Customers don’t exist in a vacuum — the relationships you create with your customers will define your business success.
At every step of the customer journey, they rely on the relationships they are building with your business. From initial contact to sales follow up, customers work side by side with your various sales and marketing teams. This is one of the reason’s why having an effective customer relationship management (CRM) is so vitally important.
But what about your relationships with customers who have already completed the sale? Certainly it’s important to remain connected with established customers, and we’ve all heard that it costs significantly less to retain a customer than it does to try to find a new one, but are we really taking this to heart?
Take customer support, for example. How businesses manage clients who are experiencing problems with their products or services is a reliable indication of how seriously they take customer relationships. However, customers don’t always want someone holding their hands. In fact, 72% of customers think that self service support — the option to find answers and resolve issues on their own — is a fast and easy way to resolve problems. This, coupled with a business’s responsibility to provide effective, fast, and reliable ongoing support for clients is why help desk software and other customer support platforms are becoming such an integral part of the modern business toolbox.
Many help desk tools provide reliable customer support, employ advanced automation options, are cloud-based, customizable, and can be set up and employed quickly. Likewise, many options offer different pricing tiers, along with free trial periods so that you can get a feel for how well a particular solution works for your business before you commit to anything.
Choosing the right customer support software provider can be difficult, particularly when there are a number of viable options available.
|Cost||Starting at $5/mo||Starting at $20/mo|
|Ready out of the box||Partially||Yes|
|Social media support||Limited||Extensive|
|Call center management||No||Yes|
|Customer history tracking||No||Yes|
|Multiple user accounts||Yes||Yes|
Two of the most prominent customer support platforms options in the market today are Zendesk and Salesforce Desk. Both enjoy high ratings across numerous software rating sites, and both are used by successful businesses to give their customers effective support. To compare Desk vs. Zendesk, you need to be able to get a feel for how each option is different. Here is a brief comparison of the defining characteristics of Salesforce desk vs. Zendesk.
Originally known as Assistly before being rebranded as Desk.com after Salesforce purchased the startup back in 2011. Desk.com was then incorporated into their overall CRM toolbox.
Working in conjunction with Salesforce Service Cloud, Desk.com offers small businesses an out-of-the-box solution designed to help customers help themselves. Additionally, although Salesforce Desk can be setup and employed almost immediately, it is also designed to be deeply customizable, and will scale with your business as it grows.
Desk takes advantage of the boundless CRM capabilities of Salesforce. This means better, easier access to client data for service representatives, seamless integration with a variety of other software solutions, and effortless communication across channels and devices. It also means the fastest customer ticket resolution available.
As far as specific features go, Desk offers call center management, providing call centers with an invaluable tool to provide their customers with fast, effective support. Call tracking is also offered, so that your business can gather valuable analytics data from incoming calls.
Also of importance are client portals. Desk loops customers into the support process, giving them a direct view of what’s happening with their own cases and other cases within their organization. Customers can access ongoing tickets, updated in real time, across every channel. Additionally, customers can resolve their own cases (in case they find a solution on their own), or even reopen closed cases.
Desk also integrates with email, and provides an in-depth, searchable customer history. Perhaps the most important difference that sets Salesforce desk apart from Zendesk is it’s dedicated user support. Salesforce offers omnichannel support options (studies have shown that high-performing service teams are nearly 8 times as likely as underperforming to rate discussion forum and omni-channel interactions as outstanding or very good), and is known for it’s ability to quickly and effectively respond to user issues.
Zendesk grew from the loft of three co-founders in Denmark in 2007. The idea was to improve the way that businesses managed incoming support requests. Today, Zendesk is one of the most widely used help desk platforms in the world. However, Zendesk is not built on a CRM platform of the same caliber as Salesforce, and as a result, it suffers in terms of unifying communications across channels. It’s support for social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, could be described as ‘clunky,’ and it’s data storage and retrieval options may leave something to be desired.
On the other hand, Zendesk offers a slightly more robust set of user customization options. Unfortunately, these options mean that it may be more difficult to get up and running quickly. Users have to decide what they want more: a solution that can be implemented fast, or one that is more directly customized.
Zendesk supports live chat, which is something that is not yet offered through Desk.com, but is offered through the larger suite of Salesforce Service Cloud. As for compatibility, Zendesk is designed to integrate well with a number of third-party applications and systems — even Salesforce. Of course, the level of Zendesk to Salesforce integration isn’t quite on par with with what is offered by Desk. Businesses that rely on Salesforce for other needs may find that Zendesk integration fails to supply a full 360-degree customer view.
As far as pricing goes, Zendesk is very competitive, and is generally on par with the other leading help desk options. However, it’s pricing models can make it difficult to add new features, and users may find themselves paying for services they don’t want or use.
Among all of the help desk and customer support platform solutions currently available, Zendesk and Salesforce Desk stand out as exceptional choices. However, they aren’t the same. Both options carry with them advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the pros and cons associated with each will help your business provide its customers with the kind of support that ensure that they’ll stay your customers — now, and for years to come.
Customers don’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do help desk options. Compare, contrast, and take advantage of free trial offers, so that when it comes to maintaining important customer relationships, you don’t have to settle for second best.
The best way to see how Salesforce is revolutionizing customer service is with a guided tour of Service Cloud. With the guided tour, we can show you how Service Cloud shines in several common use cases and scenarios.
Questions? Our reps have answers. 1-800-667-6389