Zendesk Chat – Here's What to Use Instead of It

Zendesk Chat – Here's What to Use Instead of It

Zendesk Chat is popular for customer support, but the product might also have some shortcomings. Here are the best alternatives to Zendesk chat – check them out today.

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Zendesk Chat is one of the most popular tools for customer support using live chat and bots. But does popularity equal quality?

Chat support and technology are thriving nowadays since more and more people are using live chat and chatbots for various tasks. From customer service to healthcare, chatbots provide valuable assets in the digital age. And fortunately, there’re many options to choose from.

One of the options is Zendesk Chat. It’s a good solution, but is it the best? Our focus today is Zendesk so that you might clear the doubts.

However, before researching any tools, think about what features you want your customer support tool to have. Whether it’s chat routing, chat transcripts, video recording, conversation tracking, or maybe you want to provide ticketing software - it’s always worth considering your needs first.

So, let’s dig deep into the topic and get to know Zendesk more!

Is Zendesk Right For You?

Before you answer this question, here is some key information about Zendesk Chat. Of course, it’s better to know the chat solution thoroughly, including its capabilities and pain points, before making a final decision. So, let’s see Zendesk’s features, pricing, and competitors.

What is Zendesk?

Zendesk gathers tools for customer service support, such as a live chat app, bots, a ticketing system, and more. It is a cloud-based customer service software for businesses to manage customer interactions.

Zendesk Chat: Key Features

Let’s move on to the key Zendesk Chat features that may help you manage customer requests.

Zendesk integrations

Zendesk offers many integrations, so you can still use your tools or plugins. Thanks to API, there’s no need to worry about losing any functionality of tools you’ve been using in your business.

Managing conversation in one place

This feature allows chat operators to manage the conversation in one inbox. In addition, cross-channel communication makes it easy for them to keep track of all the messages and respond quickly.

Proactive messages

Proactive messages are automatically sent to website visitors before they have an issue or need. Using this feature, the support team lets the visitors know that they’re ready to help or some offers are available.

AI-powered answers

Customer support agents can use artificial intelligence answers to respond to questions quickly. This feature will save some time because site visitors get answers immediately. Nevertheless, the responses you can use are limited in each plan.


Implementing a bot can improve the workflow by answering incoming questions immediately. Thanks to machine learning, website visitors get the necessary information via various sources such as email, ticket forms, or live chat (according to preferences) without waiting.

Report and analytics

In your dashboard, you can find reports on metrics helpful for measuring your operators’ performance, so you can conduct quality control and supervise agents. However, not every plan offers a robust, pre-built analysis. So, when you subscribe to the lowest plan, you must integrate other tools to get a solid report.

Zendesk Chat Pros and Cons

Before deciding on using Zendesk, keep in mind its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most vital ones.

✔️ Ticketing system is a feature available for Zendesk subscribers. Many businesses use ticketing systems to manage customer support. It allows companies to track and respond to customer tickets and measure customer service’s effectiveness.

❌ However, if you want to implement different products or features that Zendesk offers (for example, live chat software and automatic redaction), you need to subscribe to two different plans or choose the enterprise solution. Unfortunately, it might be a bit costly for small businesses.

❌ To contact a support agent using Zendesk Chat, website users need to fill in the form leaving information such as:

  • name
  • email address
  • phone number
  • description of the issue they have doubts about

It seems like a lot of information to type, maybe even more than a question. It might be a discouraging factor that stops website users from reaching out.

❌ If you’re a solopreneur with a tight budget, Zendesk might be relatively pricey since they do not provide a free plan. Therefore, if you’re looking for affordable customer support software, maybe it’s good to keep searching.

❌ Some Zendesk users complain that the support team is not responsive. With such a complex tool, having a support team that helps navigate the process is extremely important—not having someone who can help you with that might result in workflow issues.

❌ / ✔️ Zendesk offers many plans and tools which can be both a pro and a con. For someone who just started running a company, navigating around Zendesk might be a little overwhelming.

Luckily, several alternatives are designed to help you manage your customers for free. So, if you’re looking for a tool like this, check out some of the options below.

Zendesk Chat vs. Competitors

There are quite a few Zendesk Chat alternatives…

But one of the best ones you can try is Smartsupp – and let us show you why.

Smartsupp as the best Zendesk alternative

Smartsupp is also one of Zendesk’s competitors. Here are some details about this tool and what it offers.

What is Smartsupp?

Smartsupp is a customer service solution that provides chatbots and live chat software. Thanks to many features, you can use Smartsupp on any website. In addition, you can increase customer satisfaction rates and deliver a better customer experience using Smartsupp.

Smartsupp most essential features and products

Live chat is an excellent feature for providing customer support in real time. For example, when customers browse your online shop searching for products and have questions, they can easily reach your support agent without scrolling through the web pages to find contact details.

Personalized experience

With such details as support agents’ profile pictures, proactive, personalized messages, or multiple communication channels, buyers may feel welcomed, giving a personal touch to conversations.

