers‘ page URL, past interactions, language, account type and more to connect them with the optimal agent to resolve their issue.

Reporting and integrations

Live chat interactions generate a goldmine of qualitative and quantitative insights about your customers and business. To get the most value from this data, you‘ll need live chat software that plays well with your existing support, CRM and analytics stack.

At a minimum, live chat solutions should enable you to easily export clean, complete chat transcripts and interaction data on an ongoing basis. Many also offer one-click integrations with popular tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Analytics and Slack.

Advanced solutions like Freshchat and Engage go a step further, with native NLP capabilities that automatically analyze chat data to detect trends around customer sentiment, feature requests, etc.

Security and compliance

If you operate in a highly regulated industry, such as healthcare, finance or government, choose a live chat provider that is fully compliant with relevant security and privacy mandates like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR and SOC 2.

Enterprise live chat vendors like Zendesk and Salesforce offer the most robust safeguards, including advanced encryption, access controls and audit logs. In terms of scalable architecture and system uptime, look for solutions built on AWS, Azure or Google Cloud infrastructure.


Finally, your budget will obviously impact which live chat solution makes the most sense. Fortunately, there are great options at every price point—from free plans for small sites to enterprise-grade solutions for large teams with demanding customization and security needs.

When evaluating pricing, consider the true all-in cost, factoring in any add-ons, usage limits or setup fees. Also take into account potential ROI and time savings. Springing for a pricier but more full-featured live chat solution could pay for itself in increased conversions and agent productivity.

Live Chat Best Practices

Choosing the right software is only half the battle—you also need to implement live chat effectively to reap the benefits. Here are some tips:

  • Make live chat highly visible and enticing to interact with. Use contrasting colors for the chat widget, and experiment with proactive triggers.

  • Set clear expectations around live chat availability. Adjust the CTA when agents are offline (e.g. "Leave a message") and be transparent about response times.

  • Integrate your live chat tool with your knowledge base and chatbot so customers can easily self-serve answers before (or instead of) connecting with an agent.

  • Use canned responses for frequently asked questions to reduce average handle time—but don‘t overly rely on them or you‘ll sound robotic.

  • Enable typing previews and real-time visitor analytics so agents can tailor their communication style and troubleshooting based on the customer‘s personality and technical comfort level.

  • Set up alerts for high-value customers and enterprise accounts to provide white-glove service.

  • Create feedback loops between sales, product and support to relay common live chat inquiries and sticking points.

  • A/B test everything from your chat widget copy to automated triggers to agent scripts to continuously optimize the customer experience.

Start Delighting Customers With Live Chat

No matter what type of business you have or what your support volume is, implementing live chat software can be a game-changer for your bottom line and customer loyalty. By connecting with customers in real-time, you can boost conversions, resolve issues faster, and gain a wealth of insights to improve your offerings.

While there‘s no one-size-fits-all live chat solution, the top tools covered in this guide can support a wide range of use cases and budgets. Whether you‘re a solopreneur looking for a free, easy way to provide 1-1 support, or an enterprise in need of robust security and system integrations, there‘s a live chat solution that fits the bill.

The key is to choose live chat software that aligns with your existing tech stack and has the right blend of automation and human support required to exceed customer expectations. Once you‘ve found the right tool, don‘t be afraid to experiment and continuously optimize your process for maximum impact.

So what are you waiting for? Pick a live chat solution and start having more productive conversations with your customers today.

Additional Live Chat Resources

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