The Best Live Chat Software

I try live chat software — so you don’t have to. Here’s what I recommend in 2021.

Here are my top 3 picks for live chat software. I would recommend any of these, although they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

1. Crisp Best overall

Transparent and predictable pricing
Fast and helpful support
Lots of integrations
There's no teams feature

Crisp is my overall winner for live chat software. It offers email and messaging campaigns, a knowledge base and even status pages.

Crisp has very straightforward pricing without any hidden extras, or variable pricing based on the number of messages you send, or leads that you track.

I recommend Crisp in particular for small or medium-sized companies or for startups for whom flat, predictable pricing is important.

2. Intercom

Intercom is the best designed live chat application available. You can tell this because most other live chat providers have copied much of their design.

I don't give it four stars because of unpredictable pricing. I've heard of quite a few customers who like the product but are surprised at how the cost has jumped from one month to another. This is because you are charged for how many leads or customers are being tracked if you have the Outbound Messages product, or the Custom Bot, Answer Bot or Product Tours add-ons.

If you only want to use live chat for customer support, then you can get by with the Team Inbox product, which charges by seat. However, if you want to use live chat to capture leads on your website and if unpredictable pricing is a dealbreaker for you, then I would recommend looking at an alternative solution with fixed, predictable pricing, such as Crisp.

3. LiveChat

Great team-based features
Good help center
Limits to tracked customers

LiveChat is a very good option for support teams wanting to open another communication channel with their customers.

LiveChat will provide your customers with a decent user experience. I'd say it is better suited towards providing live chat in a support (rather than sales or lead generation) context.

One thing which is a potential annoyance for website visitors is how LiveChat captures emails. In LiveChat you can set up a pre-chat form so that the visitor has to fill in their details before the chat has started. Other live chat providers like intercom, crisp or drift incorporate email capture more naturally into the flow of the conversation. But, again, in a support context this isn't necessarily a deal-breaker.


Article by Matt

Matt is a product manager with extensive experience in building and supporting software-as-a-service products. This includes implementing live chat for customer support and customer success teams.

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Article Updates

  • Feb 09, 2020 Article published
  • Dec 04, 2020 Article updated
  • Jan 07, 2021 Article updated