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Top 3 Live Chat Software: Comparison of Zendesk, FreshChat and Salesforce Live Agent

Category: B2B News
What is the best live chat software?

The best live chat software is Zendesk, an innovative live chat application that is built for businesses of all sizes. Zendesk Live Chat is a genuinely powerful solution that boasts:

  • proactive engagement tools
  • instant messaging capability
  • reliable workflow management features

Much has changed in the business-consumer dynamics these days. Power has shifted rapidly on the consumer side where instant gratification rules: where customers crave immediacy and want quick answers to their issues. A few seconds delay and they could be gone in a huff, bringing their wallets elsewhere. In turn, businesses face a significant drop in customers lifetime value, a damaged reputation, and a dwindling bottom line. For many of them with limited financial range, this could be the death knell for their business.

Fortunately, the advent of live chat software has quelled these escalations, enabling companies to deliver outstanding services at the doorstep of every customer. And in this article, we’ll look into the 3 top live chat software to cut the time you need to find out which one should see the light of day running your systems. While these tools all provide impressive customer engagement tools, analytics and reporting, there’s most likely one that should top your shopping list based on other factors such as vendor support, scalability, update path, and the all-important pricing factor.

top 3 live chat software

What are the top 3 live chat software?

Let’s face it: live chat is the best customer support channel. Why? Because it offers all the key functionalities to streamline customer support services for B2B and B2C businesses. Live chat is no longer a luxury or a nice-to-have feature on your website; it is a vital tool if you want to provide quick connection times and prompt responses to customers. Today, 77% of consumers regard live chat so highly that they cannot buy from a brand that doesn’t offer a live chat option.

This means that if you want to increase sales, you have to adopt fundamental live chat practices to keep customers happy. If you haven’t done it yet, inefficiencies always get in the way of your agents’ performance day in and day out. And the red lines on your business reports are ugly to look at.

Recent live chat software statistics have shown that 79% of businesses that provide live chat have had a positive impact on customer loyalty, sales, and revenue. This is quite logical given that 38% of consumers are highly likely to purchase from a business that offers live chat, while 58% of customer will buy again and stay loyal to a brand that provides live chat.

The Impact of Live Chat On Business


Businesses offering live chat have had a positive impact on sales, customer loyalty, and revenue


Customers are highly likely to purchase from a business if it offers live chat support


Customers are more likely to stick with and buy again from businesses offering live chat support


Customers have told a friend about a positive live chat experience

Credit: Kayako

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The road to live agent decision

However, while many firms know for a fact that live chat software can provide several benefits, delivering unique and memorable experiences has not been easy. Many businesses still find it hard to deal with increasing live chat requests, schedule changes, disgruntled customers, and long conversations. It’s not surprising then that 20% of consumers have told a friend or colleague about a bad live chat experience.

Notably, 29% of customers are frustrated by scripted, impersonal responses, while a fifth can’t stand the long waiting times experienced with some live chat solutions.

To reap all the benefits of live chat software, businesses must prioritize live chat solutions that are easy and effortless. The software on our list put the customer first and allow you to deliver exceptional, personalized support service that customers savor. The solutions can help you relay your charm offensive with outstanding support and unique techniques to improve your sales organization to entice customers to buy and repurchase more from your brand.


Zendesk is an innovative live chat software designed to help businesses reach out to their customers and provide real-time support. The software blends the power of chat and messaging, enabling companies to serve more customers in less time. It has a reliable live chat widget that is embedded in a website to bring customers and businesses closer together. With Zendesk, buyers can ask for help anywhere, anytime. Meanwhile, businesses get a reliable channel to offer fast and effective support.

The vendor has a comprehensive test-drive offer if you want to check the features first. You can quickly sign up for Zendesk free trial here.


An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Zendesk won our Expert's Choice Award for 2019

Our score
User satisfaction

The best part about Zendesk s that it enables businesses to see the customers on their websites. It even pinpoints the page they are looking at. Besides, the solution can be configured to initiate chats automatically based on a set of predefined rules. This way, Zendesk makes it easy to engage customers at all stages of the sales life cycle. It curtails cart abandonment and boosts conversions to raise sales.

