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Kayako vs Zendesk: Veteran of the Market against Leader of the Market

If you still keep comparing Kayako vs Zendesk or considering switchover, this article is for you. Let’s take a closer look at the today’s leader and a veteran of the help desk software market.

Kayako vs Zendesk: The History and Background


Number of employees: up to 80
Notable customers: Acer, Peugeot, FedEx
Integrations: 70

Kayako was launched in 2001 and it is one of the oldest help desks out there. When they started out the help desk tools were clumsy and difficult to use. Varun Shoor, the CEO of the company, felt the need of the market and launched software that was easy to use as for agents, as well as for customers. He has never been to college but managed to build a successful and self-funding company.


Number of employees: 1,600
Notable customers: Uber, Slack, Shopify, Loreal
Integrations: 249

In 2007 three former freelancers from Copenhagen founded Zendesk. They were united by the idea to bring into customer service more zen. That is to say, let companies concentrate more on the relationships with customers and less on managing the software.

Their start was impetuous and in just a year they’ve reported about acquiring the 1000th customer.

Pricing Plans Variety

Both Zendesk and Kayako offer a detailed description of every pricing plan to help you make a thorough review.

Both Kayako and Zendesk offer multiagent plans meaning the number of the agents is not limited by the plan. Kayako offers three plans, the cheapest being $20 per agent per month (billed annually). Zendesk pricing is more flexible and includes five plans starting with $5.

Both companies offer even multi-channel support within the cheapest plans. You can communicate with the customers via email, chat, Twitter and Facebook, and offer knowledge base to let them solve issues by themselves.

Comparing pricing plans side by side is not an easy task and doesn’t make sense after all. Focusing on the business tasks but not features simplifies the choice and helps to pick up the right software and the right plan. Here is a short table that shows how important features are distributed between different plans.

Multiple languagesFrom  $40From $49
Light agents/Collaborators (bring other people from the company to solving the issue)For free (starting from 3 in the $20 plan).From $49(for additional fee)
Multiple business hours From $40From $99
Multi-brandTwo and more brands from $40From $49

As you see one feature can impact the price significantly. For example, if you have offices in different time zones and need to specify different business hours, Kayako plan would be twice as low as Zendesk.

Some functionality in Zendesk like phone support functionality, CTI integrations, and proactive chat is offered for an additional fee. If you purchase Zendesk $20 plan and higher you can extend the functionality with multiple apps from Zendesk marketplace.

Both companies offer a detailed description of every pricing plan to help you make a thorough review.

What is special in the feature-set?

One of the functionalities that make Zendesk stand out of the crowd is the ability to create community forums. This feature is available in the plans starting from $49. Besides an extensive set of features that come out of the box, Zendesk offers multiple integrations with productivity, eCommerce, social media apps.

Comparing to Zendesk, Kayako interface may seem out of the date. But Kayako has its advantages too. Besides the SaaS product, they offer an on-premise version with phone support functionality. Charity organizations and open source projects can use Kayako for free.

The Last Lines

Zendesk is obviously one of the leaders of the helpdesk software market. But on the other hand, Kayako has enough functionality to be trusted by such giants as FedEx, Peugeot, Toshiba, and Acer.

If you are still in the process of Kayako vs Zendesk choice, try both solutions in real life. Kayako offers free 14 days trial for all plans and Zendesk can be tested for free for 30 days starting from Professional  $49 plan. Go ahead and find the best solution for your company.

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