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Our Five Favourite Web Chat Apps

A client recently asked for our recommendation on which website chat app to use and as I’ve only have experience with Olark in recent years I thought it would be worth reviewing what’s currently available.

I picked five listed below based on whether they were recommended elsewhere, if I’d heard of them before or on the clarity of the offer and the systems design.I evaluated each chat app as a potential customer chatting to the vendor’s operator judging each on how quickly I got chatting, if I was hounded at all to begin with, what integrations they had and of course the cost. Hopefully this will give you a little more information to refine down your selection to test out.

Summary: JivoChat and Olark stuck out for me as a cost effective way to get started but Zendesk looks like a good step up to a fuller chat and customer support system with better integrations when time and budget allow. web chat sales website screenshot
  • Chat only. Free with option to pay for branding removal or chat agents
  • Need to enter email/name to start chat
  • Admin is browser only as far as I can see


Olark web chat sales website screenshot

  • Chat only from £12/mo/agent but have free plan capped at 20 chats/month
  • Automated messages to start conversations based on rules such as referring URL or location
  • Message templates for quicker responses
  • Integrates with many CRM apps
  • Needed to enter email/name to start chat
  • Exit survey and ability to send copy of the transcript by email


JivoChatweb chat sales website screenshot

  • Basic version free for 5 agents. Pro version (£7/mo/agent) includes canned responses with some automation message automation
  • No questions to start the chat, was initiated by operator
  • Have desktop and mobile apps as well as browser app
  • Have API/Webhooks
  • Simple exit survey to capture sentiment (thumbs up or down)


Zendesk web chat sales website screenshot

  • Chat from £12/mo/agent
  • Email software £5/mo/agent. Includes basic Knowledge base/FAQ system
  • Optional Answer bot from £38/mo/50 queries
  • Chat box doesn’t pop up automatically. Not able to test out the chat feature
  • Mobile and browser apps from what I can see
  • Have API/Webhooks


Intercom Inbox web chat sales website screenshot

  • Chat from £38/mo unified comms inbox to manage chats. Can also manage social (Twitter/Facebook) direct messages
  • Help document/FAQ management £35/mo. Includes an operator bot to surface relevant content
  • Initial bot interaction asked for name/email/company/employees. Seemed slightly slower process to other companies
  • Chat box didn’t pop up automatically
  • Mobile and browser apps
  • Have API/Webhooks

Let me know on Twitter which chat apps you use or the experience you have using them on other websites

Photo by from Pexels