Even better, Zendesk tracks and analyzes all customer interactions to deliver in-depth insights into support operations. It also provides powerful metrics that help a business anticipate customer questions and even know when customers need help most.  Better still, the solution elucidates agent performance and customer satisfaction statistics, letting companies know what to tweak to improve the quality of service.

Key Features of Zendesk

  1. Provides a suite of customer engagement tools cush as triggers, pre-chat forms, and chatbots.
  2.  Offers powerful metrics into chat operations.
  3. Fully customizable chat widget.
  4. Comes with powerful workflow management features like chat routing and chats tags.
  5. It plays nice with Android and iOS devices.


FreshChat is a cloud-based live chat software built for sales and customer engagement teams of e-commerce and SaaS companies. It is a reliable live messaging application that enables businesses to talk to customers and prospects on websites, social pages, and mobile apps. A step ahead of legacy live chat, FreshChat provides innovative features that enable businesses to deliver a seamless and context-driven messaging experience to all customers.

Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you signup for FreshChat free trial here.

The best thing about FreshChat is that it put crucial details like customer name, what the customer is looking for on your website, and the customer location at your fingertips. This way, it becomes easy to deliver an exceptionally personalized reply to each customer. Better still, FreshChat allows you to automatically classify people on your website as visitor, customer or prospect, and prioritize who to talk to. As a result, you can accurately pinpoint visitors and initiate conversations that push them down the sales funnel or identify your customers and keep them engaged and satisfied. Engaging the right web visitor at the right time is one of the most powerful ways of using live chat software to increase sales.

What’s more is that with FreshChat, you can automate how conversations with customer, prospects, or website visitors are started. For example, the application can be configured to send automatic messages to visitors from marketing or Facebook campaign based on the time they spend on your landing page.

Key Features of FreshChat

  1. Gives you complete access to chat history.
  2. Offers a fully customizable widget.
  3. Provides a suite of lead generation tools such as email campaigns and triggered messages.
  4. Has a set of powerful customer engagement tools like in-app messages and multichannel messaging.

Salesforce Live Agent

Salesforce Live Agent is built as a native Salesforce tool to help companies engage prospects, website visitors, and customers at the right time and deliver personalized customer experience. Boasting a comprehensive suite of innovative features, this tool enables SMBs as well as large enterprises to communicate in real-time with their website users.

If you want to investigate the features closely, you can easily do so when you sign up for Salesforce Live Agent free trial here.

Salesforce gives support agents unfettered access to customer details right insight the cloud-based agent dashboard. From the dashboard, agents can view information such as customer contact details, social profiles, and previous interactions. This way, agents are able to not only respond promptly and accurately but also deliver a fully personalized experience. That’s not all: the application enables agents to manage multiple chats from a single dashboard, thereby boosting their productivity.

Salesforce Live Agent can route customer interactions to the most qualified expert. Besides, with the application, agents can predict the coming question based on what the customer is typing. This lets them respond instantly with the right responses. The best part is that it allows supervisors to control the chat operations right from the customizable supervisor dashboard. With it, the supervisor can lend a hand to new agents. For example, they can coach agents in real-time. This can be done via private messages or offering suggestions in the middle of a live customer chat.

Key Features of Salesforce Live Agent

  1. Provides a cloud agent console that gives agents a 360-degree view of customers.
  2. Comes with a customizable supervisor dashboard that keeps supervisor in control of every support activity.
  3. Supports multichannel routing
  4. Features robust order and asset management tools.

Comparison of Key Features

Proactive Customer Engagement

If you want to reach out to and proactively engage customers, Zendesk Live Chat is perfectly ideal. Combining the power of message and chat, the application helps you monitor customer behavior on your website. It then engages them at the most appropriate time. You can easily track customers hovering on the checkout page. This lets you use automated triggers to initiate meaningful conversations to help them check out with ease.

Primarily, Zendesk Live Chat suite of customer engagement tools allow you to connect with your customers and offer a lending hand at just the right moment. The pre-chat forms allow you to understand customers better to deliver personalized support. The AI-powered chatbots make it easy to automate time-consuming, redundant tasks. This frees time for agents to focus on delivering quality service.

Meanwhile, FreshChat and Salesforce Live Agent aren’t far behind when it comes to customer engagement. In particular, FreshChat offers a wide array of customer engagement tools that are designed to boost lead generation. It turns undecided customers into brand loyalists. Like Zendesk Live Chat, FreshChat provides triggered messages and pre-chat forms. Moreover, it has other robust features. These include in-app messages and user segmentation. It helps you classify visitors based on their behavior, activity, and geography.

