Recently, Microsoft announced that it was going to terminate support of Parature help desk software in May, 2018 and its existing users would be migrated to Microsoft Dynamics 365. Many Parature users aren’t happy not only with the fact that their support software is being discontinued, but also with the offered alternative. We aren’t going to dwell on that today, and instead will let you see another alternative – Zendesk, currently one of the top help desk software on the market.
It is entirely possible that after reading this post, your Parature vs Zendesk scale will witness a substantial outbalance on the Zendesk pan. Well, assumptions aside, let’s see the entire story.
Before its acquisition by Microsoft in 2014, Parature was a 100-employee company, founded in 2001 by Duke Chung in New York, USA, with 90% of its clients concentrated in North America. After the acquisition, it operated relatively independently, but obviously now Microsoft’s plan is to use Parature’s expertise to enrich its Dynamics 365 with a solid customer service component.
Zendesk was founded by three friends in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2007 with the goal to “bring a bit of zen to the chaotic world of customer support”. It looks like the idea hit the spot and the software demonstrated rapid growth, as well as the number of Zendesk customers, which increased to almost 1000 in 2 years. Since 2011, the company is head-quartered in San Francisco, USA.
Parature is a cloud based solution for customer service that aims at cutting down the costs of customer support, enabling proactive reach and building loyalty.
Multichannel support – allows customers to file their issues using the most popular channels like email, live chat, mobile and social media. It is convenient for support agents, too, who can access and manage all the support requests coming from different channels in one place.
Powerful search– this functionality includes meta tags, keyword stacking in the search results for more convenience, especially useful for slang words or acronyms.
Branded customer self-service portal and knowledge base – these features allow to deflect many queries by providing exhaustive information for agents and clients. Parature also makes embedding multimedia content easy and has the function to offer answers to a customer who are working on submitting their ticket, which helps to drive down the number of tickets, calls and emails received.
Customer feedback – Parature allows creating customer feedback forms and surveys and using them on all channels, as well as adding to the knowledge base articles.
Zendesk claims to be “beautifully simple”, and lives up to its word. At the same time, it provides virtually everything needed for a smooth and effective customer support.
Multichannel – Zendesk provides simultaneous management of the following channels – chat, website, email, Facebook, Twitter, mobile.
Phone integration – opportunity to transcribe calls using Zendesk Voice and generate tickets from calls, saving the time and reducing human error.
Multibrand/product – you can manage up to 300 different products, regions, brands within a single account, which means an advantage for big businesses.
Powerful reporting – Zendesk offers over 20 default reports and dashboards, as well as the possibility to create customized reports and share them via different channels.
Automation – agents can save time for high-end interaction with clients, while the system can act on repetitive tasks/events based on the configured triggers and the programmed set of actions for each of them.
Unparalleled integration capabilities – Zendesk can boast one of the longest lists of available integrations and apps (500+) to connect with the popular CRM systems, productivity apps, marketing software etc available at their marketplace. It also offers strong customization opportunities through its API.
Design issue – Parature interface may seem a bit outdated and its branding possibilities are perceived as insufficient by some users.
One ticket at a time – users frequently complain that Parature design doesn’t allow working with a couple of tickets simultaneously. Ticket resolution speed can be essential for customer satisfaction, and it typically requires agents to share their attention between several issues at a time.
Poor integration capabilities – compared to Zendesk, Parature is certainly losing this one.
Learning curve – users may need to spend some time getting used to working with the software and learning all the ins and outs
Pricey – in fact, the software is aligned with other similar solutions on the market in terms of costs, and its gets really expensive only when sophisticated set of features is necessary.
Parature vs. Zendesk: Pricing
We are not going to mention Parature costs here for two reasons – first, it’s quote based, and no standard pricing plans are available. Second, and most important, Parature sales have been discontinued, so users can only migrate from Parature, but not the other way around.
The price starts at $5 per agent/month, for very basic functionality, and the following plans cost $19, $49, $99 per agent/month. The price can go up as high as $199 per agent/month for enterprises with really sophisticated needs.
All in all, the aim of this Parature vs. Zendesk dilemma was to show you how Zendesk relates to Parature in terms of functionality and help you decide whether it can be a decent Parature successor. While the fact that its popularity is skyrocketing now is hard to deny, only your specific business requirements can be a measure of whether or not this customer support platform will be right for you.
P.S. If you do decide to move from Parature to Zendesk, our Help Desk Migration service is here to handle the migration.