There are so many different help desk systems these days that sometimes picking the best can be impossible to the fierce competition. But despite this, there are service desks that are clearly better than others. And this is exactly what we are going to talk about. Yes, our Spiceworks vs Zendesk review has been long overdue and we are here to tackle these two systems.
We are fully aware of the fact that each of these tools is considered to be phenomenal in terms of performance and features. So, instead of focusing on those, we’d like to focus on things that matter most. What kind of value they can bring to your organization. Should you pick Spiceworks or Zendesk? Or maybe you are better off with something else? Let’s find out!
Now before we jump into the analysis itself, let's take a look at each tool separately. This will allow us to fully understand what kind of issues each tool aims to solve, as well as what where they will work best. And to start off this overview, we’ll look at Zendesk first.
So, Zendesk is a help desk tool that was created to combat inconsistency in customer service. Every function is specifically tailored to create a unified standard for solving problems and answering questions. The tool employs a wide range of automation tools, as well as it is capable of integrating itself to a huge selection of third-party apps, social media platforms, and websites.
Among the most prominent things about Zendesk is the fact that it also has a powerful analytics module. With it, users can easily synchronize data from various sources and compile a detailed report which can then be used to predict certain patterns of user behavior. Lastly, the tool is known to deliver high-level security mechanisms such as the ever so popular two-factor authentification (2FA) and SSL encryptions.
Moving over to Spiceworks, it safe to state that this service desk was made for IT companies first and foremost. Each little module and every menu speaks IT support and this isn’t a bad thing. Ever since they started in 2006, the company has evolved in multiple ways and suffice to say, the same can be said about their feature set. While their main focus is IT service, you can easily employ this service desk to your industry as it is very customizable.
One of the key characteristics of Spiceworks (outside of being IT focused, that is) is the fact that it offers an unlimited ticket service system, as well as a ton of collaboration features. To be specific, both of these characteristics allow you to scale the tool drastically without spending a penny. Moreover, this will allow you to assess more markets and try out different things as the risk is minimal thanks to no added extra cost.
Now that we covered both of them, it’s clear that when we compare Spiceworks they aren’t that similar. Although, we wouldn’t be honest if we state that they are different tools for different things. Both share a lot in common, including but not limited to security modules, ticket management mechanisms, advertising options, etc. But we digress, on to the next section.
In this section, we would like to cover what kind of issues each tool can solve with ease, and what kind of quality you can expect from both of them. We will start off with Spiceworks as it is more interesting in our opinion, and it has a somewhat interesting approach to solving different issues.
So, Spiceworks was made for IT companies but somehow, the tool can actually cover other issues that aren’t exactly IT related. For instance, Spiceworks has a feature called Spiceworks Inventory that will allow you to track, manage, and even support a wide range of different devices. This will allow you to organize a remote team that can serve as a backup team in case of emergency.
Another cool little feature the tool has is MSP. This basically allows you to manage multiple clients at once. With this module, you get a clear overview of what’s what, who is currently doing what, and what kind issues they might face. This feature also allows you to control tickets, report on activities, and even move data from one place to another. Its a perfect tool for remote work as it gives you full control of everything.
On to the Zendesk comparison!
As for Zendesk, the tool is pretty standard and it's fine as this is precisely why we are here. You see, Zendesk plays it safe and does not include some weird functionality that people won't use. Instead of inventing the wheel again, Zendesk refines and in some cases, improves existing features.
For starters, looking at Spiceworks vs Zendesk, it's clear that the latter has a more defined feature set. With Zendesk on board, you can easily set up a customer portal whereas, on Spiceworks, you are required to hook a separate addon. Another key difference is that on Zendesk you have a chatbot system. This is something Spiceworks lacks and for good reasons, IT companies do not rely on traditional sales but rather work in a SaaS environment. This means that they don’t even get this kind of requests as most e-commerce companies do.
Lastly, Zendesk has SLA views. In essence, SLA stands for Service Level Agreements, meaning that they are designed to set in stone customer expectations. If your customers are always dissatisfied with your service, you can reduce the number of negative experiences using this system. It will tell your customer what to expect and what they should not rely on.
While we understand that when it comes to pricing, it all depends on the budget, we also understand that some plans have a greater set of features. So, with this in mind, which one is better, Spiceworks or Zendesk? We say both as to when you look at the individual, they offer amazing stuff for reasonable prices. Here’s what each tool has to offer in their most popular plans:
Zendesk Professional — This plan encompasses every great feature the platform has to offer. Just in a limited quantity. So, if you opt for this plan, you will get support for social media channels, live chats, mobile SDK, pre-defined company rules, performance dashboards. But that’s not all, exclusive to higher tier plans, the Professional plan includes also CSAT surveys, multilanguage support, powered by Zendesk Explore analytics.
Spiceworks — Before we start exploring the company’s tariff plans, we’d like to stress that every tier is free. Like free, no strings attached. However, if you want to get rid of Spiceworks branding, you will have to pay. The company does not explicitly state this on their website (and to no surprise). So, if you go with the Enterprise plan, you will get access to unlimited tickets, agents, technicians, and tickets. Yes, not much can be said about the plan as everything is, well, free.
Clearly, there is no reason make a Spiceworks vs Zendesk comparison as they aren’t similar and pursue different goals regarding their pricing policy.
Some Limitations to Consider
We do like both tools but you have to understand that each of them has a bunch of limitations that might turn off some of you. So, to begin with, Zendesk is quite bad when it comes to accessibility. And we don’t mean it on a physical level but rather it can be hard to use it. There are corners of the tool that are hidden, not explained well, or in rare cases, not functional.
As for Spiceworks, the situation is much different as the user interface and user experience is quite good. However, it can be tough to use it in a non-IT environment. What we mean is that while you can customize it, the process of doing it can be a pain in one place. You have adapted each and every function, menu, window to suit your needs. While this isn’t the problem of the vendor because their main focus is IT service management, we do find it mind-boggling that Jira Service Desk manages to do both.
All in all, both tools are good for what they are but we put our money on Zendesk. Why? Because the company offers a more universal product and they do charge for it. This means that the tool will be funded, and you have a voice in it as they do actually listen to their customers. However, if you are a young company, and don’t have enough funds for a full-blown service desk tool, we say go with Spiceworks. They offer basic functionality and the tool itself is free for as long as you like. This way you will be able to start off and maybe later, even pay to remove the branding and ads. But for now that all we have, see you next time!
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