Compare Zoho Desk With Other Popular Customer Support Tools

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Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk

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Compare Zoho Desk pricing vs. other tools

Product Free Plan Available? Starter Plan Mid-Range Plan Advanced Plan
Zoho Desk Yes, for up to 3 users $7-$14/user/month $23/user/month $40/user/month
Gorgias No $10-$60/month for 50-300 tickets/month $360/month for 2,000 tickets/month $900/month for 5,000 tickets/month
Intercom No $74/month Custom Custom
Trengo No $18/user/month $29/user/month $41/user/month
Front No $19-$49/seat/month $99/seat/month $229/seat/month
Help Scout Yes, for startups and nonprofits $20/user/month $40/user/month $60/user/month
Zendesk Yes, for startups $49/agent/month $79/agent/month $99/agent/month
Freshdesk Yes, for up to 10 agents $15/agent/month $49/agent/month $79/agent/month
HubSpot Service Hub Yes, includes 1 shared inbox $45/month for 2 paid users $450/month for 5 paid users $1,200/month for 10 paid users
Dixa No $39/agent/month $89/agent/month $139/agent/month

Zoho Desk review

Zoho Desk is a massive platform stacked with advanced features, from custom ticket fields and auto-assignments to an AI-enabled chatbot that identifies customer sentiment. At first glance, it seems like they’ve thought of everything. However, there are also some weak points that stand out to us.

Zoho Desk pros

Let's dive into our three favorite features!

Robust ticketing system

Zoho Desk compiles tickets from email, social media, web forms, live chat, SMS, and cloud telephony in a single interface, ensuring no request falls through the cracks. You can extensively customize ticket forms, fields, and values, as well as sort by different criteria, like:

  • Channel
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Urgency
  • Type of customer.

Zoho Desk also makes it easy to assign tickets to different teams and agents using automation rules, including Round Robin. To help stay on track, agents receive automatic notifications, like when a new ticket is assigned or task is added.

Zoho Desk Ticketing System

Zoho Desk doesn’t just streamline ticket organization and assignment, but also responses. Tickets automatically sync with your Knowledge Base, enabling agents to find answers to common questions. They can also use snippets to create, save, and insert commonly used phrases, like “Thanks for getting in touch!”

For additional context, agents can view interaction history and customer information—pulled from the CRM—alongside each ticket. Agents can also attach feedback widgets to their replies, so customers can rate the interaction.

Additionally, Zoho Desk’s ticketing system includes SLA workflows and supports multiple departments and brands, making it especially useful for enterprise organizations. The platform also includes:

  • Agent Collision Detection to prevent multiple agents from working on the same ticket at the same time
  • Built-in time tracking to help monitor response times or create invoices

Why we love Zoho Desk’s robust ticketing system

The ticketing system offers flexibility at every level, from large organizations customizing ticket fields across multiple brands, to individual agents creating and reusing snippets to improve their workflow.

AI-powered chatbot

The “Zia” chatbot adds another layer of advanced functionality with its contextual AI. Customers can chat with Zia from anywhere on your website or mobile app, and receive automatic recommendations for the most relevant articles in your Knowledge Base.

Zia’s real power, however, comes from its close integration with the Zoho Desk ticketing system. For starters, Zia automatically converts chats into tickets. Enabled by machine learning, it can detect customer sentiment and auto-tag tickets by key phrases. Beyond that, Zia automatically recommends ticket responses based on your Knowledge Base, which agents can then insert in a single click.

Zoho Desk Zia Chatbot

Zia is also equipped with its own dashboard, which collects valuable insights, forecasts trends, and identifies anomalies—like whether a particular issue caused an influx of tickets or irritated responses.

Why we love Zoho Desk’s AI-powered chatbot

Modern day customer service and support teams need to meet increasingly high expectations. Integrating AI in your operations gives you the ability to effectively capture and analyze the data behind complex customer interactions, so you can optimize at every stage. It also enables you to improve important support metrics such as time-to-response and time-to-resolve (MTTR).

