Live Chat

13+ Top Free Live Chat Software Tools in 2021 [Reviews]

Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo · Updated
Free live chat tools cover image

A live chat enables you to chat with your website visitors in real-time and quickly answer their questions when they need help.

Boost it with some automation features, and it can send your visitors a welcome message or answer repetitive questions for you.

Sounds like a great deal for anyone who handles an online business?

Well, because it is!

And it gets even better—

There are companies that offer free live chat online solutions. But how do you know which one is the best for YOUR business? We’ll help you figure this out.

In this article:

Here’s the full list of the free live chat apps we reviewed:

Honorable mentions (free trial periods, no free versions)

Why should you add free live chat software to your website?

Customer service is the great differentiator when it comes to customer experience, and it plays a major role in brand loyalty.

How?

As the PwC report confirmed, it’s the contact with your customer support team that will help your customers decide whether they are staying with you, or moving to your competitors. Even if you offer an absolute gem of a product.

This is why it’s so important to provide your website visitors and customers with many ways to contact you and offer excellent service. And this is exactly where live chat comes in.

A live chat app is the only customer service tool that enables your customers to contact you directly from the level of the landing page, in real-time. Customers get the answers about your product quickly, and consequently, their customer satisfaction increases. You, on the other hand, have higher chances to increase sales.

Still hard to believe?

Here are just a few data points that confirm that it’s worth installing free live chat on your website:

Best free live chat software solutions

Now that you know why having a live chat for a website is a great idea, let’s dive into the ranking of the best free live chat apps with forever-free plans.

Tidio

Tidio's homepage

Let’s be clear—just because you are reading this ranking on our blog, it doesn’t mean we will go on and on about how great our tool is.

Let’s just keep it short, then—

Tidio offers live chat boosted with chatbots, which makes customer engagement and sales generation easier. We also offer a multichannel that routes all conversations to one panel.

We are the best solution for small and medium businesses that want to keep all their communication in one place and automate some of their conversations.

Features✨:

  • Customizable live chat widget
  • AI-powered chatbot templates that reduce your workload
  • Shared multichannel inbox to answer all messages from one place and collaborate with your team
  • Free live chat on a mobile phone for reaching your customers on the go
  • Easy installation under 5 minutes
  • Integrations with all industry-leading websites and e-commerce platforms (Shopify, WordPress, WooCommerce, HubSpot, and more) as well as Messenger (and soon, Instagram and WhatsApp!)

Plans:

  • Forever-free plan for up to 3 operators
  • Chatbots ($18/mo)
  • Communicator ($18/mo)
  • Mailing ($10/mo)

Reviews:

Words will never do justice to our live chat app.

Instead, take it for a spin on your website. For free.

Try Tidio Live Chat

2. Respond.io

Respond.io's homepage

Respond.io offers a live chat online tool that integrates with your website and social media channels. It also offers a centralized messaging inbox with AI-powered chatbot features, which gives you a holistic overview of all customer conversations. Because of these functionalities, Respond.io enjoys popularity among medium and large companies.

Features:

  • Free live chat app
  • Centralized inbox
  • Integrations with a vast number of social media platforms (WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, WeChat) as well as SMS chats
  • Smart replies feature that learns from the conversations and ensures consistent communication with clients ✨

Plans:

  • Forever-free plan for up to 5 operators
  • Pro ($29/ mo)
  • Business ($79+/mo)
  • Custom (based on your specific needs)

Reviews:

3. HubSpot Chat

HubSpot Chat's homepage

An OG of inbound marketing provides a free live chat feature that connects directly to their CRM. This makes it an option for growing companies that want to nail their pipeline management and integrate their chat communication with a ticketing system, or even the entire help desk support. 

Features:

  • Customizable, free live chat for website
  • Basic bots
  • Chatbot builder
  • Centralized inbox connected to HubSpot CRM ✨
  • Numerous integrations for pipeline management (Slack, Outlook, Gmail)

Plans:

  • Forever-free plan
  • Starter ($50/mo)
  • Professional ($400/mo)
  • Enterprise ($1,200/mo)

Reviews:

4. LiveAgent

LiveAgent's homepage

LiveAgent is really a help desk software that offers a CRM, ticket management system, and a call center. Free live chat solution is an additional feature, but it doesn’t make it any less efficient. Packed with features, this software is a solution for medium-sized businesses.

