Live chat support software – the best solutions

Our guide on live chat support describes the potential and advantages of this modern support solution. It’s clear that alternative support services are becoming more important and already play a crucial role when generating and retaining customers. This improved customer service is quick and easy to set up; like the web analytics tool, Google Analytics, live chat software can be integrated into your web project using a line of code and then easily managed through the dashboard. If you plan to enhance your web project through a live chat, you’ve probably asked yourself: which live chat provider offers the best software?

What is live chat software?

In order to compare the various live chat software providers, you first need to know the basic criteria for such services. It depends on your needs, your expertise, and the size of your project. The tool boasting the most functions isn’t necessarily the best solution for your website. A free live chat is not necessarily inferior to a chat that you have to pay for, but the latter is usually associated with more effort and know-how regarding server configuration and programming. The four evaluation criteria are:

  • Costs: programs can be roughly divided into paid and free. Different payment options such as monthly subscriptions or a one-time licence purchase play an important part. Some of the fee-based live chat tools come with free light versions.

  • Scope: the scope is all about what options the software offers regarding chat design and presentation to website visitors. It’s important to decide whether contact is made automatically, whether files are transferred via the chat, or whether a ticket system is included.

  • Usability: this is an important factor here, as with any other software. A feature-rich program that is too complex or difficult to understand can be troublesome for beginners. This also applies if the software is to be installed on your own webserver, for example.

  • Security: chat data is only located on your own server with self-hosted tools. If the data is located with your chosen live chat provider, the provider should take the relevant safety precautions. Encrypting conversations with SSL is also recommended. 

  LiveChat Zopim LiveAgent LiveZilla tawk.to Mibew Lime Talk
Monthly subscription X X X
One-time licence X X X X X
Price tag high high medium medium free free low
Free light version X X - - X
Chat history
Ticket system X X
SSL encryption X X X
Visitor monitoring
File transfer X X
Proactive chats X
Pop-up chats X
Embedded chats X X X
Commercial chats X X X X X X
Automatic chat invitations X
Chat for mobile devices X
Design templates X
Mobile apps
Desktop version X X X
Transfer chats/tickets to colleagues
Offline mode
Video chat X X X X X X

Conclusion

The overview of the seven very different live chat options illustrates just how versatile the possibilities are for website operators. The quality of the functions also varies among the different items mentioned above, e.g. regarding data analysis or the retention period of chat messages. Once you’ve defined your goals and abilities, it will be easier to search for the relevant software.

For example, if you’re looking for a program that you can host on your own server, LiveAgent or the free program, Miweb, are your best options. You need to be familiar with installing and managing the tasks. If you really can’t decide which program to choose, you can register for a trial version, which generally lasts between two and four weeks. Zopim and LiveZilla offer free light versions.