Zoho Desk Review

Zoho Desk Review
4.3
4.3 of 5 stars 1 review
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Support
    (4)
User Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Robust priority-based ticketing system
  • Multiplatform support
  • Good team collaboration
  • Plenty of customization options
  • A powerful and time-saving automation system
  • Solid mobile app
  • User-friendly set up and interface

Cons

  • Weak asset management features
  • A small number of integrations
  • Limited customer support

ABOUT

Zoho Desk comes from the stables of the Zoho Corporation, a company that has launched over 50 apps that help businesses handle everything from accounting to social media presence. Motivated to serve their ever-growing base of worldwide customers, the company launched a customer support software in 2010 called Zoho Support. Zoho Desk is the revamped and renamed version of that.

This updated version was launched in November 2016 after five years of R&D from a small town called Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu, India. The software markets itself as the first context-aware customer-support platform, which is just a fancy way of saying that it covers all the bases when it comes to helping customers. It is used by over 4000 businesses worldwide and has an impressive client list that boasts of Jaguar, Sears, Mercedes-Benz, and McAfee.

Who is Zoho Desk For?

As evidenced by its clientele, Zoho Desk can be used by enterprise-level businesses. That said, the software, like most Zoho products, is an excellent solution for small to medium-sized companies too. This suitability is mainly due to its vast repertoire of features that range from a basic ticketing system to AI-enabled reports and analytics for managers. Similarly, it has multiple pricing plans that fit a gamut of budgets and business needs. The scalability of these plans also ensures that you can stick with the software as your business blossoms. Besides, the software has tailor-made plans for different teams such as retail, telecom, finance, and service teams.

PRICING

This customer support software has three paid pricing plans. It also has a free plan for up to 3 users that micro businesses can take advantage of. Importantly, all the paid plans have a 15-day free trial, and you can cancel your subscription anytime you want. For annual subscriptions, the company offers a full refund provided you cancel within the first 45 days. For cancellations after 45 days, you will get a prorated refund only if you can prove that the company has discontinued a functionality that was available at the time you signed up. The software offers additional discounts to nonprofit and educational institutions.

Here are the details of the pricing plans at the time of this writing:

Plans

Free

Standard

Professional

Enterprise

Price/Month

Free

$12/agent

$20/agent

$35/agent

Users

3 Agents

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Email Tickets

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tags/Ticket

10

20

20

20

Advanced Webforms

1

5

10

20

Custom Fields

50

150

Workflow Rules

5/module

15/module

30/module

Multi Language Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Contact Management

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mobile App

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Social Media Integration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Agent Collision

Yes

Yes

Telephony

Yes

Yes

Custom Widgets

Yes

Yes

Activity Time Tracking

Yes

Yes

Artificial Intelligence

Yes

Contract Management

Yes

FEATURES​

  1. Ticketing System
  2. Multi-platform Support
  3. Self-service Portal
  4. Team Collaboration
  5. Zia
  6. Customization Options
  7. Automation
  8. Dashboard
  9. Reports

1. Ticketing System

Zoho Desk has a multichannel ticketing system that collects customer tickets from different platforms such as email, telephony, and social media. It then organizes them into one tab so that agents need not go through multiple tabs to address different issues. The software automatically prioritizes tickets according to user-set criteria such as customer type, due time, or status, giving you a clear picture of which tickets require your immediate attention and which you can deal with later.

Importantly, the software provides agents with a customer-interaction timeline that shows every exchange the customer has had with the company, be it through web forms, social media, or live chat. These contextual ticket views arm agents with the background knowledge needed to create a more personalized response. Helpfully, the app also auto-suggests solutions to the agent based on the customer complaint.

Another useful tool is the software’s Snippets feature with which agents can pre-write common responses. They can then embed a snippet into a reply whenever necessary, saving them the time and energy needed to draft a quick response. Snippets are specific to the agent who creates them. Additionally, agents can add notes to a ticket. These notes can be used to pass on pertinent information to other support staff while being hidden from the customer.

2. Multi-Platform Support

The software supports multiple customer help platforms. These include email, social media, live chat, web forms, and telephony. With emails, the app helps you handle several email addresses in one go. It pools all customer service issues from different addresses into one central location, making it easier to respond to them.

The app displays any social media messages you receive in your feed as well. You can then respond to a customer’s post directly from your feed or assign it to another team member. Conveniently, Zoho Desk automatically converts social media posts or messages into a ticket if you turn the auto conversion settings on. You can even tweak the auto conversion rules so that only posts that contain specific keywords get converted into a ticket.

Zoho Desk also has live chat widgets and web forms that you can embed into your website. You can customize everything from language to color, background, text, and position of both the web forms and widgets before you embed them onto your website. Furthermore, you can add a captcha button and allow customers to upload files or screen grabs through these platforms. Helpfully, you can convert chat conversations into a ticket with just one click.

