Live Chat Software: 5 Reliable Providers Compared
Live chat is one of the most popular digital contact channels. Connecting with your audience via messaging comes with multiple pros – for customers as well as businesses. But which software is the right fit for you?
Having live chat on your website gives your customers an easy and quick way to reach you. It also allows you to follow your customers along the buyer journey and directly address critical questions as they arise.
In addition to live chat, messaging apps are becoming increasingly popular for communicating with businesses. That's why we've only included live chat software in the comparison that offers a central inbox for the important messaging channels, such as website chat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Here are the five best GDPR-compliant live chat providers.
Userlike is one of the most popular live chat providers. With more than 10 years of experience in customer messaging, the German company is trusted by companies such as Toyota, Hermes and Nivea, among others.
Userlike's live chat tool enables website chat customization, live previews of customer messages, automatic translations, audio/video calls, screen sharing and connectivity to popular business tools like Slack and Salesforce.
Service automation e.g. with chatbots is easy to add into your live chat setup. You can choose wheather to connect an external bot via API or to build your own chatbot within Userlike
Our software, in addition to providing a modern chat tool on your website, also allows you to connect with your customers via messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Threema, Telegram and SMS.
- Message Center. The central hub for all your customer chats from different channels. Includes a shared team inbox and a full conversation archive with advanced filtering and search options.
- Hosted in Germany. Chat data is securely stored on servers in Germany. Advanced privacy features, such as automatic data deletion, make Userlike a GDPR-compliant communication software.
- Advanced website messenger. Userlike's website chat allows for live conversations as well as asynchronous conversations that can be continued at any time - something customers know from messengers like WhatsApp.
- Suitable for any sized company. Unlike other comparable providers, such as ChatWerk or Superchat, Userlike is just as suitable for small and medium-sized companies as it is for internationally active large corporations that manage various brands under one roof. The range of functions and pricing adapt to your requirements, such as intelligent routing options or individual access rights.
- Comprehensive support. Userlike offers all customers support via live chat, email and telephone - tech support for complex issues included. Premium packages include personal account managers to help achieve customer communication goals with Userlike.
- Audio, video calls and screen sharing. Userlike allows you to conveniently switch from chat to a browser-based audio or video call. This is especially helpful for discussing complex topics or service requests and providing more personalized advice to interesting leads.
- Complex initial setup. Initial setup is more time-consuming due to many detailed adjustments (if required).
- No smartphone app. Mobile use is not possible via a smartphone app, but only via tablet.
- The free version already gives you unlimited chats and contacts with all core functions for one operator.
- Paid versions are available from 90 euros. The team package, for example, offers four operator seats, access to messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook, and all the important features you need for professional customer service.
Ratings for Userlike on different software comparison platforms at the time of publishing.
Capterra: 4.5/5 stars (635 reviews)
G2 : 4.4/5 stars (437 reviews)
OMR Reviews: 4.4/5 stars (39 reviews)
Munich-based company MessengerPeople offers companies software for customer communication via messenger apps. However, their website chat was only added in 2021 and is overall less sophisticated. For example, it doesn’t have features such as screen sharing and voice messaging.
MessengerPeople offers a variety of Messenger integrations and chatbot templates, but is one of the most expensive live chat providers in our comparison in terms of cost-benefit.
- Media files. The software supports sending all popular media files like videos, pictures and documents.
- Messenger information assistant. You can send promotional bulk messages to messaging apps.
- Wide range of messaging app integrations. In addition to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the software also allows for integration with Viber and Notify, for example.
- High costs. Monthly costs start at 499 euros when using more than two agents.
- Can’t resume previous conversations. There is no possibility to resume a conversation later.
- Limited website chat. Their web chat lacks important customer service features such as sending voice messages, screen sharing, and audio and video calls.
- No alternative messengers. No SMS channel and no integration with european messaging apps like Threema.
- MessengerPeople does not offer a free version.
- Paid versions with limited functions are available from €49 per month; MessengerPeople charges €499 for the full range of functions.
Ratings for MessengerPeople on different software comparison platforms at the time of publishing.
Capterra: 4.3/5 stars (34 reviews)
G2: 4.6/5 stars (10 reviews)
OMR Reviews: 4.5/5 stars (56 reviews)
The American provider Zendesk was founded in 2007. It has since grown into a complex platform that enables combined phone, email and live chat support. More recently, Zendesk integrated a CRM tool into its software. Having a rather broad functionality, the live chat itself is kept quite simple. It has a clean, modern style, but you can’t send voice messages or switch from chat to a video call, for example. The compatible messaging channel options are limited to the essentials.
On another important note, Zendesk is not a bargain. Rather than paying fixed package prices, companies pay a fee for each team member. In its “Suite Professional” option, that’s about $100 per agent per month.
