Customer Service Software

10 Best Free Live Chat Software

By | 13 min read | Published ; Updated on

Live chat software helps organizations connect with their customers in real time.

Customer service managers are often swamped with multiple customer queries, unassigned tickets, and unorganized agent workflows. Fortunately, a real-time customer support tool, such as live chat software, can help overcome such challenges.

Live chat software helps businesses connect with customers in real time and increase responsiveness to their queries. The tool is primarily used for customer support, but its usage is also expanding into sales and marketing to help drive customer engagement.

If you’re a small business looking for a customer support tool on budget, then we suggest using a free live chat platform. Once you’ve understood how the software works and assessed its features, you can plan to upgrade if required.

This article highlights ten free live chat software (listed alphabetically) based on user reviews and ratings. (Read how we selected these products.)

/Live chat software helps organizations connect with their customers in real time.
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1

Arena: Uses AI to censor profanity and prevent spam

Arena is a customer engagement tool with live chat support to boost lead generation and customer engagement. It lets you engage visitors and capture first-party data to understand consumer behavior and increase conversions.

It offers a unified dashboard that allows you to track chat rooms; moderate, ban, and delete messages; and see who is online. You can also personalize the live chat experience by customizing the colors and visual styles.

Arena uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scan each incoming message, detect offensive or malicious content, and censor it automatically. It also labels warning signs for malware to prevent spam and keep your live chat window clean.

Online users can ask product- or service-related questions in the chat window. You can ask various calls-to-action (CTAs) and polls to the window to increase conversions and collect user data for actionable insights.

Arena offers customer support via query tickets and a knowledge base.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
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Key Features:

  • Chat/messaging
  • Post management
  • Image library
  • Website analytics
  • Website visitor tracking
  • Moderation
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$99 per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chat interface in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/186809/Arena-Live-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Arena</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/186809/Arena-Live-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
2

Chaport: Saves time with multi-channel messaging

Chaport is a live chat software with autoresponders, multi-channel messaging, typing insights, and form customization capabilities. The tool helps businesses automate sales, offer 24/7 customer support, send automated chat invitations to clients and get more leads. 

Chaport enables you to see what your customers are typing in real-time and lets you prepare a relevant solution, increasing customer satisfaction. It also helps you customize your pre-chat forms to gather required information such as request name, email address, and phone number.

Chaport’s autoresponders can be activated to send auto-replies whenever you are busy or offline. The tool also lets you prepare answer templates to frequently asked questions and amplify query resolution.

Chaport helps your customer support team efficiently manage omnichannel communications by integrating with social media channels such as Viber, Facebook, Telegram, and more. You can view messages from multiple channels in a unified dashboard and answer questions directly from Chaport.

Chaport offers customer support via live chat, email, and a knowledge base. This web-based tool has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
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Key Features:

  • Chatbot
  • Live chat
  • Multi-channel communication
  • Offline Form
  • Proactive chat
  • Lead capture
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$19 per month for 4 operators

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Customer chat in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/164545/Chaport-Live-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chatport</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/164545/Chaport-Live-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
3

Customerly: Includes live video chat for product demos

Customerly’s live chat support options include video chat, screen-sharing, canned messages, and a unified dashboard to manage all conversations. Canned responses help your customer service team save time and provide quick answers to common queries.

You can share your screen during video calls to give product demonstrations or fix issues on a customer’s computer. You can also use a built-in editor to customize chat messages with different font styles, inline images, and other elements.

The tool’s live chat functionality has a unified dashboard that comprises all conversations and chat histories. Your customer service team can access past interactions to understand customer sentiment and derive actionable insights.

With Customerly, you can manage the entire customer journey, process service requests, gather feedback, and analyze customer behavior to make data-driven decisions. You can segment your customers to run targeted campaigns and send personalized messages or surveys. You can also share product- or service-related screenshots, PDFs, images, and other files.

Customerly offers support via its knowledge base. It has a mobile app for iOS and Android users.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
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Key Features:

  • Live chat
  • Automated responses
  • Proactive chat
  • Offline form
  • Web visitor tracking
  • Transfers/routing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$29 per month for five users

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Assigning conversations to teams in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/173977/Customerly/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Customerly</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/173977/Customerly/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
4

eBanqo: Offers a self-service option for customers

eBanqo is a customer engagement platform that offers live chat and an AI chatbot for 24/7 customer support.

The AI chatbot automatically replies to customer queries and escalates only those necessary to the customer service team, whereas the live chat feature lets you chat with customers in real time across platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

Your customers can use a self-service option to purchase products, avail services, and resolve issues on their own. All information about their purchases and activity is stored and monitored on a centralized dashboard to support reporting and customer behavior analysis.

