Best Live Chat Software 2021

Zendesk Chat vs. LiveChat

Is Zendesk Chat or LiveChat the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best live chat tool to support your company’s customer engagement efforts.

Organizations of all types and sizes use live chat software tools to connect with website visitors. With live chat, companies are able to provide real-time customer support and solve visitor pain points more effectively. Live chat is quickly becoming a key part of business’ overall customer engagement strategies.

There are many messaging solutions on the market today, which can make it hard to determine which one will be most beneficial for you and your business. Throughout this guide, we’ll distinguish the key differences between Zendesk Chat and LiveChat to help simplify your decision.

Zendesk Chat & LiveChat Comparison Summary

Zendesk Chat and LiveChat are two popular choices. LiveChat scored slightly higher in our overall rankings because of the more advanced add-on options; however, both solutions have notable strengths and will likely benefit different types of businesses. The key differences between the two are the ease of use and that LiveChat will likely be better for larger organizations, while smaller companies and those who already use Zendesk products will benefit from Zendesk Chat.

Zendesk Chat is a straightforward solution. It offers a free plan that, admittedly, we found to be a bit thin, but could work well for a very small business with low site traffic. All Zendesk Chat plans come with an automatic Zendesk Support integration, which means that ticketing is included. All in all, Zendesk Chat is easier to use and more elementary.

LiveChat, on the other hand, tends to serve larger companies due to its add-on features like ChatBot, KnowledgeBase, and HelpDesk. It has more advanced reports than Zendesk Chat but it also has a slightly more intense learning curve. There’s no free plan but you will be able to test the software free for 14 days.

Below are a few brief recommendations to determine which solution is best for you:

You'll prefer Zendesk Chat if:

  • You have a smaller team
  • You already use other Zendesk products
  • You don’t mind having no reports if you’re on a cheaper plan

Try Zendesk Chat Today

You'll prefer LiveChat if:

  • Your team is larger
  • You want chatbot capabilities
  • You’re interested in integrating with over 170 other tools

Try LiveChat Today


Table of Contents

Who Should Purchase Zendesk Chat?

Zendesk Chat is used by businesses of all sizes. There are plans that will benefit any range of organizations, but we find that the Professional plan is the most worth it, given that’s the first plan where reports become available.

While testing the tool, we found no significant issues with the software itself. We did wish that more features were offered across plans and found it unfortunate that there is no dedicated customer support available for free plans. However, it’s a very reliable tool that enables live chat easily. Because Zendesk Chat is just one of several software products by Zendesk, customers will benefit from using integrated products from a single vendor.

Who Should Purchase LiveChat?

LiveChat is a very powerful player in the live chat market. It’s used by over 30,000 companies and we find it best for larger, slightly more technologically advanced companies who want a feature-rich product.

During discussions with customers, we found that the most common complaint was the price. Nobody mentioned having had issues with the software itself and we also noted that it is error free. Though it is almost equivalent in price to Zendesk Chat, it can become pricey if you want a knowledge base, help desk, or chatbot.

Zendesk Chat & LiveChat Price Comparison

Zendesk Chat and LiveChat have extremely similar pricing. Zendesk Chat operates on a pay-per-agent pricing model. There are three paid plans, which range from $19 per agent per month to $70 per agent per month. LiveChat customers also pay per agent, with prices ranging from $19 per agent per month to $59 per agent per month. There’s also an Enterprise plan, where you can contact LiveChat directly to work out the price.

Zendesk Chat Pricing Details

Zendesk Chat offers a basic free plan, which LiveChat doesn’t have. Three different paid plans offer customers a fair amount of choice based on what features they want.

