HubSpot Service Hub vs Zendesk – A 2020 Comparison

Not too long ago we’ve covered what is HubSpot Service Hub is all about and why you might want to use one. Today, we are stacking that information against none other than Zendesk Support. That’s right we are comparing a relatively new help desk system to an industry veteran that is Zendesk.

Now the main scope of this comparison will be the feature suite but it doesn’t mean that we will omit usability and accessibility. We’ll also take a look at the pricing of each plan and why you should and should not use it. Last but not least, we would like to point out a best-case scenario for each tool. As you can see there’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump in straight into the analysis of HubSpot vs Zendesk and see which one is the clear winner.

Zendesk

We’ll start with Zendesk for no particular reason in case you’re wondering. So, as we already mentioned, Zendesk is not new to the industry and it has been praised by many as one of the most powerful tools out there. But what makes Zendesk so popular among companies and what are these features? Let’s take a look.

Features

Now one of the main draws of Zendesk Support is its ability to seamlessly integrate a number of channels into one contact. Essentially, you can hook all your social media platforms, all your sister websites, and email addresses into one tunnel. This will allow your customers to send requests from wherever they want and receive them in one convenient place.

Zendesk Agent Workspace

Agent workspace where you can communicate with customers, leave private notes to other agents, and view the necessary info about customers and their ticket. Source: Zendesk

Another feature that is extremely helpful is ticket forms. What it does is it allows you to ask all the right questions before they submitted a complaint. This feature will allow your agents to identify the solution much faster as they will know exactly where to look for. Not to mention the fact that it will significantly reduce time to sort the issues. Also as part of this system is the ability to add custom fields to a ticket, which will make data gathering even more effective.

Zendesk Ticket Form

A default ticket form on Zendesk which you can also customize according to our needs. Source: Zendesk

Next is the SLA component. SLA stands for Service Level Agreement and it is a tool that is used to set customer expectations in check. This will prove to be invaluable if you offer a service that doesn’t have a standard indication of work done. It will also help your agents deal with problematic customers more effectively. Couple this feature with the included multi-brand system, and managing different products and customers suddenly becomes a breeze.

Zendesk SLAs

Creating a new SLA policy and setting necessary conditions to meet relevant tickets. Source: Zendesk

Lastly, Zendesk comes complete with a set of languages. And a set it is. The tool supports upwards of 40 languages, meaning no corner will be left unlocalized. This also makes international business much easier.

Accessibility & Usability

A tool is only good when it’s accessible. Thankfully, Zendesk Support delivers on this front. The only hard thing about this tool is to find a flaw in its UX. Each and every feature can be accessed in seconds and we had no trouble finding toggles and menus. And speaking of toggles and menus, the whole design is consistent and it is a joy to use. It also works fast, like really fast.

After stressing the tool as much as we could, we didn’t notice any performance downgrades. Every window, every menu, every ticket opened blazingly fast. This is a testament to developers’ desires to provide stability.

Pricing

The tool comes in at five distinct pricing plans, namely Essentials, Team, Professional, Enterprise, and Elite. Let’s outline what each does and how much it costs. Also, a small note, we will highlight features that define the plan the most.

Essentials ($5 per agent per month)Team ($19 per agent per month)Professional ($49 per agent per month)Enterprise ($99 per agent per month)Elite ($199 per agent per month)
Email & social channelsCustom business rulesMultilingual contentMultiple ticket formsUnlimited light agents
Web Widget & Mobile SDKPerformance DashboardsCSAT surveysSkills-based routing99.9% uptime SLA
Pre-defined business rulesPublic apps and integrationsDashboards, reporting, powered by Zendesk ExploreContextual workspaces1-hour service level objective
Essentials cardSatisfaction predictionAdvanced encryption & security
Interaction historyMultibrand supportDatacenter location

 

So as you can see, most of the best features are in the Enterprise level plan. For many of you, it is a steep price but it’s called Enterprise for a reason. You get almost everything the system has to offer and then some more. You can still benefit from lower-tier plans (like Zendesk Team Plan for instance) as they do offer quite a few things Zen’s competitors don’t (we’re looking at you, Performance Dashboards), something to keep in mind.

Best-case Scenario

And the last section is the best-case scenario. Now for Zendesk this a bit tricky as the tool doesn’t really target a specific company size or industry. Yet, for our money, Zendesk Support will work best in a medium-to-large size company that plans on working internationally. Right out of the gate you have access to all the tools you need plus the multilanguage system.

