What is Zendesk Chat?

Zendesk chat is any software that allows customers to engage with your customer support team in real time via Zendesk. There are a number of different service providers that enable zendesk live chat, including Ada’s AI chatbot. In this article, we’ll break down exactly what you can expect from Zendesk chat.

Traditional Zendesk Chat, previously known as Zopim, is a live chat platform acquired by the American software company Zendesk. Live chat is an Internet-based communication service that connects customers with support agents in real-time. Instead of reaching customer service representatives over the phone, customers can have live conversations with agents directly within their web browser.

Live chat offers many benefits over other options like phone and email. Instead of customers explaining their issue and waiting for an email response, users can send a message to a live agent and receive an answer much more quickly. Live chat is becoming an increasingly popular option for many businesses.

By building a live chat platform into your company’s website, customers can engage with your business without taking them out of the customer experience. For example, if a customer is looking at a specific product for sale on your site, they can start a live chat on the same page and ask a question about that product.

Live chat offers an effective way to create personalized and meaningful connections with your customers, whether they are actively looking for support or simply engaging with your brand and its products. Live chat can do this without interrupting the customer experience, leading to fewer abandoned carts and increased sales for your company.

Not only does Zendesk Chat allow you to conduct live chats in real-time, but it can also keep track of an ongoing conversation history for every customer. Agents can easily reference things that were discussed in previous conversations and build long-term customer relationships.

What is Zendesk Chat used for?

Provide instant, 24/7 support to customers

Customers want support for the issues they experience as soon as possible - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in real-time. According to Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report, almost half of customers believe that 24/7, real-time support is the most crucial aspect of quality customer service.

There are several ways to provide 24/7 support with Zendesk Chat. The first is to have live agents scheduled at all times of the day. If this isn’t an option, you can automate your chats or offer self-service.

Automating customer support involves using a system such as a chatbot or other artificial intelligence technology. Zendesk’s Answer Bot is their answer to automation, using artificial intelligence to provide support with no live agent required. Answer Bot works best for low priority tickets, but it can transfer customers to live agents when necessary. 

Self-service is your best option for common issues with simple resolutions. Not only does it take a load off your team, but customers prefer to resolve their own problems whenever possible. Self-service creates a win-win situation that increases efficiency on both sides of the customer relationship.

Helps with customer acquisition

Customer acquisition is the method your business takes to gain new customers. Regularly acquiring new customers allows your business to grow and compensates for customer churn. While it is usually associated with sales and marketing, it applies to customer service as well.

To gain new customers, your company needs to build personalized and valuable interactions with your prospective clients. With a live chat solution like Zendesk Chat, your customer service agents have a direct communication line with your customers. Your agents have the opportunity to make a great impression on new customers and turn loyal ones into brand advocates.

For example, if a customer compliments the product they purchased or the agent’s service, the agent can thank them and recommend leaving a review on the company website. The customer will feel like their opinion is valued, and their review will influence others to engage with your brand.

According to a Zendesk survey, 89 percent of customers are more likely to buy from a company that quickly responds to their questions. On the other hand, 74 percent of customers will switch brands if their customer experience is too difficult. Responding promptly to customer inquiries not only increases engagement but allows your agents to encourage customers to refer your brand to others.

No customer wants to be ignored when they take the time to message a brand. Zendesk Chat provides an efficient solution for collecting inquiries from multiple channels into one synchronized platform. It prepares your agents to respond quickly to customers no matter what channel they use.

Helps with customer onboarding

While onboarding is typically associated with employees, it is an essential process for your customers as well. Customer onboarding involves educating your customers on using your product and the value they will get from it. 

Many customers will return products because they don’t understand how to use them properly. To prevent this from happening, you need to set your customers up for success from the beginning. Doing so will help you retain loyal customers and avoid customer churn.