Verdict: Zendesk Live Chat, FreshChat, and Salesforce Live Agent set the standards when it comes to proactive customer engagement. However, Zendesk is a cut above the rest thanks to its inimitable tools. These include AI-powered chatbots, predefined responses for the most common requests, and workflow management tools.

Multichannel Support

Today’s customers are not confined to chat; they crave the opportunity to use any channel—email, phone, and social media, to seek help from an organization. For this reason, an excellent live chat solution is one that provides multichannel support.

Zendesk Live Chat is renowned as the trendsetter when it comes to multichannel support thanks to its Zendesk Message application. The Zendesk Message not only supports all communication medium—online chat, email, phone, and social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger but also synchronizes these channels to give customers the ease to interact with your brand and enjoy a remarkable experience.

Meanwhile, FreshChat is not distant behind in terms of multichannel support. While it doesn’t have the robust omnichannel support features of Zendesk Live Chat, it still proves to be a valuable option with unique features. This includes OmniChat, which allows you to carry FreshChat messenger to any Chrome webpage and deliver help to customers from anywhere. Salesforce Live Agent, on the other hand, may not possess the multichannel support capability of Zendesk Live Chat or FreshChat, but it’s still worth considering, especially for its ability to help agents resolve customer cases faster.

Verdict: Zendesk Live Chat claims the top spot when it comes to multichannel support. The software supports customer interactions from all communication channels and ensures synchronization among the channels to enhance customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, FreshChat’s OmniChat and the Salesforce Live Agent case management features offer enough incentives to warrant a place in the top echelon in terms of multichannel support.

Live Chat Analytics

Zendesk Live Chat is quite extensive when it comes to live chat analytics capabilities. The solution analyzes data to give support teams a bird’s-eye-view of agent activity as well as customer interactions. It provides powerful agents metrics to tweak services based on customers needs to raise satisfaction levels and improve agents productivity.

What makes Zendesk Live Chat unique is that it allows teams to view agent performance, visitor experience, and chat volume data in real-time. It’s also a breeze to measure the impact your chat activities have on sales conversions, and even identify & reward top-performing agents.

FreshChat and Salesforce Live Agent do not lag far behind in terms of live chat analytics capability. Salesforce Live Agent employs artificial intelligence to uncover issues in the support channel. It recommends the best course of action to improve agent productivity and improve customer satisfaction. On the other hand, FreshChat provides helpdesk insights and campaign metrics. This helps you improve customer service and measure campaign performance, respectively.

Verdict: Zendesk Live Chat’s ability to monitor actionable data in real-time is simply impressive. It is one of the reasons the solution gets ahead of the other software. However, FreshChat and Salesforce Live Agent can also offer helpful insights into support services.


The best live chat solution will not only provide robust features of its own but also make it easy to integrate with other web services and multiple third-party apps to extend its functionality. All the three products stand on the shoulder of industry giants, offering popular integrations and API access to improve their quality and optimize live support workflows.

Out of the box, Zendesk Live Chat integrates with 100+ collaboration, analytics & reporting, e-commerce & CRM, project management, productivity & time tracking, and survey applications. Some of the popular Zendesk LiveChat integrations include Shopify, Salesforce, Botmind, Guru, Ada, and BigCommerce. Besides, you can add the Zendesk Live Chat to any CMS  including Prestashop, Drupal, WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Joomla, and Magento.

FreshChat doesn’t have as many integrations as Zendesk Live Chat, but it still allows you to connect with popular apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Freshsales, Freshdesk, Shopify, Zendesk, WordPress, and Slack. Meanwhile, Salesforce Live Agent works seamlessly with popular applications such as Salesforce and Zapier and supports computer-telephony integration to improve agent productivity.

Verdict: Zendesk Live Chat is indisputably the best live chat software when it comes to integration and API access. It is ideally perfect for Zendesk support Platform users.

However, that doesn’t mean the other two products are not good enough. If you are using FreshSales or any other Freshworks products, FreshChat is the ideal option to apply to streamline online support. On the other hand, if you want to increase upsell and cross-sells opportunities on Salesforce platform the best pick for a live chat solution would be Salesforce Live Agent.

