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Zendesk Chat Review - Summary

What is Zendesk Chat?

Zendesk Chat uses live chat as a communication feature and is an add-on product that’s part of the Zendesk product suite. Zendesk Chat was once Zopim, which was a popular chat tool for its time and was acquired rather quickly by Zendesk.

Now, there a lot of reviews online for Zendesk Chat, and many of them say it’s an affordable product with a reasonable pricing plan. Unfortunately, with a little knowledge and a calculator, you’ll quickly find that this is one of the most expensive chatbot options out there.

For starters, Zendesk Chat doesn’t come with a chatbot. Out of the box, so to say, Zendesk Chat is a live chat widget that you’ll need a human to operate. If you want an actual chatbot, you’ll need a developer to build it using Zendesk’s ‘Conversations API’ and third-party AI-powered chatbot providers.

None of this is to say that you can’t build an awesome chatbot and very useful set of business tools with Zendesk Chat and other Zendesk products. You absolutely can. However, you need to know that you will not just be purchasing Zendesk Chat if that’s the case.

Ultimately, when comparing Zendesk Chat to other live chat platforms, unless you’re already using, or planning to use the full suite of Zendesk products, Zendesk Chat is not the product you’re looking for.

Channels: Live chat

Pricing - Zendesk Chat:

Overall Rating - Intercom:

Table of Contents
Zendesk Chat Features
Integrations and API
Zendesk Chat Pricing
Pros and Cons
Zendesk Chat Review - Final Analysis
Zendesk Chat Competitors and Alternatives
Frequently Asked Questions

Zendesk Chat Features

  • Zendesk Chat widget: The Zendesk Chat widget is fairly basic out of the box. However, with the help of a developer and the Zendesk Chat SDK, you can make this basic chat window look a whole lot cooler.
  • Chatbot integration: Integrate AI-powered bots into Chat using Zendesk’s API. Automate responses to commonly asked questions, Chatbot software lets you gather information from visitors and connect them with the right people, right away. Handover conversations from chatbots to human agents for more complex or sensitive tasks.
  • Triggers: Send targeted and behavior-based messages to customers. For example, you can help customers complete their purchases by automatically reaching out with a chat.
Zendesk Chat Review
  • Pre-chat and offline forms: Use pre-chat forms to ask visitors for their contact information before starting a chat, or offline forms to ensure customers can contact you even while you’re away.
  • Visitor list: Monitor website visitors and the pages they are browsing. It allows for better targeting of specific users and when to engage with them.
Zendesk Chat Review
  • Chat and agent reporting: Track your chat volume, monitor agent productivity, and analyze metrics to anticipate customer needs and increase satisfaction.
  • Real-time chat monitoring and conversion tracking: Monitor live data on chat volume, visitor experience, and agent performance. Create business goals to measure how often your customers complete target objectives, such as making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter.
  • Chat routing: Automatically assign incoming chats to active agents. This ensures your customers receive prompt support and your agents aren’t overloaded.
  • Chat tags: Add tags to your chats to give your conversations context. This helps agents better understand visitors and customers over time.
  • Shortcuts: Create templated responses for common requests and deliver quick replies to customers.
  • Mobile applications: Zendesk Chat has chat apps for Android and iPhone so agents can continue providing support from a mobile device.
  • Departments: Organize your agents into different teams based on skills, language, expertise, or brand.
  • Roles and permissions: Specify permissions for agents, and control what they have access to in Zendesk Chat.
Zendesk Chat Review

Zendesk Chat Integrations

Zendesk Chat can be added to most any CMS including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, and Prestashop.

However, Zendesk Chat has very few integrations. Almost all of the apps you can add-on to your chat are built by Zendesk, and any other integration you may want needs to be built by you and a developer.

Zendesk Chat API and SDKs

Zendesk’s Conversations API lets you add bots to your Zendesk Chat experience. The API is flexible, so you can adjust your chatbots to your preferences as you grow. With the API, you can embed bots into the chat.

Zendesk Chat actually works with some notable chatbot partners that made our ‘Best AI Chatbots of 2023’ list, such as Ada and Aivo. Other chatbot providers that Zendesk’s API works with are Netomi and BotXO.

Zendesk Chat also has a web and mobile SDK. With the web SDK you can build a customized end-user facing chat widget to offer visitors a unique and consistent experience. With the mobile SDK, you can add live chat to your mobile app with the help of a developer.

Zendesk Chat Review

Zendesk Chat Pros and Cons

Pros - Zendesk Chat

  • Seamless integration with Zendesk products: The most notable Pro for Zendesk Chat is that it integrates with the Zendesk product suite.
  • SDK to customize chat window: Although most of the best chatbot builders come with tools that allow you to easily customize your chat widget, Zendesk Chat at least provides an SDK that allows for lots of customization with the help of a developer.
  • Analytics: Zendesk Chat has comprehensive analytics and they deliver a weekly analytics report to your email. For more details, see the Features section above.
  • Free plan and reasonable pricing (for Chat): Zendesk Chat, as a standalone product, is reasonably priced. However, Zendesk Chat isn’t what you’ll end up paying for. Instead, Zendesk wants you to use all of its products, such as its cornerstone helpdesk. If you have many agents however, Zendesk pricing works against itself, because pricing is based on the number of agents using the Chat feature.
  • Apps: Zendesk has apps available for desktop, iOS, and Android
  • Customer support: Zendesk customer support is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Zendesk Chat Review