There are a variety of methods for onboarding your customers with your product. You can send a series of emails, a call from a customer service representative, a self-directed training module, or a self-service knowledge base with articles and videos. All of these options can be automated and maintained with a platform like Zendesk Chat.

Allows agents to build rapport with customers

Zendesk Chat simplifies the customer service experience and frees up time for your agents to focus on what matters most: having personalized and meaningful conversations with your customers. Its intuitive interface is designed specifically for customer service and help desk agents, providing the tools they need to deliver exceptional support for your business.

Reduces repetition for your customers

No one likes being transferred to another department and having to explain their situation all over again. Zendesk Chat’s ongoing conversation histories mean that customers never have to repeat themselves ever again

Agents can take over exactly where things were left off last time, regardless of what channel the customer was using previously. Zendesk Chat maintains their conversation history whether the conversation moves from the web to social media to a mobile app. By having access to things discussed in previous interactions, agents can create personalized experiences that will leave their customers impressed and delighted.

Boosts productivity for your agents

Zendesk Chat can easily route a conversation to the right agent through flexible business triggers and data collected by Answer Bot. This prevents customers from being transferred to the wrong department, wasting time for both the customer and your agents. 

Also, agents receive notifications instantly for new responses to ongoing conversations. This ensures that your agents respond to inquiries as quickly as possible without leaving customers behind along the way. 

Zendesk also supports keyboard shortcuts and macros, saving your agents valuable time when engaging with your customers. This is especially helpful when responding to tickets, streamlining the process so that agents can focus on the customer as much as possible.

Increases customer engagement

Creating personal and meaningful connections with customers who need help is easy using Zendesk Chat. It’s a quick and efficient way to assist customers without interrupting their experience. It can also increase sales by automating proactive engagement with customers visiting your website.

Customers are three times more likely to purchase something from your website when you start a conversation with them. Zendesk shows you what pages the customer has visited, allowing you to anticipate what the customer is looking for and offer help. Proactively engaging with your customers reduces cart abandonment and increases sales conversion, leading to more revenue and happier customers.

Gives you a competitive advantage

Companies like Amazon and Shopify have created seamless and satisfying experiences that have raised the bar for customer service. By implementing an intuitive software platform like Zendesk Chat, you keep your business competitive with a solution that scales as your business grows.

To stay competitive in today’s world, you need to develop healthy customer relationships through reliable service and support. Zendesk Chat gives you the tools necessary to provide an efficient customer experience that stands out from your competitors.

Learn from your customers and interactions with them

Zendesk Chat can collect robust metrics and analytics to help your business grow well into the future. The chat analytics dashboard can provide insight into customer satisfaction and agent performance, allowing you to identify customer experience issues.

The analytics feature displays data from your conversation and agent activity. By gaining insight into your customers and their interactions, you can plan for the future and make sure you’re on the right track. 

Considerations when deploying Zendesk Chat

Manage placement of the chat widget

The default position of Zendesk’s Web Widget is on the bottom-right of the browser. Clicking on the widget makes it expand upward to reveal the chatbox. However, you can change the widget position to the left, right, or top of the page, expanding sideways or downward instead.

The location of the Web Widget can vary for different pages on your website. It’s essential to choose a place for the widget that is easy for the customer to find. Doing so will encourage your customers to engage with your agents and make it easy for them to see when an agent is reaching out proactively.

Anticipate spikes in conversation volumes

Handling unexpected increases in chat volume can be challenging for both customers and your agents. Many companies have seen their ticket volumes double or triple since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The best way to prepare for such spikes is by automating a portion of the workload to help your agents. This includes using Zendesk’s Answer Bot to handle frequently asked questions automatically, giving agents time to focus on more complex issues.

Ensure you have the appropriate number of agents

When designing your customer experience with Zendesk Chat, you will need to consider your support team’s staffing requirements. Each company and industry will have unique customer service requirements that will influence your staffing needs. 

Here are some things you might want to consider when determining the appropriate number of agents for your team:


Questions to Ask

Number of website visitors

How many website visitors do you expect when live chat is available?

