Zendesk Software Review

Cody McLain


Introduction Zendesk Inc, a software development company based in San Francisco that offers an SaaS cloud-based customer service platform for the web-based help desk market. Zendesk comes with...


Zendesk Inc, a software development company based in San Francisco that offers an SaaS cloud-based customer service platform for the web-based help desk market. Zendesk comes with a number of useful and helpful features that can streamline business operations – saving businesses time and money, without sacrificing quality or productivity.

Some of the most notable features of the software include:

  • Customer support
  • Ticketing
  • Tracking
  • Real time chat
  • Email ticket integration
  • RSS and widgets
  • Online forums
  • Self-service options

All of these features can be integrated into a multitude of compatible applications like Google Analytics, SurveyMonkey, and Salesforce. Zendesk is optimized for mobile and is accessible on all the popular “smart” devices such as iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.


Using Ruby on Rails, Zendesk is simply a complete on-demand helpdesk with a minimalist design with a view towards providing more than a typical backend helpdesk format. The front end is customizable and scalable so it can be designed to fit into the unique needs of any online business. However, it also offers stand-alone solutions for those who don’t need the full package.

Zendesk is supported by:

  • Windows 2000, 7, XP, and Vista
  • Unix
  • Solaris
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
  • HP-UX
  • AIX
  • IBM OS/400
  • Web browser (OS agnostic)

A few of their major clients are Adobe, Dropbox, and Groupon.

Features of Zendesk

Communications is the key word that powers the relationship between Zendesk. Some of the most popular communication features are described below in more detail.

  • Email is organized and automated. An email from a customer automatically generates a ticket that remains active until it is marked as “resolved”. Tickets can be customized and several email addresses can be tagged to the ticket. Attachments and custom ticket fields will allow users to loop in other contacts for help with a particular technical issue.
  • Social media features allow users to connect via Facebook and Twitter.
  • Voice features (native, group rerouting, and multiple greetings) allows all phone calls routed to a mobile device so users do not miss out on business transactions or connecting/responding to customers. Calls are also automatically transcribed into tickets.
  • Zophim chat is a live chat application that comes with shortcuts like pre-typed answers or questions (macros) that will help a support agent handle multiple chats simultaneously.
  • Customer support is available 24/7 for quick answers, which delights users because it is proactive and demonstrates high response times and productivity levels.
  • Customization is offered and highly recommended to help boost a user’s business branding which includes multi-language placeholders, interface in 28 different languages, and multi-branding.
  • The Zendesk Benchmark is the application’s analytics tool, which provides users with detailed information on the performance of a Zendesk account. Analytics helps users to improve customer relationships, service, and tracks and measures various performance indicators (KPIs). The user-friendly analytics dashboards will not only show metrics on customer interactions, it also shows users what is happening and why it is happening.
  • Zendesk API is a flexible platform for users to integrate their preferred tools. Various teams can also collaborate and work together, which improves productivity and boosts revenue.
  • Partner Portal allows users to grant access to a third party—such as a business partner. Other users can be granted access to tickets through their active Help Center. The downside is that this capability must be done manually.
  • User Interface Using Zendesk starts with integration. This stage is very simple and fast with the Zendesk support group. There are still a few kinks in the system such as default settings, which can interrupt customization. There is also a lack of desktop notifications, which may be preferred by some users. The tickets aren’t always as intuitive as they could be as the maximum attachment limit is only 10MB, which can be quite small.In addition, Zendesk is a basic customer service app and while it is scalable, it lacks certain functions for a more complex business environment like mass updates are only possible using API. The customization features are limited to color scheme and logo so users might feel limited by the amount of branding available. Finally, the price point might not be the best option for small companies or nonprofit organizations. The minimum is $5 per agent fee monthly and $11.20 monthly for live chat. Fees for other plans include:
  • $19/agent/month for the Team package
  • $49/agent/month for the Professional plan
  • $99/agent/month for the Enterprise plan
  • On the upside, users will love the simple integration, the Play button which disallows agents to pick the tickets they want to work on, the collision detection that alerts users when two or more agents are working on the same ticket, and aliases which allow agents to keep their personal life private and separate from their work.
  • Security
  • No matter what the software offers, security remains a top concern especially for cloud-based products. In 2013, Zendesk was hacked and this compromised the accounts of Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr and accessed their users’ email addresses. Since then, Zendesk has made reinforced its security protocols with periodic audits, on-site security, a dedicated network security team, and a security-sensitive architecture, among other measures. They have not had a security breach since 2013.
  • Summary
  • Because Zendesk is a SaaS product, it can be used anywhere and across multiple devices. Zendesk offers video tutorials and an excellent support group. The free trial is a good way for users to become acclimated with the product, although Zendesk does have stiff competition from similar products that are free. Their top competitors include Freshdesk, Brand Embassy, Enabee, Help Scout, and a few others.
  • In summary, Zendesk is a good platform to start with if users are looking for a hosted customer service solution that is almost ready-made and set to go. With a few tweaks, a user’s Zendesk account can mirror a business’s brand. It is highly operational, functional, and gets the job done.
  • If your business is planning on using Zendesk, the SupportNinja team is very familiar with it and can help service the software. SupportNinja is also a Certified Partner with Zendesk, and we can help set up your Zendesk installation as well as support your customers through it.