Zendesk Chat Review: Our take on the helpdesk giant

zendesk chatLooking 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:

Zendesk Chat: Screenshots and Video Review

Our Zendesk Chat rating in detail

Criterion Rating Comments
Ease of use 4 Their wide range of features make it a bit more complex than other live chat tools.
Setup info   5 Just sign up, copy a piece of code onto your website and it's ready to go.
Appearance customization 3.5 There are a few different style templates for the chat bar and the messaging window. Colors can be changed. (Premium plans only).
Chat features    
info-Chat client (that customers use) 5 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.
info-Chat agent console / use of instant messengers (IM) 4.5 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).
-Proactive chats & Triggersinfo 5 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.
info-Offline mode 5 Can be hidden when offline or be used as a data capture form. The Advanced plan also features operating hours that you can set.
info-Shortcuts / canned messages 5 Shortcuts can be defined for standard phrases & the systems suggests answers based on past conversations - smart!
-Create chat protocols 5 Chat logs will be stored by default. Visitors can even request a chat protocol through the console.
infoTracking & live analytics  5 Shows the visitors currently on the site with all basic information (country, OS etc.) and if it's a returning visitor.
Internationalizationinfo  4 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.
Integrations  Yes Google  Analytics ,   Salesforce  , Zoho and Highrise and many more. Features an API.
More features    
info-Working in a team Yes 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 Yes 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.
-Cobrowsinginfo No Apparently they are going to add this feature in the future.
-SSL encryption Yes All plans
-Ban usersinfo Yes By name or IP. The chat widget will be hidden for banned users.
info-Log creation Yes Creates a searchable chat history.
Support Live chat, email and user voice forum Live chat support is usally good. We never received an answer to our email requests, though.
Overall rating 4.5
Zendesk sets the standard for live chat solutions. Prices are attractive, too. Highly recommended!

© ChatToolTester Matrix


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. 

> Compare Zendesk Chat to other live chat software



02 Oct 2017 - Price increase.
03 Nov 2016 - Zopim is now called Zendesk Chat
06 Jan 2015 - Video review added.
19 May 2014 - Information on cobrowsing added.
27 Feb 2014 - New screenshot added, operating hours feature, Android app
21 Jun 2013 - Mobile support section updated (iPhone app)
16 Aug 2012 - Initial tests

Last updated: 02 Oct 2017 | Robert Brandl


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company The Company

Company name: Zendesk Chat (formerly Zopim)

Founded: 2008

Headquarters: Singapore


If you are not sure if Zendesk or a different live chat provider is right for your business, please send us a message.