ZenDesk vs. SalesForce

Once we were ready to go GA, we needed an online tool for our support. In this post I’ll cover how we decided on our support tool.
We had quite an extensive set of requirements, and started out with ZenDesk as our tool of choice. We were extremely happy with it, and were very unhappy with SalesForce Support options, which were both expensive and limited (a great business model).

So how did I end up using SalesForce support?
Well, it’s a long story, but for short – we decided that features are not as important as ease of integration – and although ZenDesk offers good integration with SalesForce, SalesForce support is even better integrated. It all came down to a small little feature – but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Requirements list
As I said – we had a very extensive requirements list from our support tool. I wanted most of our support to happen online, since it’s easier to manage, and easier to keep history of what our customers are doing. These are just the leading items I had in the requirement list:

  1. Communication
    1. Customers can open support tickets by sending emails to a pre-defined address
    2. Customers can open support tickets online
    3. Support team can open tickets on behalf of customers
  2. Notifications
    1. Our management can get notifications whenever support tickets are opened closed, or any sort of communication occurs.
    2. Customers get email notifications when changes to their tickets occur
  3. Publishing
    1. It’s possible to make tickets global, for all to see
  4. Security
    1. Customer will have username and password access to the support portal
  5. Integration
    1. It must be possible to see in a contact or account view in SalesForce the tickets this customer opened

Evaluation

I feel comfortable saying ZenDesk is better at points 1-3. SalesForce made me write rules so that management gets a notification when our support staff answers a ticket. Making tickets global is very limited, and what’s worst is the limited customization options of the SalesForce support portal (yeah – they have a more customizable portal, which cost by named users, an impossible pricing model for us). ZenDesk and SalesForce are at the same level for point 4. Point 5 proved fatal for ZenDesk. I just couldn’t implement it. When a customer creates a ZenDesk user, it is impossible to map that user to the customer in SalesForce. If the account name and company name are not the same in those two tools – and the integration just doesn’t work.

Bottom line

For me – point #5 was a blocking feature, and I had to settle for a much more limited SalesForce support. Now, SalesForce is so limited, I can’t even automatically create a support user for a customer – something that is just painful. Still – I can get a 360 degree customer view – and I was willing to give up any functional requirement for this integration.
But I’m checking ZenDesk periodically. They offer a great solution and I’d love moving the minute this tiny integration point is solved…

2 thoughts on “ZenDesk vs. SalesForce

  1. Hi Liran,

    I run the account management team at Zendesk and I'd love the opportunity to discuss your requirements offline. I have some updates that I think you'll find helpful! What is the best way I can reach you directly?

    Thank you,
    Caitlin Henehan
    chenehan@zendesk.com

  2. Hi Liran,

    I came across your post and I suggest that you use Zoho Support. It meets all your requirements (mentioned in the post above). For example, your 5th requirement is Integration. Zoho Support offers integration with Zoho CRM allowing you to
    view the tickets of your contacts and accounts, from Zoho Support, in Zoho CRM. For more information, see http://www.zoho.com/support.
    To know more about our affordable pricing plans, see http://www.zoho.com/support/pricing.html.

    Regards,
    Siddharth
    siddharth.j@zohocorp.com

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