What are the best free live chat software & apps & free trials?
Best free live chat software
Olark is a unique live chat software in regards to its pricing structure. All plans come with the same set of core features and you have the option to upgrade with Powerups. You can also upgrade your plan by switching to Olark Pro with Chatbot Copilot which gives you access to Olark’s chatbot.
All Olark plans come with a 14-day free trial at the end of which you can downgrade to a free account. The free account gives you access to Olark’s Chat Console where you can engage with customers and route chats, but its feature set is limited. Not only that, the free account limits you to one agent and 20 chats per month.
Features of Olark’s Free Plan
- Unlimited domains
- Chat routing
- Website chat widget
- Offline messaging
- Mobile chat clients
- File uploads
Learn more about Olark for Zendesk
Chatdesk Trends provides software that collects, consolidates, and analyzes customer feedback for your business. Among other things, you can use Chatdesk Trends to mine customer conversations and feedback for top reasons for contact, shipping issues, product defects, website/app bugs, and top reasons for returns or cancellations.
Chatdesk simplifies sentiment analysis of customer conversations on email, chat, and social media. It also pulls in data from Amazon and App Store reviews as well as any CSAT or NPS surveys you’ve run.
Chatdesk’s Free Plan Features
- 1,000 tickets per month
- Drill-down analysis
- Export to CSV
- Unlimited dashboard users
- Sentiment analysis of social, email, and chat
Learn more about Chatdesk for Zendesk
In countries where messaging and/or social media apps are banned, Telegram’s end-to-end encryption allows citizens to communicate safely. Yet even in countries without oppressive governments, users are showing a preference for keeping their conversations private. In short, as business and personal communication goes increasingly digital, end-to-end encryption is becoming a must-have in messaging.
With Telegram and Zendesk Support’s integration, you service agents can deliver great service in the private manner that many customers demand. In April 2020, Telegram boasted 400 million monthly active users. You can use Telegram to access this audience in two main ways (both free); groups and channels or through Telegram’s Bot API.
Free Features of Telegram
- Bot API
- End-to-end encryption
- Chat folders
- Video editing
- Animated stickers
Learn more about using Telegram with Zendesk
The ever-popular Slack is so versatile you can use it to streamline backend communication between your service agents and/or chat with customers directly. And you can organize, create, and act on support tickets using a designated Slack channel. Put simply, the flexibility of Slack means you can use it for a variety of functions that a typical live chat software solution handles.
Slack does have a free version and you can request a free trial of any paid plan. The free version limits your message history, external collaboration, and certain security features. So if you plan to use Slack to manage internal communications, the free plan could work for you. But if you’d like to use Slack as free live chat software, you’ll need to do a free trial of one of their paid plans.
Slack Free Plan Features
- Message history
- Up to 10 native integrations
- 5 GB of file storage
- Two-factor authentication
- One-on-one voice and video calls
In addition to its live chat features, LiveAgents provides plans with ticketing and reporting which may be of interest if you’re 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 only get one chat button.
So 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 native knowledge base.
Features (free plan)
- API and mobile SDK
- One live chat widget
- Basic reporting
- Ticket management
- Customer forum
- Knowledge management
Social media, and Facebook, in particular, are increasingly popular mediums for customers reaching out to brands. With its free version, Facebook Messenger enables your reps to carry on one-to-one conversations using private messages so you can answer questions and build relationships.
You’ll respond to and manage messages through your Facebook Page Inbox, so you’ll need a Facebook Business page. Once your page is set up, you can respond to messages that come through Messenger and/or Instagram Direct. And if you integrate Facebook Messenger with a tool like Zendesk, you can manage these conversations all in one place.
Free Facebook Messenger Features
- Messenger and Instagram Direct inboxes
- Multimedia messaging support
- Audio recordings
- Custom chat themes
- Instagram integration
Learn more about using Facebook Messenger with Zendesk
Chatport’s live chat free plan is designed to help you take the first step in starting live conversations with your customers. Their free plan enables you to create a basic live chat widget in their mobile, desktop, or browser-based app. You can host the widget on as many sites as you like but on their free plan, you’re limited to one user.
Chatports paid plans offer more advanced features such as automated responders, an API, social media integrations and more. If you’d like to try Chatport’s paid plan, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial.
Features (Free plan)
- One user
- 30-day conversation history
- Unlimited chats per live agent
- Mobile, desktop, and browser app
Live chat and messaging is all about meeting your customers where they already hang out. And as of 2021, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world with two billion users. So if you want to expand your reach, WhatsApp is worth considering. The app is particularly popular in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Combined with Zendesk via Sunshine Conversations you can connect WhatsApp to keep in touch with customers, integrate automations, trigger messages, and scale your live chat operation. Plus, WhatsApp enables you to showcase products and services in a catalog. And a WhatsApp Business account is free to download.
- Product catalogues
- Booking and payments
- Voice and video calls
- Document sharing
- Automation integrations
Learn more about using WhatsApp with Zendesk
If live chat is part of your customer support or sales strategy and you have customers in Japan, Thailand, or Taiwan, connecting LINE is a no brainer. But even beyond these countries, LINE has a large presence, with 167 million monthly active users. Integrated with the Zendesk Suite, LINE greatly expands the range of channels support teams through which your customers can engage with your business.
LINE offers users and businesses the ability to show their personalities with silly stickers, such as the Mario Brothers or Baby Yoda. You can start with LINE for free with 500 messages per month. And since LINE accounts are priced based on the volume of messages sent, you can scale your LINE messaging according to your business’s needs.
