10 Best Zendesk Chat Alternatives to Improve Customer Service

zendesk alternatives

“Their chat app started to lag, and it reflected on our agent’s performance.”

“Zendesk is too slow to respond to our questions. We feel there is no way out.”

If you are nodding your head in agreement while reading these statements, then you’re definitely on the lookout for a Zendesk Chat alternative.

We get it that simply trusting any chat platform you come across online won’t be easy for you. It’s an investment after all. That’s why a lot of businesses hesitate to make that leap of faith when choosing the best alternatives for their existing tools.

Considering your hesitation, we’ve compiled a list of tools that can help your business switch to the best Zendesk Chat alternative. This quick guide will help you explore:

A Quick Look at Top Alternatives for Zendesk Chat

Products Features Pricing
  • ProProfs Chat
  • Automates and avoids repetitive tasks with a chatbot
  • Makes agents more proactive
  • Offers detailed reports on operator’s performance
  • Supports more than 50+ integrations
  • 100+ customization settings for chat widget
    • Essential Plan:$10/user/mon
    • Premium Plan:$15/user/mon
    • Enterprise Plan: Request a quote
    • HelpCrunch
    • Escalates chats to the right department
    • Helps you create canned responses
    • Collects visitor information with offline forms
    • Allows you to target the right audience
    • Speeds up requests
    • Standard Plan: $12/team member/mon
    • Premium Plan: $20/team member/mon
    • Enterprise Plan: Request a quote
    • Intercom
    • Tracks visitors and connect with them
    • Saves unlimited chats with customers
    • Connects you via business bots, in-app messages, and more
    • Offers an inbox to maintain all communications
    • Updates data platform after every interaction
    • Starts at $79/mon.
    • Help Scout
    • Recommends articles in the chat widget
    • Escalates a customer's chat
    • Helps you display communication channel options
    • Allows you to create canned messages
    • Automates routing process
    • Standard Plan: $20/user/mon
    • Plus Plan: $35/user/mon
    • Company Plan: Request a quote
    • Live Agent
    • Helps you set canned message
    • Creates predefined answers to FAQs
    • Enables your team to share files
    • Invites website visitors for a chat proactively
    • Tracks each live chat session in Google Analytics
    • Free Plan: $0/agent/mon
    • Ticket Plan: $15/agent/mon
    • Ticket+Chat Plan: $29/agent/mon
    • All-inclusive Plan: $39/agent/mon
    • Drift
    • Targets your visitors in real time
    • Switches from chat to call
    • Create inboxes to manage multiple chats
    • Create FAQs for common answers
    • Collaborate with internal notes
    • Premium Plan: Request a quote
    • Advanced Plan: Request a quote
    • Enterprise Plan: Request a quote
    • Olark
    • Offers a chatbot called CoPilot
    • Provides in-depth reports & analytics
    • Helps you store & search for right transcripts
    • Build custom forms to capture more information
    • Makes team management possible
    • Starts at $29/user/mon.
    • Smartsupp
    • Helps you show that you are available
    • Integrates with all messaging platforms
    • Supports the use of mobile app
    • Create automatic welcome messages
    • Record individual visitor’s activity
    • Free Plan: $0/3 agent/mon
    • Standard Plan: $10/3 agents/mon
    • Pro Plan: $19/agent/mon
    • Pure Chat
    • Create and set canned messages
    • Create proactive chat messages
    • Enable agents to route chats
    • Customize your branding
    • Create offline message forms
    • Growth Plan: $39/mon
    • Pro Plan: $79/mon
    • HappyFox Chat
    • Helps you queue and route chats
    • Offers in-depth chat reports
    • Offer support in different language
    • Provides an intuitive agent UI
    • Integrate with third-party platforms
    • Starter Plan: $29/mon
    • Growth Plan: $49/mon
    • Scale Plan: $149/mon
    • Scale Plus Plan: $299/mon

    What is Zendesk Chat?

    Zendesk Chat is a live chat software that helps your agents to address customer issues and challenges in real-time. This customer support software is capable of helping its clients become more proactive and productive with features like triggers and chatbot

    Other than that, Zendesk Chat is also known for its in-depth metrics and agent reports. It provides an insight into how the agents are performing during each chat conversation and helps businesses identify loopholes in their support process.

    Why Replace Your Zendesk Live Chat Software?

    There are multiple reasons why others switch from Zendesk Chat to other live chat software. And we’d like to focus on the common pain points for all. Let’s look at the top five reasons why businesses switch from Zendesk.

