LiveChat vs Zendesk: Which Chat Tool is Best?

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In this LiveChat vs Zendesk comparison, we’re examining two popular tools for delivering valuable messaging-based support to customers. Here’s everything you need to know.

Today’s LiveChat vs Zendesk review looks at the functionality and features of two popular solutions from the customer service landscape.

As the digital world has continued to evolve drastically in the last few years, consumers have become increasingly interested in finding new ways to connect with companies. Live chat is one of the top customer contact options on offer today. In fact, according to one report, 79% of businesses believe implementing live chat resulted in increased sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.

Of course, in order to implement an effective live chat solution, business leaders first need to select the right tool for the job. Today, we’re going to be looking at two of the best live chat software solutions on offer, Zendesk and LiveChat, to help you determine which offering may be best suited to your business needs. Let’s dive in.

LiveChat vs Zendesk: An Introduction

Both LiveChat and Zendesk are tools built to enhance customer service in a digital world. Each of these tools allows business leaders to implement powerful chat-based tools into their contact center or service environment, with some extra bonus features thrown in too.

LiveChat is perhaps one of the best-known chat solutions on the market, offering a connected all-in-one environment where business leaders and employees can track a multitude of conversations. With LiveChat, you can not only build a customized chat widget, but also link your agent’s internal inbox to a variety of other services such as email, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Messenger, and more. This ensures your teams can track conversations anywhere.

Zendesk is part of a comprehensive platform of tools specially designed for customer service. The easy to use “CX accelerator” is constantly updating its feature kit to ensure business leaders can provide consumers with the best support. There are even built-in tools for sales, employee experience, and in-depth reporting. Plus, you can integrate other tools from a comprehensive marketplace into your CX environment whenever you choose.

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LiveChat vs Zendesk: The Features

Both Zendesk and LiveChat go beyond the basics of simple live chat functionality, to provide businesses with a huge selection of unique ways to engage and convert their target audience. While there’s a lot of overlap between the features offered by both solutions, there are some major differences to consider too. Let’s start by looking at the chat functionality.

LiveChat Core Features

livechat homepage - livechat vs zendesk

As mentioned above, LiveChat is an end-to-end solution for digital customer experience management. At the heart of the solution is a customizable chat widget, which can work seamlessly with just about any business website. The tool can be customized to suit your business, with color, theme, and positioning changes available for each site.

LiveChat’s chat widget works on any device, and comes with useful tools to make customer experiences more contextual. For instance, there are “agent profiles” which allow you to make your customer service team seem more welcoming, with agent names, profile pictures, and titles. Plus, the chat widgets are fully accessible, with keyboard navigation, screen reader support, contrast adjustments, and a range of other tools available.

Companies can interact with their consumers in more than 45 languages, thanks to built-in translation. Plus, your agents can send instant messages straight from your knowledgebase, saving them a significant amount of time. Other impressive features include:

  • Sneak peak for messages: View customer messages as they time
  • Canned responses: Instant message responses, pre-written for agents
  • Tag-based reporting: Add tags to chats for analytics
  • Rich messages: Clickable responses, buttons, and images
  • Carousels, cards, and apps: A range of engaging content options
  • File sharing: Drag and drop files into any message
  • Chat archives: Examine a full history of previous messages
  • Inactivity messages: Let customers know whenever an agent isn’t available
  • Chat transfer: Allow agents to transfer messages to another employee
  • Chat insights: Customer satisfaction scoring, surveys, and ratings

Outside of the core chat functionality, LiveChat also offers a fantastic all-in-one environment where you can link as many different digital experience tools into your workplace as you like. You can create a hub which connects everything from Facebook Messenger, to WhatsApp, email, Shopify chat, HubSpot, and many other tools. Other features include:

  • Custom chat buttons: Customize chat functionality for any part of your site
  • Quick replies: Quick reply cards with custom insights for each user
  • Eye-catchers: 120+ ready-to-use images and gifs to capture audience attention
  • Ticket forms: Custom forms to send requests straight to support teams after hours
  • Intelligent routing: Convenient routing to ensure each customer reaches the right agent.

Zendesk Core Features

zendesk chat homepage - livecaht vs zendesk chat

Zendesk’s chat functionality is similar to that offered by LiveChat. Companies can set up powerful customizable chat widgets to add to their websites and apps, with a completely personalized workspace for each agent. The workspaces come with convenient collaboration tools which help to connect internal and external support teams.

