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A Detailed Look At Zendesk Chat

Now if you head over to just about any website, chances are that you’ll encounter a live chat pop-up. These things have become the norm lately and most businesses understand the need for such functionality. First off, it’s convenient for the customers, secondly, it allows your agents to assess things immediately.

But what makes a good live chat system? And what a live chat system can deliver outside of communication? The answer is a lot! Which is why we decided to cover Zendesk Chat. A pioneer in the help desk realm, their chat system fires on all fronts and is no stranger to innovation. But enough introductions, let's take a look at the tool under the microscope.

What Is Zendesk Chat?

Before we begin disintegrating the tool, let us first talk about the tool itself. So, Zendesk Chat is a dedicated communications system that can be placed on any part of your website. It is designed to provide companies a competitive edge through a series of specific functions and automation.

The application was previously known as Zopim Live Chat but in 2014 it was bought by Zendesk and transformed into what it is today. One of the key features of Zendesk Chat is that it legit understands how customers navigate the site and what they want from you as a company. Essentially, it analyzes behavior, then uses connections to develop an intelligent course of action, which is resulting in high-quality service.

One of the main benefits that got carried over from Zopim, is the flexible pricing policy. Essentially, the tool is mega accessible and even the smallest of startups can start using the tool. You can use the free plan, dubbed the Lite version, or opt for the Basic version that is only $11.20. Lastly, power users can opt for the full-fat experience by signing up for the Advanced plan which is $20 only.

The interface of Zendesk Chat. Source: GetApp

Key Benefits of Zendesk Chat

Now that we’ve covered all the necessary information about the tool, let’s take a look at the benefits the tool brings. And the benefits it brings, there is a multitude of features that will transform the way you interact, gather data, and assess certain issues.

Timely Pop-Ups

So, one of the first things that come into mind is the fact that the tool works wonders when it comes to customer engagement. The tool reads the user's behavior and tries to pop-up in an unintrusive way. This not only reduces the average bounce rate but increases the probability of the person actually contacting you since you aren’t pushing anything deliberately.

Aggregating Data

As we mentioned previously, Zendesk Chat isn’t your standard live chat system. With it, you can gather a wide range of information in a friendly-for-users manner. Essentially, you can set it up to monitor visitors and track behavior patterns so that you can attract the right leads afterward. It can also see through numbers and estimate the average satisfaction rate, plus you can use it to follow agent performance and see what bottlenecks they face.

Customization & Scalability

Another good thing about Zendesk Chat is that you can customize it to suit your branding policy. From backgrounds to animations, if you have the means to carry out said changes, Zendesk Chat allows for it. And it is not just about customization alone, you can hook up the system with popular marketplaces such as Magento, Shopify, and Tictail.

Feature Set

The tool comes equipped with a number of features that you can use right out of the box. Among the most noticeable ones are the following:

  1. Canned messages (shortcuts)
  2. Offline messaging
  3. Analytics system
  4. Chat history
  5. Ability to set business hours

Since every business is unique, Zendesk Chat might not suit everyone but it has enough universal features that you could at least give the tool a try. Especially considering the fact that it has a free plan.

Tech Details

Here’s a list of tech details. The tool is pretty robust and it works on just about any platform. But there are a few caveats that need to be addressed.

Devices SupportedLanguage SupportPricing ModelBusiness Size SupportedDeployment Method
WindowsEnglishFreeSmall BusinessesCloud Hosted
Android & iOSMonthly paymentLarge Enterprises
MacAnnual SubscriptionMedium Businesses

As you can see, only English is supported and there is no on-premise solution. Some might argue that there is no need for an on-premise solution but in all honesty, if you take into consideration the tracking capabilities and the number of supplementary features, it becomes clear that having one wouldn’t hurt.

Pros and Cons Of Zendesk Chat

And the last part of our review is the pros and cons. After all, there is no such thing as a perfect tool and each of them has its own set of limitations. Thus, here is how the pros stack up against the cons.


  1. Ability to tag
  2. High-level of customizability
  3. A robust analytics system (with weekly scheduling)
  4. The Lite version
  5. Support for all popular platforms, including mobile
  6. Inexpensive
  7. Fast and responsive even on low-end hardware


  1. Real-time monitoring is locked in medium plans
  2. Not many native third-party integrations
  3. Will work better if paired with Zendesk Support
  4. Only one integration at a time will work

So, as you can see, there aren’t that many cons but those that are there are quite the handful. It’s a pity that the amount of integrations is small and only one will work at the time. As well as it is sad that real-time analytics are locked in the Premium plan. But on the flip side, the tool isn’t super expensive and the fact that the tool works on mobile is a godsend. Especially when you consider the fact that the majority of users browse the net using a smartphone.

Zendesk Chat Alternatives

While there aren’t that many Zendesk Chat alternatives since this is more of an advanced plugin, there are a few that are worth mentioning as they are quite similar in what they try to achieve, and they share practically the same pricing policy.

UserLike — So the first Zendesk alternative is UserLike. The main idea of this platform is to provide business owners with a chat system that will work across all devices and countries. The tool allows for all kinds of communications, group chats, operator-specific chats, and direct messaging.

Another benefit this tool brings is the ability to connect to popular e-commerce sites such as Shopify and Magento. Also as part of the tool is the fact that all your communications are heavily encrypted and cannot be easily intercepted.

The tool also has a routing system that technically understands several languages. As for the main disadvantage, the tool doesn’t have good AI capabilities. There is the bot system but it will only get you so far. But on the bright side, you get to choose between 5 different plans (one of which is free by the way).

You might also like: Best Live Chat Software Money Can Buy

REVE Chat — The next solution that you might want to consider instead of Zendesk Chat is the REVE Chat platform. What’s so special about this tool is that it is tailored to mobile users. You can connect the system to Live, Voice, Video Chat, Facebook Messenger, and even Viber if that’s your thing.

Another good point of the tool stems from the fact that the company provides its mobile System Development Kit (SDK) in case you need some adjustments to the app itself. The tool isn’t exactly expensive but it is pretty barebone out of the box. This is perhaps why the company offers to use their SDK. To add more functions. Thus, if you are willing to put the time and effort, REVE Chat can be a nice solution.

Final Verdict

Zendesk Chat is easily one of the best live chat solutions out there. It has everything to get you started and adds features that aren’t typically found in such software. The whole system is snappy and works like a dream but the limited integration module could use an update, especially when you consider that solutions such as Live Agent already support more platforms. But other than that, this is a nice fit for small and medium-sized businesses as it both has a free plan and very accessible user interface.

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