    • Most of the feature updates are suggested by their customer base. That means it waits for feature requests and makes fewer updates from its end. This reactive approach doesn’t help them balance out the self identified areas of improvement and customer suggestions.
    • Their reports look detailed and offer insights for various aspects of customer support, but they fail to offer accurate data for all the metrics they track. A few of their customers even complained about noticing variation in the data when they used another tool to track the same metrics.
    • Users can find their interface a little tricky when they first start using them. They haven’t defined the product features well, making it difficult for the users to use it efficiently. Some even complained that they had to connect with their support teams to get a demo after the onboarding process.
    • They don’t offer automatic routing, therefore building complexities during the chat assignment process. Not being able to assign tickets equally among agents can lead to frequent burnouts.
    • Zendesk sometimes goes off the grid. It takes hours for their clients to log in to their accounts again. This hampers the support flow for both their customers and agents.

    These are some of the prominent reasons why many Zendesk chat users start searching for its alternatives online.

    5 Must-Have Features to Find in Your Zendesk Chat Alternative

    To tackle these drawbacks, you need to find alternatives that fulfill these requirements and offer more. Considering the situation, we’ve listed some of the must-have features that your Zendesk Chat alternative should offer.

    • Detailed & Accurate Reports

    We would say that accurate and detailed reports should be the top priority for those looking for Zendesk chat similar software for their business. Correct data is essential for improving your services and identifying loopholes in your customer support process.

    • An Automatic Routing System to Avoid Burnout

    You need to search for a Zendesk Chat competitor that offers you an automatic chat routing feature. It will help you automatically distribute incoming chats to agents and ensure they avoid missing out on support opportunities.

    • A Prompt Chatbot for Support Automation

    You will need a chatbot feature that helps you automate the support process and simplify the request flow of the agents. When searching for the best Zendesk Chat alternative, make sure to check that the chatbot system helps you answer frequently asked questions and offers templates to get started and detailed reports.

    • Helps You Make Engaging Announcements for Visitors

    When you search for an alternative to the Zendesk Chat system, make sure it is also empowered to make live announcements on the website. This will help you make your customers aware of your business’s upcoming deals and events in store for them.

    • Brings Together a Complete Support Suite for Your Business

    Let’s not forget that a business needs a complete suite to solidify its support process. And it’s not just about building a better support bundle but also making it impactful for sales and marketing processes. Look for the best alternatives to Zendesk live chat software that allow you to integrate with the help desk, knowledge base, survey maker, email marketing, social media, CRM platforms, and more.

    These must-have features will guide you and your team to select one of the best alternatives to Zendesk Chat in no time. 

    Top 3 Criteria for Curating Our List of Alternatives for Zendesk Chat

    But besides features, there are other criteria that you should look into when shortlisting the best Zendesk chat customer support alternative. In case you’re wondering about what measures we undertook while putting together our list for you, then here’s a list of three simple yet effective reasons for choosing the best Zendesk Chat alternatives.

    • Ratings

    Customer ratings are the perfect way for starting your selection process for an alternative to Zendesk Chat. They indicate the average rating received from all the customers so far for a product. We’ve considered tools that received a rating of 4.2-5.0 from its existing customers.

    • Reviews

    Customer reviews are another criteria we’ve used to create the list of best Zendesk Chat alternatives. While ratings give you the overall picture of a product, reviews help you understand the best thing a customer found and even the disappointing factors. This way, we identified tools that are close to being the perfect replacement for your Zendesk Chat.

    • Case Studies

    We even found case studies quite helpful when curating the list of alternatives. They help you understand what problems their existing customers faced when looking for a solution, what solution they received when getting the tool onboard, and how it works for them currently.

    These three criteria were helpful enough for the team and us to list the best alternatives for your Zendesk Chat.

    What are the Best Zendesk Chat Alternatives for Your Business?

    Considering the criteria, we were able to list down some of the best Zendesk Chat alternatives that help you replace the live chat software faster. Some of the best-in-class live chat solutions have been listed for your reference below.

    10 Best Zendesk Chat Alternatives in 2021

    1. ProProfs Chat

    ProProfs Chat

    ProProfs Chat is one of the best Zendesk Chat alternatives in the market. It enables your business to connect, engage and even find opportunities to convert these visitors into customers. With the help of their chatbot feature, you can make sure that all frequently asked questions are answered without the help of your support agent. You can also set it up in a matter of few seconds as it already offers multiple templates to its users.

    Other than the automation functionality, this live chat software also offers in-depth reports to its users. These reports can help you understand how the support experience was shaped by your operators, whether customers were satisfied and how agents were rated for each conversation. Besides that, you can also find more than 50+ integrations with popular platforms like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, Shopify, WordPress, and more.