- Video and voice calls
- LINE Creators Market
- Chat-based consultations
- LINE Games
Sales, marketing, and customer support are all about context. And Instagram’s powerful content curation algorithms are especially well-suited to provide content that exists at the intersection of your customer’s interest and your business’s goals. With Instagram Direct, your sales reps, marketing professionals, and service agents can start consistently relevant conversations.
And since Instagram has introduced shopping to its platform, retailers can leverage IG as a new sales channel. On top of all that, Instagram Direct is very popular among the Millennial and Gen Z demographic—a large consumer base that’ll only continue to grow in size and buying power.
- Group messages
- Video chats
- Message effects, custom reactions, and selfie stickers
- Customizable chats
- Native Messenger and WhatsApp integrations
- Disappearing messages
Learn more about using Instagram Direct with Zendesk
Best free live chat software trials
Zendesk live chat software (formerly known as Zendesk Chat) is a robust tool that empowers your agents to engage customers via live chat and so much more. With a free trial of Zendesk, your team will have access to intuitive automations, full conversation histories, built-in social messaging integrations, in-app and website live chat, chatbot builders, and much more.
And since live chat doesn’t exist in a vacuum, Zendesk is designed to connect ongoing conversations with your customers across all channels. Plus, through the Zendesk Suite, all this is available on a flexible, open platform that’s 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 Flow Builder, Zendesk’s drag-and-drop conversation design interface, even non-developers can create chat flows that address a wide range of specific scenarios. And Zendesk’s AI chatbot, Answer Bot, provides links to relevant help center content or hands the query off to a live agent, making it easy for customers to help themselves.
To top it all off, Zendesk also offers Sunshine Conversations which allows agents to access and view information from all your business systems from within the Zendesk platform. This includes data from just about anywhere you collect customer data—from third-party chatbots to payment processors and every system in between. Sunshine also offers proactive and group messaging for restaurants, marketplace apps, and customers. Just keep in mind that these features are only accessible if you purchase Sunshine Conversations.
Zendesk live chat features include:
- Chatbot builder
- Third-party chatbot integrations
- Chat queue management
- Proactive responses
- Live chat customization
- Native knowledge base, CRM, and other integrations
- Analytics dashboards
- Pre-built apps
- API access
- Secure access options
Learn more about Zendesk for messaging
LiveChat offers four plans: Starter, Team, Business, and Enterprise. And 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.
LiveChat is built to connect your agents and customers with maximum context. Its 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.
LiveChat Features (Free Trial)
- 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
Learn more about LiveChat for Zendesk
Tars Chatbots are unique chatbots designed to automate answers to simple customer queries and hand off more complicated queries to live agents. In cases where the bot handles the query, it also collects the customer’s contact details which it feeds into your CRM.
Tars makes it easy to build your own chatbots with pre-built chatbot templates and a visual, drag-and-drop interface. You can deliver your chatbot on WhatsApp, as a website widget, or its own page. Through their 14-day free trial, you can fully access the Tars Chatbot platform. There is no free plan though, so if you don’t sign up for a paid plan before 14 days, all your chatbots will be disabled.
Tars Chatbots Features (Free Trial)
- Three web chatbots
- Two chatbots designed for free
- 10,000 chats/month
- Five users
- One WhatsApp API
- Reporting and analytics
- Payment integration
Learn more about Tars Chatbots for Zendesk
Geckoboard is powerful software that enables your team to pull in data from your customer support tools and consolidate it into an attractive, shareable dashboard. Geckoboard makes it easy to create intuitive dashboards with real-time data to keep your team on top of issues as they arise. At the same time, you can use Geckoboard to monitor progress towards goals and performance on KPIs.
Plus, Geckoboard is designed to make it easy to share dashboards within the customer support team and with external departments. That way, everyone who needs it gets visibility into the incredible work of your service team. There’s no free version of Geckoboard, but you can get a 14-day free trial of any one of Geckoboard’s four plans.
Geckoboard Team Plan Features (Free trial)
- 5 dashboards and 10 users
- 60+ data sources
- Connect to (up to 3) TVs
- Custom logos
- Shareable links
- Mobile access
Learn more about GeckoBoard for Zendesk
Klaus aims to solve a similar problem to Geckoboard but in a much different way. Like Geckoboard, Klaus provides dashboards centered around KPIs such as CSAT, FCR, and NPS. But that’s where the similarities end. In addition to its function as an analytics dashboard, Klaus is also a quality assurance tool for customer service managers.
Using Klaus, managers can pull in conversation samples to review, rate, and provide feedback on. On the other end, agents can improve and develop with regular, transparent and actionable feedback. Klaus is available via free trial but there is no free plan.
Klaus Features (Free trial)
- CRM and helpdesk integrations
- CSV export and easy API integration
- Sentiment analysis
- Unlimited conversation reviews
- Dynamic scorecards
- Daily, weekly or monthly review goals
- Multiple rating scales per conversation
- Root cause analysis
Learn more about Klaus for Zendesk
With Chatlayer, non-developers can easily build and manage conversational AI chatbots. The free live chat trial of Chatlayer lasts for 30 days and equips you with a powerful Natural Language Processing algorithm that understands over 100 languages. When it’s integrated with your live chat software, you can use Chatlayer to resolve repetitive queries and collect customer data for your agents.
Chatlayer also allows for handing conversations over to live agents once the bot has served its purpose. When integrated with Zendesk Chat, for instance, 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 Chat Enterprise plan.
- No-code interface
- Built-in analytics
- Live agent chat handover
- SMS and social media integrations
- ISO 27001 certified
- Multi-language support
Learn more about Chatlayer for Zendesk