LiveAgent vs. Zendesk: Which customer care solution is best?

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Looking to solve customer inquiries instantly and create a wow factor? Learn why we recommend these 2 help desks in this LiveAgent vs. Zendesk comparison.

$15/user/mo - $85/user/mo
$25/user/mo - $149/user/mo
Businesses with several support agents on deck
Medium to large businesses that need a robust and flexible customer service solution.
$15/user/mo - $85/user/mo
Businesses with several support agents on deck
$25/user/mo - $149/user/mo
Medium to large businesses that need a robust and flexible customer service solution.

Struggling to choose between LiveAgent and Zendesk live chat for your online store? Zendesk provides an all-inclusive help desk that is ideal for large enterprises.

LiveAgent offers an affordable solution that suits small businesses. However, which one offers the best deal?

Let’s find out in this LiveAgent vs. Zendesk comparison.

LiveAgent vs. Zendesk at a Glance

SMB Guide’s Rating7.6/108.6/10Zendesk
Real-Time Messaging and Canned ResponsesZendesk
Live Chat AI and NLPUses ChatGPTNative “answer botZendesk
Customizable Chat WidgetsLiveAgent
Visitor Tracking and AnalyticsMulti-channel trackingMulti-channel trackingZendesk
Multichannel SupportLiveAgent
Multilingual SupportZendesk
Offline Messaging and AvailabilitySpecific response timesHave specific response timesLiveAgent
Handoff and Escalation to Human AgentsAutomated escalationAutomated escalationLiveAgent
Security and ComplianceTie
User Experience and User InterfaceModern and clean interfaceMany features make it look clutteredZendesk
Integrations and Compatibility200+ integrations100+ integrationsZendesk
Customer supportLive chat, phone, and emailLive chat, email, and phoneTie
Pricing$15/user/mo – $85/user/mo$25/user/mo – $149/user/moTie

LiveAgent: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

LiveAgent homepage

LiveAgent is a customer service platform providing a help desk, live chat, and call center for support delivery. One of its standout features is its powerful ticketing system. 

It connects all communication channels in one inbox and creates a ticket for each message. It then routes the tickets to agents depending on their expertise and availability. 

Other features that LiveAgent offers include gamification, multilingual support, a self-service portal, and more.

Businesses looking for extensive ticketing support will find LiveAgent ideal.

Pros & Cons


30-day free trial

200+ integrations

Easy to use and intuitive UI

All-in-one customer care solution


High integration costs

Mobile apps can be clunky


LiveAgent offers 4 main plans for businesses to choose from.  Additionally, startups have access to a free package, albeit with limited features.

With the paid plans, businesses get a month-long trial period and can request a demo to test it. Not only that, businesses that choose the annual subscription get a 20% discount.

Here are the plans

  • Small: $15 per agent monthly or ($108 annually)
  • Medium: $35 per agent monthly or ($348 annually)
  • Large: $59 per agent monthly or ($588 annually)
  • Enterprise: $85 per agent monthly or ($828 annually)

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Zendesk: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

Zendesk homepage

Zendesk is an all-inclusive customer service platform that provides a help desk, CRM, and live chat for support delivery.

At the core of the platform is its powerful ticketing system. Like LiveAgent, the ticketing system on Zendesk creates a ticket for every message received.  

Zendesk also excels at automation, where businesses can automate their workflows to manage tickets and mundane tasks.

The platform provides a plethora of modern tools to help businesses with lead gen, communication, and engagement.

Pros & Cons


30-day free trial

100+ integrations

Omnichannel support

Intelligent AI usage


No self-hosting

Only ticketing support provided


The pricing structure of Zendesk is straightforward, offering 4 main plans. The plans also come with a month-long trial period, during which businesses can request a demo. 

The pricing is per agent, and choosing the annual subscription gets you a 21% discount. The service also offers additional services priced as pay-as-you-go.

Here are the plans:

  • Suite Team: $69 per agent monthly or ($660 yearly)
  • Suite Growth: $115 per agent monthly or ($1068 annually)
  • Suite Professional: $149 per agent monthly or ($1380 annually)
  • Suite Enterprise: Custom

Real-Time Messaging and Canned Responses

LiveAgent and Zendesk offer reliable real-time messaging without lag. LiveAgent provides comprehensive real-time chat features like pre-chat surveys and custom buttons.