    Key Features:

    • Automates your customer support process and helps your agents avoid repetitive tasks with chatbot
    • Makes your agents more proactive at reaching out to website visitors and helping engage visitors
    • Offers detailed reports that offer information on your operator’s performance and how satisfied your visitors are with your services
    • Supports more than 50+ integrations to create a simple support and sales bundle for your business
    • 100+ customization settings to help you create a chat widget of your choice

    What we Liked?

    We like how quick this live chat system is at helping its users learn about new upcoming chats for the day. It has no delay time whatsoever and makes sure that agents get notified about upcoming chats.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    We would like to see more chatbot templates. It would help a lot of their users set up a chatbot for their websites as well.

    Pricing:

    • Essential Plan: $10/user/mon
    • Premium Plan: $15/user/mon
    • Enterprise Plan: Request a quote

    2. Help Crunch

    Helpcrunch live chat

    Help Crunch is also one of the few Zendesk Chat alternatives your business can check out. This live chat solution helps you begin a chat with website visitors in real time. You can understand their browsing behavior and initiate a proactive chat. This is one of the ways it allows you to personalize the customer’s journey with your brand. 

    It allows you to create amazing eye-catchers and proactive messages that encourage your website visitors to connect and engage with your brand right away. What’s even better is its capability to capture leads and qualify them as prospects and spams for your business. Their customization options will help you design and implement the best-looking chat widget on your website.

    Key Features:

    • Escalates chats to the right department in times of emergency
    • Helps you create canned responses for your support team
    • Collects visitor information in the absence of your agents with offline forms
    • Allows you to target the right audience for your business
    • Speeds up customer requests with merging and tagging features

    What we Liked?

    Their chat functionality may look quite basic to first-time users, but the product’s simple interface brings ease for all their customers.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    What can be bothersome for many agents using their mobile chat app is that at times it fails to communicate to the customer that a visitor wants to have a chat with their team. The app notifies by the time the visitor makes up his mind to leave without a solution. 

    Pricing:

    • Standard Plan: $12/team member/mon
    • Premium Plan: $20/team member/mon
    • Enterprise Plan: Request a quote

    3. Intercom

    Intercom live chat

    Intercom is known for its claim to automate your customer service and support process in real time. That’s why it is one of our top picks for Zendesk Chat alternatives. It helps your business become proactive through targeted messages and help you reach out to customers before they do. 

    On top of that, this tool also helps your customers receive a self-service support platform. Here you can integrate their bot or knowledge base to help customers find a solution even before they reach your agents for support.

    Key Features:

    • Tracks visitors and connect with them at the right time
    • Saves unlimited chats with customers
    • Connects you with customers via business bots, apps, in-app messages, and more
    • Offers an inbox to maintain all customer communications in one place
    • Updates the customer data platform after every interaction

    What we Liked?

    Intercom brings a lot to the table when it comes to its automation features. It helps you build a conversational AI-chatbot for your business that helps you manage the nature of different queries hassle-free.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    There are two things that can really bother businesses who are making use of this live chat system. One, they don’t have a responsive customer support team. They don’t offer support on time that hampers their customer’s experience with the product. Two, for the kind of package they offer, it is hard to say that a small and medium-sized business would be able to implement their solution on their website.

    Pricing:

    Starts at $79/mon.

    4. Help Scout

    helpscout live chat

    Help Scout is one of our top picks that we’d like to recommend to your business in case you plan to replace Zendesk Chat from your support suite. It is fast, no doubt. But more than that, it is easy to use. It has a simple interface that helps a business speed up the support process and help agents find the right feature that can help them offer a solution faster.

    Since it integrates with a knowledge base, it is easier for a business to offer self-help to visitors before approaching the support team for help. What’s more, this integration helps your visitors search for relevant articles from the chat widget itself. And just in case your visitors can’t find the solution, they are immediately escalated to a support agent.

    Key Features:

    • Recommends articles based on the page your customer is on
    • Escalates a customer to a chat in case they fail to find an answer in self-help articles
    • Helps you display channel options like chat and email in the chat widget
    • Allows you to create canned messages for your entire team
    • Automates routing process to help customers reach the right department

    What we Liked?

    This tool supports a clean interface. That means finding features and even exploring it when you get new users onboard won’t be a hassle to your team. It balances an excellent interface and needed features together.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    While their interface is a boon to those using and exploring their product for the first time, it can also be a problem for those who would like to customize it as per their needs. Besides a downside like this, there aren’t any major issues that a business might face with its use. Oh, and  yes, they don’t offer a chatbot. That means all your efforts to automate the support process may go down the hill.