Plus, Zendesk even allows companies to deliver self-service opportunities to customers, with intelligent AI-powered chatbots capable of answering questions automatically. The Zendesk chat system comes with intelligent routing to help ensure the right messages are sent to agents with the correct skills to handle each query.

The all-in-one, messaging and live chat software has automation and AI already available with no coding requirements, so even when agents aren’t available, customers can still get support. Plus, because Zendesk works with a host of different messaging tools, like Email, text, and WhatsApp, customers can choose which platform they prefer to use. Other impressive features include:

  • Group messaging: Allow agents to work on queries at the same time
  • Comprehensive customization: Make changes to your chat widget to match your brand
  • Third-party integrations: Integrations with all of the leading tools you already use
  • All-in-one agent workspace: An end-to-end contextual workspace for agents
  • Answer Bot: Chatbot access for automated messages
  • Multi-channel service: Connect chat with voice, email, and SMS
  • Integrated help tools: Build your own help center and community forum
  • Smart routing: intelligent routing to connect consumers and agents
  • Collaboration tools: Built in collaboration tools for internal and external partners

Like LiveChat, Zendesk offers a fully-customizable ecosystem for digital experience, with an all-in-one single customer view so agents can track valuable data about each customer on the go. Zendesk also offers the option to outsource some of your customer service requirements to their team, so you can scale your service strategy rapidly.

While LiveChat does have some self-service solutions, it focuses more on providing agents with a comprehensive environment for delivering real-time, agent-focused responses to customers. On the other hand, Zendesk has a larger number of tools available for self-service, such as knowledgebase management, and a chat system.

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LiveChat vs Zendesk: Reporting and Analytics

Part of developing an amazing digital customer experience is ensuring you can keep a close eye on what works for your audience, and what doesn’t. Fortunately, both LiveChat and Zendesk feature helpful analytical and reporting tools to give you a behind the scenes look at your conversations.

LiveChat Analytics

With LiveChat, business leaders can examine a host of different metrics and KPIs to help them make better business decisions. The built-in chat reports offer insights into important information such as how many chats team members handle each day. You can see how many chat opportunities your employees might be missing out on, and schedule follow-ups with each customer.

Companies can also track customer satisfaction scores by individual agent and team. There are reports showing where each chat comes from, so you know which campaigns and pages are driving the most engagement. Plus, companies can also send surveys to customers automatically. Other options for data analytics and insights include:

  • Data export: Share chat insights with shareholders via CSV files
  • Agent reports: Examine agent performance in-depth with insights into response time, chat duration, agent activity and staffing predictions.
  • Ticket reports: Streamline email insights with tracking for new tickets, ticket satisfaction, solved tickets, resolution time, and first response time.
  • Customer reports: Keep an eye on the number of customers in a queue at any given time, with overviews into queue abandonment.
  • Ecommerce reports: Track how many sales come from chat conversations, and set goals for individual employees in real-time.

Users can also design dashboards and use filters to sort through reports based on specific conditions. It’s even possible to turn on benchmark data so companies can keep an eye on how their team’s performance compares to the industry standard.

Zendesk Analytics

Zendesk’s solutions for analytics and reporting are available as part of a tool called “Zendesk Explore”. The solution aims to make it easier for business leaders to enhance and optimize their CX operations, by providing behind-the-scenes views of problem areas and opportunities.

You can monitor the performance of individual agents and teams, and gain visibility into customer conversations across every channel. The reporting solution integrates all of the data you need from every channel, from messaging, to voice, to give you a more comprehensive view of what’s really driving new sales and opportunities.

The convenient reports include both historical and real-time data, so you can make decisions in the moment, and plan effectively for the future. You can also create convenient dashboards for each channel for your agents to track in the moment. Other features include:

  • Customizable charts: Create complete custom dashboards and reports for each agent
  • Sharing and collaboration: Allow each team member to share insights in real-time
  • Visual reports: Easy-to-understand graphs and charts make it easier to understand customer data and employee performance.
  • Customer journey tracking: End-to-end views of customer journeys across every channel, designed to help teams make better decisions.
  • Business intelligence: Real-time alerts and notifications on business performance to help with routing, scheduling, and team management.

The all-in-one analytics environment is ideal for businesses who want to create different views and insights for each member of their team, based on their specific goals. According to Zendesk, with their help, companies can achieve 36% faster resolutions for customer problems, a 79% reduction in customer wait time and 4 times as many solved customer requests.

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LiveChat vs Zendesk: Integrations and Customer Support

Though both Zendesk and LiveChat are designed with phenomenal ease of use in mind, there’s always a chance you may need some extra help getting started or fixing a problem. From a customer service perspective, both tools are excellent.

