Live Chat Software: Compare Companies

As a business owner, offering your customers and potential customers a choice in how to contact you is key. Enter: live chat software. Here at Planet Marketing we put our client’s on live chat to land more sales and to handle customer problems before they are escalated. This real-time method of communication is becoming more and more of an important component in how companies interaction with customers online. In fact, of all the methods to communicate with a company, research shows more than 60 percent of online shoppers prefer live chat over other forms of interaction when it comes to customer support. Nobody wants to pick up a phone anymore and be bounced around a teleprompt system, leave a message, and wait to get a call back. No one wants to craft an email that may or may not be seen by anyone of any importance for a few days. Not only does live chat build trust and save money, it saves your customers time as well.

Bottom line is, any live chat software can put more money in your pocket as a business owner, and we’ll tell you how. It’s as easy as copy/pasting the code into the footer of your website.

Which one is the best live chat software? Well, like anything else, there are many options to choose from, all ranging in price, offerings, ticketing systems, hours of operations, and overall benefits. But for the purposes of this blog, we’ll stick to four software companies:

  • Zopim by Zendesk
  • Olark
  • Rhino Support
  • Kayako

Live Chat without Ticketing Software

zopim live chat softwareZopim by Zendesk
Planet Marketing uses Zopim and we have no affiliation with them. Promoting them is no problem since we use their services. We love the automatic triggers. Zopim is well known in the live chat industry. This live chat software is flexible, allowing you to receive and pay for only what you need. On a side note, one of our clients uses the file transfer feature in Zopim to get documents ASAP. Customers take a picture with their cell phone and upload it via Zopim live chat. There’s no need to find an email, save files to a computer, enter a subject, etc.

Catering to teams of all sizes, you can take part in a 14-day free trial at the Premium plan level to see if you like it. There are four tiers to their offerings:

  • Lite: $5, one agent only, best for individuals
  • Basic: $11.20 per agent per month, best for lean teams
  • Advanced: $20 per agent per month, best for established teams
  • Premium: $44 per agent per month, best for industry leaders

Check out this pricing comparison chart. It shows you exactly what you get with each level you choose. The Advanced is their best value and most popular option, giving you unlimited triggers (automatically create actions based on specific criteria to target high value leads), ability to set up operating hours (manage agents’ online/offline status), and ability to set the duration and quantity of all chats. Bump up to the Premium and you get 24/7 support, real-time monitoring and agent reports.

Why Live Chat with Zopim by Zendesk? You can:
• Help customers find what they need
• Increase sales through proactive approach
• Improve customer satisfaction rates through quick problem solving
• Track and monitor website visitors
• Awesome mobile app for Android and iPhone

Agents within Zopim can switch seamlessly between all other communication platforms, such as emails, phone calls, social media posts and more. Customers can access the web widget to engage in chat, get to the help center, send a support email and much more without having to interrupt their shopping tasks.

olark-live chat-softwareOlark
Olark Pricing
We have some of our clients on Olark’s live chat software. It’s a fantastic yet simple to use product. It’s awesome because you can take over someone’s browser! Of course the visitor needs to give you permission to take over their browser. Do people have a hard time filling out documents or making a decision to make a purchase? The ‘cobrowsing’ feature alone can land you enough business to pay for the Olark monthly subscription. Get this software if you have an eCommerce site because you can see a person’s shopping cart. If they are at checkout and you think your customer is going to abandon the cart, you can send a message via live chat with a 5% discount to save the sale. Go to the live chat on Olark’s site and tell them to use the cobrowsing feature on your browser.
Disclaimer: We are affiliated with Olark. If you choose Olark, please use our affiliate link so we get credit. Your price is still the same.

With Olark live chat, you get just two price levels: basic and premium. The basic is $12.99 and includes:
• Email Transcripts (all live chat software has this)
• Reporting
• Shortcuts (aka ‘canned responses’)
• Shopping Cart Saver (see your customers shopping cart)
• Invisible Olark
• Targeted chat (aka ‘triggers’ to automate messages based on actions)
• Cobrowsing (This lets you take over someone’s browser. It’s awesome if you need to help someone complete an order)
• CRM Integration (Salesforce, Highrise, Nutshell, etc.)
• Operator Groups
• Helpdesk Integration (Groove,, Zendesk, etc.)
• Online Training

Most companies will only need the basic plan. The premium is $22.99/month and includes all the basic level has to offer plus:
• Custom CSS
• Remove Olark Branding
• Hands-on Team Training
• Custom Quotes
• Custom Contracts

Compare tiers to see which one best suits your business. With Olark, you can customize the themes, text and language you use. You also have a strong API. It works in conjunction with the software you already use and helps to fuel your CRM. Business hours are limited but you can customize messages for customers who contact you after hours.

