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Best free live chat software + free trials

Looking to better connect with your customers? Provide faster and more convenient experiences with the best free live chat software and free trials.

A guide to the 16 best free live chat software

Last updated January 22, 2024

With the rapid growth of messaging, live chat software enables you to engage with customers at their convenience without overburdening your agents. This tool is a great way for businesses to resolve issues quickly and in real time, enhancing the overall customer experience.

But given the numerous options on the market, you may not know where to start. Luckily, free live chat software and free trials allow you to test out a solution so you can determine if it’s a good fit for your business.

In this guide, learn about live chat software, the 16 best free live chat solutions and best free trials, the top features to look for, the benefits of installing free live chat software, how to add it, and how to choose the right software for your business.

What is free live chat software?

Free live chat software is a free trial plan or another free version of a software that allows businesses to engage with new and existing customers in real time.

Customers often need quick resolutions to their problems and questions when they reach out to a business. Live chat software makes this possible, but businesses may feel hesitant about the pricing. A free trial for live chat software is a great way to do a test run before committing to a priced plan. It allows you to understand how the tool fits into your current infrastructure and customer support software. For businesses on a tight budget, installing a free live chat software can help them provide the type of experience customers want without the expense.

Many businesses have taken advantage of free live chat capabilities. For example, Prosper boosted its customer satisfaction score (CSAT) by 16 percentage points after integrating live chat with the help of Zendesk.

The 16 best free live chat software and free trials

Person on laptop

There are many different types of live chat software, both with free plans and free trials. Picking the right live chat software can help you connect with customers instantly and improve customer retention. Trying a free live chat software before you commit to a paid monthly plan can help you determine if it fits well with your current tech stack and business operations.

To help you choose the right solution for your company, explore the top 16 free live chat software and free trials below.

1. Zendesk

Zendesk

Zendesk is a robust tool that empowers your agents to engage customers via live chat, social, and business channels. With a free trial of Zendesk, your team will have access to intuitive automations, conversation histories, built-in social messaging integrations, in-app and website live chat, chatbot builders, and much more.

Since live chat doesn’t exist in a vacuum, Zendesk can connect ongoing conversations with your customers across channels. Our flexible, open solution is fully customizable for all your branding and customer service needs. Whether you need to integrate real-time analytics, CRMs, social media channels, or anything in between, Zendesk has you covered.

Through the Zendesk drag-and-drop bot builder, a conversational design interface, even non-developers can create chat flows that address many specific scenarios. Zendesk bots provide tailored answers using customer data to surface relevant help center content and answer FAQs, enabling customers to solve basic issues independently. Bots can also collect key customer information before handing a query off to a live agent, so the customer doesn’t need to repeat themselves.

Additionally, Zendesk offers Sunshine Conversations, an advanced messaging platform that allows agents to access and view information from all business systems within the Zendesk platform. This includes customer data from anywhere you can collect it—from third-party chatbots to payment processors.

Sunshine Conversations also offers proactive and group messaging for restaurants, marketplace apps, and customers.

Features:

Free trial: 14 days

Pricing:

  • Suite Team: $55 per agent/month

  • Suite Growth: $89 per agent/month

  • Suite Professional: $115 per agent/month

Plans billed annually

Learn more about Zendesk for messaging.

2. Olark CoPilot

Olark CoPilot
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Olark CoPilot is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses provide fast responses to their customers. With this software, you can use chat monitoring, targeted chat, and robust analytics within a single suite.

Additionally, you can use PowerUps—specialized live chat features that are easy to add or remove based on your business’s needs, such as rich chat capabilities, searchable transcripts, automated messages, and more.

All Olark CoPilot plans come with a 14-day free trial. With these plans, users can personalize and customize the chat box, save time with automation, take advantage of live chat analytics, and engage with customers in real time.

Features:

  • Javascript API

  • Unlimited domains

  • Chat routing

  • Website chat widget

  • Offline messaging

  • Mobile chat clients

  • File uploads

Free trial: 14 days

Free plan: Not available

Learn more about Olark for Zendesk.