LiveChat offers comprehensive email and chat support 24/7 as well as phone support with every plan. Though responses aren’t always immediate, you should get an answer to your questions quite quickly.

Zendesk has a comprehensive knowledgebase and help centre if you’re having any issues, as well as access to chat and email support. There’s also a helpful Zendesk Support Community space for getting answers to your questions from other users.

Both platforms have FAQs pages to help answer your questions, as well as useful articles with screenshots to guide you through the process of setting up your new tools.

From an integration perspective, both LiveChat and Zendesk are very comprehensive. LiveChat has free and paid integrations available with more than 100 tools. Plus, developers can build their own connections with access to an API. Zendesk’s huge marketplace also allows you to link in dozens of tools, from Dropbox and Shopify, to Slack, MailChimp, Intercom, Freshchat, and many others.

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LiveChat vs Zendesk: Pricing

Budget will always be an important consideration when choosing an ideal tool for your customer service strategy. Both LiveChat and Zendesk give you a few different options to choose from when finding a price that suits you.

LiveChat, for instance, starts with a 14 day free trial, followed by four premium plan options include:

  • Starter: $20 per agent per month for access to basic customizations, a 60-day chat history, data security, and ticketing.
  • Team: $41 per agent per month for unlimited history access, full customization, all of the Starter features, basic reporting and agent groups.
  • Business: $59 per agent per month for all the Team features, plus work scheduling, staffing predictions, and a host of extra features.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing for all the features Business has to offer, plus a dedicated account manager, software engineer support, product training, security assistance, HIPAA compliance, and single sign-on.
livechat pricing - livechat vs zendesk

Zendesk has two sets of plans available for the “Service” solution within its toolkit. There are also different plans available for Sales. The first set of plans are designed for “Everyone” while the second option is specifically intended for enterprise users.

The “plans for everyone” include:

  • Suite Team: $49 per month per agent: For industry-leading ticketing and help desk functionality, messaging across web, mobile, and social media, email voice, SMS and live chat support, automations and workflows, AI-powered automated answers, a unified agent workspace and routing based on status and capacity. There’s also access to basic reporting and analytics, data, and file storage, over 1,000 apps and integrations, and standard APIs.
  • Suite Growth: $79 per month per agent for all the features of “Suite Team” plus a help center for multiple brands, up to 100 AI automated answers, advanced onboarding adoption and guidance, enhanced data and file storage, custom ticket layouts, and AI-powered knowledge marketing. You’ll also get up to 50 light access licenses, multilingual support, and SLA management tools too.
  • Suite Professional: $99 per month per agent for all the features of Growth, plus advanced routing, up to 500 AI automated answers, advanced rate limits for APIs, custom analytics, up to100 light licenses, and live agent activity dashboards. You can also access integrated community forums, private conversation threads, advanced voice capabilities, HIPAA compliance, Events connectors for AWS and more.
zendesk chat pricing - livecaht vs zendesk chat

The ”Enterprise” plans come in two forms: “Suite Enterprise” and “It gets even more powerful”. The basic Enterprise plan starts at $150 per month per agent, while more advanced custom options start at $215 per month. These options allow you to custom-tune your Zendesk services to your specific needs, with advanced granular controls.

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Zendesk vs LiveChat: Which is Best?

Both Zendesk and LiveChat make it simple for business leaders to transform their digital customer service strategies with a range of powerful add-ons and tools. LiveChat is an all-in-one platform companies can use to create a custom chat window, which integrates with a range of other service channels, such as social media, and SMS.

You can use LiveChat to send proactive messages to customers to enhance user experience and increase sales. Or you can simply provide your employees with access to an all-in-one environment for answering customer queries during business hours. LiveChat has its own mobile apps for Android and iPhone, and it can integrate with virtually every ticketing system, CRM, and sales tool you can imagine. It’s great for companies investing in messaging-based service.

Zendesk is a little more complex than LiveChat, with more expensive pricing plans, and more comprehensive tools for sales and service. Zendesk also allows companies to create an all-in-one environment for digital customer service, and it even has its own CRM functionality available. Zendesk also comes with access to a range of valuable collaboration tools for your call center or behind-the-scenes teams.

While both of these tools will help you to impress your website visitors, Zendesk is more likely to be the right choice for companies investing heavily in sales and service solutions, thanks to the comprehensive Zendesk suite. Alternatively, LiveChat might be the ideal SaaS investment for mid to large-size companies with a strong focus on messaging and increasing ecommerce sales.

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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