Live Chat Software is an essential tool for any website that wants to engage its visitors in real-time conversations. Using live chat on your website is a proven technique to increase your website’s conversion rate. It allows businesses to interact with customers directly through web chats, phone calls, and email.
You can use a live chat widget to provide customer support, improve your visitor’s user experience, and increase your sales. If you don’t use live chat software on your website, now is the time to change that. Your customers and website visitors prefer using instant live chat over sending emails to support or calling.
There are so many different live chat options available these days. It's hard to choose between them. So we decided to do some research and find the best live chat software.
Below are the 6 Best FREE Live Chat Software for your website according to our team at Web Friendly... (btw, they're actually free 😉 - some have upgrades but we only chose the Live Chat Software's with free plans that are actually usable!)
What is live chat software?
Live chat is a widget for websites that enables a chat bubble on the corner of a website. It offers visitors a chance to interact with your brand on any device at any time. Businesses use live chat for two key reasons; customer support and sales support.
What are the benefits of live chat?
Live chat can reduce the effort necessary for customer support, but it also has the power to increase your sales. When done right, live chat contributes to moving customers along the buying process.
Imagine walking into a store or car dealership and there’s nobody there to help you. The same thing happens with your website when there’s no chat widget. You are just hoping that they can figure out everything on their own.
Conversational marketing is a powerful new trend in digital marketing. It’s all about having conversations with customers. In all sales and marketing, engagement with customers is key. And starting conversations are the key to sparking this engagement.
Examples of live chat for customer support
You can save time and resources by answering common questions. Canned responses provide quick answers to frequent inquiries with little human intervention.
Bots and automation
Bots and automation can play a huge role in providing support through your chat software. You can use automation to answer common questions and identify when a customer needs support from a real team member.
This is a system that creates a ticket so the support team can follow up when it’s convenient. You can have a reliable system to follow with inquiries.
A unified inbox means that you use a single app to respond to messages on each of your different channels. This allows for much better organization and makes it less likely to miss a message from a potential client.
The way people phrase questions can often help a lot with making edits to the copy of your website. You can use the data provided from your chat history to improve your website copy or even your offer.
Examples of live chat for sales
See live visitor details
Have all the essential information at hand to know who you are talking to. You can see things like contact info, IP address, location, company, and much more.
Intelligent chat routing
Distribute incoming chats based on your preferred attributes. You can send contacts to the appropriate operators.
Give users that extra impulse to click on your chat widget. You can get an opportunity to start conversations in a chat widget.
Instant phone and video calls
Talk with your customers with a simple click of a button. You can type messages, phone or video calls, and even share files while you talk.
Reports and Analytics
Find improvements for your site and offers. You can get in-depth data about your customers and your live chat conversations.
What the data says about live chat software
According to a live chat study by Kayako that surveyed 1000+ consumers and 100+ small/medium business owners who use live chat on their website…
- 79% of businesses said live chat had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.
- 38% of consumers were more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support.
- 29% of consumers told friends or colleagues about a positive live chat experience.
Customers value interaction with the brands and businesses they buy from. Whether you offer support by phone, email, or live chat – it’s important to make it fast and easy to speak to a human.
What’s the difference between ChatBots and live chat?
Although the chatbot industry is thriving, technology cannot replace human interaction. Chatbots that conduct clumsy conversations frustrate consumers. People want to speak to a human, not a robot.
Use chatbots to manage quick service requests such as store hours, finding a location, or FAQs. And give customers a chance to speak to a human on personalized or complex inquiries.
How to add live chat to your website
- Step 1: Research the best live chat for your business, check our free recommendations in this post. Once you know which tool you’re using, create a free account to test it for yourself.
- Step 2: Install the widget provided in the account and place it on the head of your website. Or use a plugin for platforms such as WordPress or Shopify.
- Step 3: Customize the chat widget, give it a name that you will recognize in a line-up of customer chat widgets. Change the chat widget color, font size, and placement.
- Step 4: Set up your welcome message. Set up an interactive greeting that greets customers with a message in the chatbot. Use an initial message that’s catchy and appealing.
- Step 5: Set up the chatbot autoresponder that will route conversations to a live agent. Configure the chat autoresponder to collect emails, phone numbers.
- Step 6: Verify that the live chat widget and the autoresponder are working. Test that everything’s working as intended from a user perspective.
And voila! You have added a live chat to your website.
Our top 6 picks for best free live chat software
Most free website chat services offer similar features and functionality. We reviewed the best options that are available today.
We choose these apps based on the following conditions:
1. They are free
There are enough features that there’s no need for upgrading to a paid plan.
2. They are simple to use
The setup is quick and managing conversations with website visitors is easy.
3. Paid plans are affordable and feature-rich
Tools are affordable if you need to scale. Changing software is never fun. We want to avoid that whenever possible.
The list below is in no particular order or ranking. Each tool offers various features, upgrades, and pricing. You will need to view each tool with your own needs in mind and make the decision on your own.
