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Customer Conversation Platforms that you can use for free

  1. Dashly
  2. Crisp
  3. Gist
  4. Drift
  5. Zendesk

There are thousands of platforms that you can choose from to communicate with and engage your customers. But how do you know which one is the best for your company? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite customer communication platforms that are either fully or partially free. But first, we’ll start the discussion by understanding what “customer conversation marketing” is, what products can be named as such, and why you would want to implement these products for your company.

Ngdata defines conversation marketing as “a feedback-oriented approach to drive engagement, develop customer loyalty, grow the customer base, and, ultimately, grow revenue.” Hubspot adds that “conversational marketing is also the ability to have 1:1 personal conversations across multiple channels — meeting customers how, when, and where they want.” It is more than just live chat — it extends to phone calls, texts, Facebook Messenger, email, Slack, and more — basically any channel in which a customer wants to communicate with your brand. We call it customer conversational marketing because the customer is the first and foremost. They should not have to dig deep into what is written on the landing page, think about what they should do next with the product, or plan what they should purchase. Of course, these marketing methods are intended to grow companies’ revenue and reduce churn, but the primary focus is always on customers.

Some think that customer conversation marketing doesn’t go beyond live chat, but as stated in the definitions above, it is about multiple channels — phones, Facebook, Telegram, or any other channel that the customer wants to communicate with. Moreover, all of these channels are consolidated in one working space to enable prompt receipt and reply to messages. Customer conversation marketing is also about tracking data, triggered messages based on this data (like pop-ups, emails, and chat messages), and analytics, because this kind of marketing focuses on driving engagement, developing loyalty, and growing revenue.

In this article, we’ll talk only about products with freemium models. Why? Because everybody loves free! So, let’s start.

1. Dashly.io

Dashly.io

This customer communication platform will help you generate leads, close more deals, and build customer loyalty. In other words, it covers the entire customer lifecycle using the following set of tools:

  • Live chat;
  • In-app messaging;
  • No coding data tracking;
  • eCRM;
  • Email campaigns;
  • Triggered messages;
  • Knowledge base;
  • Funnel analytics;
  • Integrations;
  • Mobile apps.

One of the best things about Dashly is that it allows you to track user data without coding. All you need to do to collect data from a field on your website or button clicks is put a CSS selector of the element — easy. Tracking other events is also available, so at the end, you can have the full picture of what your visitors and users are doing on your website, which will then allow you to segment and communicate with them to increase sales and build strong relationships.

Dashly is also loved for its funnels that show conversions at every step and allow you to detect bottlenecks.

Dashly funnels

For those who are not ready for automation, Dashly offers a free live chat. It is a great opportunity to start communicating with customers.

You can try all Dashly features without limitations for a seven-day free trial and then choose which ones work best for your business.

2. Crisp.chat

Crisp.chat

Crisp is a well-known customer messaging platform that also has a freemium pricing model. The main focus of Crisp is chat — that’s why they offer several useful chat add-ons like chat bots, video calls, sms, and more, but some other features are also available:

  • Knowledge base;
  • Analytics;
  • Integrations;
  • Mobile apps.

What is remarkable about Crisp is that you can see your visitor’s screen live using their MagicBrowse feature that will allow you to see at what point of the user journey there is a crucial problem that prevents customers from buying the product or service.

Crisp MagicBrowse

What is also really cool about Crisp is that their pricing is flat so the number of leads doesn’t have to factor into the budget. Try Crisp and see how it works using their free trial.

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3. Gist

Getgist.com

Gist is the former ConvertFox platform that was “born” in India. Gist tools cover more automation than Crisp, because their main focus is to be “all-in-one” so their list of features is quite expansive:

  • Live chat;
  • Chat bot;
  • In-app messaging;
  • Data tracking;
  • eCRM;
  • Email campaigns;
  • Triggered messages;
  • Knowledge base;
  • Meetings;
  • Integrations;
  • Mobile apps.

What is unique about Gist is their user journey mapping. This feature allows you to build the whole process of your automation using a very visual mapping instrument.

Gist user journey mapping

Gist plans are a bit trickier than Dashly’s and Crisps’. They have a free plan for a live chat and three options for paid plans — support, growth, and all-in-one. Plans start from $9, but contacts and seats are extra. Try Gist’s free trial to see what features you need the most.

4. Drift

Drift.com

Drift is a platform that is famous for its sales chat bot that helps generate leads using live chat Besides a live chat with a cool chat bot, Drift offers the following list of features:

  • In-app messaging;
  • Data tracking;
  • eCRM;
  • Email campaigns;
  • Account-based marketing;
  • Drift video;
  • Meetings;
  • Integrations;
  • Mobile apps.

One of the revolutionary features of Drift is “Drift videos.” Drift’s interface allows you to create and share videos to start conversations with your prospects and customers directly from your Drift account. Your sales rep can record a video from the computer, edit it right away, and send it via email to the prospect it was made for.

Drift videos

Drift pricing starts with a free plan for those who need a live chat only. Then, plans start at $50 based on company size: individuals, teams, and enterprise.

5. Zendesk

Zendesk.com

Zendesk is a platform known for its knowledge base and ticketing system, but now they also have some great tools for automation, support, and analytics with features like:

  • Live chat;
  • In-app messaging;
  • Proactive campaigns;
  • Analytics;
  • Integrations;
  • Sales automation;
  • Phone support software.

First of all, Zendesk is a product that is worth the attention of those who are looking for a ticketing system (it is the only platform with such a system in our list). Ticketing systems save your time dramatically if you don’t have a lot of operators that can promptly respond to your visitors’ requests. But for those who want to provide real-time customer support, Zendesk, as stated above, has a live chat with proactive engagement.

Along with Drift Video, Zendesk offers call center software that is integrated with their ticketing system to improve the sales process. Sales reps can ask for the Zendesk account and see all the data that was collected about that particular lead.

Zendesk calls

It may seem that Zendesk has the most complicated pricing of all the tools listed, but that’s because their pricing is based on products — you choose the product stack you need and can then calculate your pricing depending on the features you want to have. But Zendesk also offers a free plan and trial period.

To sum it all up

The freemium pricing model is good for us as customers because it allows us to test drive a product before investing time and money. Of course, free options are limited by the number of visitors, contacts, or seats but it is more reassuring to pay for something after you have tried it out and seen if it works for your goals.

Free plan comparison
Elena Teplu
Author: Elena Teplu
I write about business growth hacks
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