Chat type

Will live chats be reactive or proactive?

Chat availability period

How many hours a day will chat be available?

Average chat duration

How long should agents spend on a single chat?

Concurrent chats

How many chats can an agent handle simultaneously?


Automation and self-service can handle many customer requests, but you will still need enough agents to support more complex issues. While reactive chats are initiated by a customer who needs help, proactive chats are initiated by support agents looking to engage with customers. If your company has a high amount of reactive chats, you will need to staff enough agents so that customers are not waiting for a response.

Also, you will have to decide what times you will have live agents available and when you will rely on automation and self-service. Zendesk Chat makes it easy for live agents to handle multiple chats simultaneously, but you will still need to staff enough agents to avoid overloading them with work.

Comprehensive training of all agents

Zendesk Chat offers an intuitive interface that is easy for customer service agents to learn. However, comprehensive training is still necessary to familiarize agents with the features that will unlock their full potential.

Zendesk Chat for Agents is an in-depth course developed by Zendesk to handle customer requests with their platform. It covers the basics and provides a foundation that will help agents in any Zendesk Chat role.

Opportunities to automate repetitive customer service inquiries

Zendesk Chat offers powerful automation tools for creating better experiences for agents and customers. The two main types of automated workflows are triggers and automations.

Automations are created through simple if-then statements. For example, if a ticket meets a specific set of criteria, perform the following action. It’s important to automate any action that needs to be completed routinely to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Examples include routing a request to the correct team, sending an email to a customer, or escalating a ticket that needs a response.

So what is the difference between a trigger and an automation? While a trigger runs immediately after a ticket is created or updated, an automation includes an element of time. For example, a trigger can send a new ticket to a certain department, while an automation could escalate that ticket four hours later if there hasn’t been a response.

Zendesk Chat integrates with a variety of applications that you may already use for your customer service needs. Here are our top Zendesk Chat integrations:

Top Zendesk Chat Integrations

  1. Name: Ada
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: Give your customers the best of automation and agents by launching Ada’s AI-powered chatbot - the premier chatbot partner for Zendesk.
  1. Name: MaestroQA
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: MaestroQA makes QA (quality assurance) software for modern support teams. Integration with Zendesk Chat lets teams automatically assign tickets for grading, customize scorecards to reflect their brand needs, and report on team performance.
  1. Name: TypeGenie for Chat
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: A typical support team can spend up to 50% of their time typing. The world’s top support teams use TypeGenie to respond at record speed, create a unified tone of voice, and scale up faster.
  1. Name: Geckoboard
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: Geckoboard makes it easy to share live Zendesk metrics with your team, so they can see at a glance what needs nurturing, respond to problems in real-time and be consistently awesome
  1. Name: Klaus
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: Klaus is a conversation review/QA tool trusted by Automattic, Wistia and Soundcloud among others. An internal feedback system is the single best way to get your team on the same level and increase support quality.
  1. Name: Pythia
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: Pythia levels up the productivity of your Zendesk agents and managers with better shortcuts usage and management. Pythia works perfectly with multiple departments and tags.
  1. Name: Recurly
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: With Recurly for Zendesk, you don’t have to switch to separate tabs or systems to view or change subscription details for your customers.
  1. Name: Botmind
    Reviews: 5 Stars
    Description: Botmind is a unique virtual agent solution leveraging artificial intelligence and allowing e-merchants to automate up to 45% of their customer support
  1. Name: Shopify
    Reviews: 4 Stars
    Description: The Shopify app for Zendesk Support and Chat unites all your business and customer data by displaying critical Shopify information to your agents while they serve customers - without leaving Zendesk
  1. Name: ChargeDesk
    Reviews: 4 Stars
    Description: View, charge, refund & cancel all your customer payments & subscriptions inside Zendesk Chat. ChargeDesk helps you resolve chats incredibly quickly.