Zoho Desk Review
Updated · Oct 18, 2022
Best for: Multichannel customer service
What Is Zoho Desk?
We know Zoho offers great CRM software for businesses.
But, what is Zoho Desk?
It’s a web-based help desk tool where you can streamline your customer service activities. From ticket management to workflow automation, this app can work wonders.
It’s also the first context-aware software of its kind. This technology uses existing customer details and previous interactions to instantly solve a problem.
Over 50,000 businesses use this platform, including big players like McAfee, Mercedes-Benz, and Zomato.
So, is it really that good?
We’ll let our experience with Zoho Desk and its key features do the talking.
The program offers many smart ways to enhance your customer engagement. You can even customize some of its tools to maximize the platform’s scalability.
Let us show you how.
Zoho has a ticketing system that keeps all requests in check. You can prioritize, assign, and manage tickets across various channels, brands, or departments.
Here’s a closer look:
Collecting support tickets from texts to chats to emails can get messy. So, how do you stay organized? Simple – keep your tickets coming through a single interface.
You can instantly receive them through the following channels:
- Social Media - You can set up customer communication pathways via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
- Email - Zoho Desk has an Email to Ticket feature for faster conversion. That’s email forwarding done fast and right!
- Live Chat - You can also convert live chat threads to tickets for more in-depth queries.
- Telephony - With the help of cloud computing, you’re able to send and receive calls within the help desk.
- Web Form - One of the best Zoho Desk widgets is the customizable web form. You don’t even need coding skills to embed it right on your website!
Multi-brand Help Center
Managing multiple brands? Not a problem. You can easily set up a help center for each and include unique sections. If you need to build a knowledge base and fill it up with blogs, FAQs, and communities, you’re free to do so!
Sometimes, it takes a village to process a large volume of customer requests. So, to make sure your support team doesn’t blow up, you can work in segments. Add as many departments as you need. Then, feel free to rearrange and customize their individual help desks based on specific Zoho Desk channels, product types, brands, or whatnot.
Most customers would rather DIY their way into a problem. This is where the Zoho Desk and ASAP plugin comes in. You can offer quick help by embedding self-service hubs into your website or app. They can be in the form of help centers, forums, FAQs, etc. You can also use it as a web widget or Chrome extension.
As we’ve mentioned, Zoho is the first platform to offer a context-aware help desk. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, the system can capture all the relevant user information. From there, it can come up with a tailored, instant solution. All thanks to the built-in Zoho CRM integration!
Speaking of AI, the Zoho Desk Auto Reply feature comes in the form of the voice assistant Zia. Much like Siri and Alexa, Zia can speak to your customers, answer inquiries, and find quick solutions.
You can also tap its other automation abilities like auto-tagging tickets, push notifications, and sentiment analysis.
Aside from Zia, Zoho Desk has more automation tools to help you work seamlessly. Here are some of the key ones:
You can set specific filters for your help desk to keep tickets in order. In just one click, you can arrange them based on priority, customer type, etc. You’re free to set them in Status Mode, Handshake Mode, Countdown Mode, and more.
The best way to leave no stone unturned is to assign tickets. You can make use of several Zoho Desk assignment rules to identify who handles what. Plus, you’re free to set your criteria. Be it channel-based or product-based – you select a specific agent to handle a ticket!
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
If you have tickets involving SLA breaches and violations, you can set up a custom Zoho Desk SLA view for easier access. You can also set average response times and targets to ensure progress.
Have we mentioned you can boost your agents’ productivity, too? That’s where we dug a little deeper for our Zoho Desk review. Here are just some of the productivity tools we discovered:
- Agent Collision Detection - this function ensures that no two agents work on the same ticket.
- Advanced Response Editor - to save time crafting replies, you can use the available Zoho Desk email templates. Or, just take advantage of the customer context!
- Snippets - using keyboard shortcuts, you can insert commonly used statements in customer communications. In addition, you can include user-specific information via placeholders.
- Time Tracking - you can monitor how much time an agent spends handling a ticket.