Mobile Apps

There is no denying the use of mobile phones is running on high gear. Thus. you can only expect customer issues coming in through mobile phones to snowball. A live chat software not compatible with mobile phones can never have a positive impact on today’s cutthroat competition.

So, do the three products avail themselves directly to mobile operating systems (OS)?

Zendesk Live Chat and FreshChat provide intuitive mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. The mobile apps offer a modern messaging platform with nearly all the great live chat tools available on the web dashboard. They bring continuity and extend remarkable customer experience to the mobile interface, allowing customers to ask for support anywhere, anytime without leaving the app.

Meanwhile, Salesforce Live Agent doesn’t have a mobile app that is primarily designed for live chat support. However, there is an Android and iOS Salesforce app that unifies all services, including a chatter, custom apps, and CRM.

Verdict: If mobile support is a priority Zendesk Live Chat and FreshChat are ideal products. However, Zendesk Live Chat holds a slight advantage over FreshChat because it offers a mobile chat SDK. This enables developers to add live chat to their mobile apps.


Typical of these software vendors, all three products offer per-user based pricing tiers that bills clients monthly and annually. FreshChat and Zendesk Live Chat allow you to create an account for free using the basic plan. The free plans are limited as they only provide a few basic live chat features and lack essential functions such as analytics & reports, triggered messages, and chatbots. To get all the advanced features, you have to upgrade to a premium plan.

While Zendesk Live Chat offers the most affordable starting plan at $14/agent/month (billed annually), it’s not ideal for businesses that want to support an unlimited number of agents. Midsized businesses can choose from plans that cost $29/agent/month. These allow them to unlock features like chat management, triggered messages, chat widget customizations, Zendesk Message, and assorted security features. For enterprise users, the solution offers a competitive price plan that costs $59/agent/month (billed annually). This gives them access to all the features, including Zendesk chatbots.

FreshChat offers four premium plans; Blossom ($15/user/month billed annually), Garden ($24/user/month billed annually), Estate ($39/user/month billed annually), and Forest ($79/user/month billed annually). On the other hand, Salesforce Live Agent has four pricing plans namely: Essentials (€ 25/user/month billed annually), Professional (€ 75/user/month billed annually),  Enterprise (€ 150/user/month billed annually), and Unlimited (€ 300/user/month billed annually)

Verdict: Putting all pricing factors into consideration, it’s hard to pick the best product between Zendesk Live Chat and FreshChat. The two products take the top spot because of their scalable pricing, free plan, and the number of advanced features they offer on their premium plans. Salesforce Live Agent is a distant second in terms of pricing because it’s comparatively expensive. It also doesn’t provide as many advanced features as the other two products.

Have you picked your live chat software yet?

Live chat stepped out of its cocoon a long time ago. Now it’s no longer a new channel in modern business. Nearly all companies deploy live chat on their websites to handle such demand for seamless support customers relish. The adoption of live chat has been accelerated by the emergence of a new generation of consumers that yearn for immediacy and the realization that live chat offers better customer satisfaction levels at 73%, compared to email (61%) and phone at 44%.

While the benefits of using a live chat are many, you must have a deeper understanding of what a live chat software is. You should also take a cautious approach when embedding one on your website. This is because there are tons of live chat software out there. Still, only a  few can optimize your customer service to the delight of your customers and agents. Hopefully, our analysis of the top 3 live chat apps has abridged your decision-making process. This should give you the insights you need to pick the best software for your business.

Features face off to help you decide fast

We’ve put Zendesk Live Chat, FreshChat, and Salesforce Live Agent to a features showdown. This is to help you identify which of the three products suits your requirements. Zendesk has dominated most of the categories with robust features. These include multichannel support, proactive customer engagement, live chat analytics, and integrations. Interestingly, the other two products showed that they are a force to reckon with and are not lagging far behind. Just take your time and weigh your requirements against the functionalities of these tools.

If you want to immediately go all out to make your customers happy using a premium live chat tool, try Zendesk Live chat. This is our top live chat tool, and you can have a taste of what it can offer when you sign up for Zendesk Live Chat free trial here. Our experts have scrutinized this app rigorously and it’s our top live chat tool by merit.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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