The telephony feature is only available for Enterprise plan subscribers. With it, agents can attend calls from within the software itself. The app is equipped with interactive voice technology (IVR) that guides callers to the right agent. It also records all inbound and outbound calls for quality purposes and even has a voicemail service where customers can leave a voice message. The software automatically logs these voice messages as a new ticket and assigns them to an agent.

3. Self-Service

Along with a multi-platform customer help system, Zoho Desk allows you to create a help center where customers can find answers to common issues on their own. You can include a repository of FAQs and how-to articles, host a community or forum, and add a ticketing system within your knowledge base. The software makes it easy to set up and populate a help center. There are several default themes to choose from if you are a newbie. If you want your portal to mimic your website, you can change the color of your header, background, tabs, and font to reflect that. On the other hand, for those with more tech know-how, the software allows HTML and CSS customizations that can further make the portal an extension of their brand.

4. Team Collaboration

The Team Feed feature is the software’s employee portal. Here, team members can collaborate. This portal gives managers an overview of every ticket assigned to their team. They can also send notifications to their team through the portal, negating the need to call a meeting for every announcement.

Agents can use the portal to discuss issues with each other or ask another team member for help by using the @mention feature. They can start a one-on-one or group conversation from within the app itself. They can also tag chats and tickets, making it easy to search for them whenever the same issue crops up again in the future. Crucially, every time an agent is tagged or mentioned, the software alerts him or her immediately with a notification.

Furthermore, the software makes sharing tickets across departments an easy task too. With the ticket sharing feature, you can request agents from other departments to collaborate towards solving a customer issue. Importantly, the ownership of the ticket rests with your department even when you share it with others. The software also allows you to set access levels for different agents such that they can either have full, restricted or read-only access to a ticket.

5. Zia

Zia is Zoho’s AI assistant. It is available only for the software’s Enterprise Plan subscribers. It performs automatic sentiment analysis on all incoming tickets, giving agents a heads-up as to the satisfaction level of the customer and the foresight to prioritize the right tickets. Zia also processes tickets and assigns appropriate tags to them. What’s more, the AI drafts responses to a ticket based on the issue with appropriate content from your knowledge base. Agents can then send out the Zia-drafted responses with one click instead of wasting time drafting their own.

For business owners, Zia provides an overview of the state of your company’s customer service. It examines and highlights anomalies in your team’s performance and alerts you of trending tags and sentiments or if there is a sudden increase in incoming tickets.

Conveniently, you can access all this information from one location using the Zia dashboard.

This AI assistant can also be embedded into your website, where you can train it to perform actions for clients using the software’s skill-builder interface. Customers can chat with the AI from within your website. It processes their issues and recommends suitable solutions from your knowledge base. Importantly, if an issue remains unresolved despite its recommendations, Zia alerts managers of the same.

6. Customization Options

With Zoho Desk, you get a ton of customization options. Everything from page layouts to ticket templates and response email templates can be changed to reflect your business needs and personality. Additionally, you can apply your brand’s colors and logo to your support software and create custom fields to store additional information through your web forms. The software also allows you to map your knowledge base within your domain, making it easier for customers to access it.

7. Automation

The Blueprint Builder feature is the software’s process automation tool. It is a visual tool that lets you create an automated workflow sequence that is unique to your business. It is easy to use even for tech newbies and lets you customize every step of the process down to the last detail with a simple drag-and-drop assembly. Not only does this ensure a more organized business but also one where due process is followed, and all bases are covered.

If you want more sophisticated workflows than what the Blueprint Builder provides, you can use the software’s programming language, Deluge, to do so. Deluge gives you access to SDKs and APIs to code advanced workflow processes. You will, however, need some technical skills to use this.

8. Dashboard

The software’s dashboard gives agents a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. A quick scan lets them know which ticket needs their immediate attention and which can wait. For managers, Zoho Desk has what they call ‘The Headquarters’ dashboard. This feature gives them an overview of critical parameters such as their team’s ticket traffic, trending sentiment, and average ticket resolution time. Also, they can see which agent is online, what they are working on, and who is on a break. Furthermore, the software’s Agent Scorecard feature tracks performance metrics such as average response time, customer happiness, and expertise for each agent along with any negative feedback they have received.

9. Reports

Zoho Desk has around 15 pre-defined reports. These include ticket reports, article reports, product reports, contact reports, customer happiness reports, and task reports. You can schedule the software to email you these reports on a daily, weekly, or quarterly basis in a variety of file formats. Besides, the software’s Advanced Analytics feature allows you to create custom reports across multiple modules for more in-depth analysis. This customization, however, comes at an additional cost.

INTEGRATIONS

Integrations is one department where Zoho Desk loses its sheen. The software integrates with less than 50 third-party apps, which is paltry compared to Freshdesk’s 250 integrations and Zendesk’s 700 + integrations. Where it excels is in its integration with other Zoho apps. It connects with 11 of its siblings to form a tight-knit and self-sufficient ecosystem that will cover a lot of your business needs.