The platform also provides a real-time typing preview that’s handy in understanding inquiries before they hit the inbox.

liveagent canned messages

Zendesk designs its messaging platform to deliver stellar messaging experiences across channels, including social media. It achieves this through AI and built-in automation, allowing agents to offer instant support. 

Unlike LiveAgent, Zendesk offers better real-time messaging, especially for large teams with heavy chat volume.

With canned responses, both services allow agents to create, organize, and insert them into chats. However, Zendesk provides a drag-and-drop functionality that gives it an edge in user-friendliness, unlike LiveAgent.

zendesk real time messaging

With the customization of canned responses, both offer variables and macros for personalization. However, unlike LiveAgent, Zendesk supports conditional logic, where the responses adapt to the chat info.

✅ Winner: Zendesk

Live Chat AI & NLP

LiveAgent has added AI assistance to its arsenal to help improve customer service. It is partnering with Open AI’s ChatGPT to help generate draft answers into professional responses.

liveagent messaging automation

The AI uses NLP to understand intent through phrasing and keywords. Not only that, it uses chat history and the native knowledge base to improve the accuracy of the responses.

Zendesk uses its “Answer Bot,” which uses ML and NLP to understand the intent and respond accurately to queries. However, unlike LiveAgent, Zendesk uses advanced datasets for continued learning.

zendesk live chat ai

It’s worth noting that the answer bot struggles with complex inquiries. It relies on the knowledge base content to generate responses. In some situations, it routes complex conversations to a human agent.

With bot response customization, both softwares allow for workflow, greetings, and message flows. However, Zendesk goes beyond and provides branching logic for complex scenarios.

✅ Winner: Zendesk

Customizable Chat Widgets

LiveAgent and Zendesk offer agents extensive customization options for the chat widget. An agent can change the text, background colors, and font to fit the brand.

Agents can also add logos and tweak the positioning of the widget to pop on the sidebar or footer.

liveagent customization

With advanced customization, LiveAgent provides add-on features like offline message forms, chat-window themes, and more. On the other hand, Zendesk allows for granular control of the chat widget design through HTML and CSS.

With automated greetings and pre-chat forms, LiveAgent has an edge in creating automated greetings. Agents can also set availability times.

The best part is that agents can configure the pre-chat forms to collect customer info before initiating a chat.

zendesk customizable chat widgets

With ease of implementation, LiveAgent makes it easier through its drag-and-drop function. On the other hand, Zendesk requires tech skills in using HTML and CSS.

✅ Winner: LiveAgent

Visitor Tracking and Analytics

The LiveAgent visitor tracking feature allows agents to view a customer’s current URL and notify them when they switch.

Agents can also capture data like referral sources, time spent on site, and more. It is a handy feature for offering targeted guidance and support.

liveagent visitor tracking

With reporting and analytics, LiveAgent offers basic data with heat maps to help understand visitor behavior. However, by subscribing to the top plans, agents can get conversion tracking or session recording functionalities.

Service teams will find that Zendesk provides a suite of features that help track visitors. One of the effective ones is the Sell mobile app, which tracks in-person visits through geo-location.

zendesk analytics

For better insights, you can go a step further and customize the reports. Using the native AI assistant teams, service teams can create reports and display them in charts for in-depth analysis.

It is through them that data teams can tailor support to address the common inquiries.

✅ Winner: Zendesk

Multichannel Support

LiveAgent and Zendesk offer multichannel support, integrating social media, email, live chat, and phone in one interface. It allows consolidation of all conversations across channels through a single inbox. 

Through it, agents can view the customer chat history across the platforms to deliver an informed response.

Now, the differences are in the interaction management. LiveAgent provides an all-rounded platform with built-in features for conversation management.

It has tools that help route complex inquiries to agents based on availability and expertise.

Zendesk often requires separate products for each communication channel: Zendesk Chat and Zendesk Talk.

Now, each channel has powerful functionality, but agents must switch between them to deliver a response. The back and forth can impact the efficiency of support delivery.

✅ Winner: LiveAgent

Multilingual Support

LiveAgent supports a broad range of languages that are out of the box. The support is part of a suite with a call center, self-service portal, real-time chat, and universal inbox. It helps provide personalized interaction across channels.

