What is Zendesk Chat?
Zendesk Chat is a live chat software created by Zendesk, a software company that offers a host of products. As a standalone chat product, Zendesk Chat is well-designed, simple, and easy to use.
Table of Contents
- What is Zendesk Chat?
- Zendesk Chat Review Summary
- Zendesk Chat Pricing & Cost
- Zendesk Chat Features
- Zendesk Chat Customer Support
- Zendesk Chat vs. Competitors
- Is Zendesk Chat Right For You?
Zendesk Chat Review Summary
Zendesk was founded in 2007 by Alexander Aghassipour, Mikkel Asger Svane, and Morten Primdahl. The company currently has over 150,000 customers across all their products, which are divided into the Support Suite and Sales Suite. Zendesk’s main offering is their help desk and ticketing software, but there are other products that can either be combined with the help desk or can be used as standalone tools.
The Zendesk Chat product consists of live chat, chat history, active visitor monitoring, analytics, and real-time monitoring. Compared with other live chat tools, it’s a solid middle-of-the-road option with moderately detailed reports. The live monitoring tool is particularly helpful for companies wanting to proactively chat with website visitors.
Zendesk Chat offers a free plan, though we found that it has little value given that it allows only one agent and one concurrent chat. The three paid plans are priced per agent, starting at $19 per agent per month, and the number of features increases as the plans increase in price.
Overall, Zendesk Chat is an effective and simple live chat tool. We recommend Zendesk Chat’s Team or Professional plans for companies that want to improve customer support. However, if you’re on the hunt for a software solution that also includes marketing features, like email campaigns and pop-ups, the alternatives listed below may be more valuable for your organization.
Zendesk Chat Pricing & Cost
Zendesk Chat pricing operates on a pay-per-agent model. Pricing ranges from free to $70 per agent per month on the monthly subscription plan. If you choose to pay annually, each plan has a discount.
- Lite: One agent, one concurrent chat, and limited features
- Team: $19 per agent per month, chat transfers, and unlimited chat history
- Professional: $35 per agent per month, 24/5 chat support, and conversion tracking
- Enterprise: $70 per agent per month, 24/7 chat support, and skills-based routing
Zendesk Chat Key Features
We’ll walk through the key feature that Zendesk Chat offers and describe how the features can benefit your business. Throughout the review, screenshots of important sections will give you a sense of what the tool looks like.
Chat Dashboard and Widget
The inbox and widget combined will provide the live chat capabilities for your website. The widget is installed on your site for visitors to chat, while the inbox is where customer support agents will respond to messages and communicate with visitors. Overall, Zendesk Chat provides a hassle-free live chat experience.
After setting their status as “Online”, agents will receive incoming chats in the Zendesk dashboard. Incoming messages show up as windows which take up the full screen during chats. Agents can minimize these chat windows to freely move about the rest of the Zendesk dashboard—for example, to navigate across the Home, Analytics, and History tabs—and maximize chats again when ready to reply. A view of what an active chat window looks like is displayed below:
The tabs across the bottom of the screen show the number of current chats. Information included about the visitor in an active chat window include the time of the first site visit, number of past visits and chats, location, browser information, and contact information. While chatting, agents can complete standard actions like sending files and emojis, sending canned messages, and transferring chats to different departments.
Website visitors will chat using the chat widget, which will be displayed on your website. The widget comes with most standard capabilities like file attachments, chat ratings, and chat transcript forwarding. The widget can be fairly heavily customized and edited to fit your company’s design scheme.
Live Visitor View
Having a live view of all visitors on your site is a helpful way to track visitors, engagement, which web pages are being viewed, and more. Zendesk Chat’s live visitor view provides both a list and “visual” view of website visitors. This tool is particularly valuable and, across our live chat category, falls short of only Crisp, a competitor that has a live map view of visitors.
The list view, shown below, will display each visitor’s time spent on the site, any previous visits or chats, and the webpage they are currently viewing:
The “visual” view is a somewhat ineffective way of viewing site visitors. This view is visually interesting, but does not as easily provide the same valuable information as the list version. The text is also strangely out of focus.