You can share and receive images, documents, audio, and other files to improve the live chat experience for customers. You can also send broadcast messages (e.g., announcements and updates) to target potential customers and convert them into leads.

eBanqo’s customer support options include email, chat, and phone. It has a mobile app for both iOS and Android users.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
View Profile

Key Features:

  • Chat/messaging
  • Multichannel communication
  • Activity tracking
  • Social media integrations
  • Personalization
  • Customer history
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$10 per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Web chat settings in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/233497/eBanqo/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">eBanqo</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/233497/eBanqo/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
5

EngageBay: Shares live chat transcripts to gather insights

Live chat software from EngageBay helps your sales team communicate with customers in real time, track their actions, and personalize the sales approach as per the customer behavior.

EngageBay provides chat transcripts to gather insights on customer behaviors and preferences, and make data-driven decisions to maximize customer satisfaction. Customers can give feedback at the end of a service chat, which helps track and analyze agents’ performance.

Multiple team members can collaborate to assist a particular customer and improve the service response time and quality. Your customer support team can use canned responses to boost the response rate and conversions. Also, customer queries can be transferred to specialized departments to provide expert support.

EngageBay‘s customer support options include phone, email, and chat. It has a mobile app for both iOS and Android users.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
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Key Features:

  • Live chat
  • Ticket management
  • Engagement tracking
  • Transfers/routing
  • Multichannel communication
  • Conversion tracking
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$14.99 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tracking customer activity in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/178819/EngageBay-Marketing/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">EngageBay</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/178819/EngageBay-Marketing/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
6

Gladly: Prioritizes queries based on landing pages

Gladly is a customer service platform with a built-in live chat feature. It’s a web chat tool that identifies customer behavior (e.g., search query, shopping frequency, product preferences, post-purchase action) and proactively triggers automated messages to help customers navigate through and close the sale.

It prioritizes customer queries based on the landing page customers are on. For example, a customer on the cart/checkout page is considered high priority and directed to a sales-specific agent.

With Gladly, your agents can provide customers with secure payment options within the chat window to prevent cart abandonment and lost sales. They can also send and receive images, videos, or documents for a better chat experience.

The software can simultaneously control multiple live conversations, increasing agent efficiency. It can also send knowledge base articles to respond to customers’ common questions within the chat window. For instance, if a customer wants to know how to make payments, the live chat tool fetches a relevant source from the knowledge base and provides it to the customer.

Gladly’s customer support team can be contacted by submitting a request form.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
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Key Features:

  • Live chat
  • Real-time chat
  • Text analysis
  • Multichannel communications
  • Website visitor tracking
  • Routing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$38 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Payments via chat in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/156723/Gladly/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gladly</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/156723/Gladly/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
7

LiveAgent: Provides smart chat routing and visitor tracking

LiveAgent is an online ticketing tool that lets you connect with customers through live chat, email, and social media. It offers a universal inbox to manage incoming requests from all channels.

Its smart chat routing feature identifies the issues in customer queries and directs them to the right department for the best resolution. Its proactive messaging feature—i.e., a pop-up window that displays an automatic message to invite customers to chat—helps engage customers and turn them into potential leads.

The software tracks website visitors to analyze their preferences and behaviors. Based on the analysis, it provides suitable product or service recommendations within the chat window to help customers navigate through the sales funnel. It also records the chat history and visitor feedback to help analyze an agent’s performance.

LiveAgent’s support options include online chat, phone, how-to articles, and guides. It has a mobile app for Android and iOS users

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
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Key Features:

  • Chat/messaging
  • Live chat
  • Case management
  • Automated routing
  • Activity tracking
  • Agent interface
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$15 per agent, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Agent view of customer chats in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/102188/LiveAgent/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">LiveAgent</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/102188/LiveAgent/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
8

Rocket.Chat: Encrypts communication for data safety

Rocket.Chat offers an open-source communications platform that supports real-time internal and external conversations.

It allows you to share and receive videos, voice messages, and files; monitor the interaction history to understand customer behavior; and moderate messages to keep chat conversations compliant with business policies.

Customer conversations are E2E encrypted, ISO 27001 certified, and compliant with industry regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and LGPD to safeguard business as well as customer data.

Rocket.Chat offers customer support via query tickets, a forum, and a knowledge base. It has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
View Profile

Key Features:

  • Pre-built templates
  • Real-time editing
  • Drag and drop
  • Website visitor tracking
  • Landing pages/web forms
  • Click tracking
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$3 per user, per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Live chat waiting queue in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/161575/Rocket-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rocket.Chat</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/161575/Rocket-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
9

Smartsupp: Records sessions to improve user experience

Smartsupp offers a multichannel live chat solution with customization options for chat box design, branding color, and fonts. With this tool, you can respond to customer queries across channels (e.g., email, Facebook, chat) from a unified platform.