One thing to note is that the chatbot may require configuration for multilingual support when creating canned messages.

Zendesk, on the other hand, offers comprehensive multilingual support. Service teams can set their account to support 40+ languages, whether in the canned messages or notifications.

Not only that, but teams can also create dynamic content depending on customer language.

It is handy in ensuring customers get support through their language of choice. The best part is that agents can set the help center to deliver content in multiple supported languages.

✅ Winner: Zendesk

Offline Messaging and Availability

LiveAgent provides a comprehensive approach to offline messaging, creating a ticket for each message sent. The ticketing system then sorts and categorizes the tickets based on urgency.

LiveAgent offline messaging

The best part is that LiveAgent allows agents to create and customize offline message forms when collecting visitor details. Not only that, but customers can also include attachments in offline messages.

LiveAgent also allows users to set automated messages that inform visitors about expected response time and agent availability.

zendesk offline messaging

Zendesk also uses its ticketing system to create a ticket for every offline message sent. Unlike LiveAgent, Zendesk requires an “Offline Ticket Requests” add-on, priced as a standalone to enable it.

Like LiveAgent, Zendesk also allows agents to customize automated messages that inform visitors about expected response time.

✅ Winner: LiveAgent

Handoff and Escalation to Human Agent

LiveAgent provides agents with in-built triggers that automate the transfer of chats to agents. The handoff gets triggered when a customer uses specific keywords or other set rules.

Unlike Zendesk, LiveAgent notifies the agent in real-time on escalating chats for a proactive approach.

LiveAgent ticket filtering

With history and context, LiveAgent uses a chat transcript with a history of interactions for a smooth handoff transition. Using the resolved past tickets and knowledge base content, agents can easily resolve complex inquiries.

Zendesk offers agents more options for chat transfer to an agent. However, it requires configurations, unlike LiveAgent’s built-in triggers.

With context and history, Zendesk uses a chat transcript with a history of interactions for smooth handoff. However, the summary details cannot compare to what LiveAgent offers.

Zendesk agent transfer

After the customer hands off the chat, the human agent gets notified of the support request. At that point, the chatbot cannot respond to any conversations.

It is handy since it ensures the human agent takes over with the entire chat context still intact.

✅ Winner: LiveAgent

Security and Compliance

LiveAgent uses industry-standard measures to secure customer data from phishing. Its features include 2-factor authentication, spam filtering, SSL encryption, and IP restrictions.

LiveAgent also hosts its servers with AWS, which is compliant with PCI DSS, ISO 27001, GDPR, and HIPAA. Service teams can also configure retention policies on LiveAgent depending on regulations.

Zendesk emphasizes the protection of customer data by securing it through its cloud servers. It uses encryption, user access permissions and employs privacy frameworks for best practices. 

Zendesk employs security features like FIPS-140 encryption that users can configure to meet HIPAA or PCI standards. Not only that, Zendesk also complies with GDPR, CCPA, and SOC 2 regulatory bodies.

✅ Winner: Tie

User Experience and User Interface

LiveAgent interface is modern and it prioritizes simplicity, making it easy to navigate. The software also provides customization options on the dashboard and the agent interface.

One thing to note is that the customization isn’t as extensive as that on Zendesk.

liveagent interface

Zendesk offers a more polished interface, but its extensive feature stack makes it feel cluttered. It results in users having a steep learning curve when navigating the software.

Unlike LiveAgent, Zendesk offers extensive customization options for workflows, agent interfaces, and dashboards. Users looking for comprehensive customization will find it ideal.

zendesk interface

With user preferences, both software allows personalization of notification settings, language, and dashboard. Not only that, but both provide a responsive mobile app for admins and customers.

✅ Winner: Zendesk

Integrations and Compatibility

LiveAgent provides businesses with a broad range of pre-built integrations. They include CRMs, marketing, CMSs, ecommerce, analytics, and more.

Setting the integrations is straightforward, with just a few clicks, compared to Zendesk.

Agents will also find a powerful API on LiveAgent to create custom integrations and data analysis.

Unlike LiveAgent, Zendesk offers an extensive integration stack through its marketplace. They include support, CRMs, analytics, and marketing platforms.