Cons - Intercom

  • Outdated look and feel: One thing that some of the top-performing web chat applications have in common, is a fresh and even futuristic UI/UX. Zendesk’s look and feel are clunky, outdated, and unimpressive. Without some real customization with the help of a developer, you’re stuck with a chat window that may scare folks away.
  • Integrations: Zendesk Chat has very few integrations available. Zendesk Chat pushes its users to adopt the tools available on the Zendesk platform. Outside of Zendesk itself, you can choose only one of 10 available integrations, such as Jira, Salesforce, Highrise and Sugar CRM.
  • Need to integrate AI-powered bots into Chat via API: Zendesk Chat doesn’t offer real chatbots out of the box. To power your chat widget with machine learning, chatbot technology, you’ll need to build that integration using Zendesk’s API.
  • Not a useful product unless you’re on Professional or Enterprise plans: Unfortunately, to get access to Zendesk Chat’s useful features, you’ll need to be on the Premium plan or higher. For example, real-time monitoring and analytics features require you to upgrade to the Premium plan. Other live chat platforms offer this level of analytics at much cheaper price points.

Zendesk Chat Pricing

How much does Zendesk Chat cost?
As you can see, Zendesk Chat pricing is relatively straightforward, and although it appears cheap on the surface, it can get expensive, fast. What you really need to keep in mind however, is that Zendesk Chat pricing is just for Zendesk’s chat feature, which does not come with an AI-powered chatbot, nor any of the other many Zendesk products, which is what makes Zendesk Chat a useful tool. So really, this pricing is just the starting point.

Zendesk Chat Review

If you’re going to choose Zendesk Chat, you’re going to need Zendesk’s main product, which is Zendesk’s customer service software. Below you’ll find the pricing for Zendesk Support.

Zendesk Chat Review

So, let’s pretend that Zendesk Support and Zendesk Chat (with the “Lite” version of Talk and Guide included) are enough for you. The Lite version of Zendesk Chat is fairly useless though, so let’s upgrade to the Professional plan, along with Zendesk Support’s Enterprise plan. Additionally, let’s say we have 10 people that need to use the platform, and we can estimate the cost for this alone is going to be at a minimum $1,280 per month. But this is still just the starting point of what this is going to cost.

Now consider that you’re probably going to need another Zendesk product to get all the functionality you want and factor that into the equation.

Also, consider that you absolutely will need to hire or assign one of your own developers to build and customize everything to your liking. That’s not cheap, and is going to take a good amount of time.

Lastly, and most importantly, you still don’t have an AI-powered chatbot! Somehow, after all that, you still don’t have a real chatbot, and you’ll need to choose among the 4 chatbot partners that Zendesk works with.

The bottom line here is, it’s impossible to know exactly what Zendesk Chat is going to cost you per month until you’re already in too deep. However, we know that it’s going to be Enterprise software level expensive!

Zendesk Chat Review - Final Analysis

Zendesk Chat on the surface appears to be a simple and inexpensive chat widget that you can add to your website. And, if you have a developer and the time/patience to customize and build the best chatbot for your business, it can also be a very useful product as well.

Unfortunately, to make something truly useful for a serious business, Zendesk Chat is anything but inexpensive, and the other reviews you’ll see online are clearly from people who don’t understand what needs to go into this product in order to get a great result.

To make the most use of Zendesk Chat, you’ll need to use third-party chatbots and integrate them into Zendesk Chat via the Zendesk Convesations API. This begs to ask the question, why not just go with a chatbot platform that comes with these capabilities in the first place?

Furthermore, unless you’re already a heavy Zendesk user, we cannot recommend using Zendesk Chat. There are plenty of machine learning chatbots and other customer support chat platforms out there that are 100% focused on making their chatbots the best in the world. We recommend looking into those instead.

Zendesk Chat Competitors and Alternatives

At, we’ve reviewed and ranked hundreds of chatbots and chat platforms. We also rank these chatbots by category.

Here’s how Zendesk Chat stacks up against the competition (#1 being the best) in the “Best Chatbot” categories they qualified for:


Sales Chatbot Tools

Zendesk Chat: #25 out of 25.


Web Chat Apps

Zendesk Chat: #7 out of 11.


Customer Service Chatbot

Zendesk Chat: #27 out of 29.


Live Chat Software

Zendesk Chat: #19 out of 23.


Zendesk Chat Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Zendesk has live chat. It’s called Zendesk Chat and can be configured in many ways to meet very strict requirements.

The Zendesk platform lets agents switch between serving chats, phone calls, emails, or social media messages. And with the Zendesk Web Widget, customers can ask for help or find the answers themselves, all without interrupting their shopping experience.

Zopim was a popular chat software that is now Zendesk Chat after being acquired by Zendesk.

No, Zendesk is not a CRM. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps companies stay close to their customers by managing all aspects of the relationship, which goes beyond chasing leads and closing deals. Zendesk integrates with certain CRM software providers but is not a CRM itself.

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