Top 3 Tools for Live Chat for Small Business

Top 3 Tools for Live Chat for Small Business

Are you looking to add live chat to your business’s customer support touchpoints, but don’t want a full-stack, high-dollar, does-more-than-you-need customer service solution? You’ve come to the right place.

One of the great things about using a shared inbox tool like Outpost is that it does one thing—team email—really well. Yet you can still take advantage of other best-in-class stand-alone services, without breaking the bank or sacrificing efficiency. 

“If you are doing a standalone chat, make sure it integrates with email in some way,” advises Sean Serrels, director of customer advocacy at Palo Alto Software. “That way you can take a conversation from chat and continue it in email.”

What is standalone live chat software for small business?

Live chat makes it possible for a website visitor to work through a customer service issue or initiate a purchase through instant message with a sales or support representative from your organization.

While the technology for live chat has existed since the 1970s, over the past 10 years live chat’s popularity has skyrocketed, both with businesses and customers. When contacting support teams, 41 percent of consumers prefer the real-time, instant-response nature of live chat.  63 percent of visitors who use live chat say they are likely to return to that website. 

Live chat is often an option within full-stack, multi-touchpoint customer service solutions. However, a range of best-in-class, budget-friendly, dedicated live chat tools is also available for small businesses. These software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions help you plug live chat into your website, without having to pay extra for services you don’t need.

Even better? They can also integrate with other stand-alone support channels like your shared inbox

“That’s incredibly important for team leaders,” advises Sean. “We need to be able to turn a chat into an email discussion. Then everything is in the same ecosystem of customer communication. If someone says they chatted last week and were told X, we can verify that right in the inbox.”

Ready to add standalone live chat to your business? Here are three tools to consider:


They say: “Get Live Help Now, Not Later”

LiveHelpNow offers live chat support to your customers wherever they are, on your website and also other channels such as email marketing and social networks. The system monitors site visitors in real-time, and you can customize chat triggers to engage customers exactly when they need you.

Sales or support personnel can talk with customers in real-time, and managers can track conversions to see how live chat influenced a sale. SMS options help customers use texting for pure mobile support. 

If a prospect is ready to buy, you can capture the sale in.LiveHelpNow’s secure, HIPAA-compliant platform where the customer can safely enter order information right inside the chat.

Features include behind the scenes, built-in reporting that helps managers review customer comments to identify potential improvements or new business opportunities. You can also send out post-chat surveys to gauge your support performance and where you and your team can further improve service.

LiveHelpNow is also utilizing AI throughout its systems, with features such as automatic translations and a live help bot. All chats can be manually or automatically tagged, and easy integrations hook in your live chat with other systems via Public JS, Webhooks, and REST APIs.

LiveHelpNow’s Chat/SMS is $21 per user per month when billed monthly.


They say: “Engage website visitors and get more leads”

What better way to start offering live chat than for free? With over half a million customers and over 20,000 chats per day, MyLiveChat is free, forever. It can be a great way to get a feel for how your business can integrate live chat without having to set up a line item in the budget.

Worried about live chat slowing down your site? Asynchronous Loading means MyLiveChat doesn’t use your site’s resources to operate. Plus, all chats are secured with 128-bit SSL encryption.

Sales and support staff can seamlessly manage chats behind the scenes through monitoring, priority tiers, and communication transfers. File sharing between agents and visitors, prioritization tools such as user roles, reporting, and team chats make this a powerful tool. When agents need to be away from their desks but remain available for chats, they can log in to MyLiveChat’s mobile app and still be ready to help customers and prospects. 

The free plan gives your business unlimited chats, with a couple of trade-offs, such as not having access to email reports. But if you need to look back at a previous chat, you’ll be able to access three years of chat history. In addition to having MyLiveChat’s branding on your site’s chat windows, you’ll only be able to have one agent online at a time. So be sure to keep an eye on your support volume to make sure you aren’t leaving customers waiting. 

Need more than the free plan? For $15 per month, the Starter Plan will give you access to email reports, and a white-label, brandable front-facing live chat interface.


They say: “Live Chat Software for Sales & Customer Happiness”

WebsiteAlive enhances your live chat with automated popups and messages while also integrating with email, social, and more. You can set rules that route chat requesters to specific departments, and set up URL, page, and time delay triggers.

Over 10,000 websites use WebsiteAlive to message in real-time with site visitors. You can also brand the chat interface with your own branding, so WebsiteAlive feels and looks like part of your organization. The service also prides itself on a “no tech team required” installation.   Activate WebsiteAlive across your web presence simply by adding a succinct code snippet.

Sometimes a customer needs to move to a phone call. When that’s the case, WebsiteAlive’s Click-to-Call makes it easy to transfer to the phone. In addition to integrating with other services, you can also tie in your live chat with your email marketing and social media campaigns, giving full live chat coverage to your audience. Built-in analytics also give management at-a-glance insights on visitor activity and chat team performance.

For one operator license and unlimited chats, WebsiteAlive is $30 per month and $20 per month for each additional license your team needs.

Team email + live chat = great customer service

“Outpost is affordable enough that you still have the budget to add on other tools,” says Cassie Haehlen, customer success guide for Palo Alto Software, the maker of Outpost.

“We handle the email part. You can implement a chat tool, and still have a lower price per month than a full-stack solution when you just need email and chat.”

Posted in: Customer Service

Anthony St. Clair

Anthony St. Clair

Anthony St. Clair is a business copywriter, author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series, and a craft beer writer specializing in Oregon. Learn more at

Further Reading

Kentucky’s Small Business Development Center Helps More Businesses Faster with Outpost

Inefficient email communication can be disastrous. See how the Kentucky SBDC upgraded their email collaboration to help more businesses…

Business Email Etiquette: Are You Being Too Formal?

How casual is too casual for workplace communication—even when you’re just messaging your coworkers? What is the appropriate…

10 Delegation Skills That Will Help Your Business Grow Faster

Finding tools and developing skills that increase efficiency is one of the keys to growth. Learning effective delegation skills is a…