The live chat feature collects potential leads by storing their email addresses and contact details to send product updates and communications. You can use canned responses and automated messages to engage with visitors at the right time and turn them into prospects.

The software records each chat session and tracks the conversation history to help your customer service team understand customer behavior, identify blind spots in the sales process, optimize visitors’ experience, and analyze agent performance. It integrates with platforms such as Google Analytics to monitor the impact of conversations.

Smartsupp offers technical support via chat and a knowledge base. It has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
Visit Website

Key Features:

  • Proactive chat
  • Live chat
  • Canned responses
  • Offline forms
  • Website visitor tracking
  • Transfers/routing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$25.5 per month for three agents

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chat interface in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/136251/Smartsupp-live-chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Smartsupp</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/136251/Smartsupp-live-chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
10

Tidio: Shows live typing to improve agent responses

Tidio combines live chat and chatbot in one tool to help your business connect with customers in real time and minimize the response time.

It lets you customize the live chat window to suit your branding, monitor chat impact, and analyze visitors’ behavior. You can track the pages visitors have browsed, what they are currently viewing, and what their preferences are to personalize your communications.

Customer service agents get a real-time look at what customers are typing before they click the “send message” button. This functionality gives customer service agents more time to gather information and prepare a response with relevant sources, thus improving the quality of responses.

Tidio offers customer support via chat and email. It has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of June 2022
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Key Features:

  • Chatbot
  • Proactive chat
  • Canned responses
  • Automated routing
  • Customer database
  • AI/machine learning
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$39 per month for three users

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Multichannel customer support in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/144040/Tidio-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tidio</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/144040/Tidio-Chat/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

How to choose free live chat software

Free live chat tools are the best bet for small businesses looking to offer 24/7 customer support. However, selecting a chat solution that aligns with your business objectives is not that simple. Here’s a list of factors you must evaluate before finalizing a purchase:

  • Choose a tool that offers visitor tracking. With real-time visitor tracking, you can monitor customers’ journeys as they browse through your website. It gives you deeper insights into their behaviors and preferences. It also lets you track valuable customer data (such as location, email address, purchase history, and chat transcription) and identify prospective customers to turn into leads.
  • Select software that supports proactive messaging. Proactive chat is a fully automated messaging feature that invites website visitors to engage in a conversation with your agents. With this feature, your customer service agents can initiate a conversation and offer assistance to customers, leading to higher customer engagement and satisfaction.
  • Evaluate reporting capabilities. The right live chat tool should provide chat transcripts to help analysts understand customer sentiment, visitor details, and average time spent on chat, among other metrics. It should also let you create agent performance reports so you can identify loopholes in the support process and make suitable changes.
  • Assess chat routing functionality. Chat routing prioritizes and directs incoming chats to operators with suitable skill sets. It automatically routes queries to agents with the least number of active chats or adds them to the chat queue. A live chat software solution with a chat routing feature would help your team manage multiple queries simultaneously to accommodate the workload.

Common questions to ask when choosing free live chat software

Here are some common questions that you should ask vendors before shortlisting any software:

What features do I get with the free plan?

Free plans usually have limited features. It’s important to look at all the available free features to make sure they will still meet your needs.

What data security measures does the software have?

The live chat tool you choose should safeguard your business’s personal information as well as the data shared by customers or teammates when raising issues. So, ask the vendor about the data security measures their solution has and what more can be done to increase data security.

Can the software generate data reports?

If you have a large support department, you’ll want to track your agents’ performance as well as generate insights about the tickets that you receive. This data will help you make informed business decisions. So, ask the vendor about their solution’s reporting and analytics capabilities and how well the generated reports are visualized.

Is the software customizable?

A customizable live chat tool will let you personalize the look and feel of the chat box as per your company’s branding guidelines. Check with the vendor if their software is customizable or not.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.

​​At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of June 07, 2022). We selected the ten products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Offer a free stand-alone version of the software—not a trial version where you have to purchase after a certain amount of time to get the full experience.
  3. Meet our definition of live chat software: ”Live chat software helps organizations connect with their customers in real-time. Live chat applications can be used for customer support, lead generation, customer engagement, and more. This type of software includes widgets that can be integrated into existing websites, as well as more robust stand-alone solutions that allow businesses to track customer interactions, response, and conversion rates.

The “best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews as of June 07, 2022.

The “most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade as of June 07, 2022.

Product research for this article was contributed by Himanshi Arora.


Looking for Customer Service software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Service software solutions.

