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7 Best Live Chat Software for Small Business 2024

Best live chat software for small business

Connecting with customers in real-time on your website is crucial for providing excellent service and boosting sales. Live chat software for small business allows to have conversations directly with site visitors to answer questions, provide support, and guide them through the sales process. 

With so many options on the market, it can be tough to determine which live chat platforms are the best fit for your small business’s needs and budget. 

This article will discuss the key features small businesses should look for in live chat software and review the top platforms to consider. Whether you need basic chat capabilities or advanced analytics and automation, there are affordable and easy-to-use solutions suitable for small businesses of all types. 

Read on for recommendations on the best live chat software to interact with customers, increase sales conversions, and provide support for your small business website.

7 Best Live Chat Software for a Small Business at a glance

SoftwarePricingKey Features for Small businesses
ThriveDeskStarts at $25/monthOrder processing, Live chat, Knowledge base, Surveys, Third-party integrations (e.g., WooCommerce, EDD, Surecart and Freemius)
Tidio ChatStarts at $20/month (Free version available)Product Recommendations, Live Product Cards, Email marketing integration, Third-party integrations, Predefined Templates for Bot Creation
FreshchatStarts at $19/agent per monthFreemium plan, AI-powered chatbots, omnichannel communication
LiveChatStarts at $20 per agent/monthFeature-rich, reporting and analytics tools, integrations with marketing platforms
Help ScoutStarts at $20/user per monthSimple and affordable, ticketing system included, mobile app for on-the-go support
DriftStarts at $2,500/month, billed annuallyConversational marketing features, website visitor tracking, chatbots for lead qualification
IntercomStarts at $39/seat per monthPowerful live chat and messaging platform, targeted messaging, chatbots

7 Best Live Chat Software for Small Business In Depth

ThriveDesk

Live Chat New

ThriveDesk is an excellent choice for small businesses looking to provide personalized, real-time customer support. It combines a robust live chat system with a shared inbox, knowledge base, and omnichannel capabilities. Beyond conventional help desk software, it combines a robust live chat system with shared team inboxes, an AI-powered knowledge base, and deep eCommerce integrations.

Together, these capabilities enable agents to provide personalized, context-rich assistance to customers throughout their post-purchase journey – from order inquiries to returns which can be vital for small businesses. ThriveDesk helps agents resolve issues faster while delighting shoppers by centralizing customer information and conversations across communication channels. Never let your size hold you back.

Key features of ThriveDesk:

  • Seamless eCommerce Integrations: Seamless integration with leading eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, allowing agents to handle orders, shipping, cancellations and more directly within the chat widget
  • WPPortal (Self-Service Customer Portal): Self-service portal enabling customer agents to provide instant support view order status and track shipments under one dashboard
  • Customizable Chat Widget: Customizable chat widget providing a personalized customer experience aligned with brand image
  • Real-Time Translation: Real-time translation breaking down language barriers when assisting international customers
  • AI-powered Editor: AI-powered corrections helping agents communicate effectively and avoid errors
  • Shared Inbox: Shared inbox and slash commands streamlining collaboration across departments
  • Granular Analytics: Granular analytics providing actionable insights on common inquiries, resolution times and agent performance
ProsCons
Intuitive and easy-to-use platform requires minimal trainingLimited integrations
Real-time translation, AI-powered editor, and shared inbox enable personalized and efficient interactionsLack of native mobile alerts
Self-service portal empowers customers and reduces agent workload and company cost
Granular analytics provide valuable data to optimize support
Competitive plans available for different business sizes

Pricing:

Starter$25/month (4 seats)
Plus$49/month (10 seats)

ThriveDesk’s pricing plans are fair and competitive. The company offers a variety of plans to suit the needs of businesses of all sizes

With robust eCommerce capabilities, omnichannel integrations and customization options, ThriveDesk enables smaller businesses to deliver exceptional real-time support, nurture customer relationships and facilitate a smooth post-purchase experience – ultimately driving growth through improved conversion and loyalty.

Tidio Chat 

Tidio Chat

Tidio Live Chat is a web-based customer support platform designed to empower small businesses with user-friendly and affordable live chat solutions. It helps businesses connect with website visitors in real-time, answer questions, address concerns, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction and lead generation.