Zoho Marketplace integration

There’s no shortage of opportunities to sync Zoho Desk with other tools in your tech stack. Zoho Marketplace is fully loaded with over 1,000 ready-to-use integrations, including popular solutions like Salesforce, Google Workspace and Office 360.

The vast supply of integrations spans several categories that are especially beneficial for customer service teams, like:

  • Telephony & SMS: Twilio, Ring Central, Vonage, Viber, Aircall, and Amazon Connect
  • Collaboration: Slack, Asana, Zoom, and Monday
  • eCommerce: Amazon, Shopify, and BigCommerce
Zoho Desk App marketplace

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, Zapier and Flow—Zoho’s own integration platform—can connect with tools beyond Zoho Marketplace. Zoho Creator even enables users to create and share their own low-code apps.

Why we love Zoho’s vast integrations

Technical glitches can spell disaster for customer service teams, so getting all your ducks in a row is imperative. Zoho Desk’s extensive integrations help ensure all your bases are covered and that your operations are seamless. Not to mention, these integrations make your team more effective by automating all of the repeatable motions your team goes through each day.

Zoho Desk cons

Here are three potential Zoho Desk dealbreakers to be aware of—as well as our suggested workarounds to help you overcome their limitations.

Complex onboarding

Zoho Desk’s extensive functionality can make for a complex and confusing onboarding experience. There’s a lot to figure out, especially when setting up workflows—including automation, rules, and custom field configuration.

Zoho Desk’s Salesforce integration also isn’t as simple or straightforward as it could be. This is a definite con for customer service and support teams who want to get up and running quickly.

Our recommendation

To get your team off on the right foot, budget for an implementation expert who can explain how everything works in Zoho Desk (and take on the burden of setup too, of course!). This should help speed up the process and prevent unnecessary headaches.

Overwhelming interface

Zoho Desk’s cumbersome onboarding is compounded by the interface itself, which is overloaded with menus and features. This can not only slow down page loading times, but overwhelm new users looking to get oriented with different workflows—administrators and agents alike.

It’s also worth noting that if you decide to take Zoho Desk for a spin, their 30 day trial period isn’t long enough to really get a sense of all the different components.

Zoho Desk looks especially clunky when compared with alternative solutions like Freshdesk. In fact, if your team doesn’t require a wide range of advanced functionality, Zoho Desk might be overkill. For others, however, a modern and intuitive interface matters less than the functionality to handle complex customer interactions and robust customization, which is where Zoho Desk really shines.

Our recommendation

Zoho Desk will require additional time for your team to get familiar with the interface and truly ramp up. You can help expedite the process with live or recorded training sessions, user guides, and screenshots highlighting where to find important features for each role.

Limited customization in knowledge base and integrations

Zoho Desk’s extensive customization options fall short when it comes to their knowledge base. This is especially problematic because this feature plays such a significant role in the platform—without it, Zoho Desk’s AI-powered chatbot, “Zia”, can’t make automated article recommendations to customers or suggest ticket responses to agents.

In spite of its importance, however, the Knowledge Base doesn’t have the same flexibility as other features, like ticket fields and automation rules. It’s also more difficult to actually customize. Instead of dragging and dropping sections, Knowledge Base articles need to follow a specific hierarchy that can initially be difficult to understand.

Zoho Desk Knowledge Base

Zoho Desk also doesn’t support Open API, so users are limited in their ability to customize how their instance of Zoho Desk interacts with other tools.

Our recommendation

Write articles to follow the same structure as your Knowledge Base. If documentation is designed for compatibility from the start, you won’t have to pull your hair out trying to hack your Knowledge Base to accommodate.

As for integrationsI, Zoho Desk might not offer Open API, but  there are still over 1,000+ ready-made integrations available in Zoho Marketplace, which is one of our favorite features.


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