Since we final reviewed it, Zendesk has once more modified the identify of its assist desk platform, this time to Zendesk for Service. The up to date identify displays a brand new path that bundles a number of merchandise beneath the Service umbrella, including new capabilities round messaging channels, workflow administration, and extra. Nevertheless, the change has additionally bumped up Zendesk’s pricing, and the product nonetheless falls a bit brief in customization. So whereas it stays a tremendous product and properly value contemplating, these two weaknesses hold Zendesk behind our customer-facing Editors’ Alternative winners on this class, a gaggle that features Freshdesk and HappyFox.
Key New Options
Together with combining merchandise below one banner, Zendesk has expanded Zendesk for Service’s capabilities. For one factor, the Zendesk Market is now much more important than final we final checked, providing round 1,200 third-party apps and integrations. Whereas these might add to your value, additionally they present an impressively straightforward customization path for firms trying to resolve widespread vertical or compliance issues.
Different new options embody messaging, a stream builder for creating workflows, an up to date agent workspace for managing conversations throughout a number of channels, and superior data administration enhancements. Zendesk has additionally added new expertise for what the corporate calls “wealthy conversations.” This consists of opening as many channels as potential for communication with prospects and mining these conversations for context and perception utilizing inner dashboards and hooks to third-party analytics instruments.
Zendesk Pricing and Plans
Zendesk for Service’s up to date pricing begins at $49 per agent monthly for the Staff degree. That is the bottom tier and offers probably the most primary capabilities aimed toward small to midsized companies (SMBs). The expansion tier is the subsequent step up, which prices $79 per agent monthly and provides options together with gentle brokers plus self-service and automation. Above it’s the $99 Skilled tier, which provides deep collaboration instruments, extra complicated routing guidelines, and in-app analytics.
The Enterprise tiers are on the prime of the stack, consisting of three totally different ranges. These begin at $150 per agent monthly, for which you get options like a extra strong set of APIs for inner customization, as much as 1,000 “gentle” licenses (which means individuals who can entry the system with out full agent rights), and customization round particular person agent environments and branding.
On the Enterprise Plus tier ($215 per agent monthly), you will have entry to synthetic intelligence (AI)-driven reply bot and superior options round information assortment and routing, in addition to enhanced compliance and safety capabilities. The third and highest Enterprise tier is fully customizable, requiring a dialogue with Zendesk to match your must a bespoke value.
Evaluating the decrease pricing tiers with its rivals places Zendesk for Service on the excessive finish of the SMB spectrum. The $49 per consumer monthly entry-level tag is dearer than the highest, enterprise-oriented pricing tiers of our worth picks, Freshdesk and Zoho Desk, which are available in at $49 and $40 per agent monthly, respectively.
Whereas Zendesk’s total performance is unquestionably on the excessive finish as properly, there is a particular value disparity between it and its rivals, so you may need to match your characteristic must the ultimate price ticket very fastidiously earlier than buy.
Interface and Key Options
Zendesk for Service focuses on bringing all buyer communications into one place, which cannot solely assist service brokers however enhance different techniques reminiscent of your organization’s buyer relationship administration (CRM) since exporting related information to such apps is extra simple. It is simpler nonetheless in case you go for Zendesk’s personal Zendesk Promote CRM entry, however the firm does assist third-party integrations through its broad app market.
Tickets from all channels are funneled into the identical workspace so brokers can see them simply. Brokers may also chat with different assist workforce members with out leaving the first ticket display screen utilizing a characteristic known as Facet Conversations. This device makes it easy to fireplace off an e mail or put up one thing to Slack instantly from a Zendesk for Service workspace. Brokers can rapidly change the dialog channel or medium to maneuver between chat, e mail, and even your organization’s voice over IP (VoIP) telephone.
Whereas that sounds nice, it additionally sounds as in case you’ll must wade via a sea of configuration and customization settings. To make certain, there may be some complexity right here, however Zendesk has gone to appreciable hassle to make the method as straightforward as it may possibly. The platform consolidates all assist settings into the Admin Middle so the IT professionals in control of customization, testing, and administration can no less than get to every little thing in a single place.
As this evaluate was being written, Zendesk added a brand new Admin Middle search characteristic that can assist you discover issues faster with out wading via a number of menus. For current Zendesk prospects who could be used to the outdated approach of doing issues, the agency says the legacy settings will stay within the product for a transition interval as the brand new options roll out.
