Looking at Zendesk Chat's website it's easy to get a good first impression. A nice set of features comes with affordable price plans. If you can do without all the bells and whistles it's even possible to use their fully functioning freemium plan.
Paid plans start at US $14 for yearly subscriptions in their Basic plan and go up to $59 per operator in the Enterprise plan. Zendesk puts a lot of efforts into automation features. Certain phrases that are frequently used can be accessed via shortcuts. Triggers assist in initiating live chat automatically.
While this all sounds promising, let's take a look inside first:
The free version for one agent only.
Includes conversion tracking
Ease of use
Their wide range of features make it a bit more complex than other live chat tools.
Just sign up, copy a piece of code onto your website and it’s ready to go.
Themes and Style Options
There are a few different style templates for the chat bar and the messaging window. Colors can be changed. (Premium plans only).
Features nice options: users can edit their own name, export a chat protocol and the widget can be moved around on the site. (See screenshot for more details). Add your operator’s photo for a more personal chat experience.
Chat agent console
The console offers a range of useful features in one place. To chat either use their console or your preferred IM. We only have one little issue with idle settings (see conclusion further down below).
Set up different automatic triggers for new and returning visitors. A great option is the “rescue trigger” that sends an apology to the waiting visitor if nobody responds.
Can be hidden when offline or be used as a data capture form. The Advanced plan also features operating hours that you can set.
Shortcuts / canned messages
Shortcuts can be defined for standard phrases & the systems suggests answers based on past conversations – smart!
Tracking & live analytics
Shows the visitors currently on the site with all basic information (country, OS etc.) and if it’s a returning visitor.
Chat widget detects the language of the current page and switches to its language. Did not always work correctly in our tests. But you can specify the language per page as well.
As Zendesk is a helpdesk software, they obviously have an integration. To use the helpdesk, you’ll have to pay extra though.
Integrations and add-ons
Google Analytics, Salesforce, Zoho and Highrise and many more. Features an API.
Departments can be setup up so that the user can choose accordingly before the interaction starts. You can also transfer the chat to another agent.
Mobile support / apps
The iPhone and Android apps are very polished and work well. Website visitors with smartphones can also use it perfectly – the chat conversation will simply take place in a new browser window.
Only via third-party provider, e.g. Cobrowse.io
By name or IP. The chat widget will be hidden for banned users.
Creates a searchable chat history.
Live chat support is usally good. We never received an answer to our email requests, though.
Zendesk sets the standard for live chat solutions. Prices are attractive, too. Highly recommended!
Zendesk’s feature set is very strong and makes it an interesting option for small and medium sized businesses.
The only thing that didn’t work so well for our workflow are Zendesk Chat’s idle settings. The general idea is that the chat client goes offline when you are away from your computer, which makes a lot of sense. However, a browser app is not able to track your activities outside of the browser window. Therefore it also goes idle while you are working in other browser windows or programs. There should be a warning sound or signal like other tools provide. Switching off the idle mode is the only real solution to this issue.
But apart from that we found Zendesk great. They are constantly adding new features and are well equipped for mobile devices.
You must login to your Zendesk account. There you’ll find the option. You can also write the support a ticket.