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JIRA Service Desk vs Zendesk — Who Will Win?

Few service clouds are as popular as Zendesk and JIRA Service Desk. The tools are widely used by multiple worldwide organizations and have established themselves as some of the most prominent examples of how a service desk should look like. Although, despite being popular and very well crafted, it can be a tough challenge to pick the right one. After all, they may share similarities, they are two separate products that aim to do the same thing but in a different manner.

To answer these questions, we decided to compare Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk and see how each of them perform. We will be covering all sorts of things in this review, including, but not limited to, ease of use, the extent of the knowledge base, and of course, additional functionality.

There’s a lot to talk about and we would like to note that all our work is based on real experience. We want to provide you with the most accurate results possible so that you could have a better understanding of both systems. So, let the battle between Zendesk vs JIRA begin!

An In-Depth Look At Zendesk vs JIRA

While most of us can agree that both JIRA and Zendesk are the perfect tools to measure customer satisfaction rate, tracking marketing campaigns, evaluating product effectiveness, and forecasting market trends. But as different as they may look, an in-depth look reveals a lot of similarities and differences that aren’t as obvious as they may seem.


  • Both have an automatic update feature
  • Provide a number of customization options
  • Have mobile versions of the app
  • Can connect with third-party apps
  • Fast and responsive user interfaces
  • Email synchronization

As you can see, Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk are, indeed, very similar to one another. Although, do keep in mind that the way you access some of these features is completely different. So, in certain cases might require technical knowledge to make full use of them. In any case, let’s move on to the differences.


There is a plethora of small little changes/differences that we’ve omitted in favor of focusing on more significant ones. Here’s what we’ve got!

  • Zendesk is more tailored towards customer communication due to how their ticket system and service portal works. JIRA, on the other hand, is more geared towards software development process and managing multiple projects at the time.
  • Zendesk was made with support, feedback, and maintenance in mind and it’s clearly reflected in the functionality. JIRA helps you move through the concept phase to the launch phase more effectively.
  • While Zendesk is generally cheaper, JIRA can be free if you are working on an open source project.
  • JIRA’s main strength is the ability to track multiple activities feeds, issues, and even users. Zendesk is more effective in two-way communication, feedbacks, and automation processes.
  • JIRA takes a while to launch and has a ton of complex features that require additional training, learning. Zendesk was made easy to install and use. Every feature in Zendesk has a dedicated tutorial on how to use it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of JIRA

Now that we know the similarities and differences, its prime time we talk about what advantages and disadvantages both tools have.

So first thing first, JIRA. One of the key advantages JIRA has over Zendesk is the fact that it has an Enterprise-ready data center. What this essentially means is that you don’t have to worry that you’ll need to migrate to a new plan in order to get the job done. What’s more, you don’t have to worry that you’ll lose access to all your information in case you are self-hosting and your equipment fails.

Another key advantage of JIRA Service Desk is that it has the Atlassian Marketplace. This is essentially a native app store that has a number of different tools that aren’t normally available in service desks. For instance, if you need a code-review program, you can install it from the app store. Need a different time tracker? Head over to the Atlassian Marketplace.

As for disadvantages, its clear as day that JIRA was made with software engineers in mind. True, you can use it in any other type of industry, it’s just that features aren’t exactly ideal for, let's say, retail. If you don’t plan on developing software solutions, it’s best you shift to something else. But aside from that, the tool is amazing for what it is.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Zendesk

Same as we did with JIRA, we’ll be looking at Zendesks feature set. The platform has been in the industry for quite some time and there’s a lot of cool small details that make Zendesk good as we know it.

The first advantage of Zendesk is, of course, its chat system. Ever since Zendesk acquired Zopim, the feature was never the same but in a good way. You see, Zopim is an experienced company that specializes in providing high-quality chat systems. Zendesks chat feature can do all sorts of things, including rerouting to agents, collecting data, transforming issues into tickets, and many more.

Customer lists is another great feature of Zendesk. With it, you can segment data into reports which in turn allow you to target potential customers much better and with higher accuracy as everything is presented in a chart of your choice. You can also use this data in CRM initiatives which is always a plus.

The main pro of Zendesk would be the fact that it can sometimes not push recommendations and suggestions from the knowledge base. This might seem small but sometimes it can be the deciding factor of good customers service. True, it’s best that you rely on your own knowledge but sometimes there are better solutions in the knowledge base.

To Sum It Up

Our Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk review has concluded. There’s a lot to love about both tools and they are very good in their respective fields. Usually, we suggest that you listen to your team and then decide which one to choose but in this case, we can say for a certain that if you operate in a software development industry, go with JIRA, and if you perform e-commerce, then use Zendesk. You could do it the other way around but from our experience, you will eventually migrate to something else. Oh, and while we're on the subject of migration. Did you know we have a tool that will move all your data to a new service desk in just a few clicks? If no, then why not give it a try. You can sign up for a FREE DEMO and see for yourself.

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