If you want to keep your branding consistent and on-point, there are various brand customization options at your disposal.
You’re free to incorporate your company’s logo and theme into your help desk. You can also use its Domain Mapping tool to give your site visitors easier navigation.
Insights & Analytics
Tracking customer analytics and agent performance is a breeze. Zoho Desk delivers reports using common metrics like:
- Ticket stats
- Traffic analysis
- Average resolution time
- Happiness ratings
Managers and supervisors can also maximize the Agent Scorecard to enhance team performance. Here, you can individually view your agents’ average response times, closed tickets, ratings, and so on.
A data breach is every company’s worst nightmare. Luckily, the program has robust security controls to keep consumer data safe.
First, Zoho Desk is GDPR-compliant, so it operates within the standards of data protection mandated by the law.
Additionally, the system lets you set certain roles for users. With this, managers will be able to regulate the information available to a specific role.
And lastly, you can control data access by setting modules as Public, Read Only, or Private.
Can you integrate several apps into your help desk? Absolutely. It offers wide extensibility to your existing workflows.
If you’re already using Zoho’s platforms, mixing them into your help desk won’t be a problem. For example, you can blend Zoho Desk with CRM integration for sales coordination. And for communications, you can set up a single chat window with Cliq.
Third-party programs are welcome, too! You’re free to use Zoho Desk with Zapier applications such as Filter, Formatter, or Paths. Slack and Asana are great add-ons as well.
Ease of Use
New users may find the Zoho Desk workflow a tad overwhelming at first. You’re getting a large basket of features, so the interface can be a little confusing in the beginning.
But once you’ve warmed up to the features in your plan, it’ll be an easy ride from there.
The Zoho Desk dashboard displays all the sections you need – your tickets, knowledge base, and customers. Each section contains subsets containing the tools you’ll be using for specific tasks. Here, you’re free to control the ticketing system – from channels to brands to departments and so on. This part wasn’t particularly hard for us to operate.
You will, however, need to get used to the small fonts and buttons on the dashboard.
Other than that, you can learn and execute all other functions with ease. The fact that you can take advantage of the Zoho Desk mobile benefits is also a huge plus. You can use its mobile version to:
- Create tickets on the go
- Change the ticket status
- Assign roles
- Set priorities
- Send instant responses
and many more!
Now, let’s talk about the Zoho Desk support system.
Unlike other helpdesk software, this tool offers different levels of customer support based on your subscription plan.
Using the free version, you’ll only have access to 24/5 email support. That’s a bit lackluster compared to other solutions already offering ‘round-the-clock assistance. There’s also a knowledge base and community forum that can help you out.
The Standard plan gives you 24/5 phone support, while the Professional one also offers 24/5 chat support.
After reading Zoho Desk reviews and reaching out ourselves, here’s what we found:
The average response time for an email ticket takes about seven hours. Meanwhile, phone support can take up to an hour.
Now, if you want an always-on option, you’ll have to score an Enterprise plan to access the live Zoho Chat Support. The agents are pretty responsive, plus it’s available 24/7.
Zoho Desk Pricing
So, how much does it cost to unlock this help desk’s features?
Great news – the program has a free version loaded with some basic functions. It should be enough to provide excellent customer service to a small-scale audience.
But if you have a bigger team with a wider scale of customer engagement, you can consider upgrading to the paid versions.
Take a look at these Zoho Desk pricing tiers to see which plan fits you:
Up to three agents can use this version. Its key features include email ticketing, basic customer management, knowledge base creation, predefined SLAs, and integration with mobile apps. You won’t get as much technical support as you would in the paid plans, though.
On top of the free functions above, this plan offers extra specs like social media channels, ticket assignments, reports, dashboards, and so on. This plan also unlocks the Work Modes feature, which is great for automation.
This plan offers all the Standard features. The difference is you get more tools for enhancing agent productivity. We’re talking team management, automatic time tracking, a multi-department ticketing system, and the Zoho Desk Blueprint. You also gain access to specialized SLA dashboards and mobile SDKs.