Tool #1: - Userlike
⭐: 4 / 5
Userlike is a free live chat for your website with a built-in chat bot that works with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, SMS and more.
What's unique about Userlike is that their app allows you to chat with customers via text or switch to audio, video or screen sharing with a single click.
Their extensive free-forever plan gives you all the chat features you need for a small business or solo-prenour with a small or single support person.
Features of Userlike free plan
- Website chat
- Unlimited visitors and chats
- One agent/admin
- File sharing
- Saved contact profiles
- Multi-language support
- Branding and customization
- Doesn't offer a native support ticket system
- Doesn't offer a mobile app
Tool #2: Tidio
⭐: 4.5 / 5
Tidio a simple, affordable and very capable customer relationship management tool, offering any combination of live chat and chatbots. It’s a solution for those who want a straightforward way to engage with their customers on a website or social network to increase sales, collect leads and deliver excellent customer service.
Unlike other similar tools, Tidio enables you to engage your customers proactively. See all the active website visitors and reach out to them with the right message.
Features of the Tidio free plan
- Live Chat - 50 unique conversations
- Chatbots - conversations with 100 users
- Ticketing system
- Desktop & Mobile Apps
- 3rd party app integration (Google Analytics, Klavyio, Mailchimp, etc.)
- Facebook Messenger integration
- Instagram integration
- Widget customization
- Canned responses
- Visitors Info
- Basic analytics
- Support over email
- Limited to 1 admin
- Native Shopify Integration
- Multisite support
- Viewed Pages
- Live Visitors List
Tool #3: Birdseed
⭐: 3.5 / 5
Birdseed offers 12 tools to help you interact with your customer at every stage of the sales cycle. It’s a complete engagement tool that you can start using for free.
The free version is enough for low-traffic websites (~33 visitors per day). If you need unlimited visitors or want to remove the BirdSeed branding you'll need to upgrade.
Features of the Birdseed free plan
- 1,000 unique visitors per month
- 30 days of analytics history
- Mobile and desktop app
- Doesn’t integrate directly with your social media inboxes
- Doesn’t offer a support ticket system
Tool #4: Tawk
⭐: 3.5 / 5
Tawk is completely free, their business model is different from other live chat tools. Their business model is offering virtual support by real humans for $1/hour.
Tawk offers many of the premium features that competitors charge for. You only pay if you want chat agents helping you or if you want the Tawk logo removed.
Features of the Tawk free plan
- Unlimited monthly visitors
- Unlimited history
- Unlimited agents
- Geo API tracking
- Visitor information
- Support ticketing system
- Mobile apps for Apple and Android
- Doesn’t integrate with social media channels
- You need to pay to have Tawk’s branding removed
Tool #5: Freshchat
⭐: 4 / 5
Freshchat by Freshworks gives you a free live chat for your website for up to 100 agents. It comes with all the features you'd expect from a live chat software plus the ability to scale with Freshworks's ecosystem of sales and marketing products.
Features of the Freshchat free plan
- 100 agents
- 100 contacts
- Manage chats using Groups, Topics and Labels
- Mobile apps for Apple and Android
- All automation features including canned responses require paid plan
- Cannot set business hours or offline mode
Tool #6: Smartsupp
⭐: 3 / 5
Smartsupp integrates live chat, email, and Messenger into one customer messaging platform. It also helps you see what visitors do on your website and integrates well with Shopify and other tools.
Features of the Smartsupp free plan
- Unlimited monthly visitors
- 100 conversations/month
- One agent/admin
- History tracking (14 Days)
- Mobile app for Apple and Android
- Doesn’t track data for long
- No email sending
- No customer support for free users
⭐: 3 / 5
Elfsights free version is great software, however, there are limits to what you can do with it. The reason why people like it is it integrates with most major texting apps such as WhatsApp, Line, Telegraph and Facebook Messenger.
It is a simple solution for managing conversations with your website visitors from the apps you’re already using on your phone.
Features of the Elfsights free plan
- 200 Monthly Visitors
- Redirects the conversation to popular apps
- History tracking
- Unified inbox
- Ticketing support
- Mobile app
Live chat apps have become a go-to method for engaging website visitors and answering questions they might have. This “must-have” tool it’s free and easy to set up. It helps support and sales teams engage with customers.
We reviewed 6 examples of free live chat apps you can add to your website today. Select the live chat that best suits your needs, and start having more conversations with your customers.
- Userlike is the best free live chat for small businesses with one support person
- Tidio is best for if you're looking to boost your conversions with automation and AI.
- Birdseed is best for low traffic websites that value a mobile app to manage support
- Twak is best if you want to outsource your live chat support to real humans for $1/hour
- Freshchat is best for large teams with up to 100 support agents included in the free plan.
- Smartsupp is best for ecommerce brands with small teams or low traffic.
- Elfsights is best for managing your websites live chat using WhatsApp, Line or Telegram.
For more information, check out the following guides:
Search engine ninja that specializes in website performance optimization. Josiah is a freelancer helping businesses in a variety of industries.
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