Help Scout vs. Zendesk

At the heart of help desk solution lies customers and hence, they need to be taken care of. Help Scout and Zendesk are two splendid help desk solutions and has numerous features that has to be evaluated to make the final decision process. Let us learn more about intended users, pricing info, features, merits and demerits of Help Scout and Zendesk help desk solutions.

Intended users

Help Scout is a cost-effective and reasonable help desk solution which is the right option for users from all walks of life – freelancers, small organizations, non-profit organizations etc. Zendesk scores over Help Scout in terms of features like UI usability and customizability. However, we could see from the following pricing info that Zendesk is not the right option for smaller organizations which are tight on budget.

Pricing info

Help Scout is designed to be pocket-friendly and this help desk solution is available in 2 pricing options viz. Standard and Plus. Standard option is available at the rate of 20 USD per month per user and this plan bags one docs Knowledge base , five mailboxes , workflows, satisfaction ratings and reports. If you would like to relish better features, you would consider upgrading to Plus feature which is available at the rate of 40 USD per month per user and this plan boasts of cutting-edge reporting features. In addition to these plans, user may also opt for free plan which can be used by three users and it offers 1 mailbox.

Zendesk renders free 30-day trial option for users so that they could decide whether it is the right option for them or not. Zendesk offers 4 pricing options to suit different user groups as Essential ( 5USD per agent per month), Team ( 19 USD per agent per month), Professional ( 49 USD per agent per month), Enterprise ( 99 USD per agent per month).

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Ticket Management

Help Scout supports collision detection feature and this helps to notify instantaneously if any other user is working on the same ticket. It is also fortified by instant search feature which empowers clients to get hold of the information that they need at the drop of a hat. Branding / CSS control features enables users to leverage the business as it offers multiple settings which offers CSS control. It also gets more than 75 keyboard shortcuts which helps in easier ticket management. What if you gets multiple conversations from the same user ? You could merge it easily for easier control. Canned responses help to answer to common questions straightaway.

Zendesk offers flawless ticket management solution with multiple desirable attributes like default views, macros and RTF. User may also view the ticket on the basis of factors like ticket status, assignee, group and the like. Macros serve to reply to common requests in the form of standard answers. On-hold ticket status enables users to differentiate response times of your group with respect to that of third party.  Keyboard shortcuts help in easier ticket management and control. It also renders dynamic content attribute where ticket details could be incorporated with respect to preferred language option.

Reporting and Analytics

Help Scout has truly ‘upped the ante’ with its powerful reporting and analytics features. It boosts of simple and innate reporting capabilities. User could filter report on the basis of multiple parameters like date, conversation mode and the like. Reports are created in such a way so as to help you in easily measuring customer satisfaction parameter and thereby to improve the business operations. Help Scout reports are printer friendly which implies that you could print the reports easily and share with other users also. Reports API help users to retrieve all the metrics and reports pertinent for you organization. Conversation drill down is yet another feature worth mentioning.

The real forte of Zendesk lies in reporting and analytics capabilities and the range of reporting features that it offers like Summary reports, At a Glance reports, Comparison Reports and Top-N analysis reports serves as a testimonial for this note. To help users in a better way, Zendesk provides 16 different report tracking parameters to meet different types of user requirements. Features like ticket response and resolve time, load analysis, top agent performance etc. are conceived to complement Zendesk’s reporting forte. Getting to know about your client can help you to adapt the business model so as to boost your helpdesk service. Zendesk has also integrated satisfaction surveys into the chat section to get to know about user satisfaction and to gauge team performance. It helps to focus on your weak points and slowly transform them into your strong points.


Security and privacy is often touted as the USP of Help Scout help desk solution – It gets all of the security relevant certifications like HIPAA Business Associate Agreement, PCI DSS standards and ISO 27001/27002 to stay relevant in helpdesk niche. Other features like encryption of sensitive data, HTTPS for all pages and Data backup in numerous locations etc. further adds value to its safety feature.

Zendesk also offers wealth of safety attributes like two-factor authentication, SSL encryption and SSL certificate hosting. Inorder to stay updated about the significant changes which are integrated to your helpdesk solution, audit logs come to your rescue. To offer added safety, Network access restriction feature enables to limit access from specific IP ranges. In order to feel the power of premium safety features like SSO with SAML support, custom roles and permissions etc. one need to scale upto higher versions.


Help Scout offers plethora of integrations – as high as forty plus 3rd party integrations – Hively, WooCommerce, Agile CRM, Talk desk and Screen steps to quote a few. It also provides good number of integrations for analytics sector like KISSmetrics and

Zendesk has also devoted its focus in rendering an admirable integration suite with prominent social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, CTI integrations. In addition to this, it also offers integration with tools which backs time tracking, e-commerce etc.

Zendesk Pros and Cons


  • Admirable customization feature
  • Asset management feature
  • Good social ticketing factor


  • Expensive helpdesk solution
  • No WYSIWYG editor


Help Scout Pros and Cons


  • Innate inbox and document editing features
  • Easy to use help desk solution
  • Good customer care solution and appreciable documentation
  • Reasonably priced


  • It usually takes some time to update the inbox counts
  • Limited number of features

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