If you want to test it out before spending your money, Zoho Desk has a trial period of 15 days. And if you’ve subscribed and found the platform unsatisfying, worry not. The company can offer a full refund during the first 45 days of usage.
Zoho Desk vs Zendesk
A simple review just isn’t enough, so we decided to make a quick comparison between Zoho Desk and its tight competitors.
Let’s start with the one that comes close to its functions – Zendesk.
Similarly, it’s a customer service software with sales CRM tools. We found that it’s armed with the same robust specs, including multichannel ticketing, SLA management, and business assignment rules.
It also does a great job of taking user details and interaction history in order to provide tailored support. It delivers accurate and detailed analytics, too.
However, Zoho Desk offers features that are way more scalable and customizable. It also leads the pack when it comes to AI-powered tools. So far, the platform’s context-aware technology can outperform Zendesk’s automated functions.
And when it comes to extensive team tracking and productivity tools, Zoho has the clear upper hand.
On top of that, Zoho Desk has slightly more affordable plans, including a free version, which Zendesk, unfortunately, lacks.
Zoho Desk vs Freshdesk
Another notable Zoho Desk alternative is the famous customer service platform from Freshworks Inc. After going in-depth with our Freshdesk review, we found a few easter eggs.
First, let’s unpack some similarities.
Both solutions offer a free-forever plan, which is great for users on a budget.
Just like Zoho, Freshdesk offers a multi-channel ticketing system and the popular Collision Detection feature. Additionally, it has great automation options – ticket assignment, role distribution, and prioritization, just to name a few.
Among all the Zoho Desk competitors, this one comes close by just a few inches. So, where do we draw the line?
Freshdesk has a simpler interface, and it’s slightly easier to use. Freelancers and small business owners can easily take advantage of its fast yet efficient ticket management features.
That being said, it isn’t as comprehensive as Zoho when it comes to automation. It lacks an AI-powered voice assistant. It also falls short in terms of customization, as you don’t get custom reports and dashboards.
Zoho Desk vs ServiceDesk Plus
ServiceDesk Plus is also a popular substitute that pops up in many Zoho Desk reviews.
On top of being a highly-rated IT customer service solution, it also specializes in asset and project management, among others.
Its comparable features include omnichannel communications, self-service portals, ticket management systems, and SLA management.
Both tools offer enough room for customization. However, it’s worth noting that Zoho Desk offers more branding options.
The clear difference is ServiceDesk lacks social media integration and workflow automation. Its AI capabilities don’t match Zoho’s, especially with the absence of template responses.
When it comes to subscription options, ServiceDesk Plus doesn’t have a definite pricing structure. You’ll have to request a quote for the services you choose. And most importantly, Zoho Desk has a free version, while ServiceDesk Plus doesn’t.
Overall, if you want a more feature-rich platform that works within your budget, we’d say Zoho Desk would be the better option.
So, is it time to invest in this help desk platform?
If you have a growing business and want to develop a solid customer support system – the answer is YES.
Having a dedicated platform with rich tools will boost your customer engagement. And Zoho Desk does a pretty good job at it.
Its context-aware technology truly makes answering queries fast and efficient. The voice assistant Zia is capable of bringing instant help to your customers. You can also turn to Zoho Desk for instant chat services.
This tool will keep your agents highly organized, too.
You don’t need a separate platform for streamlining all the work. Here, you can monitor your team’s performance, increase its productivity, and assign specific roles. With automated workflow options, you won’t overwork them either. Task delegation and automation are a breeze!
The only downside to having such a feature-rich platform is the confusing interface. Don’t expect to get it right the first few times, as it is quite overwhelming.
But other than that, our Zoho Desk review proved that it’s an amazing platform where you can service your stakeholders better.
Bye-bye, bad customer service!
Nero is an all-around wordsmith with a degree in Communication Arts— not the vicious emperor you might know in history books. He's an avid reader. A frisky writer. A tech enthusiast and occasional binge-watcher. He likes long walks on the beach. Enjoys deep thinking and shallow conversations. Hates ketchup. Panic! At The Disco.
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