The software also provides service teams with 400+ pre-built connectors that allow for quick facilitation of workflows between systems.

zendesk integrations

Zendesk also has APIs that agents can use to connect custom integrations. The powerful APIs offer versatility in connecting preferred apps for enhanced service delivery.

✅ Winner: Zendesk

Customer Support

LiveAgent offers 3 main channels for reaching support: email, live chat, and phone. The live chat has the fastest response rate, but phone and email can take up to 2 hours.

LiveAgent also has extensive self-help resources. It includes a knowledge base, blog, newsletter, webinars, and a vibrant community.

Zendesk also provides businesses with 3 options that include email, live chat and phone. The response times also vary with the channel, where the live chat provides instant responses.

Email and phone support are poor, taking up to 4 hours to get a response. The good thing is that Zendesk provides self-help resources that empower customers to find helpful solutions.

Some include a knowledge base, blog, webinars, and a vibrant community.

✅ Winner: Tie


LiveAgent offers 4 pricing packages that rise with tiers depending on the number of agents. Like Zendesk, LiveAgent also provides an enterprise plan as its topmost package, offering a full suite of features.

Not only that, LiveAgent also includes a free package exclusive to startups, but it has limited features.

Zendesk offers tiered pricing with 4 plans based on services and features. The pricing is per agent, and the platform charges for add-on services. Like LiveAgent, Zendesk offers an Enterprise plan with custom pricing and features.

Its per-agent pricing suits larger teams with dedicated support since you pay for active agents.

✅ Winner: Tie


LiveAgent provides service teams with scalability with its tiered packages. For example, with agent-based pricing, as the team expands, it’s simple to add or remove agents from the current package.

Not only that, teams can move up and down between the packages as demand grows.

Zendesk plans suit large businesses. For example, user-based pricing means adding new agents increases the cost, especially for the top plans. Not only that but moving between plans is disruptive.

The reason is the packages get bundled differently, and upgrading often requires data migration and user training.

✅ Winner: LiveAgent

Standout Features of LiveAgent

LiveAgent provides an all-rounded customer service solution that simplifies support. Here are the 3 features that make it unique:

Automated ticket distribution

It is a help desk function that automates assigning tickets to human agents depending on set rules. LiveAgent provides service teams with methods like random assignment, ring to all, and max utilization.

Real-time typing view

It is a feature that allows an agent to see what a visitor is typing in the live chat in real time. It helps agents analyze the inquiry and deliver an accurate response quickly.

Gamification rewards and badges

It is a function that allows team leaders to award best-performing agents with badges and rewards. For example, a team leader can give a bonus as a reward to top-performing agents to spur healthy competition.

Standout Features of Zendesk

Besides its powerful helpdesk, here are 3 features that make Zendesk stand out.

Integrated voice software

In the age of DMs and emails, including one-on-one interaction through voice calls is crucial. Zendesk allows agents to include a voice call button in the chats for a seamless way to contact support.

App marketplace

Zendesk has a stellar app marketplace with 400+ pre-built integrations. Service teams can pick from the apps and find a system to facilitate service delivery. Some pre-built integrations include platforms like CRMs, e-commerce, payment, and more.

Detailed reporting and analytics

Service teams will find that Zendesk provides in-depth reporting on workflows and conversation pipelines. The best part is that Zendesk offers granular analytics that help identify emerging trends.

LiveAgent vs. Zendesk: SMB Guide’s Verdict

Our LiveAgent vs Zendesk comparison shows that both software share similarities in the help desk features they offer. LiveAgent’s all-in-one solution caters to small businesses, while Zendesk targets large enterprises.

However, after a thorough evaluation, Zendesk wins with a slight margin. Here is why:

Zendesk provides an extensive integration stack of 400+ pre-built connectors and powerful APIs. It also has a powerful CRM that helps in lead generation and nurturing.

LiveAgent is an ideal alternative that offers automated ticket distribution as part of the help desk. It also provides gamification features for team building and real-time typing viewing.

However, the lack of extensive integration and a CRM are reasons it lost to Zendesk.

Choose LiveAgent If

You run a small business and are looking for an omnichannel solution with affordable plans.

Choose Zendesk If

You run a large enterprise and need a scalable solution for complex user needs.


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Jessica Pereira helps SaaS and digital marketing brands build long-lasting customer relationships with meaningful content. Her favorite topics include career development, productivity, and email marketing.