3. Avochato

Avochato
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Avochato is a live chat solution that allows companies to manage, send, and receive messages. It connects SMS and live chat, enabling businesses to maintain ongoing conversations with customers throughout their journey. For example, you can follow up with live chat leads by sending helpful and targeted content via SMS.

Avochato is fully customizable, so you can tailor the tool to fit your branding. Other features of this software include streamlined automation, UTM parameter tracking, and simple integration abilities so you can pair it with your existing workflows. Avochato offers a 14-day free trial.

Features:

  • Real-time chat

  • Customizable widget

  • App integration capabilities

  • UTM parameter tracking

  • Send targeted content via SMS

Free trial: 14 days

Free plan: Not available

Pricing:

  • Lite: $23 per user/month

  • Standard: $42 per user/month

  • Premium: Contact sales

4. 3CX

3CX
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3CX is a fully customizable, omnichannel live chat platform that offers a free plan for up to 10 users. With this software, agents are able to connect to Facebook and WhatsApp to view and respond to messages within the same 3CX interface.

If customers need further support, the customer or agent can easily turn the chat into a call to better address the issue. Additionally, 3CX tracks all customer queries and history so agents can solve issues faster. They can share the history with their team to help identify areas of improvement, too.

Features:

  • Switch from chat to call easily

  • Users can choose chat or voice option

  • Omnichannel messaging

  • Customizable interface

  • Personalized chat greetings

Free trial: Not available

Free plan: Available for 10 users

Pricing:

  • Startup Pro: $175 per annum (for 10 agents)

  • Dedicated Pro: $295 per annum (for 10 agents)

  • Dedicated Enterprise: $330 per annum (for 10 agents)

Learn more about 3CX for Zendesk.

5. LiveAgent

LiveAgent
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In addition to its live chat features, LiveAgent provides plans with ticketing and reporting, which may interest those looking for help desk software. LiveAgents offers free trials for all of its plans and also includes a free live chat software plan. The main limitation of its live chat free plan is that you get only one chat button.

If you want to set up multiple chat options for various departments, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. Also, if you opt for the free plan, you won’t have access to time-saving features like canned and predefined answers.

Other than its live chat capabilities, LiveAgent’s free live chat app includes basic reporting, multiple language support, and a native knowledge base.

Features:

  • API and mobile SDK

  • One live chat widget

  • Basic reporting

  • Ticket management

  • Customer forum

  • Knowledge management

Free trial: 14 days

Free plan: Available

Pricing:

  • Ticket: $15 per user/month

  • Ticket+Chat: $29 per user/month

  • All-inclusive: $49 per user/month

6. HubSpot

HubSpot
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HubSpot's free live chat tool connects customers to the help they need. It can route inquiries to multiple teams within your organization to ensure the right people handle the request. Users can personalize the live chat widget to complement the look and feel of your brand, and they can even create a targeted welcome message for different customer segments.

You can use the live chat tool from HubSpot for free with zero coding required. If you want to take advantage of more premium features, check out the Starter, Professional, and Enterprise plans within the Marketing Hub.

Features:

  • Chat history logging

  • Chatflow creation

  • Chat automation

  • Real-time support

  • Personalization capabilities

Free plan: Available

Pricing:

  • Free

Learn more about HubSpot for Zendesk.

7. Chaport

Chaport
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Chaport's live chat free plan can help you take the first step in starting live conversations with your customers. The free plan enables you to create a basic live chat widget in your mobile, desktop, or browser-based app. You can host the widget on as many sites as you like, but you're limited to one user with the free plan.

Chaport’s paid plans offer more advanced features like automated responders, an API, social media integrations, and more. If you’d like to try Chaport’s paid plan, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial.

Features:

  • One user

  • 30-day conversation history

  • Unlimited chats per live agent

  • Mobile, desktop, and browser app

Free trial: 14 days

Free plan: Available, but only for 2 operators

Pricing:

  • Pro: $19 per month (for up to 4 operators)

  • Unlimited: $75 per month (for unlimited operators)

8. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk
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The live chat feature within Zoho Desk allows businesses to form better customer relationships. If customers can’t find what they need in the Help Center, they can instantly reach out to agents through the embeddable chat widget.