Features:

  • Multilingual live chat software
  • Video chat rooms ✨
  • Advanced help desk support
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android

Plans:

  • Free live chat for one agent
  • Ticket ($15/mo) 
  • Ticket+Chat ($29/mo) 
  • All-inclusive ($39/mo)

Reviews:

5. Chatra

Chatra's homepage

Reviewers say it’s “pleasant to use,” not without a reason. Chatra provides live chat, and its features are designed to keep your customer happy by the interaction with your customer support team. As it doesn’t include a ticketing system, it’d be the best option for small and medium businesses.

Features:

  • Multilingual live chat and chatbot tool
  • “Agent is typing” and “Message read” notifications for customers ✨
  • Integration with email, Instagram, and Facebook

Plans:

  • Forever-free plan for one agent
  • Essential ($22 per operator/mo)
  • Pro($27 per operator/mo)

Reviews:

6. ClickDesk

ClickDesk's homepage

Apart from a live chat, ClickDesk provides a ticketing system and advanced analytics, which makes it suitable for medium companies who need scaling tools. Many of its features are designed to enable you to connect with your customers and almost put yourself in their shoes, like “Maps”, its main highlight.

Features:

  • Multilingual live chat with pre-chat bots option
  • Showing the location of your customer ✨
  • Advanced analytics
  • Chat transcripts

Plans:

  • Forever-free plan for 10 users
  • Lite ($14.99 per agent/mo)
  • Pro ($24.99 per agent/mo)
  • Enterprise ($39.99 per agent/mo)

Reviews:

7. Tawk.to

Tawk.to's homepage

This free live chat support tool offers features that are worthy of their industry-leading, expensive competitors! Many small and medium businesses will enjoy a simple ticketing system, essential features, and lack of the need to upgrade. 

Features:

  • Multilingual chatbot, available in 45 languages
  • Unlimited chats
  • Setting automated greetings based on customers’ location ✨
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android are available

Plans:

No plans, it’s totally free for unlimited agents!

Reviews:

8. Zoho SalesIQ

Zoho SalesIQ's homepage

Zoho SalesIQ offers a variety of advanced tools that are a part of a larger ecosystem. Their live chat features are robust, and functionalities advanced, which makes it a good choice for medium and big-sized companies focused on sales generation.

Features:

  • Customizable, multilingual live chat
  • Screen sharing option ✨
  • Voice notes
  • Dedicated mobile apps

Plans:

  • Forever-free plan for 3 operators
  • Basic ($8 per operator/mo)
  • Professional ($15 per operator/mo)
  • Enterprise ($24 per operator/mo)

Reviews:

9. Jivo Chat

Jivo Chat's homepage

Jivo chat is a part of a large help desk solution that combines live chat, phone, and email messages in one panel. As the ultimate business multichannel communicator, Jivo’s live chat enables agents to handle many conversations at once and easily segment and track the messaging flow. Medium and large companies who seek a variety of integrations will enjoy using it the most.

Features:

  • Live chat with translation into 20 languages
  • Color-coded chats, hotkeys, and canned responses ✨
  • Dedicated mobile apps
  • Advanced analytics
  • Integrations with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger

Plans:

  • Basic free plan for 5 agents
  • Professional ($13 per agent/mo)

Reviews:

10. Drift

Drift's homepage

This free live chat app will be loved by medium-sized companies that focus on omnichannel sales and account-based marketing. Drift definitely stands out from the crowd in terms of unique, versatile features, each of which could be described as a highlight! 

Features:

  • Free live chat software with canned responses functionality
  • Users and customers segmentation and target messaging ✨
  • Built-in scheduling tool for calls and online conversations
  • Chat to call and chat to Zoom functionalities ✨

Plans:

  • Free plan for one operator
  • Premium (price on demand)
  • Advanced (price on demand)
  • Enterprise (price on demand)

Reviews:

11. My Live Chat

My Live Chat's homepage

My Live Chat is an ultra-simple free live chat software solution with basic features, such as chatbots that send greetings and collect feedback when the chat is ending. Although the design can be seen as slightly outdated, My Live Chat still gains customers, SMBs, and larger companies alike, who are looking for an uncomplicated live chat experience.