Free
  • Free
  • Includes one agent
Team
  • $19 per agent per month
  • Allows for chat transferring
Professional
  • $35 per agent per month
  • Includes chat routing
Enterprise
  • $70 per agent per month
  • Remove Zendesk Chat branding

LiveChat Pricing Details

LiveChat pricing begins at $19 per agent per month. There are also four tiers of plans to choose from. Here is an overview of LiveChat’s plans:

Starter
  • $19 per agent per month
  • 60-day chat history
Team
  • $39 per agent per month
  • Basic reporting
Business
  • $59 per agent per month
  • Staffing predictions
Enterprise
  • Contact LiveChat for pricing

Zendesk Chat & LiveChat Feature Comparison

Both tools are similar in that they focus on live chat itself and don’t expand much into marketing features, which many live chat competitors tend to do. Both companies are well-established, having been founded more than ten years ago. The tools differ in that LiveChat has more advanced reports starting in lower-tier plans, while Zendesk Chat is slightly more intuitively designed.

This table displays some features and shows where the two differ. For a full analysis of each solution’s features, read our Zendesk Chat review and LiveChat review.

FeatureZendesk ChatLiveChat
Chat WidgetYesYes
Canned ResponsesYesYes
File SharingYesYes
Visitor Chat RatingsYesYes
ChatbotsYes (API)Yes (Additional Cost)
Chat Routing in All PlansNoYes
Email CampaignsNoNo
Robust IntegrationsYesYes (170+)
Mobile ApplicationYesYes

Zendesk Chat's Top Features

Zendesk Chat has detailed features to support live chat. These features are shown below.

Chat Inbox and Widget

The chat inbox and widget serve live chat on the company and visitor sides, respectively. Zendesk Chat’s live chat interface is displayed in the image below. Zendesk Chat’s inbox is set up in an uncommon way, with chats appearing as individual windows rather than as a streamlined inbox. While it’s less modern-looking than LiveChat’s inbox, it works well.

Zendesk Chat Inbox

Live Visitor Monitor

One of Zendesk Chat’s best features, the live visitor monitor, provides a list of visitors on your website and provides data like time online, previous visits and chats, and which web page they are viewing. You can proactively chat visitors from this page.

Zendesk Chat Live Visitors

Tracker

The live tracker provides data from the recent past including current incoming chats, chat satisfaction, and chat duration. It’s a similar feature to LiveChat’s dashboard, and we found the LiveChat dashboard to provide more helpful metrics. Nonetheless, this is still a helpful feature for companies to assess current live chat performance.

Zendesk Chat Tracker

Analytics

Zendesk Chat’s analytics section, though certainly helpful, is only included in the two most expensive plans. This means that you’d need to pay a relatively high price for metrics, which most companies will likely want to assess their customer support performance.

LiveChat's Top Features

LiveChat offers features that are comparable to Zendesk Chat’s, with analytics and a dashboard. LiveChat has a pre-built ticketing interface, something that Zendesk Chat doesn’t have unless you integrate with the Support suite.

Live Chat

As noted before, the LiveChat inbox has a more modern interface. It’s set up with all chats on the left, the current chat displayed in the middle, and the visitor details on the right. We preferred using this inbox because it’s set up more intuitively.

LiveChat Chat Interface

Dashboard

The dashboard provides similar information to Zendesk Chat’s Tracker, with details concerning current chats and tickets. We found this tool to be slightly more helpful given that it has a few graphs and visual representations of the data.

LiveChat Dashboard

Reports

The LiveChat reports section is superior to Zendesk Chat’s due to the level of detail. LiveChat’s reports are interactive, meaning that you can drill down into metrics and understand the particular chats behind each metric. While the most report value is in the Business plan, there are some metrics across the less pricey plans as well.

LiveChat Reports

Bottom Line

Both Zendesk Chat and LiveChat are fairly popular live chat tools. They’re both well-designed and we didn’t have any notable issues while testing either product. The main difference lies in the details and that if you already use Zendesk products, it likely makes the most sense to go with Zendesk Chat.

  • Zendesk Chat is better for smaller businesses due to fewer details and offers a free plan
  • LiveChat is better for larger companies and those who want particularly detailed reporting information

If you’re interested, visit Zendesk Chat or LiveChat today to get started.

Katelyn Anderson

Katelyn is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where she conducts in-depth analyses of technology markets & products and writes software-related content. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in English and Psychology. Her main areas of interest are content creation, user experience, and search engine optimization. You can connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn.

Katelyn is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Accounting software
  • Live chat software
  • Vacation rental software

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