Key features of Tidio Chat:

  • Free Plan: Tidio offers a forever-free plan that allows engaging with up to 50 website visitors per month, making it ideal for small businesses starting out.
  • Easy Installation and Use: Tidio integrates seamlessly with popular website builders and requires minimal technical expertise for setup.
  • Multiple Communication Channels: Tidio offers live chat alongside email ticketing, allowing for a unified communication platform.
  • Customization Options: Customize the chat widget to match your brand identity and ensure a seamless experience for visitors.
  • Mobile App: Manage chats and respond to inquiries on the go with the dedicated Tidio mobile app.
  • AI-powered Chatbots: Utilize chatbots to automate routine tasks, answer frequently asked questions, and qualify leads even outside business hours.
ProsCons
With a free plan and affordable paid tiers, Tidio caters to the budget constraints of many small businessesThe free plan has limitations on website visitors and certain functionalities, requiring upgrades for advanced features
The intuitive interface makes it easy for anyone to set up and use the platform, even without technical expertiseWhile offering popular integrations, Tidio may have a smaller selection compared to some enterprise-focused platforms
From live chat to email ticketing and chatbots, Tidio offers a suite of features that cater to various communication needsCustomization might be limited for advanced needs
The mobile app allows businesses to stay connected and respond to inquiries even when they’re away from their desksThe free plan offers basic reporting, while advanced analytics require a paid subscription

Pricing:

Free$0
Starter$20/month
Communicator$19 per seat/month
Chatbots$19/month
Chatbots & Communicator bundle$19/month + $19 per seat/month
Tidio+$329/month

Freshchat 

Freshchat

Freshchat is a modern live chat and messaging platform built specifically for sales and support teams of small businesses.

With its intuitive interface, powerful yet easy-to-use features, and affordable pricing, Freshchat enables small teams to have meaningful conversations that delight customers and drive business growth.

Key features of Freshchat:

  • Connect Everywhere: Engage customers across web chat, email, phone, social media, and more.
  • 24/7 AI Assistant: Automate tasks and offer around-the-clock support with chatbots.
  • Unified Inbox: Manage all conversations (live chat, email, phone, social media) in one place.
  • Brand Your Chat: Design a live chat widget that matches your brand identity.
  • Mobile Friendly: Manage chats on-the-go with the mobile app.
  • Measure Performance: Gain insights into customer behavior and track key metrics with built-in analytics.
ProsCons
Respond to queries and collaborate with your team seamlessly within the appLimited free plan features
Offers good value for money compared to competitors, especially as you scaleMay not offer advanced features like advanced chatbots or reporting compared to competitors
Simple and intuitive for users of all technical levelsLess customization compared to advanced platforms

Pricing:

Free$0
Growth$19/agent per month, billed annually
Pro$49/agent per month, billed annually
Enterprise$79/agent per month, billed annually

LiveChat

LiveChat

LiveChat is a customer service and live chat software designed to help small businesses improve communication with website visitors in real-time. With LiveChat, businesses can chat with customers directly on their website using customizable chat widgets.

Key features of LiveChat:

  • Real-time messaging: Chat with customers live on your website
  • Team inbox: Manage chats as a team with shared inbox
  • Customizable widgets: Match chat box design to your brand
  • Visitor info: See pages visited and other data about each visitor
  • Mobile apps: Manage chats on-the-go with iOS and Android apps
ProsCons
Fast response times build trustSome advanced features only available on higher pricing plans
Engage visitors when interest is highInterface and features can be complex for beginners
See what visitors are interested in with chat transcripts and dataAdvanced plans can be expensive compared to competitors, especially for smaller businesses
Intuitive interface with drag-and-drop widgetsMay not prioritize real-time chat interactions like some competitors
Lower pricing tiers compared to other live chat tools

Pricing:

Starter$20 per agent/month, billed annually
Team$41 per agent/month, billed annually
Business$59 per agent/month, billed annually
EnterpriseCustom pricing

Help Scout 

Help Scout Desk

Help Scout is a customer service platform built for small businesses that value high-quality customer support experiences. With its shared mailbox, help desk, and knowledge base software, Help Scout makes it easy for small teams to deliver email or in-app support that feels personal and helpful.