- Combined software. With its multiple channels, CRM and ticket system, Zendesk combines the functionality of multiple tools in one.
- Extensive integration network. Here and there Zendesk lacks some handy features, but they can usually be integrated via an API — with added costs attached.
- Mobile app. Zendesk offers a mobile version of its software, making it easy to use on the go.
- Complexity. The all-in-one charm is a bit tinted by the software’s multiple layers since different channels and tools require their own functionalities and settings.
- Non native add-ons. The CRM module is rather new and doesn’t seamlessly integrate with the rest of the software.
- Simple live chat. Live chat is only one of many parts of Zendesk, so in terms of functionality, it falls behind compared to specialized live chat providers.
- Not GDPR-friendly. Hosting on a EU server comes with additional costs.
- Slow problem solving. Customer support is hard to reach. It sometimes takes weeks to get through.
- Pricing. Even considering that Zendesk covers multiple purposes, the pricing is quite high.
- Zendesk doesn’t offer a free version.
- Fees start from 49 Euro per agent per month.
Ratings for Zendesk on different software comparison platforms at the time of publishing.
Capterra: 4.4/5 stars(3.070 reviews)
G2: 4.3/5 stars(4.870 reviews)
OMR Reviews: 4.2/5 stars(63 reviews)
Userlike: Instant chats, long-term customer relationships
Over 10,000 companies like Toyota and Hermes trust Userlike to connect with their customers every day - via website chat, WhatsApp, chatbots and more.Learn more
Like Zendesk, Intercom is an American live chat provider that was founded in 2011. In addition to live chat, it helps you manage your email support and provide a self-service platform for your customers. Intercom also sells itself as a CRM solution, but the functionalities are too limited to fully work as such. Intercom’s strengths lie in the live chat platform’s usability and their easy chatbot setup.
Like Zendesk, you pay per user per month, but the exact price remains Intercom's secret until you talk to them. A transparent pricing page doesn’t exist.
- User-friendly. Easily set up your live chat and automation.
- Interactive product tours. Present your products in easy-to-set-up product tours (module comes with additional monthly costs)
- Functional app version. Not every app can compete with the desktop version, but Intercom’s can. The mobile app is friendly and functional.
- Expensive solution. Users say that starting with Intercom is relatively affordable, but if you add essential functions the monthly price goes up pretty quickly, and pretty high.
- Not GDPR-friendly. Hosting on a EU server comes with additional costs.
- Limited contacts. If you talk to more than 2,000 clients a month, you’ll receive additional costs
- Limited customization The knowledge base lacks customization options.
- Slow customer service. A problem that many bigger companies run into: the more clients they have, the worse the customer care experience is.
- Intercom doesn’t offer a free version.
- A paid plan for “very small businesses” (as defined by Intercom) is available for $74 a month. Prices for “most businesses” are not communicated on the pricing page.
Ratings for Intercom on different software comparison platforms at the time of publishing.
Capterra: 4.5/5 stars (845 reviews)
G2: 4.4/5 stars (2,381 reviews)
OMR Reviews: 4.2/5 stars ( 31 reviews)
Czech company Smartsupp has a compact offering for businesses. The software combines a live chat tool, email and Facebook Messenger in one platform. However, chat channels such as WhatsApp or SMS cannot be connected.
The paid packages are limited to three users, which can only be expanded to up to 10 users in the "Pro" package for an additional charge. Chat histories are also only available for a limited time with Smartsupp.
The live chat provider allows companies to send media files and integrate chatbots, but important service features like chat tagging, message templates and screen sharing are unavailable.
- Chat window customization. Smartsupp's chat window can be color customized to match your website design.
- Smartlook feature. This allows you to track the visitor's activity on your website.
- Mobile App. Smartsupp is also available as a mobile app for iOS and Android.
- Low range of messaging channels. Smartsupp only allows integration with Facebook Messenger.
- No advanced customer service features. No feature for voicemail, audio/video calls, and screen sharing for website chat.
- No roles and permissions for users. Agents can’t be assigned individual rights or roles to organize team work.
- Smartsupp offers a free version, but it’s limited to 100 conversations per month.
- Paid versions are available from €25.50 per month, including three users.
Ratings for Smartsup on different software comparison platforms at the time of publishing.
Capterra: 4.7/5 stars (260 reviews)
G2: 4.4/5 stars (15 reviews)
OMR Reviews: no ratings
Userlike: professional live chat software
Userlike has already helped more than 10,000 companies like Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Bayer to modernize their customer service. In addition to website chat, our solution also offers integrations with popular messengers such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram and more so that you can reach your customers outside of your website.
You too can benefit from our many years of experience in customer communication and let one of our experts advise you on the use of Userlike in your company. Can you already tell that Userlike is the right solution for your business? Then test our all-in-one software for 14 days free of charge.