People come to your website for many reasons. Maybe they want to buy from you, they might need help with a product or service they’ve already purchased, or perhaps they’re just browsing. But regardless of why they’re there, you have an opportunity to engage with them and give them a great experience with live chat.
Adding a live chat widget to your website is simpler and cheaper than ever. We’ll introduce you to five easy-to-use tools that allow you to set up live chat for websites for free.
Before we get to those tools though, let’s take a quick look at whether you should consider adding live chat to your website in the first place.
Should Your Business Add Live Chat to its Website?
Live chat widgets are most often used when a site visitor has a question that they want answered quickly. By giving them this option, you can keep the phones from ringing off the hook and you have a chance to overcome small sales objections that may otherwise prevent someone from buying from you.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is whether you’ll be able to monitor the live chat feed, at least during business hours. If you have a lot of web traffic, that may be full-time job for one or more people. For most small businesses though, it would work to assign a sales person or office manager to pay attention and respond to the occasional inquiry.
So, if your business is interested in providing a great customer service experience and closing more sales, and you have someone that can monitor and respond to the messages you receive, we highly recommend adding live chat to your website. Now, let’s review some of the tools that allow you to do this for free.
Free Live Chat Tools for Websites
Tawk.to is a full-featured free live chat widget for websites. Some of the things we like about it are its positive reviews, easy setup, and the amount of features included for free.
Setup is super simple and only requires you to copy paste one line of code that they provide. Some of our favorite free features include the ability to have unlimited agents (people on your team that chat with site visitors), mobile apps, canned shortcuts, and many integrations with other tools.
Tawk.to does have some paid options, such as a fee if you want to remove their branding. However, most people will have no issues using the free version for all their needs.
MyLiveChat is another website chat provider that has a robust free option. With unlimited chat volume, quick setup, multi-language support, canned responses, and the ability to email the chat transcript, the free version will be more than enough for most small businesses.
One big thing we look for in a live chat tool is that it begins each chat by asking for an email address, which is a great way to get leads for your email nurturing campaigns. MyLiveChat delivers this feature in their free version, as does Tawk.to and a couple others in this list.
If you do find yourself needing more than what the free option provides, MyLiveChat offers paid plans that allow you to do things like remove their branding and add the ability to have multiple agents chatting with site visitors at the same time.
WP Live Chat Support is a great option if your website is built with WordPress. This free WordPress plugin lets you manage your chats right inside the WordPress admin dashboard, eliminating the need to log into another software tool.
The free version is packed with features including the ability to customize the look of the chatbox, unlimited simultaneous chats, and custom offline messages. Unlike most other free website chat tools, WP Live Chat Support doesn’t have their branding or a “powered by” link on the chat window, which is a nice surprise.
There is also a premium version of the plugin that allows for some more functionality such as triggers for when the chat window pops up, the ability to initiate chat with visitors, and some better reporting
LiveSupporti is another live chat tool that offers a great free plan. It’s simple to set up and the Free Forever plan includes all the features a small business would need. You get unlimited chats, unlimited concurrent chats, offline messages, and mobile apps.
LiveSupporti’s paid plan is just $5/month and will give you the ability to have multiple agents, remove the LiveSupporti branding, multilingual support, and more customization options.
Zendesk Chat’s free plan isn’t as robust as the others in this list, but it is backed by Zendesk, a very well-known and trusted company. The limitations of the free plan that might be deal-breakers for some companies include a chat history that’s limited to 14 days and not being able to have multiple chat conversations happening at the same time.
If those factors don’t matter to you, then you’ll still be able to enjoy the ability to have people rate you after you’re done chatting with them, automatic translation, mobile apps, and a pre-chat form feature that allows you to collect information about the people you’re chatting with.
Zendesk Chat’s premium plans will run you at least $14/month but will give you unlimited agents, more customization, and more advanced features such as automatic triggers.
Intercom is one of the more popular live chat services out there – for a reason. They have one of the best user interfaces and the most robust features. If you want to go all-in on live chat or you have an app or SaaS product, Intercom is definitely worth looking into. The one caveat is that they don’t have a free option, though they do allow you to try it for free for your first 14 days.
Double Bonus: HubSpot
If you’re already on the HubSpot platform, we recommend looking into the new Messages feature. This feature is included in the Sales Pro suite of tools which runs $50 per month per user, but if you’re already using Sales Pro then it won’t cost you anything extra. The Messages feature from HubSpot is still pretty lightweight since it’s so new, but we expect them to be making improvements and additions to it over the next several months. If you want to check out how it works from a site visitor’s perspective, just send us a message in the bottom right corner of this webpage.
With all the free website live chat tools out there, there’s nothing to lose by trying it out for your business. Just make sure you have someone to monitor the chat, pick your favorite tool, and you’ll be set up and ready to go in no time!
What’s your favorite website chat tool? Let us know in the comments below!