Features:

  • Customizable free live chat supported by automated greetings and customer feedback-collecting chatbots
  • Co-browsing: seeing what your visitors is seeing in real-time ✨
  • Mobile apps 
  • Leading platforms and websites integrations

Plans:

  • Free plan for one operator

Starter ($15/mo)

  • Basic ($29/mo)
  • Corporate ($59/mo)
  • Enterprise ($99/mo)

Reviews:

12. Freshchat

Freshchat's homepage

Similar to HubSpot chat, Freshchat is a part of a complex customer software suite, offering marketing automation tools, a CRM, and a cloud-based phone system. Their free live chat solution enables operators to see many details about the customer, from custom event timelines to social media details. Perfect fit for large companies who want the live chat to be a part of a unique ecosystem.

Features:

  • Free Live chat with chatbots
  • Visitor-context tools: event timelines, contact details, social media ✨
  • Rich variety of integrations (Salesforce, Slack, Stripe, Zendesk, Chargify, Twilio)
  • Vast knowledge base

Plans:

  • Free plan for 100 agents
  • Blossom ($18 per agent/mo)
  • Garden ($34 per agent/mo)
  • Estate ($53 per agent/mo)
  • Forest $82 per agent/mo)

Reviews:

13. SmartsUpp

Smartsupp's homepage

SmartsUpp offers great core features such as multichannel management of live chat, email, and Messenger as well as numerous e-commerce platforms integrations. This makes it a great choice for e-commerce owners. On top of that, SmartsUpp offers a recording feature thanks to which you can monitor prospects’ visits and understand the customers’ journey better.

Features:

  • Free live chat app and chatbots
  • Video recordings of your customers browsing ✨
  • Multichannel for live chat, email, and Facebook Messenger
  • Numerous integrations with industry-leading e-commerce platforms (Shopify, PrestaShop, Opencart, and more)

Plans:

  • Forever-free plan for 3 agents
  • Chatbots ($11 for 3 agents/mo)
  • Communicator ($20 per agent /mo)

Reviews:

Honorable mentions: Live chat software offering a free trial, but not a free version

There are some great products out there that don’t offer forever-free plans, but they are still worth trying out while comparing different options. We have listed those that deserve your attention below.

1. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Chat's homepage

Zendesk is a leader in the customer service industry because it offers a large suite of customer support tools, and live chat is a crucial element of it. Zendesk’s live chat feature includes custom chatbots, advanced visitors’ analytics, as well as a variety of third-party integrations.

One of the best features is the group messaging feature and the preview of your customers’ location. As a flag customer service product, it’s used by all kinds of businesses, but you will benefit from using their live chat the most if you plan to buy into their large CS ecosystem.

Features:

  • Customizable live chat and chatbots
  • Multichannel 
  • Group messaging
  • Live location preview ✨
  • Third-party integrations

Plans:

  • Suite Team ($49/mo)
  • Suite Growth ($79/mo)
  • Suite Professional ($99/mo)
  • Suite Enterprise ($150/mo)

Free trial duration: 30 days

Reviews:

2. Olark

Olark's homepage

Olark live chat will be the best option for companies with a large customer base. It offers outstanding analytics and reporting features that let you analyze chat volume, agent activity, and customer satisfaction scores.

Features:

  • Customizable live chat and advanced chatbots
  • Advanced analytics and user monitoring in real-time ✨
  • CRM and email integration

Free trial duration: 14 days

Plans:

  • Plans:
  • Live chat ($19/mo)
  • Pro (price on demand)

Reviews:

3. LiveChat

LiveChat's homepage

LiveChat tools are made for medium and big companies that have to be in constant touch with their clients. Multichannel covering WhatsApp, Messenger, live chat and emails, and integrated helpdesk for when the agents cannot answer customers directly via live chat, only highlight this mission.

