Best Live Chat Vendors — Recommended for Businesses and Law Firms

A white, rounded square logo with an abstract S-shaped design on a gradient blue and purple background.

If someone is on your website and has a pressing question that, if left unanswered, could cost you their business, then having a live chat option may be worthwhile.

This is especially true if you are selling a product, because of the unique requirements a client may be wondering about before they spend money and choose you over your competitors. A live chat can also calm initial fears about contacting you for consultation or signup. It shows that you are immediately available and willing to talk.  You do, however, have to be willing to have someone manning the live chat during your operating hours.

There quite a few providers of live chat software out there. In determining which vendors to our clients, I looked at the following criteria:

  1. Functionality;
  2. Ease of implementation (setup and code) and ability to customize
  3. Aesthetics; and
  4. Cost.

In my search, a lot of the software/web apps had features and succeeded in the core purpose of a live chat program. I did not have specific requirements for advanced features, so I was looking at this from a general perspective, with cost as an important factor.

If the site and product look like it was designed and developed in 1998, it lost the race. In my opinion, that shows me that the company does not care about their product or is not keeping it up to date.

My Top Choice

Olark – The Feel-good MailChimp-ish option

http://www.olark.com/features

This service is nice and modern, with good aesthetics. One of our clients, CEDRSolutions.com, uses it. You can chat from an existing IM client, it installs easily, and has statistics/reporting. It can also integrate with Highrise, Salesforce, or Zendesk and has a nice API.

Cost: $15 a month; 1 operator; $44 a month; up to 4 operators;

Screenshot of an online chat interface with user information including location, IP address, and visit history. A text box prompts users to chat or send a message. The Olark logo is visible, showcasing one of the best live chat vendors recommended for businesses and law firms.
A software interface showing a list of operators with options to add them to groups such as Sales and Support. A dropdown menu for adding an operator to a group is highlighted, making it easy for businesses and law firms to manage team assignments seamlessly.

Top-Tier Options

LiveChat

http://www.livechatinc.com/

This web-based operator app offers customization, tracking, surveys, canned responses, and all that jazz.

Cost: $36 for single operator, $149 for 5 operators

A LiveChat support interaction is displayed on the left and an email application interface is shown on the right, both discussing a Best Live Chat Vendors subscription and payment method inquiry. Recommended for businesses and law firms, this setup ensures seamless communication across platforms.

WhosOn

http://www.whoson.com/tour.aspx

This compares similarly to LivePerson.  It includes downloadable operator software.

Cost: $39 a month for single operator;  $114 a month for 4 operators; or buy outright for $640 (1 user) to $1210 (5 users);

A screenshot of an email chat interface shows a conversation between two users discussing interest in email2db products, access to a web page for more information, and prices. This discussion highlights that top live chat vendors are recommended for businesses and law firms. Display includes contact info and timestamps.

 

Expensive:

Velaro, another full-featured Option

http://www.velaro.com/

This product is award winning. It features click to chat and click to call, visitor monitoring and surveys with  3rd party integration.

Cost:  $52.95 per agent/ per month

LivePerson, One of the corporate top-dogs

LivePerson is one of the “high-tiered” services and, therefore, expensive. We’ve all used this one before.

Cost:They hide prices on their site. From another site I found these numbers:

$95 a month for single operator; $475 for 5 operators

 

Free

LiveZilla – Free, Fights Mothra when mankind is in danger

LiveZilla  runs on your own web server, with no subsequent payments and 100% control over your data. This isn’t related to the Mozilla suite. There were some overall good comments about it.

Cost: Free – but it needs to be set up on the server and supported.

LiveZilla chat interface showing a support conversation. The system notifies about setup. Derek Punzova, a Premium Support agent, greets the visitor, who responds with a question. LiveZilla is one of the Best Live Chat Vendors — Recommended for Businesses and Law Firms seeking reliable customer service tools.

Runner Up, Worthy Mention

Zopim

http://www.zopim.com/pricing

This option is similar to Olark, except a little cheaper.

Cost: Free with 2 concurrent chats; $9 a month for 1 agent. $15 a month for 2 agents; $39 a month for 5 agents.

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