Live Chat with Ticketing Software

rhino-support-live-chat-softwareRhino Support
Rhino Support

Rhino Support, owned by TrustGuard, is a hosted solution. Featuring speed, efficiency and ease of use, Rhino Support is best for small to medium businesses who want a simple live chat software with ticketing support system. It’s a no frills system that can grow as your company grows. Rhino Support is also great for businesses who have no desire to integrate with complex CRM systems or APIs; in contrast, for example, Zendesk and Kayako integrate into many different types of enterprise software necessary for larger businesses.
Disclaimer – Rhino Support contacted us to become partners. If you want to choose Rhino Support, please use our partner link.

With Rhino Support, you can:
• Set triggers based on actions like X amount of seconds on home page
• Instantly join multiple tickets together in one click
• Assign tickets to other agents
• Prioritize tickets by color
• Filter spam
• Add support for up to 5 websites
• Create customer notes

With easy set-up in minutes and unlimited agent plans, Rhino Support offers versatile, affordable options for the money especially when you take into account the 15-day free trial.

$47/mo (1 Agent Only + Ticketing System)
$97/mo (Unlimited Agents + Ticketing System)
$197/mo (Up to 5 Websites + Unlimited Agents + Ticketing System)


With Kayako On Demand, you get instant setup that’s secure within the Kayako cloud. With a free 30-day trial, you can get started in minutes by choosing one of these plans for live chat:

  • Engage: $29/agent/month (live chat only)
  • Fusion: $49/agent/month (live chat + tickets + emails + calls)
  • Enterprise: $99/agent/month (best for large organizations)

I have seen Kayako around for many years now. Although we haven’t used Kayako here at Planet Marketing, we have used it as a consumer. I think I opened a ticket to complain about a service via live chat. I clearly remember the Kayako process was great.

The Fusion plans have more to offer in the area of support ticketing and email than Engage; however, when it comes to Live Chat, Engage and Fusion dominate with features such as real-time visitor monitoring, intelligent chat routing and live chat on IM apps and mobile. The Enterprise level has all that the other plans have in addition to things like tailored onboarding and migration, priority and phone support, and access to backup data. However, unless you’re a large business, for your money, you’re best off with either Engage or Fusion for the rich live chat features.

Which live chat software to choose?

This is a highly personal decision, one you may want to troubleshoot by checking out the free trials first. For a no-frills straightforward solution to your live chat needs with the least impact on your wallet, Olark is a solid software. Kayako has a robust suite of software targeted to various price points that fit all budgets, although it’s the most expensive at the Enterprise level at nearly $100. For a middle-of-the-road solution, you can’t beat the affordability of Zopim by Zendesk, which incidentally is the software we use here at Planet Marketing.

We like Zopim because we can create custom messages that “trigger” on particular pages after X amount of seconds. We use it to land sales, not for tickets or customer service. We really don’t have customers here, we have clients. However, Rhino Support has ticketing software. In the future, Planet Marketing might use Rhino Support. We were using Olark, but felt that in our particular case that Zopim was a better fit. For one thing, Zopim has a better canned response system vs. Olark. Zopim isn’t a “better” software, it’s just a better fit for our company.

Check out all the live chat software companies in this list. You should be able to find a good fit for your company. Try out live chat on your website for 1 month and let us know if it helped you land a sale. We land sales all the time! You want to increase every chance to close a sale, especially if you’re using (super expensive) Google Adwords.

Drop us a line here or comment below and tell us your experiences with the above and which one was the best fit for you. Should we add a live chat software to this list? Are there any you do not recommend?

3 thoughts on “Live Chat Software: Compare Companies”

  1. Great article. I’d like to add something about LiveAdmins – a multilingual live chat software and service provider operating in the industry since 2002. Operating across 10 industries and 8 time zones, they offer solutions which are fully customizable, easy to set up and always online. They offer a free demo period of 30 days for you to try out the system and see if it is what you need.

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