Zendesk leads the market in help desk solutions online. But does that automatically make it the top choice for businesses like yours?
Not necessarily. In fact, its popularity may actually be a drawback, depending on your needs. And yet, simply saying ‘no’ to a market leader like Zendesk is not enough. You also have to make sure that any alternative you choose is actually better for your needs.
Fortunately, accomplishing that feat is actually easier than you might think. All you have to do is understand both the advantages and disadvantages of the software, and then find a platform that also offers one while offering better solutions in the other.
We’d love to say that we are that perfect competitor. But instead, we want you to judge for yourself. These are the 7 qualities that any Zendesk alternative needs to possess. Follow this road map, and you will find a help desk solution ideally suited for your needs.
1) Affordable Pricing
Naturally, price matters to any business. Effective customer support is directly tied to your revenue, but you also have to make sure that the software you choose to deliver that support doesn’t break your budget. With Zendesk, that’s not always the case.
In fact, this software (at least in part because of its market-leading status) is among the most expensive options out there. Competitors are able to offer lower prices, making them more effective for anyone from small businesses to larger enterprises.
Another important factor in this regard is pricing customization. If you don’t need all of the platform’s services and features, can you customize your plan to minimize expenses? With Zendesk, the answer is yes – so, for any similarly priced alternative, the answer has to be the same.
2) Multi-Channel Ticket Entry
We’re long past a world in which customers have a single preferred way to enter their tickets and lodge their complaints. Any help desk software looking to compete with Zendesk has to have the ability for users to submit tickets in a number of different ways.
These ways might include anything from various social media channels to email and phone. Ideally, the platform needs to organize and standardize each ticket depending on the incoming channel, to make the process easier for the customer support agents on the other side.
We pride ourselves in this type of multi-channel ticket entry system. If you’re looking for an effective an modern Zendesk alternative, check out our features, which include exactly what we mentioned above. The more convenient you can make the process for your customers, the better.
3) Customization Capabilities
Speaking of convenience: does the help desk software you’re looking for allow you to customize the platform for your unique business needs? In other words, can you build a platform that’s not just a template every one of your competitors uses as well, but that is actually designed specifically for you?
With Zendesk, the answer can be yes – but only if you pay for it. Triggers allow you to kick off automated workflows that redirect, merge, expand, and close tickets as desired. Look for software with similar capabilities. Our automation capabilities allow you to do just that, building your workflow specifically with your own capabilities in mind.
4) A Suggestive Knowledge Base
Any effective help desk should include a self service component. This is the area where you can address frequent complaints and problems, redirecting customers there to avoid overloading your active agents. Ideally, it’s a knowledge base that is both easily searchable and interactive.
In many ways, Zendesk falls short in this regard. The platform does include a self-service knowledge base, but it can be difficult to use and does not automatically suggest relevant tutorials and articles based on user queries. Naturally, in the interest of user-friendliness, it makes sense to go with a product that is more intuitive and suggestive for your current customers.
5) User Friendliness on Both Sides
Speaking of which: the importance of user friendliness expands beyond your knowledge base. Any help desk software absolutely has to make sure that it is easy and intuitive to use for its end users and external audience at all levels. Without this component, you could significantly compromise the entirety of your customer service operations.
Unfortunately, while Zendesk does offer pretty good customer experience, it falls short on the backend user part. Agents tend to report confusion in managing and solving tickets, particularly from the increasingly common mobile devices. Look for an alternative that has better design, which also means it requires less initial training and more buy-in from your agents during the onboarding stage.
6) Responsive Customer Support
The purpose of the right platform is to provide you with the tools to build a better support system for your audience. But the same is also true in reverse. When something goes wrong with the software, how quickly can you get help from the vendor? How responsive is the vendor, and will you have to pay for that support.
With Zendesk, this process is not often ideal. Companies have reported a lag in response, probably at least in part due to the popularity of the software. Any Zendesk alternative, therefore, should be more responsive to companies needing help within the platform.
7) Comprehensive Reporting
Finally, don’t sign a contract with a software solution that does not offer comprehensive reporting capabilities. We’re past the time when simply assuming something works well is enough. Only the right reporting structure can help you understand your ticket close rate, average time to close, and other important metrics.
Ideally, these reports should be visual, and customizable for your needs. Zendesk broadcasts its reporting capabilities as one of its core messaging pillars when promoting the platform to businesses. That means any competitor worth the switch has to be able to provide the same.
When it comes to help desk software, don’t simply default to Zendesk. While the software is undoubtedly popular, that does not mean it’s the best choice for your business by default. Instead, use the above 7 qualities to find a Zendesk alternative that might just work better for your needs. Start your free Vision Help Desk trial to experience our software for yourself!