If a customer issue requires further assistance, agents can elevate the chat conversation to a ticket with a simple click. When doing this, the entire chat history gets saved so agents can reference it to solve future queries. Zoho Desk’s live chat also features canned responses, automation, and the ability to submit customer feedback surveys. Try the software first with the free 15-day trial that’s available.

Features:

  • Proactive chat

  • Visitor list

  • Customizable dashboard

  • Real-time monitoring

  • Auto chat translation

Free trial: 15 days

Free plan: Not available

Pricing:

  • Standard: $20 per user/month

  • Professional: $35 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $50 per user/month

9. Tidio

Tidio
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Turning your visitors into happy customers is made possible with Tidio. This web-based live chat software is a unified platform that combines website chat widgets, emails, and Facebook Messenger so that agents can handle multiple customer queries simultaneously. Tidio offers a seven-day free trial for its Communicator and Chatbots plans as well as a free plan that allows live chat conversations with up to 50 users.

Tidio boasts many features, including the ability to view and track your visitors, monitor results, and automate chats with AI. This tool is also fully customizable, so you can personalize your welcome messages. Additionally, Tidio allows agents to take advantage of trigger alerts, which notify them when a customer completes a form or has trouble logging in or completing the payment step—a prime opportunity to reach out to the customer via chat.

Features:

  • Proactive chat

  • Customizable dashboards

  • Third-party integrations

  • Chat transfer and routing

  • Auto-responders

Free trial: 7 days for Communicator and Chatbots plans only

Free plan: Available

Pricing:

  • Communicator: $19 per seat/month

  • Chatbots: $19 per month

  • Tidio+: $289 per month

10. LiveChat

LiveChat
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LiveChat offers four plans: Starter, Team, Business, and Enterprise. You can start using LiveChat’s Team plan right away—no credit card required—with a 14-day LiveChat free trial. The Team plan offers live chat functionality for your website, apps, and Facebook Messenger. It also comes with an email-based ticketing system.

Additionally, LiveChat’s pre-chat survey makes it easy to collect contact details and shows your agents which page the customer is currently viewing. Plus, live chat must-haves like canned responses, tagging, and smart routing come with LiveChat’s Team plan.

Features:

  • Pre-chat and post-chat surveys

  • Multi-website support

  • Chat tagging

  • Smart and manual chat routing

  • Chat widget for website, apps, and Facebook Messenger

  • Create tickets from chat

  • API and social media integrations

Free trial: 14 days

Free plan: Not available

Pricing:

  • Starter: $20 per agent/month

  • Team: $41 per agent/month

  • Business: $59 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: Contact sales

Learn more about LiveChat for Zendesk.

11. Tawk.to

Tawk.to
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Tawk.to is a free live chat software you can set up on your website, on your mobile app, or from a free customizable page. This software offers a simple setup that takes only one minute—all you need to do is copy a single line of JavaScript to your website HTML for it to begin working instantly. This software allows you to invite team members and chat with visitors on a single dashboard. You can also track your team’s support progress by monitoring performance analytics and reviewing customer chat history.

Tawk.to is unique because it can translate chat conversations in over 45 different languages, making it easier to communicate with customers around the world. Additionally, with pre-canned messages and a built-in knowledge base, you can give customers quick and helpful answers.

Features:

  • Automated chat translation

  • Analytics and reports

  • Pre-canned messages

  • Monitor visitors in real time

  • JavaScript API

Free plan: Available

Pricing:

  • Free

12. Smartsupp

Smartsupp
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Smartsupp live chat software helps you connect with online visitors and boost sales. This tool has integrations available on several platforms, which include your website, email, and Facebook. A customizable widget within Smartsupp can help you generate brand awareness, too. For example, you can customize your welcome messages, set up specific colors to match your logo, share files, and make it adaptable to various languages.

Smartsupp also lets you analyze visitor insights and history to offer better assistance and improve overall CX. If you'd like to test out Smartsupp, take advantage of the Free plan (only available for one agent). For the Standard and Pro plans that offer more features, you can try the 14-day free trial first.