Zendesk Ticket Administration
Zendesk lets customers provoke hassle tickets in varied methods, together with social media websites like Fb and Twitter. The identical goes for well-liked chat apps like WhatsApp and Fb Messenger. You may nonetheless discover the old-school strategies out there, together with e mail, telephone assist (through integration), and a bundled self-service portal. As well as, there’s now enterprise messaging assist through Slack and Apple Enterprise Chat, which handles conversations throughout macOS and iOS. As of this writing, there was no phrase on whether or not Microsoft Groups would even be added.
Zendesk organizes all these channels utilizing the idea of Views, which lets brokers and managers set up and group tickets primarily based on particular standards. Views are fully customizable and provides brokers the pliability to rearrange tickets in probably the most handy approach. Relying on how you have organized your assist desk workers, an agent may group her tickets in accordance with product, the shopper’s geographic area, and even the character of the issue. Alternatively, the agent’s supervisor may set up tickets on the division degree the identical approach.
Scheduling tickets is a method so as to add repetitive duties into the system and observe their progress. This may occasionally embody scheduled upkeep for printers and different gadgets requiring common servicing. The Ticket Scheduler App walks you thru creating a brand new schedule with applicable entries for fields reminiscent of Requester E mail and Title.
Zendesk for Service offers an utility programming interface (API) that offers prospects a option to programmatically add tickets individually or in bulk, particularly for tickets coming in from different techniques reminiscent of e mail or your telephone system. This additionally turns out to be useful for anybody migrating to Zendesk from one other assist desk system whereas conserving current tickets or shifting over historic information for monitoring functions. The Zendesk developer’s web site will give your programmers complete assistance on utilizing the API together with code examples.
Reporting and Information Export
To deal with analytics, you may work with the Zendesk Discover reporting device, which is now included within the higher tiers. Discover consists of ready-made dashboards to show the commonest info in graphical format. Enterprise-tier customers can create editable copies of those dashboards to customise as they select.
You’ll be able to export dashboard information to Excel or CSV codecs or as picture and PDF recordsdata. The export type permits dimension pictures to suit on totally different gadgets. General, whereas export is purposeful, we anticipated slightly extra contemplating Zendesk’s price ticket.
Utilizing CSV and Excel, you can import information into third-party analytics instruments, however that is no less than a two-step course of, not counting any information cleansing. Even the free device Spiceworks Cloud Assist Desk has a downloadable, direct plug-in to Microsoft Energy BI, which will also be had without spending a dime. That is an entire lot of visible energy you may get in a single go with out spending a nickel, so Zendesk should be including extra reporting muscle for the cash, particularly round visualizations. Having to resize reporting pictures for various screens manually is an additional step that Zendesk may simply take away with a extra responsive report builder. To be honest, a brand new Dashboard Builder is at the moment in beta, though you possibly can attempt it out now.
(Editors’ notice: Spiceworks is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s dad or mum firm.)
Seen solely as an in-app analytics measure, Zendesk Discover does fairly properly. It makes use of queries to drive all reporting and dashboards, working queries in opposition to particular datasets that brokers can outline, reminiscent of assist, speak, information, chat, and the Reply Bot. Most brokers and managers will use the first dataset within the normal assist repository.
This dataset comprises every little thing you must learn about tickets, SLAs, ticket updates, and backlog historical past. A set of default queries comes as a pre-built dashboard, which brokers can modify to suit their wants. Or you possibly can construct a brand new question from scratch. Whereas different merchandise have related capabilities, we discovered this device complete and straightforward to make use of, so long as you do not want your information outdoors of Zendesk.
Full-Featured However Expensive
Zendesk has added appreciable performance to its unique assist desk platform by consolidating a number of of its merchandise below a single identify whereas additionally enhancing a few of its underlying options. That is resulted in a really feature-rich platform, but in addition one whose value has gone up considerably.
You’d count on that from the attitude of a number of merchandise bundled in a single bundle, however in comparison with competing stacks, it nonetheless places Zendesk on the excessive finish of the pricing spectrum. And if you would like all of Zendesk’s bells and whistles, you may must buy an Enterprise tier, which comes at such a premium that you’re going to be spending a a number of of what is requested by many rivals.
Zendesk is a superb assist desk device, however you may should be cautious about matching the options you must what you possibly can afford earlier than pulling the acquisition set off.