    Pricing:

    • Standard Plan: $20/user/mon
    • Plus Plan: $35/user/mon
    • Company Plan: Request a quote

    5. Live Agent

    Live agent chat system

    LiveAgent is primarily known for its ticketing system. However, they have an effective live chat system that makes agents more proactive and manages multiple incoming chats at the same time. A lot of its customers admire how their live chat easily integrates with their website, making it easier for them to get started with real time support in no time.

    You also get to customize the chat widget as per your liking and website theme. One of their biggest pros is the fact that they offer video call, and voice calling support. That means your agents have the liberty to switch from a normal chat window to a video call in no time.

    Key Features:

    • Helps you set canned messages for team
    • Allows you to create predefined answers to FAQs
    • Enables your team to share files like images, video and documents during chat
    • Helps you proactively invite website visitors for a chat
    • Enables your marketing team to track each live chat session in Google Analytics

    What we Liked?

    We like that at the price of a ticketing system, users can also get access to a live chat system with full-fledged features. 

    What we Didn’t Like?

    What we don’t like is that live chat doesn’t have a separate pricing package. That means those only interested in using their live chat service will be forced to use their ticketing system (which is their primary tool).

    Pricing:

    • Free Plan: $0/agent/mon
    • Ticket Plan: $15/agent/mon
    • Ticket+Chat Plan: $29/agent/mon
    • All-inclusive Plan: $39/agent/mon

    6. Drift

    Drift chat

    Drift is an automated customer support tool that not only depends on its chatbot functionality but also banks well on its live chat solution. They have found the perfect balance between automation and customer support through their system. With their live chat system in place, you can manage multiple chats at the same time in different chat inboxes. 

    What’s more, your agents can easily see who all are currently browsing your website, how long they’ve browsed a page, and which pages did they visit next. This gives your agents enough information to approach such visitors proactively and personalize their conversational experience with the brand hassle-free.

    Key Features:

    • Targets your visitors in real time
    • Switches easily from chat to call or chat to video call
    • Allows you to create multiple inboxes to manage multiple chats
    • Helps you create common answers to frequently asked questions
    • Enables your team to collaborate with internal notes

    What we Liked?

    The software is easy to implement on your website and supports both automated conversations and agent-to-customer interactions. This is one of the biggest USPs of this product. What’s more, it is easy to switch from their bot to an agent on chat and to a video call as well.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    Their support team lags a lot. A lot of their customers have gone ahead and complained about the fact that they faced lags with their product and the support team didn’t get in touch with them in time. This prompted such customers to cancel their subscription later on and they failed to receive a refund from their customers.

    Pricing:

    • Premium Plan: Request a quote
    • Advanced Plan: Request a quote
    • Enterprise Plan: Request a quote

    7. Olark

    Olark is another Zendesk Chat alternative that can help you complete your support suite. This live chat software has finally brought in its chatbot, which gives us all the more reason to mention it in our list. People who are already using Olark would agree that it is easy to use as it has a clear interface that helps you provide support hassle-free.

    If that doesn’t impress you, then its analytics reports and chat widget customization settings will. These are easy to use and help you build a chat widget that matches your website theme and expectations. Besides these settings, you can also dabble in its security settings. From blocking an IP on your server to adhering to GDPR rules, this software does it all.

    Key Features:

    • Offers a chatbot called CoPilot to automate repetitive tasks for agents
    • Provides in-depth reports to help you understand what customers are thinking
    • Helps you store and search for right transcripts for reference during ongoing chats
    • Enables you to build custom forms that’ll help you capture more information on customers
    • Makes team management possible with set rules and conditions

    What we Liked?

    Olark has finally brought in a chatbot to their customer support suite. This is primarily known for helping businesses handle multiple chats from start to finish, qualify leads, automate repetitive tasks, and bring in an agent to the conversation if it gets complex.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    They should offer more integrations with other platforms besides, Slack, Hubspot, Magento, Zendesk, Webhooks, HelpScout, MailChimp, WordPress, Salesforce, and BigCommerce. Due to limited integrations, it becomes difficult for a brand to integrate with their preferred platform later on.

    Pricing:

    Starts at $29/user/mon.

    8. Smartsupp

    smartsupp live chat

    Smartsupp is another live chat solution we’d like to introduce as a replacement for your Zendesk Chat. This live chat software is known for being a sales and support tool as it not only helps you boost your lead generation process but also enables your team to offer support to such prospects and convert them into sales.