Features:

  • Unified dashboard

  • Website and Facebook integration

  • Email integration and notifications

  • Customizable widget

  • Contact forms

Free trial: 14 days for Standard and Pro plans only

Free plan: Available for 1 agent

Pricing:

  • Standard: $25.50 per month (for 3 agents)

  • Pro: $60 per month for 3 agents (upgradable to 10)

  • Ultimate: Contact sales

13. Crisp

Crisp
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Crisp is a multichannel live chat platform that allows you to build chatbots for Instagram, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WhatsApp, and your website in a single place so you can access conversations at any time.

Set up routing rules with Crisp so agents can redirect customers to the right support team. This tool also lets you integrate answers from your knowledge base to better assist your customers. Additionally, you can book meetings automatically through live chat and immediately sync them to your team’s calendars.

Take advantage of Crisp’s Basic plan to enjoy basic live chat features for personal websites, or explore the 14-day free trial for the Pro and Unlimited plans that offer additional capabilities for startups and larger businesses.

Features:

  • Automate customer interactions

  • Send multilingual messages

  • App integrations

  • Conversation routing

  • Capture and map conversations

Free trial: 14 days

Free plan: Available

Pricing:

  • Basic: Free

  • Pro: $25 per workspace/month

  • Unlimited: $95 per workspace/month

14. Intercom

Intercom
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Reach more customers on a personal level with Intercom’s live chat capability. With this tool, chat history gets automatically saved so customers can revisit the chat whenever they want and on their preferred device.

Agents can access conversations in one place across all channels to assist multiple customers at once. During a chat interaction, Intercom’s customer data platform gathers customer context so agents can provide personalized and immediate support.

The proactive messaging feature addresses issues before the customer has to reach out, and the help center features allow customers to solve simple problems on their own. Intercom offers three different solutions depending on your goals—contact the sales team for pricing information.

Features:

  • Omnichannel messaging

  • Article suggestions

  • AI-powered inbox

  • Customizable dashboard

  • 38 languages available

Free trial: Contact sales

Free plan: Not available

Pricing:

  • Contact sales

Learn more about Intercom for Zendesk.

15. Pipedrive

Pipedrive
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The live chat feature capability offered by Pipedrive lets teams add a sense of human interaction to customer support from anywhere at any time. If live chat agents are busy, a chatbot can ensure you don’t miss an opportunity with a lead. You can also send calendar links and schedule meetings with leads through the platform—meetings will then sync to your representatives’ calendars.

The live chat feature is included in the LeadBooster add-on and cannot be purchased separately. This add-on includes the live chat, chatbot features, and a prospecting and web form tool. It is an additional $32.50 per company per month (billed annually).

Try Pipedrive’s 14-day free trial to get a feel of the software and gauge whether or not it’s a good fit for your organization.

Features:

  • Schedule meetings and send calendar links

  • Collect user information

  • Customizable conversation templates

  • Offline mode

  • Chat reassigning

Free trial: 14 days

Free plan: Not available

Pricing:

  • Essential: $19.90 per user/month

  • Advanced: $34.90 per user/month

  • Professional: $59.90 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $119 per user/month

Learn more about Pipedrive for Zendesk.

16. Chatlayer

Chatlayer
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With Chatlayer, non-developers can build and manage conversational AI chatbots. The free trial of Chatlayer lasts for 30 days and equips you with a powerful natural language processing algorithm that understands over 100 languages. When Chatlayer is integrated with your live chat software, you can use it to resolve repetitive queries and collect customer data for your agents.

Chatlayer also enables seamless bot-to-agent handoffs once the bot has served its purpose. When the tool is integrated with Zendesk messaging and live chat software, agents can view the entire history of the bot’s conversation with the customer. Just keep in mind that the Chatlayer integration is only available on the Zendesk Enterprise plan.

Features:

  • No-code interface

  • Built-in analytics

  • Live agent chat handover

  • SMS and social media integrations

  • ISO 27001 certified

  • Multi-language support

Free trial: 30 days

Free plan: Not available

Pricing:

  • Contact sales

Learn more about Chatlayer for Zendesk.

