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Zendesk vs. Help Scout Review: The Best App to Supercharge Customer Support

Your customers are the lifeblood of your online business and can be a source of repeat business with the right ticketing system. We pinned two of the best ticketing systems against each other in our Zendesk vs HelpScout review.

Customers are the bloodline of your company, and you have to invest in the best systems to ensure that you keep your customers happy and satisfied. Think back to the time you received unsatisfactory help from a company you wanted help from.

How did that make you feel?

 Did you give up on that company, searching for a company that promises better services, a business that values, and is interested in you?

Well, that is the simplest way for us to describe the importance of great customer service. It’s literally the one thing that could make or break a business.

While investment in the best technologies and pricing your products fairly is often a good place to start when it comes to starting and running a business, it’s an undeniable fact is that none of those things will matter if you don’t treat your customers right. 

But we have some good news – besides hiring the best guys to run things well and treat customers well, you might want to also invest in the best customer management and support tools.

These tools serve as the fine line of introduction and interaction between you and your customers, while also being your biggest selling points or deal breakers. To help you run things in the right direction from the beginning, we recommend investing in one of the best customer management/ support systems

While there are tens of customer service portal management systems around for you to try out, we’ll focus all our attention on Zendesk and Help Scout. These two are among the best tools you could have. But how do the two compare?

Overview of Zendesk vs Helpscout

Zendesk

screenshot of zendesk ticketing system

Founded in 2007, Zendesk is home to excellent experiences for customers, admins, and agents. It boasts over 145,000 customer accounts (paid) spread over 160 countries and territories, and with over 3,000 employees globally. 

Zendesk is one of the most popular and also an excellent niche and cloud-based service which allows businesses to create sophisticated customer service portals and help desks. Zendesk is, therefore, regarded as the ideal solution that could help you add finesse to your customer management and support. If yours is a customer-service oriented small business, then Zendesk could be exactly what you need.

Help Scout

HelpScout refers to a help desk software platform that allows you to organize and respond to all communications with your current, as well as future customers. 

Established in 2011, Help Scout has support teams in more than 140 countries, and it powers more than 10,000 reliable customer support teams. Thanks to the design of Help Scout, you could use it for any business size.

At first glance, both Zendesk and Help Scout perform the same role. However, if you look at the two portals carefully, you will notice that they have some differences. Your choice, at the end of the day, will be determined by whether the platform meets your needs or not.

To help you make a decision to pick either Zendesk or Help Scout, we’ll examine the features of the portals to see how they compare with each other.

Comparing Pricing Plans

Depending on what you are looking for or the needs you need covered, Zendesk’s pricing is quite variable, ranging from $1 to as high as $195/ agent, per month. The plans offered come with a 30-day free trial period during which you can test-drive Zendesk to determine whether it really suits your needs or not.

Zendesk Support features annual plans priced from $5 – $199 per month, per agent.

However, if you need more resources from Zendesk, you might want to try the Zendesk Suite plan, which costs $89 per month and per agent. The Suite gives you access to Zendesk Support, Guide, Talk, and Chats.

If you don’t need all the features offered un the Suite plan, you could purchase the individual functions on their own. For example, the monthly cost of the Zendesk Guide for each agent starts from $0-$29, while Zendesk Chat also ranges from $0-$59 for each agent, monthly.

You could also enjoy a free Zendesk Talk plan, but the price goes up to as high as $89 per month, per agent. 

Wondering how much the Help Scout portal costs? Help Scout offers annual and monthly subscription plans. The annual plan promises significant savings of up to 20%.

There are two main pricing plans, though – Standard and the Plus plans. The Standard plan costs $20 per user, per month, and it allows you to enjoy great reporting, support teams’ integrations, as well as reporting.

The features of this plan include 5 mailboxes, messages (an add-on going for $50 monthly), live chat beacon, 1 Docs site, full history reports, automated workflows, as well as API integrations and 50+ other integrations. The Plus plan, on the other hand, costs $32 per month for each user and it offers advanced features as well as great reporting functions.

With this plan, you will enjoy all the features offered in the Standard plan, as well as custom field and custom teams, 5 Docs Sites, 25 mailboxes, and integrations for Salesforce, HubSpot, and Jira apps among others.

This Help Scout plan is HIPAA compliant and its add-on feature is the SAML/SSO authentication that sets you back $5 per month, for each user. Both Help Scout plans come with a 15-day free trial period.

Features of Zendesk

The ticketing system has got to be one of the best features offered by Zendesk. The ticketing system allows you to create, track, and handle all your customer tickets from mobile devices, phone, social media, email, and the internet.

Thanks to the ticketing system, customers get to contact you using the most convenient communication channel for them. So, once the support team using Zendesk receives the tickets, your agents will grab the next ticket in line and immediately get to work.

