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Comparing Spiceworks vs Zendesk – What Suits You Better

If you are into dedicated help desk systems, chances are you’ve heard these two names. Zendesk and Spiceworks. If so, then you probably know that people find it hard to pick just one as both are not only good in terms of usability but offer unique features that aren’t exactly available anywhere else.

Thus, with all this said, we have decided to do what we do best. And that is stack these two systems against each other and see which one will work best and what are the caveats you might encounter. So, grab a pen, a piece of paper cause its time to take notes. Let’s get started!

Make a choice between Spiceworks and Zendesk

Spiceworks or Zendesk — Which One Is For You?

Before we start our Spiceworks to Zendesk comparison, it's best that we define the two systems individually. This will not only give us a better idea of what to expect from each tool but will allow us to analyze the tool solely based on the key performance indicator and how they stand on their own.


We’ll start our review with Spiceworks cause we find the last update very good. So, for those of you unaware, Spiceworks is no ordinary help desk system. It was built with IT in mind from the get-go and suffice to say, its feature list clearly represents this. Yes, this system is perfect for organizations that operate strictly in the IT sector using the ever-so-popular SaaS model.

With Spiceworks, you can manage both personnel and customers. It's because its every module revolves around these two in some way or another. Ever since it started in 2006, the tool has been refining their ticket management tool to perfection. Be it transformation from queries or rerouting, you have a wide range of functions that will make your management process ten times, (if not more) faster and of higher quality.

It also allows your agents to collaborate between different departments both locally and remotely. The best part of the system is that it’s completely free. No limits, no blocked features, all in one place free of charge.


Whether you are looking for a sales tool or a customer retention system, look no further than Zendesk. It has been on the market for a while now and has proven to be a very powerful tool that many praise it. As we have mentioned before, the tool is made for both sales and customer retention. But we’d like to point out that the latter module is better than the first.

Yes, overall you can use the tool to sell whatever you like but its the retention system that is great. With it, you can easily dish out CSAT Surveys, establish SLAs, tie agents to certain customers, and gather both qualitative and quantitative data on a large scale through social media integrations.

And lastly, the tool is not only made for IT but supports a number of different industries. Be it traditional retail or machine learning products, Zendesk is capable of adapting to just about anything you like, which suffices to say is a testament to the architecture design.

The battle between Spiceworks and Zendesk

Spiceworks vs Zendesk — The Battle

Now that we know where each tool works best, its time we take a look at how they stack up against each other. And what better way to start the comparison than by looking at the usability of each tool. This is perhaps the most important parameter because there's no matter how cool your features might sound and look. What worth do they bring if you can’t use them due to being inaccessible?


So first thing first, Spiceworks. The overall user interface is pretty minimal and functional in nature. You get the now industry standard, dashboard system where you can add sorts of things, as well as you will gain access to a sidebar where the rest of the menus are present. Which leads us to the accessibility of some of the more complex features such as automation.

Automation is quite simple in Spiceworks. Perhaps even too simple if you count only basic tasks such as ticket reassignment. You do get basic functions out of it but if you plan on using some powerful routings and complex variables, then you will bump into a wall where you either know how to do it or don’t.

Another issue that isn’t related to accessibility is the constant slowdown of the report tool. We understand that it compiles a huge set of data into a readable format but other tools do the same just fine. If you are using the reporting system, you basically lock yourself out of the system as everything becomes stuttery. Keep in mind that this does not happen 100% of the time and only if you have a ton of info to work with.

Last but not least, we’d like to stress the fact that Spiceworks is completely free. We’ve already “teased” this information earlier in our review. But yes, you get the whole thing in an unlimited quantity. The only downside of this “pricing model” is the fact that its ad-driven, meaning that you will get a lot of advertisements no matter where you go. If you don’t like spam and find the ads annoying, you can contact the company to remove them for a price. We aren’t exactly sure how much it will cost you as Spiceworks base their pricing on a per request basis. Also, while we are still here, this isn’t the case where free means low quality, in fact, its far from it.


Now that we covered Spiceworks, we can start our Zendesk comparison. So, if we compare Spiceworks to Zen, you will notice one particular thing. Zendesk is a much more refined tool in terms of accessibility. Yes, something as complex as activating and setting up custom SLAs looks like a cake walk. But the easiness doesn’t end there as you can practically tailor the whole tool to your liking. Essentially, if you don’t like that the Export option is under the Communication tab, you can move it. True, it does require that you know how to program but the possibilities are endless.

If we compare Spiceworks to Zendesk in terms of performance, then we are happy to announce that the tool is miles faster. It still exhibits slowdown from time to time. But, generally speaking, you get a solid performance graph no matter where you end up. Be it exporting a massive report or gathering huge amounts of data in real-time, Zendesk just works and this is awesome.

If Spiceworks excels in customer retention, Zendesk shines in customer acquisition. The tool has a really nice advertising module that you can use to not only gain additional insights about your audience but practical pieces of advice in the form of pointed out marketing opportunities. The system also allows you to monitor individual ads and even notify you about their performance once you’ve set up the desired result target.

And now for the most interesting part of the analysis. The price. While Zendesk isn’t free, it isn’t exactly expensive either. The company offers five distinct plans but we’ll touch on the most popular one, the Professional tariff plan. So, for just $49 agent/month, you get access to CSAT Surveys, advanced analytics (powered by Zen Explore system), performance dashboards, tons of integrations (both native and third-party), interaction history, and much more.

The bes tfeatures in Spiceworks and Zendesk

What We Like The Most

If we had to choose only one thing about each service desk, then for Zendesk we’d pick the user interface. As we have mentioned, it doesn’t matter how many features you have, if your interface is trash and unusable, it’s worthless. Besides, there’s also the fact that a more intuitive interface you have, the less time and money you spend on training your employees. Even more, if you plan on using the tool for quite a while, new people will able to adapt to the tool faster, meaning that this is a viable cost-saving measure.

As for Spiceworks, the answer is obvious. You can’t beat free. You just can’t. Especially when you take the fact that the tool is very good, paying nothing seems like a dream. But if you aren’t exactly fond of random ads, then perhaps it's best that you invest a little bit. Keep in mind that the ads don’t force you to wait minutes on end like its done in mobile apps they can have an impact on your hardware. After all, they do require some space and data to run on the background. Keep that in mind.

All in All

So there you have it. We finally managed to tackle these two. We hope that you’ve enjoyed the read and found something new for yourself. As for the winner, well, it doesn’t matter if you pick Spiceworks or Zendesk, to be honest. What matters is what will work for you. What does your team say about the tool? If you find Zendesk the perfect fit, then go for it. It is a powerful system that can do so much more than what we’ve stated. And in case you find Spiceworks just great, more power to you.

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