A comparison of top free live chat solutions, apps, and trials

SoftwareStarting price ( per user /month)Free trial or free planKey features

Zendesk

$55 per agent/month

Free trial available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Auto-translation

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing/monitoring

Olark CoPilot

$29 per seat/month

Free trial available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Auto-translation

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing/monitoring

Avochato

$23 per user/month

Free trial available

  • Skills-based routing

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing

3CX

$175 per annum (up to 10 agents)

Free plan available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards

LiveAgent

$15 per user/month

Both

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Auto-translation

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards

HubSpot

$0

Free plan available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing

Chaport

$19 per month (up to 4 operators)

Both

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing/monitoring

Zoho Desk

$20 per user/month

Free trial available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Auto-translation

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time monitoring

Tidio

$19 per seat/month

Both

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time monitoring

LiveChat

$20 per agent/month

Free trial available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing/monitoring

Tawk.to

$0

Free plan available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Auto-translation

  • Pre-built dashboards and monitoring

Smartsupp

$25.50 per month (up to 3 agents)

Both

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing/monitoring

Crisp

$25 per workspace/month

Both

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing

Intercom

Contact sales

Contact sales

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Omnichannel agent interface

  • Pre-built dashboards

Pipedrive

$19.90 per user/month

Free trial available

  • Proactive chat + visitor list

  • Skills-based routing

  • Pre-built dashboards and real-time routing

Chatlayer

Contact sales

Free trial available

  • Skills-based routing

  • Auto-translation

  • Omnichannel agent interface

Features of free live chat software to look for

Top free live chat software features

As you might expect, free live chat software features are limited compared to paid versions. Still, there are several valuable features you’ll usually find in the best free live chat trials.

When you’re researching free live chat tools or live chat apps that offer a free trial, here are the five features to look for and evaluate.


Benefits of installing free live chat for your website

Looking for the benefits of free live chat software before installing it on your business’s website? Below are several benefits of installing free live chat for your website.

Better understand how the solution fits with your current infrastructure

Installing free live chat software can help your team better understand how the solution fits into your current infrastructure and customer support software. With a free trial or free plan, you can test the software and see how it works before you fully commit and pay for a pricey plan.

Test the software with your specific use case

By installing a live chat free trial or plan, you can test the software with your specific use case before committing. For instance, you can test out the software with things like:

You can also test the free chat service on different channels to see which ones resonate most with customers.

Troubleshoot live chat staffing requirements before fully rolling it out

Companies must plan how agents will manage the live chat features before fully implementing them. Free chat software can help your team figure out how to operate it.

With a free trial or free plan, you can also troubleshoot and gauge how many agents you’ll need to bring on board to deliver excellent customer service.

How to add free live chat to your website

How you add live chat to your website will depend on which live chat platform you’re using, but it should be a very simple setup. With the Zendesk free live chat trial, all you have to do is:

  1. Add your custom script to the source code of the pages where you want the chat widget to appear.

  2. Hit publish, and your chat will be live.

You may also want to customize the chat window with your branding, set up canned responses, and more. If you’re interested in learning how to configure your custom chat with Zendesk, read our support documentation.

How to choose the right free live chat software or a free trial

Factors to consider before choosing a free live chat software

You can boil down your choice of free live chat software or the free trial to these key parameters:

  • A frictionless agent experience

  • Reliable integrations

  • The vendor’s reputation and customer support

  • The ability to grow your business

  • Capabilities beyond basic ticketing

Of course, even with diligent research, it’s tough to determine how a given software performs on each of those parameters. This makes free trials of live chat software and apps an excellent starting point for companies testing the waters. They allow you to assess the tool’s core functions before committing to a more sophisticated version. Additionally, upgrading is easy with cloud-based solutions.

Frequently asked questions

Still curious about everything free live chat software entails and has to offer? Explore the frequently asked questions below.

Try Zendesk live chat for free

Zendesk live chat is the ideal solution that you can use to offer live chat support to your customers and visitors wherever they are—on mobile, in your app, or through a third-party messaging app. Give the Zendesk free live chat software version a try and see how quickly your conversion rates transform.