Features:

  • Customizable live chat
  • Integrated helpdesk ✨
  • Integrations with CRM, Google Analytics, and email marketing services
  • Dedicated mobile app

Free trial duration: 14 days

Plans:

  • Starter ($19/mo) 
  • Team ($39/mo)
  • Business ($59/mo)
  • Enterprise (plan on request)

Reviews:

4. PureChat

PureChat's homepage

This is the best option for businesses that want basic features, full transparency, and ease of use. PureChat combines simplicity with powerful effectiveness, so it’s no surprise that this live chat solution will most likely delight medium-sized companies.

Features:

  • Customizable free live chat
  • Unlimited chats
  • Easy installation via one line of code
  • Real-time visitor analytics ✨
  • Integrations with Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Slack

Free trial duration: 30 days

Plans:

  • Growth ($49/mo)
  • Pro ($79/mo)
  • Additional User/Operator ($15/mo)

Reviews:

Free live chat app features you should look out for

Now you know it’s beneficial to have a live chat solution installed, and you know the options on the market. However, it might be difficult to pick the right one for your business.

Let’s have a look at essential features you should take under consideration when making a choice.

Easy installation

Many people think you need to be a tech-savvy genius or a tech developer with 10 years of experience to install and use live chat. Wrong!

While code-based installation of a live chat doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s best to avoid it if you don’t have basic HTML knowledge. The good news is that the majority of live chat solutions offer codeless installations via the plugin on most popular websites, like Shopify and WordPress. However, be sure to check if the live chat you are opting for doesn’t offer the free live chat for the website: HTML code-only option.

See how to install live chat via plugin or HTML code.

Integrations

When choosing free live chat software, you want to make sure it seamlessly integrates with your digital environment.

That’s why you should make a list of tools you need the live chat to be compatible with. Is it Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Analytics, Slack, Mailchimp, or a specific CRM that you care about the most? Or maybe all of them?

Remember that your online chat needs to align with your workflow, not the other way round.

Customization

Think about what kind of live chat experience you want to offer when it comes to aesthetics, too! 

Is it going to be a standalone chat window or a popup widget? Do you want the live chat to be on the left or right side of your website? Do you need your logo on the chat, or setting up colors that are coherent with your website is enough?

This might seem trivial to some, but for e-commerce with beauty or fashion products or a small business that sells handicrafts, aesthetics might be a dealbreaker.

See how easy it is to customize your live chat widget at Tidio.

Mobile apps

One of the best things about live chat is that you can have chat conversations with your customers just as if they were your friends, writing to you on your favorite communicator.

Make sure this experience can be lived on your iOS and Android apps too, so you can write to your customers on the go, on every device.

Read how to install Tidio live chat mobile app on iOS and Android.

Chat transcripts/chat history functionality

You never assume that you or any of your team members could provide a bad customer experience, but miscommunications simply happen. The important thing is what are you going to do with them!

We are all human, so it’s good to have a chat transcript history option that will allow you to browse conversations in order to find communication and language issues, and improve customer experience.

Suggested reading

Do you want to improve your customer service? Read how customer service chat transcripts can help you do that.

Want to see how chat archiving works in practice? Read about how live chat history feature works at Tidio.

Chatbots messaging

Some live chat solutions provide only live chat options, but some of them additionally allow you to make a chatbot that sends a pre-chat message before the agent joins, gets feedback, shows pricing, and acts as a knowledge base, without your involvement.

This can be a game-changer for companies that deal with a lot of repetitive questions, so if you are one of them, look out for the chatbot feature going along with your live chat tool.

Suggested reading

Interested in how chatbots can help you improve your customer service AND boost your sales? Read about how lead generation bots can help you do that!

Summary

That’s it! By now, you should have at least a few favorites to choose from before making a final decision.

If you need a quick recap, here’s the list of all free live chat software solutions:

And here, a few options that offer free trials, but not forever-free plans:

Just remember about the features that are absolutely key for your business and enjoy the process of testing. And if you have any doubts and need support—feel free to contact us anytime!

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Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo

As a Senior Content Writer by heart and trade, Gosia explores the subjects of digital experience and trend watching on Tidio's blog.

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