Zendesk vs. TeamSupport: A Help Desk Head-to-Head

By Features PCmag

If your company is in the process of considering help desk software, then you know there's a lot to consider. Pricing, features, and usability are among the many characteristics that can leave you with buyer's remorse. If you're interested in the best-in-class tools on the market, look no further than our Editors' Choice tools HappyFox and Vivantio Pro. These tools offer everything you'll need to ensure that your customers, agents, and CFO are happy.

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However, if you've looked at these two solutions and you're not satisfied with them, then there are dozens of other capable tools on the market that you should investigate and test. For example: Zendesk does a wonderful job with ticket management, while TeamSupport offers a clean and easy-to-use interface that even a tech novice will love.

To help you narrow down your search, this article pits Zendesk and TeamSupport head to head to give you an overview of what each service is capable of providing—and whether either one might be right for your organization.

Pricing Plans
Team Support offers a very simple pricing structure that's comprised of two levels of service: Enterprise and Support Desk. Enterprise, which starts at $55 per agent per month (billed annually) is designed for companies to track and monitor support issues, product defects, and anything associated with inventory. The Support Desk option, which starts at $40 per agent per month (billed annually) is designed for end-user customer support. Support Desk won't come with inventory tracking or Jira and Beanstalk integrations, but it's got almost everything else the higher level Enterprise tool has.

Zendesk's price structure is a bit more complex. It starts at $5 per agent per month (billed annually) and grows to $99 per agent per month (billed annually). The base plan is essentially designed to connect customers with support reps via email. It will embed a widget on your website, and you'll be able to interact with customers via Facebook and Twitter. However, more advanced features such as ticket forms, custom dashboards, and multibrand support are only available at the higher tiers.

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Although it appears that TeamSupport offers the better pricing plan thanks to its low, standardized monthly rate, ZenDesk actually allows your team to grow with the system in a more coherent manner to determine exactly what you need. For example: Sitting between Zendesk's base Essential and Professional plans is a Team plan that costs only $19 per agent per month (billed annually). If your company wants all of the features that are available on the Team plan but not on the Essential plan (such as email support, custom business rules, and support performance dashboards), then the jump in price is only $14 per month. And, if you decide that you need help center dashboards, custom insights reports, and daily data synchronization, you can jump to the Professional plan for $30 more per agent per month. TeamSupport doesn't give you this flexibility. You've got to accept their plan as is, whether or not it fits your immediate needs and long-term plans. Edge: Zendesk

Customer Support
TeamSupport is available to answer phone calls, emails, and chat messages Monday through Friday, from 8AM to 6PM (Central Standard Time). After hours and on weekends, the company monitors service tickets to determine if there are system failures or any disaster scenarios. But if you've got a minor issue or question, you won't be able to reach a human service agent until Monday morning.

Conversely, Zendesk offers 24/7 support via phone, email, and chat for Enterprise customers. Professional level customers get 24/5 support via phone and email. Team level customers will only get email support Monday through Friday during business hours. Essential customers won't get any support at all. This is pretty much a wash given that the Zendesk's Professional plan is similarly priced to TeamSupport's Enterprise plan, and both offer only Monday-through-Friday service. However, because Zendesk agents can be reached around the clock, and because you can always jump up to the Enterprise plan for weekend support, Zendesk gets a slight edge in this category. Edge: Zendesk

Features and Integrations
Let's assume you're going all-in on your help desk software. You'll either want Zendesk's Enterprise plan or TeamSupport's Enterprise plan. Both of these plans will give you access to the whole shebang of each company's service suite. With that in mind, here's what each tool is capable of delivering.

TeamSupport offers a comprehensive set of customer management, ticket management, self-service, and collaboration tools. As I previously mentioned, you can also keep track of inventory to ensure deliverability and quality assurance. The tool integrates with 17 systems, including Highrise, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and Zoho customer relationship management (CRM) tools. You can also tie the solution into your email marketing tool via integration with MailChimp. TeamSupport also features a Zapier tie-in, which gives you access to hundreds of apps within the Zapier network.

Zendesk offers an equally comprehensive set of tools, spanning customer communication, self-service, reporting and analytics, mobile functionality, and multibranding. It's next to impossible to choose one tool over the other in terms of functionality. Instead, you've got to decide which offers the specific, minute features your company needs and then see if one falls short. But when it comes to the major necessities, both systems shine. Unfortunately for TeamSupport, Zendesk's exhaustive out-of-the-box integrations give it the upper hand in this category. In addition to Zapier,and its catalog of hundreds of apps, Zendesk natively connects with 452 apps. That's a lot of data and functionality at your rep's fingertips. Edge: Zendesk

Bottom Line
This head to head shouldn't dissuade you from testing TeamSupport. It's a solid tool that does most of what Zendesk can do. But Zendesk just seems to be one step ahead of TeamSupport in terms of flexibility as it relates to pricing, support, and extensions. While all of this choice might be exactly what you need, it could also be overkill. Maybe the base TeamSupport plan is all you'll ever need or maybe you don't need weekend support. Or maybe you only plan to integrate a few apps. In that case, you should sit in front of both systems and get a sense of how they look and feel; let that be your deciding factor. But, if you need someplace to start, I recommend Zendesk and its friendlier, more flexible model. Edge: Zendesk

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.