In addition to ensuring timely communication with your customers, Zendesk also keeps a comprehensive record of all the communications for the individual tickets. As a result, you can resolve communication issues with ease, and you don’t have to deal with, ‘he said she said’ situations.

The communication system also allows many agents to work on one ticket with ease and your management team to review and resolve any and all support problems that might arise. 

Online Self-Service Support

screenshot of zendesk ticketing system

While it’s great to have an online customer support team on deck to answer all the tough questions asked or to resolve technical difficulties, we have to admit that we won’t be present 100% of the time and even if we are, some users prefer searching for information before putting questions out there.

Zendesk allows your online users the freedom they need to access data and information thanks to its self-service support offered on the platform.

This self-service system makes it possible to create an Online Help center made of important and highly valuable information that your users/ site visitors might need. This online platform will have information like community forums, user guides, FAQs, related articles, and search tools, among others.   

Integration 

Besides enhancing ease of access to the right information, Zendesk has integrations for top applications that enhance the overall functionality of the platform. Zendesk has integrations for Magento, Slack, and Salesforce, among others.

These integrations ensure automation of ticketing reminders, enhancement of data consolidation systems, as well as simple telephony and also chats. Thanks to these integrations, you can use Zendesk to customize and meet the unique needs of your business. 

Analytical Reports

Besides the invention of great technologies to enhance the performance of the business, we’ve got to say that the invention of the tools that offer comprehensive reports are the best things ever.

If you are starting a new business, you know that you need all the reports and statistics to ensure that you not only track your performance but also tweak your input for the good performance in the future. 

Zendesk offers superior data analytics systems which offer instant real-time data. You could also use Zendesk to track the individual customer services tickets, as well as department and individual agent’s reports.

Thanks to the information gathered you can tell more about the performance of your agents – top and poor performers while tracking satisfaction rates at the same time. Overall, the analytics will boost efficiency and customer support services.

Customization

Zendesk also offers one of the most user-friendly and the most efficient customization features allowing you to design your help center in your preferred method and as per your branding requirements. The best bit is that the branding and customization options are available to you as soon as you sign up for any of the Zendesk plans.

Help Scout Features

helpscout dashboard

Help Scout is the other reliable help desk application that works best for small businesses, freelancers, as well as the medium-sized businesses. Some of the features of Help Scout include:

Intuitive interface

The Help Scout system is designed to ensure that fast and easy communication is maintained between your company and your online visitors and users. Thanks to the simple interface, your customers do not have to wait in line for many hours, and this means that you won’t lose any prospective clients in the process. 

One of the ways that Help Scout ensures enhanced communication between you and your online users is through its collaborative hub, the Internal Note. Internal Note ensures that your agents get to consult each other on different requests placed by customers before a response is given for a query.

This customization function boosts the performance of your customer support.

Case Organization/ Deployment Scope

Help Scout facilitates communication between your internal workforce and the external customers, ensuring the highest level of transparency, a high level of responsiveness, and great organization. Thanks to this design, you will be at a position to meet different client needs with ease. 

Integrations and Use

image for helpscout customer ticketing

Help Scout is a strong software application that enhances the personalization, as well as the optimal performance of your agents. And with user permissions on the site, all your contractors and employees get to work without dealing with or worrying about legal issues.

The other impressive feature of Zendesk is its impressive array of communication, collaboration, and organizational app integrations. The other upside of Help Scout has got to be the fact that you could use for public-specific email addresses for your clients, especially the email addresses not configured to your Outlook email address. 

You can use Help Scout for different functions, including Product development, Customer Success, Support, and Billing. Wondering how it does all these? Well, Help Scout offers a centralized record for all of your company’s communications with customers.

Thanks to these records, you will have the context you need for continuous communications and open conversations between your teams, and also the agents and the customers. The best part is that the centralization of records means continuous access to data, whether someone on your team goes or vacation or is at work. 

The other impressive feature has to be the tagging feature, as well as the workflows, all of which work to ensure group ticketing, as well as data analysis for future plans. 

Customization

You might also like the customization options offered by Help Scout. The docs site is customizable, and it will allow you to access a huge database of information with ease. The other feature of Help Scout is called Beacon. Beacon is a unique feature which allows you to embed your docs content right into your website, in the process reducing the number of tickets getting submitted. 

So, which help desk application should you choose?

At the end of the day, your decision will depend on your needs. Zendesk is the go-to platform for most people, but it might not work for you well, especially if you are looking for a more collaborative customer support platform that allows you to communicate with different departments to resolve a customer’s needs.

In such cases, Help Scout is a preferable choice. 

Note, however, that Zendesk’s ticketing system is more flexible and it offers multiple very powerful metrics you could use to enhance the future performance of your growing business. It also features an excellent knowledge base, great native reporting, as well as tagging.