Live chat software
We've rounded up some of the top live chat applications in Australia.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
If you run a business and are looking for a new tool that offers immediate support and information to your customers, live chat software could be the answer.
Use this guide to help you work out what software could fit the bill for your business. Read on to find out more.
What is live chat software?
Live chat software helps your business to communicate with customers in real-time through instant messages exchanged via a chat widget on your company website.
Having a live support option can bring customers peace of mind that they're able to contact you easily to arrange purchases or answer any questions. As well as customer service support, a live chat application can be a useful aid to converting leads into paying customers.
What to look for when comparing the best live chat software
- Freebies or discounts. While it's hard to find quality live chat plans that don't charge, many providers offer free trials for a set period such as 14 days or one month.
- Proactive chat. If your company would benefit from an instant help function – in which you reach out to users directly to initiate a conversation, such as via a small live chat window – this is a feature to think about. Some widgets will notify your chat agent about recurring website visitors who may be seeking more help.
- Chat ratings. This can be a great tool for getting feedback from your customers about the quality of your support.
- Mobile-friendly. It's likely you'll want your chosen software to useable by customers on their phones. So, look for Mobile Apps with both iPhone and Android functionality.
- Visitor tracking. Some providers will offer detailed insights into how your live chat users behave. For example, conversion tracking metrics.
- Video, voice and screen sharing. You may want to offer a more personalised experience than text-based support only.
- Chat monitoring. Track chat conversations in real-time, helping you to manage more than one chat agent.
- Queue times. By giving customers a good indication of how long they'll need to wait before they can start a live chat, your users may feel more satisfied with your service.
- Offline messaging. If your company doesn't offer round-the-clock support, it can be beneficial if your chat widget has the functionality to turn into a contact form.
- Business support. Choose a provider with a strong reputation for features such as 24/7 help, security and data management.
Live chat software available in Australia
- Hubspot Live Chat. Using integration with CRM, companies can auto-deliver more personalised messages to existing customers. Other features include targeted welcome messages and custom branding.
- Intercom. Multiple in-app functions including screen sharing, voice or video calls and meeting bookings.
- Userlike. Businesses can automate parts of their customer interactions. Also, combine website chat with mobile messaging.
- Jivochat. CRM and a range of business tools can be integrated. With Jivochat, customers are able to request a call back from within the app.
- Snapengage. Features that lend a human touch to your customer interactions include the ability to personalise your agents as well as the live chat widget appearance.
- Olark. Searchable live chat transcripts make this a solid choice for startups and small businesses who are looking to gather customer insights.
- LiveChat. Suited to meet the specific needs of SMEs. Businesses can use as many customised chat widgets as they need, managed from a single account. Online training and webinar support included.
- Zendesk Chat. Monitor and chat with website visitors in real-time and with ease. Share files efficiently with customers. This includes screenshots, product guides and more.
- ClickDesk. Great for video and voice chat as well as integrating third-party tools that are already in use, including Twitter.
- LiveAgent. Enjoy a host of slick features including the ability to follow up on task tickets via Slack.
- Tidio. Tidio offers a host of features such as tracking visitor behaviour on your site and customising the look of your live chat to match your brand; plus you can bundle your chat, email, and Messenger comms into one convenient panel.
Does your company belong in this list?
Pros and cons of live chat
- Offers convenience to customers, especially when compared to many wait times at call centres
- Likely to be cheaper than phone support
- Builds trust and loyalty in your brand
- User experience is an ongoing challenge as conversations are usually lost if the chat box is closed (or following a poor Internet connection)
- Live chat windows are incompatible on some mobiles
What should I keep in mind when it comes to cost?
When you're comparing providers, the cheapest deal may not be the best option for you. You can expect a greater range of features with more expensive subscription plans and it's up to you to weigh up whether a small extra cost will pay off in the long run. Consider a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to pay for your subscription.
Many live chat providers are based in the US, so, you'll want to be clear on the conversion rates you're offered. The most basic paid-for plans typically start from around USD$12 per agent per month.
Live chat can help your business with a range of functions on your website, helping to solve customer pain points while at the same time offering you the chance to gather some useful marketing information.
We advise you to compare multiple options and keep in mind that the type of software that's best for you ultimately depends on the needs of your company and the specific customer problems you need to solve.
Frequently asked questions
Can I integrate my live chat with any business tools that I already use?
Yes, many providers will let you connect apps such as Google Analytics and Mailchimp to help you streamline your data analytics.
Should I choose Cloud-based or self-hosted software?
Most providers will offer cloud-hosted software, which at its most basic means it's facilitated by the Internet and kept on a third-party server. Self-hosted services are kept 'on-site' using your own company's tech infrastructure. Generally, cloud-based services are chosen more often for a range of factors including its affordability, ease of updates and accessibility.
More guides on Finder
Windows 11: Pricing, availability and new features explained
All the new Windows 11 features worth getting excited – or angry about – right here.
How Optus plans to extend SubHub features and apps
Finder's Optus SubHub interview reveals when new apps will launch, how Telstra's streaming TV services could work, new features and more.
Review: Living Room of Satoshi
Learn how to use crypto for everyday transactions like payments and income.
iOS 15: What’s new and when can I get it?
Here are the details you need to know about Apple's latest version of the iPhone operating system.
Full Apple WWDC 2021 roundup: iOS 15, macOS Monterey and more
Apple's big WWDC 21 conference keynote delivered the software goods, but new hardware was notably absent.
How the budget can help small businesses in 2021
SPONSORED: Here’s how the 2021 budget could impact for your small business – in real terms.
Elon Musk’s Starlink NBN killer is now live in Australia
You can now sign up if you live in certain parts of NSW or VIC – find out how much it'll cost you to get started.
Best NAS drives in Australia
Upgrade your home storage with one of the best NAS devices available on store shelves here in Australia.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review: Samsung’s Pro sounding headphones
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro are its best headphones yet, but they’re best suited to existing Samsung Galaxy phone owners.
10 best retro games (and where to buy them)
Retro games players and collectors love classic games; here are the best game picks for the most popular retro systems.
Ask an Expert