Time-saving multichannel chat

Support team members do not need to worry about not noticing the message because of multichannel chat on one dashboard. All the incoming messages are visible and can manage easily and fast.

Helpful shortcuts

Another feature that boosts the average time of response is canned messages. In the Smartsupp admin panel, you can find them as shortcuts. While adding a shortcut, they can be visible only for a specific agent or, if you wish so, for all team members. They are the pre-written answers that agents can use for recurring or similar questions.

Easy file-sharing

Also, online shoppers and operators can send files on chat. It is a powerful tool that saves plenty of time. For instance, a customer sends a screenshot or a PDF file with the invoice instead of describing the problem or situation.

Unlimited chat history

A great thing about a live chat app is that you can build a connection between your brand and customers. Moreover, operators can look up the last conversation with recurring web users and make it an even more personalized customer experience by referring to the messages they exchanged.

Contact form

When your agents are offline, there’s a possibility to use a contact form to gather emails from potential customers. It is also a way to build your email marketing list and reach more people interested in your products.

💡 You can easily export chat transcripts as you prefer in Smartsupp:

  • using API
  • in XML
  • in PDF

all can be done in a moment.


However, as you grow, you will have more customers and your support agents more questions to answer. Some of them might be asked frequently. Some of them do not even need an online agent to be answered. How? Using a chatbot.

Using a chatbot is an excellent way to optimize the workload. Customers can count on your help thanks to additional support resources regardless of your business hours. Aside from that, implementing a chatbot saves time, effort, and money.

Customizable chat widget

Adding the Smartsupp chat widget to your website is easy, and you can customize it to match your site. To do this, choose from various colors and shapes, and add agent information (like the name or the photo) to change the widget. This feature makes it easy to provide visitors with chat support that matches your website’s branding and blends seamlessly.

Gathering feedback

There’s also an option for leaving feedback. After a conversation, website visitors can rate their experience thanks to a quick poll. It can take only a few seconds to complete.

Reports and analytics

With chatbot insights, you can easily monitor the performance of your chatbot. Additionally, you can find valuable metrics that allow tracking of your agents’ efficiency. For example:

  • customer satisfaction rating
  • response time
  • the number of answered chats
  • the number of missed chats

and more.

Along with built-in reports, Smartsupp smoothly integrates with Google Analytics. With this integration, you can gain valuable insight into how people use your site, what pages they visit, and how long they stay on each page. Also, you are able to easily monitor customer engagement. The data can help you to optimize your website for maximum engagement and conversion.

Automatic messages

Automatic messages work as proactive ones. They allow you to reach out to your website visitors when you want to. You can send a message to the visitors. Then they view a certain page longer than a particular time.

For example, after 5 minutes of scrolling through the mountain bike category, you can send an automatic message with a question about what bike the visitor is specifically looking for. Maybe your visitor needs some help or feels lost. Thanks to these messages, you let them know you’re always ready and willing to help.

Choose what’s best for you

Before deciding which tool to use, it’s essential to research the available options - live chat capabilities, customizability, analytics, or anything you’re interested in.

Zendesk is a decent tool for customer support. However, it’s not perfect for everyone. That’s why it’s worth checking out what competitors have to offer.

If you’re still struggling with what option to use, Smartsupp is a great tool. Start for free and have everything you need to provide excellent customer support. To try it out, sign in for a 14-day free trial!

Zendesk FAQ

What is Zendesk Chat used for?

Zendesk Chat is a customer service tool that allows businesses to communicate with their customers in real time. It provides live chat software that allows agents and customers to communicate through text. Zendesk Chat aims to provide customer support, manage customer requests, and answer questions.

Is Zendesk Chat free?

No. Zendesk does not provide a free subscription plan. The most basic one starts at $49/month. The plan is relatively limited when it comes to provided features. For more advanced capabilities, there are many paid plans available. If you want to try it out without paying, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Does Zendesk have a live chat?

Yes. Zendesk does provide live chat software. It’s a way of communicating with customers or website visitors in real-time, and it can help you resolve issues more quickly. In addition, live chat is a way of gathering feedback and building relationships with site visitors and customers.

How do I set up Zendesk Chat?

Firstly, log in or sign up if you do not have an account. Then, click Admin, choose Channels, and select Chat from the product tray. Next, click Sign In ( at the bottom of the page), enter your email address and password, and select Link and Sign In. And then, you will see the Chat dashboard. There’s no need to involve custom software developers for this task.

What is Zendesk best for?

Zendesk is best for businesses that want to build relationships with customers or website visitors. However, some of the solopreneurs might find Zendesk services pricey. Companies can connect with visitors using tools like Zendesk Chat which enables community management in real time and answer any questions or doubts visitors may have.

What’s the best Zendesk Chat alternative?

Smartsupp is one of the best Zendesk Chat alternatives. Thanks to many features, businesses can connect with their site visitors using live chat software to help them resolve chatbots’ issues. Compared to Zendesk Chat, Smatsupp offers a free plan, so everyone can afford it. Also, doing an upgrade is easy, and the prices are affordable.