    What’s more, it also supports the use of a chatbot that helps you automate the support process further and even your lead generation process. To add to that, Smartsupp also helps your agents to strike personal conversations with your visitors and help them learn about your products and better options they can consider from your catalog.

    Key Features:

    • Helps you show that you are ready to take support questions
    • Integrates with all communication and messaging platforms 
    • Supports the use of the mobile app to help users offer support on the go
    • Enables your team to create automatic messages to encourage engagement
    • Allows you video record each visitor’s activity on the website

    What we Liked?

    Their text shortcuts work like magic for their users. It becomes easier for them to send responses to their customers in real time, therefore reducing the response time drastically and keeping them engaged throughout the conversation.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    There are a few weak points that will cause hindrance to not just your experience but to that of your customers as well. It may fall short on the notification and alerts department where agents fail to realize that they’ve received a chat and it needs to be answered right away.

    Pricing:

    • Free Plan: $0/3 agent/mon
    • Standard Plan: $10/3 agents/mon
    • Pro Plan: $19/agent/mon

    9. Pure Chat

    pure chat-online chat software

    Pure Chat is another online chat software that helps business owners to create an engaging conversational experience for their customers. It’s ability to create and set canned messages for agents helps them to reduce the overall chat response time. If that doesn’t convince you about its performance, then its proactive chat messages feature should. They are easy to set up and help a business to encourage engagement with website visitors.

    Key Features:

    • Helps you create and set canned messages for reduced response time
    • Allows you to create proactive chat messages for instant engagement
    • Enables one agent to route to another agent in a matter of seconds
    • Helps you customize your branding in the chat widget
    • Offers you the option to create offline message forms to capture leads

    What we Liked?

    We like how it is easy to use and set up. Also, how it is available for WordPress users. This gives its users the ability to download the plugin and implement it on their WordPress website in no time.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    A few of their downsides are the lack of timely notifications and old interface that they surely need to revamp. They easily hamper the experience of the agent and the customer before and during the chat.

    Pricing:

    • Growth Plan: $39/mon
    • Pro Plan: $79/mon

    10. HappyFox Chat

    happy fox chat

    HappyFox Chat is the last on our list of tools that we found as the perfect alternative to Zendesk Chat. This customer support solution is known for its interactive interface that helps agents to speed up the support process for all the chats they manage in real time. The design of this live chat software is light and promotes engagement on both ends. What’s more, it syncs easily with third-party applications besides its native apps, therefore giving its users the opportunity to create their support and sales suite in a matter of minutes.

    Key Features:

    • Helps you queue and route the right chat to the correct department
    • Offers in-depth chat reports and analytics
    • Enables your agents to have a conversation with visitors who have a different dialect
    • Offers an intuitive agent UI for a seamless experience for the agents
    • Offers multiple options to integrate with third-party platforms

    What we Liked?

    Overall it is a great product that offers amazing features and an intuitive interface for agents to work on.

    What we Didn’t Like?

    They have a mobile app; great! But this app fails to send a basic message to the visitors who are in line to have a conversation with support agents. 

    Pricing:

    • Starter Plan: $29/mon
    • Growth Plan: $49/mon
    • Scale Plan: $149/mon
    • Scale Plus Plan: $299/mon

    Comparison of Best Zendesk Chat Alternatives

    Phew! That’s a lot of information to process. Therefore, making comparisons right away won’t be easier for your business. But don’t worry. We’ve built a comparison table that you can find below. These Zendesk Chat alternatives are compared on the basis of a few pivotal features.

    Features Chatbots Announcement Proactive Messages Automatic Routing Multi-lingual Support
    ProProfs Chat Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    HelpCrunch Yes No No Yes No
    Intercom Yes Yes Yes Yes No
    Help Scout No No No Yes No
    LiveAgent No Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Drift Yes Yes Yes No No
    Olark Yes No Yes No No
    Smartsupp Yes No Yes Yes Yes
    Pure Chat No No No Yes No
    HappyFox Chat Yes No Yes Yes Yes

    Final Verdict: Which Zendesk Chat Alternative Your Business Should Opt for?

    We aren’t being biased here, but after comparing all the products we’ve realized that ProProfs Chat could turn out to be a great alternative to your Zendesk Chat.

    It not only exceeds when it comes to speed or handling multiple chats together but also creates a holistic experience for its users. And guess what, it’s pricing starts at $10/user/mon. That’s relatively affordable when compared to other live chat solutions in the list.

    In a nutshell, you can consider ProProfs Chat to be your next option when replacing Zendesk Chat from your support suite.

    We hope our guide helps you replace your Zendesk Chat successfully!

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    About the author

    Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn