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ThriveDesk Review – Support Desk, Live Chat, and Community (Pros & Cons – My Opinion)

8 min read
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In today’s digital landscape, efficient customer support is crucial for any online business. ThriveDesk, a new player in the support software market, aims to provide a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to streamline their customer interactions. This review delves deep into ThriveDesk’s features, comparing it to established competitors like Help Scout, Intercom, and Zendesk.

ThriveDesk offers three primary features: a shared inbox, live chat, and an online community platform. While it shows promise in some areas, it also has room for improvement in others. This review will provide an in-depth analysis of each feature, discussing both the strengths and weaknesses of the platform. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether ThriveDesk is the right investment for your business’s support needs.

Intro [00:00]

ThriveDesk is a new support software that has recently entered the market, positioning itself as a competitor to established players like Help Scout, Intercom, and Zendesk. Despite its name, it’s important to note that ThriveDesk is not related to Thrive Cart or Thrive Themes.

The software offers three main features:

  1. Shared Inbox: A typical support desk setup for managing customer inquiries.
  2. Live Chat: A feature that allows real-time interaction with website visitors.
  3. Online Community: A platform for creating and managing customer communities.

While ThriveDesk shows potential in some areas, it’s not yet on par with its more established competitors. This review will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each feature, helping you decide if ThriveDesk is a suitable investment for your business.

Key Features of ThriveDesk

  • Shared inbox for collaborative customer support
  • Live chat functionality for real-time customer interactions
  • Online community platform for customer engagement
  • Integration capabilities with popular platforms, especially in the WordPress ecosystem

Target Audience

  • Online businesses, including e-commerce, software sellers, and digital service providers
  • Companies looking for an all-in-one support solution
  • Businesses primarily using WordPress and related platforms

Review Structure

This review will be divided into four main sections:

  1. Shared Inbox
  2. Live Chat
  3. Community
  4. Final Thoughts and User Questions

Each section will provide a detailed analysis of the feature, discussing both its strengths and areas for improvement.

Shared Inbox [01:58]

The shared inbox is a fundamental feature of ThriveDesk, allowing businesses to manage customer inquiries efficiently through a centralized platform. This feature enables multiple team members to collaborate on customer support, ensuring timely and consistent responses.

Benefits of a Shared Inbox

A shared inbox is essential for any online business, from e-commerce to software sales and even coaching or online course providers. Here’s why:

  • Centralized Communication: Use a standard email address (e.g., support@yourdomain.com) for all customer inquiries.
  • Collaborative Work: Multiple team members can access and respond to customer emails.
  • Time-Saving: Even solo entrepreneurs can benefit from organizing customer interactions in one place.
  • Easy Onboarding: New team members can quickly get up to speed by accessing the entire history of customer interactions.

ThriveDesk’s Shared Inbox Implementation

ThriveDesk’s shared inbox feature has several noteworthy aspects:

  • Easy Setup: The process is straightforward and user-friendly.
  • Email Forwarding: Implements DKIM and DMARC validation for improved email deliverability.
  • Team Collaboration: Assign messages to specific team members.
  • Notifications: Receive updates on new tickets or changes to existing ones via email or browser notifications.
  • Canned Replies: Easily insert pre-written responses for common inquiries.
  • Internal Notes: Leave private notes for team members within tickets.
  • Auto-Replies: Set up automatic responses for incoming emails.
  • Satisfaction Ratings: Optionally include customer satisfaction surveys in replies.
  • Customization: Ability to customize language on satisfaction rating pages.
  • User Management: Add multiple team members with flexible permission settings.

Integration Capabilities

ThriveDesk offers integrations with popular platforms, particularly those in the WordPress ecosystem:

  • Easy Digital Downloads
  • Envato
  • Fluent CRM
  • Slack
  • WooCommerce

For platforms outside this ecosystem, webhook integration is available, although native integrations with major SaaS platforms like Shopify or Teachable are currently lacking.

Areas for Improvement

While ThriveDesk’s shared inbox feature is functional, there are several areas where it could be enhanced:

  • Social Media Integration: No built-in support for managing social media interactions.
  • SMS Integration: Lack of support for text message-based customer communication.
  • Mobile App: Absence of a dedicated mobile application for on-the-go support management.
  • Mobile Site Issues: The mobile version of the web interface has loading problems on some devices.
  • Design Inconsistencies: Some rough edges in the user interface, such as spacing issues and non-functional tutorial links.

Shared Inbox Feature Highlights

  • Message Assignment: Easily delegate inquiries to specific team members for efficient workload distribution.
  • Notification System: Stay updated on new tickets and changes through customizable email and browser alerts.
  • Canned Responses: Save time by using pre-written replies for frequently asked questions.
  • Internal Communication: Collaborate with team members using private notes within tickets.
  • Auto-Reply Functionality: Set up automatic responses to acknowledge receipt of customer inquiries.
  • Customer Satisfaction Tracking: Gather feedback on support quality through customizable satisfaction surveys.

Live Chat [10:25]

ThriveDesk’s live chat feature, referred to as an “assistant,” provides businesses with a tool for real-time customer interaction on their websites. While not as advanced as some competing solutions, it offers basic functionality that can enhance customer support efforts.

Setting Up the Live Chat

The process of setting up ThriveDesk’s live chat involves creating an “assistant” and linking it to a specific shared inbox. Key aspects of the setup include:

  • Assistant Creation: Define which inbox will receive chat messages.
  • Fallback Contact Form: If no agents are online, the chat converts to a contact form.
  • Customization Options: Design the chat widget and modify text to match your brand.
  • Easy Implementation: Add a simple code snippet to your website to enable the chat feature.

Live Chat Features

ThriveDesk’s live chat functionality includes:

  • Real-time Interaction: Engage with website visitors instantly when agents are available.
  • Contact Form Fallback: Automatically switches to a ticket-creation form when agents are offline.
  • Customizable Design: Modify the appearance and language of the chat widget to align with your brand.
  • Professional Appearance: The chat interface looks sleek and comparable to higher-end applications.

Areas for Improvement

While functional, ThriveDesk’s live chat feature has room for enhancement:

  • Lack of Chatbot Functionality: Currently, there’s no AI-powered chatbot to handle basic inquiries automatically.
  • No Knowledge Base Integration: The ability to display help articles within the chat is mentioned but not yet implemented.
  • Absence of Business Hours: No option to automatically enable/disable chat based on predefined operating hours.
  • Limited Inline Form Options: No built-in feature for creating inline contact forms on web pages.

Live Chat Highlights

  • Seamless Integration: Easily connect the live chat feature with your existing shared inbox setup.
  • Flexible Communication: Switch between real-time chat and ticket creation based on agent availability.
  • Brand Consistency: Customize the chat widget to match your website’s look and feel.
  • Simple Implementation: Quick setup process with a straightforward code snippet for your website.
  • Professional Interface: Sleek design that presents a polished image to your customers.
  • Future Potential: Planned improvements like chatbot functionality and knowledge base integration.

Community [13:47]

ThriveDesk’s community feature aims to provide businesses with a platform for customer engagement, similar to a Facebook group or traditional internet forum. While the concept is promising, the current implementation falls short in several areas.

Community Feature Overview

The community feature allows businesses to:

  • Create a Branded Space: Host discussions on a subdomain of your choice.
  • Organize Conversations: Set up discussion topics or “channels” for different subjects.
  • Control Access: Make the community public or restrict it to customers only.
  • Encourage Engagement: Allow users to upvote topics, potentially for feature requests.

Positive Aspects of the Community Feature

Despite its limitations, there are some noteworthy aspects of ThriveDesk’s community feature:

  • Easy Setup: Quickly create discussion topics and start organizing conversations.
  • Familiar Design: The interface resembles popular social platforms, making it intuitive for users.
  • Custom Domain Support: Ability to use your own domain for a more branded experience.
  • Flexible Access Control: Option to make the community public or private.

Limitations and Areas for Improvement

The community feature has several significant shortcomings:

  • Limited Integration: Lack of connection with the help desk features.
  • Basic Functionality: No support for embeds, attachments, or rich media previews.
  • Absence of Moderation Tools: No built-in features for community management and moderation.
  • Performance Concerns: Some users have reported error messages and difficulties in account setup.
  • Branding Limitations: Unable to remove “powered by ThriveDesk” text.

Missed Opportunities

The disconnected nature of the community feature from the rest of ThriveDesk’s offerings represents a significant missed opportunity. Potential improvements could include:

  • Integration with Help Desk: Allow users to submit tickets directly from the community.
  • Knowledge Base Connection: Link community discussions with a knowledge base for comprehensive support.
  • Canned Response Generation: Use community threads to create support ticket templates.
  • Advanced Moderation: Implement a trust system and moderation tools similar to platforms like Discourse.

Community Feature Highlights

  • Branded Community Space: Create a dedicated area for customer discussions away from social media platforms.
  • Topic Organization: Easily set up and manage different discussion channels or categories.
  • Customizable Access: Control who can view and participate in your community discussions.
  • Upvoting System: Gauge user interest in topics or feature requests through a simple voting mechanism.
  • Familiar Interface: User-friendly design that resembles popular social media platforms for easy adoption.
  • Potential for Growth: While currently limited, the feature has the potential for significant improvement and integration with other ThriveDesk offerings.

Your Questions & Final Thoughts [19:57]

In this section, we’ll address some user questions and provide final thoughts on ThriveDesk’s overall performance and potential.

User Questions Addressed

Time Registration for Billing:

  • Currently, ThriveDesk does not offer built-in time tracking for support tickets.
  • There are no announced plans for this feature in the near future.

Automations and Integrations:

  • ThriveDesk’s integrations focus on pulling customer data from connected platforms (e.g., WooCommerce, EZ Digital Downloads) into the help desk.
  • The integration ecosystem is primarily WordPress-focused at present.

Ad Blocker Compatibility:

  • Some users have reported issues with ThriveDesk’s functionality when using ad blockers.
  • This is a significant concern that needs to be addressed by the developers.

Chatbot Feature:

  • A chatbot feature is planned for release in Q2 of the following year.
  • This addition could significantly enhance the live chat functionality.

Community Aspect Limitations:

  • Many users find the community features to be very limited in their current state.
  • Significant improvements are needed to make this feature competitive and useful.

Final Thoughts on ThriveDesk

ThriveDesk shows promise in some areas but falls short in others. Here’s a summary of its strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths:

  • Solid shared inbox functionality
  • Sleek and easy-to-implement live chat feature
  • Pleasant and intuitive user interface

Weaknesses:

  • Limited community features that feel disconnected from the main product
  • Lack of social media and SMS integrations
  • Absence of a mobile app and issues with mobile web interface
  • Some rough edges in design and functionality

Potential Improvements:

  • Integration of a knowledge base feature (currently not available)
  • Better connection between community and help desk features
  • Expansion of integration options beyond WordPress ecosystem
  • Development of more robust community moderation tools

Is ThriveDesk Right for Your Business?

The suitability of ThriveDesk depends on your specific support needs:

  • If your primary support channel is email, ThriveDesk’s shared inbox could be a good fit.
  • For businesses heavily relying on social media support, ThriveDesk’s current limitations may be a dealbreaker.
  • The community feature, in its current state, is not recommended as a primary reason for adoption.

Future Outlook

ThriveDesk has the potential to become a strong contender in the support software market if it addresses its current limitations and continues to develop its features. Key areas for improvement include:

  • Enhancing the connection between community, knowledge base, and shared inbox features
  • Expanding integration options to include more mainstream platforms
  • Improving mobile accessibility and ad blocker compatibility
  • Developing more robust community moderation and management tools

Key Takeaways

  1. ThriveDesk offers a solid shared inbox feature with easy setup and good email deliverability.
  2. The live chat function is sleek and easy to implement but lacks some advanced features.
  3. The community aspect needs significant improvement to be competitive.
  4. Integration options are currently limited, with a focus on WordPress ecosystem.
  5. ThriveDesk shows potential but requires further development to compete with established players.
  6. Businesses should carefully consider their specific support needs when evaluating ThriveDesk.

In conclusion, ThriveDesk is a promising new entrant in the support software market. While it excels in some areas like shared inbox functionality and live chat implementation, it still has room for improvement in others, particularly its community features and integration capabilities. For businesses primarily focused on email support and those within the WordPress ecosystem, ThriveDesk could be a viable option. However, companies with more diverse support needs or those heavily reliant on social media interactions may find its current limitations challenging. As ThriveDesk continues to evolve and address these issues, it has the potential to become a more comprehensive and competitive support solution in the future.

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