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Zendesk vs. Help Scout and How to Choose

In this article, we will look at Zendesk vs. Help Scout, the pros and cons of each, their features, and preferred use cases.

May 10, 2023

Providing top-notch customer support is essential in SaaS, as it helps achieve customer satisfaction and establish strong customer relations. Zendesk and Help Scout are two tools that can help companies and organizations provide customer service support.

In this article, we will look at Zendesk and Help Scout, their pros and cons, features, and preferred use cases. This will help you make an informed choice on the tool that best suits your organization.

What Is Zendesk?

Zendesk has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2007 in Denmark by Mikkel Svane, Alexander Aghassipour, and Morten Primdahl.

Zendesk offers customer service solutions to companies to empower their customer agents and, in turn, serve their customers better. Your customers can connect via different channels, and you can easily manage all conversations in one central hub.

Some of the top features of Zendesk include live chat, ticketing software, and an answer bot. Zendesk offers reporting and analytics with data insights that can be studied and explored to establish how a company can better serve its customers.

The Pros of Zendesk

Zendesk has an open API that allows for varied integrations with third-party apps, which is a game changer in achieving customizability unique to your company's needs.

The knowledge base feature makes self-service possible for customers enabling swift communication that guides customers to solutions. Research has shown that customers have a preference for an online knowledge base.

Zendesk comes with advanced reporting and analytics, which showcases customer data insights using charts and graphs, helping the customer service team stay informed on trends and behavioral patterns from their customer base.

Zendesk has multilingual support, which allows for different languages. The Admin Center will enable organizations to choose the language support they prefer for customer service.

The Cons of Zendesk

Zendesk’s ticketing dashboard can take a long time to configure for large organizations, delaying the process of addressing customer problems, which could hurt customer satisfaction.

Zendesk might not meet your budget requirements, especially if you’re a small business.

One of its limitations is that AI-powered answers are capped at 50 answers.  

Zendesk does not currently provide an easy way to migrate an organization's data—for example, a JSON file- meaning you may need a programmer's input during implementation.

What Is Help Scout? 

Help Scout was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The founders publicly launched the software at a startup accelerator program called Techstars.

Help Scout lets teams pool customer conversations into a shared inbox for better management and faster service. Its features include live chat, shared inbox, messaging, reporting, and customer engagement.

"The shared inbox helps streamline communications, which is great for the customer support team."

The Pros of Help Scout

The shared inbox helps streamline communications, which is great for the customer support team. The sales agents and customer teams can collaborate, which can increase productivity.

Help Scout's Knowledge Base is designed for customer self-service, which makes work easier for the customer support team and allows them to focus on other urgent and non-recurrent issues. This feature operates 24/7 and helps customers unable to access the support team during non-business hours.  

Help Scout also has a Beacon feature that allows customers to access live chat support, triggered messages, email contact forms, and self-service documentation, which helps customers and the customer support team. Beacon helps the support team understand their customer better and offer valuable insights like suggesting relevant content.

Personalization in the customer support world is key. The customer management feature provides a personalized experience by displaying customer data and keeping track of previous conversations.  

Moreover, Help Scout is easy to learn and implement. The user interface is simple, which makes it easy for customer service agents to navigate without performance issues or complicated procedures.

The Cons of Help Scout

Unlike Zendesk, Help Scout has limited integrations, which could be challenging for larger enterprises with multiple technology stacks. The limited options and features in Help Scout negatively affect customization, making it harder for organizations to integrate custom options into their customer service solutions.

Help Scout also does not offer advanced analytics based on customer data. Such advanced analytics can be key in streamlining the customer support process to ensure customer satisfaction. For data to be meaningful, it needs to be broken down and studied via data visualization mechanisms.

Core Feature Comparison for Zendesk and Help Scout

The table highlights similar features from Zendesk and Help Scout to illustrate how the two platforms compare:  

Zendesk Help Scout
Live chat feature comes with automation tools such as AI-powered chatbots to help users self-serve Live chat feature allows users to initiate communication with the support team if need be
Knowledge base feature comes with customizable themes, and team members can update content regularly Knowledge base feature allows you to add posts based on categories and customize SEO; creating and publishing articles is easy
Reporting and analytics feature uses charts and graphs for advanced data analytics; also makes it easier to share reports and analytics with team members Reporting feature shows conversation statistics separately; comes with advanced filters for data sorting
"Help Scout is ideal for small to midsize companies looking to manage their teams and customer base efficiently."

Zendesk and Help Scout Use Cases

Help Scout is ideal for small to midsize companies looking to manage their teams and customer base efficiently. Teams can group up to 50 conversations from the shared inbox using ticket tags for easier and faster replies. However, large customer bases may need chatbot features for efficient communication, which is not available from Help Scout as of the writing of this article.

Zendesk is an ideal solution for large organizations based on its AI capabilities that ease customer relationship management. Its advanced features offer detailed analytics on customer data and behavior for better management. The ticketing system from Zendesk will convert all incoming conversations into support tickets. Other features, such as ticket routing, further enhance the system.

As a manager, you must choose customer service software for your organization depending on features like organization size, budgetary plans, the organization's needs, reporting and analytics, and more. All these can be key in helping you choose a reliable option.

For a small or midsize company, Help Scout might be ideal, as it helps simplify the work for your customer service teams. The pricing is competitive, and the feature set provides substantial ROI.  

If you're a large organization attracting a lot of traffic to your site, Zendesk might provide you with a more scalable customer support platform to help achieve customer satisfaction. Customer service teams can thus work productively and swiftly manage incoming traffic.

Bringing Ticketing and Process Automation into Slack

Zendesk and Help Scout are good tools for managing customer-facing support issues, but for internal ticketing, you should consider Wrangle. As more communication moves from an email into Slack channels, businesses are looking to Wrangle to automate their internal ticketing and business processes. 

Wrangle workflows automate common processes, while our ticketing module manages issues and one-off tasks. Unlike other products on the market, Wrangle lives directly in your Slack channel, where teams actively manage their daily work.

You can create workflows or tickets to automate any business process. Here’s a sample list of how customers use Wrangle to automate BPM:

  • IT ticketing and help desks
  • Purchase orders  
  • PTO requests
  • Expense management
  • Sales contracts and proposals
  • Employee onboarding
  • Bug reports
  • Feature requests 
  • Collateral review

Ready to see Wrangle in action? Request a demo today. Better yet, add Wrangle directly to Slack and start experiencing productivity gains.

Emma Bundi wrote this post. Emma is a web developer and technical writer. She is enthusiastic about FOSS and its tremendous impact on programming. She is also keen to teach other developers what she has learned through technical writing.

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