About the Author

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali is a writer at Capterra, providing expert insights to help small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews data for the highest rated products in relevant software categories. She has worked in finance, lifestyle, education, and medical. With expertise in marketing and content strategy, Barkha’s work has been featured in Medium and educational websites. When not working, she can be found re-watching “The Office” or “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

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Comments

Comment by surhan dabor on

you are missing a new live chat solution .
https://www.we-talk.co

Comment by Joann Bloom on

You are miss one of my favourite live chat solution. https://www.liveadmins.com

Comment by Derick on

I think you would fine IMsupporting is free. We use it. Weird you removed them for not being free lol

https://www.imsupporting.com/pricing/

Comment by Javier Viera on

We have been using Hibox https://www.hibox.co for almost a year and we are pretty happy with it because in addition to letting you communicate in real time with group chat it also includes a task management tool so you can also keep track of everything your team is working on. We made the switch from email and are not looking back. Also has a free version. I recommend it.

Comment by Siddhant Paryani on

Thanks for the list, there is one more I can suggest which one can test it out for free for 14 days with a much impressive range of features that I suppose most of the solutions lack.
https://www.tagove.com/ Tagove is one such provider.

Comment by Brett on

Hi Cathy,

You made a mistake on the “Cons” for tawk.to.. We collect emails on tawk.to without paying them 1 cent, it is the only truly free app in this list.

Comment by David Michael on

I’d say the Jabber/XMPP group chat feature has seen a quite good adoption rate, often with openfire as the server which also provides LDAP integration. http://cont.lu/2y367co

Comment by Julia Lime on

Nice tips! I adore modern technologies especially live chats. Try http://www.chat4.website me and my customers are happy to keep in touch all the time

Avatar

Comment by Sam Suthar on

Some of the great product, but you missed one of favourite – http://www.tagove.com

Comment by Robert Meyer on

Hello Cathy!

Thanks you for your awesome collection but I know some more, you can test it maybe too:

https://www.jakweb.ch/live-chat-3 <- selfhosted

and a totally free Live Chat that u can download here: https://www.jakweb.ch/download/f/1/live-chat-light

greetings from germany and sorry for my terrible english. :/

Avatar

Comment by Jason Grills on

Hi Cathy,

Informative post.

Instead of an open source tool, I would prefer a cloud-based tool because it offers greater flexibility and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. An online live chat tool is more efficient compared to its Opensource counterpart because the user (business owner) doesn’t have to worry about cost effectiveness, managing the solution, data theft, security concerns etc.

You can check out ProProfs Chat, a cloud-based live chat tool that allows businesses to communicate with their visitors.This free software help organizations to answer customer questions in real-time and offer quick help. All you need to do is just add ProProfs Chat to your site and monitor visitor activity in real-time, respond faster with canned responses, engage in proactive chat, track your support agent’s performance via post-chat feedback surveys, offer customer support, handle multiple visitor queries simultaneously and much more.

Comment by Sakshi Chaudhary on

Hey Cathy!
Thanks for an awesome collection of live chat software. From the above list, I tried FreshDesk and found it’s really an all-in-shop for customer satisfaction.

Avatar

Comment by Lee on

Thank you Cathy. I will try a few of them and pick my best. Great post.

Avatar

Comment by Anthony on

Ok not one of them in the the list are ‘Free’.

Even the open source ones are not free in anyway. (no im not implying open source software needs to be free)
Where are the Free ones that were meant to be listed? you tagged ‘free live chat software’ as part of the blog yet there are none.

Great article don’t get me wrong.
It is informative but it doesn’t fully cover what is actually tagged for the blog post.

Comment by Vitaly Kursitis on

Hi Cathy! Helpful post! There is some new live chat software with many features for free
https://www.netroxsc.com/system/free-live-chat-software/

Incredible customization widget.
https://www.netroxsc.com/system/features/customization/

Avatar

Comment by Aunurrahman on

Thanks for sharing. I have been using Zopim and now I move to tawk.to

Those are great tools but there are always limitation and that is not good for business.

I will try some that you have share to us.

Comment by Robin Singh on

“Hey Cathy! Great Post!
I have been using https://www.live2support.com/ for my business and yes! it has helped me in making my customers happier than ever. With the realtime visitor monitoring, my operators instantly understand the reason behind a customer’s confusion or problem and the autoprompt assists in resolving those problems right there which has been fetching us more customers. Live Chat solutions are incredible!

Avatar

Comment by Ryan on

Great list! A couple of ones I hadn’t heard of before. One I definately recommend those looking for a self hosted open source version to check out, live helper chat. The documentation is a tad rough but the platform is great and packed full of features.

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