HubSpot Service Hub

Now that we’ve covered Zendesk Support, it’s time we discuss HubSpot Service Hub. And you know what? This is such an underrated system. It offers so much functionality that often, we were wondering if it’s even profitable for the company to do this. But we digress. So, the platform launched back in May 2018 and as since started to grow exponentially. Over its relatively short time on the market, the system managed to gain the trust of several high profile companies. But enough with the introductions, let’s see what the tool has to offer.

Features

One of the most important HubSpot Service Desk features is the Team Email module. It allows your agents to create team-wide email accounts that will transform all incoming emails into tickets which are then routed to your conversations dashboard. And speaking of dashboards, this feature is excellent at streamlining ticket conversions as it does all the mundane work for you.

HubSpot Tickets

Agents receive tickets in the unified dashboard where they are sorted out. Source: HubSpot

Then there is the conversation bot tool. Now the main mission of this system is to enhance live chats through redirects and appropriate recommendations. Essentially, a bot will hook your knowledge base with the chat itself and seek guaranteed solutions once a request is submitted. And in case the solution doesn’t fit the problem, it will automatically redirect the person to an available agent. This will not only eliminate unnecessary work from your support team but will greatly improve delivery time.

HubSpot Conversation Bot

Setting up a question for a Bot to ask during a conversation with a customer. Source: HubSpot

Next on the list is Goals. While this function is quite simple on paper, getting it right requires years of expertise. Thankfully, HubSpot Service Hub delivers. What this feature allows you to do is to report on specific metrics in regards to your customers. To better understand this feature imagine a scenario where you want to improve response time. The system will not only visualize the progress but will deliver detailed reports on a schedule. With this feature, adhering to SLAs will prove to be easier and faster.

Create your Goals for the whole team and for each agent separately. Source: HubSpot

Last but certainly not least, HubSpot Service Hub allows you to hook the system to its other products. This greatly improves the feature set of the tool, as well as eases the process of managing since everyone is under a single umbrella. This is a very helpful feature as you don’t have to rely on third-party apps just to get the data you need. Now on to the accessibility section.

Accessibility & Usability

As for accessibility, HubSpot Service Hub is great. The tool doesn’t really require a lot of knowledge to use the basics but some of the more advanced options are hidden behind a number of menus. Besides that, advanced features require that you read at least some documentation (it’s called advanced for a reason). But even still, it is a well-presented tool that has a sleek, consistent design you won’t get tired of.

And just like we did with Zendesk, we stressed HubSpot as well. Suffice to say, the results of this HubSpot vs Zendesk analysis are identical. The tool worked as intended and there were no long loading times and error timeouts.

Pricing

Now here’s a thing, HubSpot Service Hub has only two distinct plans, namely Free Customer Service Tools, and aptly named, Service Hub. Let’s take a look at both and see what they have to offer.

Customer Service Tools ($0 a month)Service Hub ($400 a month)
TicketingEverything in the Free plan
Company emailCustomer service automation
Live chatKnowledge base
Email TemplatesMultiple ticket pipelines
CallingConsumer feedback
ReportingVideo production
Email and chat to ticketGoals
Ticket production botsCustom assistance from fields
Meeting scheduling

 

As you can see, you get a pretty solid amount of free functions. All of them are high-quality and will surely be helpful. What’s more important, however, is the fact that you can use the free plan as long as you want. Yet, if you plan on scaling and accelerating operations, it’s best that you stick with the paid option where all the major features are readily available.

Best-case Scenario

HubSpot Service Hub was made to transform your current customers into your promoters. This is not only stated on their website but clearly reflected in the functionality side of things. If you are having a hard time moving units and gaining some recognition, this is the tool for you. Yet, if you are a large corporation, HubSpot will suit you but there are better options. Generally speaking, HubSpot Service Hub works best in smaller teams and will do wonders in terms of marketing.

Verdict

It’s time we conclude our HubSpot vs Zendesk comparison and pick a winner. And some of you already know the drill. Yep, there is no clear winner as both tools are excellent at what they do. HubSpot is for smaller teams whereas Zendesk is better suited for larger companies. Each tool has a powerful feature set and they will never fail you (hopefully).

If you are looking to give these systems a ride using your own data, be sure to leave us a message, we’ll get you started. But in the meantime, this is our HDM verdict for now. Be sure to come back for more content like this.

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