Key features of Help Scout:

  • Simple and quick setup: Get started in minutes with an easy-to-use interface and no coding required.
  • Multiple chat agents: Manage multiple chats simultaneously to efficiently handle customer inquiries.
  • Real-time chat and ticketing: Respond to inquiries instantly or convert them into tickets for later follow-up.
  • Canned responses: Save time and effort with pre-written answers to common questions.
  • Chat history and visitor tracking: Review past conversations and track visitor behavior for better understanding.
  • Mobile app: Stay connected with customers on the go with the mobile app for agents.
ProsCons
Affordable pricing plans designed specifically for small businessesThe free plan only offers basic features and one concurrent chat
Handle multiple inquiries simultaneously and resolve issues fasterWhile user-friendly, some advanced features might require guidance for new users
Offer instant support and personalized attention to customersAdvanced integrations with other platforms may require upgrading to a paid plan
Convert website visitors into leads and sales by providing real-time assistance
No need for technical expertise, ideal for businesses with limited resources

Pricing:

Standard$25/user per month, billed monthly.$20/user per month, billed annually.
Plus$50/user per month, billed monthly.$40/user per month, billed annually.
Pro$65/user per month, billed annually.

Drift

Drift

Drift is a conversation-driven marketing and sales platform designed to help small businesses connect with website visitors in real-time, qualify leads, and close deals faster. It empowers your team to build meaningful relationships with customers and personalize their experience, ultimately driving growth.

Key features of Drift:

  • Chatbots: Engage website visitors automatically with chatbots powered by AI, answer their questions, and qualify leads 24/7.
  • Live Chat: Connect with website visitors in real-time, schedule meetings, and answer complex questions directly.
  • Video Chat: Build deeper connections with website visitors and prospects through face-to-face video calls.
  • Meeting Booking: Simplify scheduling by allowing website visitors to book meetings directly through your chat window.
  • Conversational Marketing: Deliver targeted messages and personalize the website experience based on visitor behavior.
  • Analytics & Reporting: Gain insights into your conversations, website visitor behavior, and team performance.
ProsCons
Easy to set up and useWhile a free plan exists, it has fewer features and limitations
Affordable pricing plans available for small businessesGetting the most out of advanced features may require some learning
Saves time by automating repetitive tasks and qualifying leads automaticallyMay not be suitable for businesses relying heavily on offline sales
Provides personalized and real-time support to website visitors
Helps you capture more leads and convert them into paying customers

Pricing:

Premium $2,500/month billed annually
Advanced Custom pricing
EnterpriseCustom pricing

Intercom

Intercom New

Intercom is a customer messaging platform that enables businesses to communicate with customers across multiple channels including chat, email, and in-app messaging. It provides a unified interface to manage conversations with users.

Key features of Intercom:

  • Live chat: Engage with website visitors and answer their questions in real-time.
  • Targeted messaging: Send personalized messages based on user behavior and website activity.
  • Chatbots: Automate common questions and free up your team for more complex inquiries.
  • Helpdesk: Manage customer support tickets and streamline the resolution process.
  • Product tours and announcements: Guide new users through your product and share important updates.
  • Data & reporting: Gain insights into customer behavior and track the performance of your communication efforts.
  • Integrations: Connect Intercom with your existing tools and CRM system.
ProsCons
Simplifies communication by having all features in one placeThe free plan offers basic features with limited functionalities
Intuitive interface makes it easy for teams to get started quicklyAdvanced features may require some learning and training
Grows with your business as your needs and customer base expandIntegrating with third-party tools may incur extra fees
Provides multiple channels for customers to reach you
Allows you to tailor your messages to individual needs
Helps you understand your customers and improve campaigns

Pricing:

Essential$39/seat per month
Advanced$99/seat per month
Expert$139/seat per month

Choosing the Right Live Chat for a Small Business

Of all the live chat platforms reviewed, ThriveDesk stands out as the best choice for small businesses. It combines robust features like shared inboxes, an AI-powered knowledge base, and deep eCommerce integrations to enable personalized support. 

With competitive pricing, a focus on user-friendly tools for small teams, and capabilities to directly handle orders and shipping, ThriveDesk delivers immense value. For small businesses needing affordable, tailored live chat capabilities to boost customer satisfaction and growth, ThriveDesk is highly recommended.

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