Here are some of its essential integrations:

  • G Suite
  • Zapier
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Slack
  • Twilio
  • MailChimp
  • Jira
  • Salesforce
  • Hubspot
  • Trello
  • Zoho CRM
  • Zoho BugTracker
  • Zoho Books
  • Zoho Analytics
  • Zoho Forms

More About Zoho Desk

Set Up And Ease Of Use

The software is easy to set up and use. With most customer help apps, you need to go through the entire setup process before you can start using the application. With Zoho Desk, this is not the case. You can start using the software right from day one, opting to configure it on the go. This flexibility is especially useful for businesses that are in a hurry to establish a customer help platform. If you do have the time to configure your software beforehand fully, it is a straightforward process that involves setting up ticketing channels, onboarding your agents, and filling in account details. Helpfully, you can bulk import data from external software using the software’s Zwitch feature. You can even import modules such as agents, tickets, articles, and attachments from other help-desk software such as Freshdesk or Zendesk.

Zoho Desk’s interface is easy on the eye and sports a clean and organized look. You can access the software’s primary functions from the horizontal menu, which displays tabs such as tickets, customers, reports, and activities. All sub-menus are displayed in drop-down fashion on the left-hand side of the dashboards, allowing agents to access the software’s additional functionalities. Furthermore, the app has a plethora of keyboard shortcuts that help users navigate through the software faster. You can even edit some of these shortcuts to cater to the actions you perform the most.

Device Compatibility

Desktop Browser App

Android App

iOS App

Windows Phone App

Apple Watch App

X

X

 

Android and iOS apps can handle tickets on the go. In this department, they offer all the same functionality that the desktop version does. Agents get instant ticket notifications wherever they are. What’s more, the tickets are organized and displayed according to priority so that they know which one to respond to first. Using the mobile Team Feed, agents can also communicate and coordinate with coworkers even from a remote location.

Importantly, the app displays all pertinent customer data, including past conversations in chronological order. The mobile interface is just as easy to use as the desktop versions with a simple swipe and tap functionality. For example, you can swipe right to close a ticket or create one with just one tap.

Customer Support

Ironically, a software that helps businesses provide customer care has only limited support options. The app’s free plan users get 24-hour weekday email support. With the standard plan, this increases to 24/5 email and phone support. Professional and Enterprise plan subscribers get additional chat support along with 24/5 email and phone support. As you can see, none of the plans offer weekend support. This lack of support could be a deterrent for businesses that want to provide 24/7/365 support to their customers.

However, the software has a comprehensive knowledge base, complete with user guides, blogs, and up-to-date product feature announcements, and a well-maintained community forum. Zoho, additionally, hosts live webinars every Wednesday and has a small repository of on-demand webinars as well. Unfortunately, the app only has a handful of training videos.

Online Security

Zoho Desk has a robust security protocol in place that covers organizational, operational, network, and data security measures. All their systems are compliant with industry standards. The company also employs stringent and state-of-the-art physical safeguards at all its server locations. These include year-round 24/7 security, video surveillance, and power backup. Access to these locations is also severely restricted, with personnel having to jump through several hoops before they can gain entry. First, they need to raise a ticket and gain manager approval. After which they require both two-factor and biometric authentication to enter the server premises.

Here are some of the software’s network security features:

  • Encryption of data at rest
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Security breach alerts
  • Employee background checks
  • Internal audit trails
  • Endpoint security
  • Network redundancy
  • DDoS Prevention
  • Regular firewall updates
  • Intrusion detection and prevention

PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Robust priority-based ticketing system
  • Multiplatform support
  • Good team collaboration
  • Plenty of customization options
  • A powerful and time-saving automation system
  • Solid mobile app
  • User-friendly set up and interface

CONS

  • Weak asset management features
  • A small number of integrations
  • Limited customer support

CONCLUSION

Zoho Desk is a powerful, affordable, and easy-to-use customer help software that gels nicely with other Zoho apps. The platform’s vast array of features gives businesses advanced capabilities such as social media integration, service level agreements, telephony, and data analysis. Besides these, you also get sophisticated workflow automation and request management tools that are as powerful as they are accessible to even tech greenhorns. Add to this the plethora of customization options along with a capable free plan, and it is easy to see why they are so popular.

However, the software is far from perfect and has a few flaws. It has a bare-bones approach to both integrations and customer support. The app is also missing crucial features such as change and asset management, both of which are vital to the IT service management industry. Whether these flaws prove to be deal-breakers or not largely depends on the type of business, you are running.

When all’s said and done, Zoho Desk is a well-designed, customer-centric solution that can help businesses of all sizes streamline their client services. The software is especially beneficial for companies that are already using Zoho products as it acts as an extension of that familiar environment. The repertoire of feature and user-friendliness merit that, at the very least, you make the most of the free plan or 15-day free trial to see if it suits your business or not.

Check out our list of the best Help Desk Software companies

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