Within this section, you'll also be able to:
- Start proactive chats with each visitor
- Group visitors by activity
- Identify returning visitors
Chat History and Transcripts
Zendesk Chat includes unlimited chat history in all plans except for the free plan. This feature will benefit any company that wants to be able to refer back to chats for any purpose. The main drawback of this section is that chats cannot be exported as a CSV or Excel file, which would be helpful for searching most-used words. Overall, though, the unlimited history is a huge plus.
The following information is included in the Chat History tab:
- Visitor’s name
- Agent that handled the chat
- Time of chat
- Visitor rating
- Number of messages
- Full conversation
Once you select a particular archived chat to review, the view will look like this:
The transcript will show all details that occurred during the original chat. Agents can export the chat transcript via email or web link.
Zendesk Chat’s real-time monitor provides an overview of current site metrics, including the current response time, number of visitors in the queue, and chat durations. It’s similar to the Analytics section, but instead of providing all-time information, it gives metrics for the past 30 minutes.
This feature is found only in the two most expensive plans, so you’ll have to pay for the premium plans if you need the live monitor. We found that while it’s helpful, it may not be a necessity for many businesses, especially smaller businesses with less site traffic.
The reporting section within Zendesk Chat is not nearly as detailed as those found in some competitors, but it does provide the crucial basics that would be of interest to customers. Given the importance of the included metrics, the simplicity is not necessarily a negative. However, it’s important to note that analytics and reporting are only included in the two most expensive plans. This means that on either the free or the Team plans, you can’t see any reports of past data.
An example of the reporting section is displayed here:
Included metrics are listed below:
- Number of chats served
- Number of chats missed
- Chat duration
- Response time
- Satisfaction ratings
- Wait times (served chats)
- Wait times (missed chats)
Agents can set up email reports, download reports as CSV files, and change the date range to compare analytics by week or by month.
Additional Zendesk Chat Features
Notable additional Zendesk Chat features and details are provided in the table below.
|Conversion Tracking||Create goals for your site and track how the goals are performing. For example, you can track how many customers were prompted to purchase an item from the website. This feature is available in the Professional and Enterprise plans.|
|Chat Routing||Assign agent chat limits and routing rules for all incoming chats. These abilities help smooth out the workflow and incoming number of chats across your entire organization.|
|Roles and Departments||Create specific departments, such as Sales or Support, and then assign roles, like Sales Representative or Support Agent, to fit within those departments. This feature can help dictate which employees have access to what and can be applied to routing rules. This feature is available on the Enterprise plan.|
|Triggered Messages||Create triggered messages that will be automatically sent to visitors based on their actions. For example, you can set a proactive greeting that will automatically be sent to visitors who have been on the site for one minute without using the chat widget.|
Zendesk Chat Customer Support
Zendesk’s customer support availability changes depending on the type of plan you’re on. Customers on all plans have access to the Help Center and community resources. All plans except Lite can email the support team. Zendesk’s team is available 24/5 to assist customers on the Team and Professional plans, while customers on the Enterprise plan can chat 24/7.
|Customer Support Channels||Live Chat, Email|
|Customer Support Availability||Varies|
|Other Support Resources||Help Center, Community Posts|
|Application Status Page||Yes|
Zendesk Chat Alternatives & Competitors
Zendesk Chat is most similar to a few other softwares that are focused on live chat, such as tawk.to and Olark. The parent company, Zendesk, is similar to Freshworks, another software company that also offers a standalone live chat tool. We’ve reviewed many alternatives, some of which are listed below.
Is Zendesk Chat Right For You?
Zendesk Chat is a standalone live chat tool that includes most essential features to support any company’s live chat goals. Its main strengths are its ease of use—it was one of the simplest to install and utilize across all live chat softwares we reviewed— and the Live Monitoring tool.
Overall, we recommend Zendesk Chat to organizations of any size looking to use a no-frills live chat software. There aren’t advanced features like chatbots or marketing tools, but the live chat-focused tools get the job done. The Team plan is a strong option, but if you’ll need reports, the Professional plan will be a much better choice. The free plan is not the strongest free live chat option on the market, so if you’re looking for a free tool, check out some of the alternatives below.
If you are interested in trying Zendesk Chat’s Enterprise Plan, sign up for a 14-day free trial.