Best Free Live Chat for Websites 2020

Live chat has become the most popular digital customer service channel, offering real-time support that is both efficient and personalized. Today, many vendors offer free live chat support for websites, but with each boasting different features and capabilities, it can be hard to know which will be the best free website chat software for your company. 

To help you find the best free live chat for your website, we have put together a list of the top free live chat solutions on the market and highlighted their key features and drawbacks. Every platform has pros and cons, so before you jump in, think about the top priorities and requirements you need in your website chat software.
 

Comm100 

Comm100 offers a feature-rich free live chat tool on its Business edition to enable teams to deliver helpful and efficient customer support. You get your first three agents for free, with unlimited chats and 2-years of data storage. 

Comm100 free Live Chat is simple to set up, offers a customizable chat button and window, and includes web, desktop and mobile app for agents. A key feature that sets it apart from competitors is its extensive routing capabilities. Chats can be directly routed to specific agents and departments based on a number of pre-defined variables.  

Comm100 also has an inbuilt auto-chat translation so agents can talk to visitors of any language, as well as access to pre-built integrations. Post-chat surveys and agent wrap-up are also included, alongside comprehensive reporting. While the software security is strong, only the paid package is HIPAA compliant and deployable on-premise.  

Freshchat 

Freshchat is Freshwork’s free online chat software for websites, designed to help brands connect with visitors in real-time. You can have up to 100 agents and the software is available on desktop and mobile app.  

The design is modern and has a friendly UI. The live chat app also has features to help agents manage chats efficiently, including several inbox views and conversation labels. You can also perform bulk actions to assign, resolve, and reply to chats in large volumes, as well as to convert chats to tickets. Integration with their ticketing software is possible but is not free. 

Chat capabilities are limited on the free plan. Agents cannot use canned messages, audio or video chat, co-browsing, CSAT surveys, or live translate (to translate messages in real-time and respond in their language). Chat history data is also limited to 30-days, and chats can only be routed based on query type, so if you need to direct chats to specific agents, teams or departments based on more variables; you will likely find this restrictive. Chat window customization is basic, yet this is common for free website chat software. 

HubSpot 

HubSpot’s free live chat software is best suited for companies already using HubSpot CRM. This is because the live chat software is integrated with HubSpot’s CRM so all chat conversations are logged to your customer’s contact profile and conversation inbox. However, be aware that the contacts you add through live chat will be replicated in your HubSpot CRM which may mean you have to pay for a higher-priced CRM subscription plan.

HubSpot’s free plan does provide unlimited agents and unlimited data storage and although you cannot remove the HubSpot branding from the chat window, you are able to style it with your branding color, logo and targeted welcome messaging. There is also an offline feature so your visitors can know when you’re available to chat and if you’re not, they can leave a message and email address for follow-up. HubSpot’s live chat tool is also integrated with a free chatbot builder, but its functionality is limited. Custom routing is also not available on the free plan so you can only route chats to specific agents or teams on a paid package. 

Live Chat Buyer's Guide

Live Chat Buyer's Guide

Need some extra help in choosing the right live chat software? Take a look at our helpful eBook – The Live Chat Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for and How to Ask.

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LiveAgent 

LiveAgent’s free chat software for websites is targeted towards brands wanting to interact with website visitors throughout the customer journey. A key USP, LiveAgent claims to have the ‘fastest chat widget on the market’ which is displayed in 2.5 seconds (compared to 3.3 to 9.4 seconds for competitors). 

There are no limits on the number of agents you can have, although you can only create one chat button. LiveAgent’s free plan also offers a free ticketing system with a universal inbox. However, you can only connect this to one email address the ticket history data can only be stored for up to 7 days, so if conversations with your customers often continue for longer than a week, this will be a significant issue for you. 

The free software does have many helpful features including pre-chat forms to collect data about the visitor before you begin chatting with them. Agents can also share rich media files including pictures, videos, and GIFs. The free software also allows you to route chats to specific team members (but not departments) and dynamically adapt chat availability as agents log in and out during shifts. 

Real-time visitor monitoring isn’t available unless you opt for a paid plan, and nor are canned messages, SLAs and advanced reporting.  

Smartsupp 

Smartsupps’ free live chat solution brands itself as the tool for “small websites that need simple chat to communicate with visitors”. The free package is available for up to 3 agents with a 14-day chat history limit. (1 year for paid packages). 

The software is available on desktop and mobile app, including iOS and Android, which is particularly helpful for smaller companies who may not have full-time dedicated customer service representatives. The chat window can be partly customized with agent profile pictures and agents can view basic visitor information to help make conversations more personal. 

Customer satisfaction rating is only available in paid plans, as are automatic messages to website visitors, and team shortcuts. While you can integrate your eCommerce platform with the Smartsupp free chat (including WordPress, Prestashop and WooCommerce), you can’t connect your help desk or CRM for free. 

You can’t assign conversations to colleagues or route chats to specific agents based on the query topic or other important variables. Customer support is also limited in the free plan, with only standard and pro packages having access to Smartsupp’s priority chat support. 

Tawk.to 

Tawk.to is the only vendor on our list that only offers a free live chat solution for your website (including ticketing) with no paid plan. It is often regarded as a good starting point for small companies wanting to test live chat and understand if it is right for their business. 

Available via desktop and mobile, Tawk.to provides unlimited agents and data storage. Set up is also reportedly very simple with an easy live chat website plugin. However, to remove branding from the chat window however, customers are charged $12 per month.  

Tawk.to offers a number of features including pre-chat survey, department routing, and automatic chat invitation. You can also monitor visitors in real-time to see which page they’re on and which they have previously visited. Tawk.to also enables auto-translation so you can instantly translate messages from 27 languages and respond in the same tongue. Agents are also able to respond faster with an in-built Knowledge Base and canned messages. 

However, to offer video, voice, or screensharing, customers must pay $29 per month. Tawk.to also does not offer SLA capabilities and customer support is limited – both of which can be dealbreakers for larger customer service teams. 

Zendesk 

Zendesk Chat is Zendesk’s free live chat software available through its ‘Lite’ package. With one agent capacity and only 1 concurrent chat, this software is targeted towards the smallest of customer support teams. Chat history is also limited to 14-days. 

A popular free live chat plugin for html websites, the app is available on mobile (Android and iOS), as well as desktop. Agents have access to shortcuts, automatic translation powered by Google Translate, and real-time visitor information.  You can also set up pre-chat forms to gain information about the visitor prior to chatting, post-survey chat ratings, and offline forms so visitors can send messages when you’re unavailable.

With an agent capacity of one, routing is unavailable. Similarly, roles and permissions are not offered, and security is limited. While the software has SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, and visitor banning, it doesn’t have SSO, credit card redaction, IP access restriction or several industry certifications such as HIPAA. Reporting is also particularly limited in Zendesk’s free package with chat and agent reports, email reports, agent leadership, and conversion tracking all only available in paid packages. 

Wrap-up 

With many free live chat software to choose from, it’s no easy task to find the live chat support that will work best for your site. We hope you have found these reviews helpful and that you can now, with confidence, pick the best free live chat for your website.  

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About Kate Rogerson

Kate is the Content Marketing Specialist at Comm100. She has extensive experience in content creation for technology companies across the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada. She specializes in B2B messaging, branding and soccer trivia.