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Zendesk Guide — A Gimmick or a Real Self-Service Tool?

There was a time when all you ever needed was a banner, a physical address, and some goods to have a business. But times have changed and consumers have become more educated and well-versed in the products they buy. There is no denying that it is both a blessing and a curse.

On the one side, you don’t have to tell them about all the bells and whistles of the product since they already know what they buy. On the other, you have products that are super new and require your audience and staff to learn a ton of information. This is where platforms such as Zendesk Guide come into play.

Yes, we finally decided to tackle Zendesk Guide and all the benefits it offers. We will look at tool generally, what you can achieve from it, and what are some alternatives. Thus, let’s get started!

The Basics Of Zendesk Guide

Zendesk Guide Agent interface of Zendesk Guide. Source: Dribbble.

So, Zendesk Guide is a tool that can help you set up smart knowledge bases that your customers and agents can use. And as you might have noticed, these aren’t your standard knowledge bases. They are powered by an AI system that understands your queries and tries to push the most successful solution.

But that’s not all, the tool is capable of pushing new content in a matter of minutes, complete with a community, and even roles. Also as part of the tool, you can set up a customer portal where your users can submit (and in some plans, even manage) tickets. That way your customers will be able to notify you that their problems are truly solved. Another good thing about the system is that it allows for branding. Whether it is your live chat area or the support center space, you can adjust everything to your liking.

AI-Powered Support

The tool has a dedicated AI system that can achieve a number of things once configured properly. The main idea behind this feature is that it allows you to solve more problems faster without losing productivity. The way it accomplishes this is by reading and understanding the context of the conversation or the post. Once the AI learned about the problem, it starts to scan the entire knowledge base for solutions that are at least somewhat connected. Also, by using the AI system, you can easily set up a chatbot that gets better the more things he sees.

You can start using as a simple command tool but as time goes by, you will notice that is a lot more capable. The best part about all this AI is that it works in both, mobile and desktop environments. No need to configure separate systems. Just deploy the AI and leave the rest to machine learning tech. Couple this with the Zendesk Support module, and you got yourself one of the most advanced systems on the planet.

Things You Can Solve With Zendesk Guide

While we did briefly mention what the tool is capable, we wanted to dedicate a whole section. So, with Zendesk Guide on your side, you can handle a large influx of incoming tickets. Depending on the complexity and the amount of training your AI-powered bot went through, you can easily shelf-off all common tickets and focus on things that mandate human involvement.

You can also perform synchronous content updates. For instance, if you’ve published an article on your website, with a tap of a few buttons, that exact same article can appear on all your social media platforms. To better understand that benefit of this feature, imagine you are releasing a new product and need to announce this info on multiple platforms at once. See where this is going? Why bother organizing the post to fit all media platforms when an AI can do that for you? Yes, there is absolutely no reason to do it manually.

Another thing Zendesk Guide can solve for you is the fact that you can fill out your knowledge base much faster. Again, to better understand, let’s put this feature into perspective. Imagine you’ve got a request on how to fix a certain part of your product. You type the exact same question into the in-chat search system, and if the tool doesn’t find such an article, you can immediately create it. The AI will fill out the basics, tie the case to the post itself for reference purposes, and the rest is up to you.

Zendesk Guide Alternatives

Okay, now that we know that the tool is actually worth it, let’s see what else the market has to offer. We won't be covering all popular options as some of them are not only longer on the market but had all the resources poured on them. Thus, here are three of the most comparable products on the market.


Confluence The user interface of Confluence. Source: Atlassian

Developed by Atlassian, Confluence has been on the market for as long as we can remember. The main takeaway of Confluence is that it usually comes bundled with either a help desk system or a bug tracking tool. On its own, however, the platform is pretty bare-bones.

You have the standard knowledge base article options and a pretty okay search system that understands both basic and advanced commands. Speaking of the search system, it has also a bunch of filters that get the job done pretty well. Generally speaking, Confluence was never made for customers, instead, it is more of a team collaboration tool.

The majority of main features are tailored to increase your productivity. You can set up a project overview page, a product requirement catalog, and then there’s the marketing plan system that can connect to the platform of your choice. Each person that is somehow related to the project will receive real-time notification (can be disabled), as well as you can use the mobile app version of the platform. Overall, you can use it to guide your customers but you’ll find better luck with other tools.


Bloomfire Bloomfire user interface. Source: Bloomfire.

Next on our list is Bloomfire. This one is more akin to customer service than to internal collaborations. The main idea of this platform is to provide your customers with a more navigated system that they can use to both learn and solve their problems. Just like Zendesk Guide, Bloomfire is powered by an AI system, meaning that it will also reduce workload from your staff.

One of the key benefits of Bloomfire is the fact that you can use it to set up basically a knowledge base center where all your customers will gather. Essentially, instead of providing points of contact, the AI will route all your customers to the knowledge base where they can learn how to deal with their problem on their own. And in case there is no written solution to a specific problem, the system will automatically connect the person to an electronic queue.

Another great thing about Bloomfire is that you can use it to amplify your market insights. Thanks to the AI system, you can gather data about market trends and customer behaviors without the need to expand to a new platform. Overall, this is a good tool that is worthy of your attention.

Oracle WebCenter Content

And the last one is Oracle WebCenter Content which is a happy medium of some sort. The tool offers pretty decent internal-use features and a nice selection of consumer-centric tools that will boost your service level. The tool has three main features, namely, the Content Management system, the Capture and Imaging tool, and a dedicated Publishing system.

By using the Content Management system you can effectively and efficiently capture, secure, and share web content across all platforms without the need to manage multiple browsers. Whereas with the Capture and Imaging tool you can easily provide annotation and markup of images, which makes content consumption so much easier. Lastly, there’s the Publishing system that will allow you to publish articles, news, and other types of data as separate websites. With this module, you can also ensure that all the information you present is unified and feels the same.

As for AI capabilities, there are none. The tool is pretty straight forward in what it sets to do. You have a few automation options (such as labeling the article or auto-filling the category), and a bunch of auto caption tools. And that’s pretty much it, nothing special and nothing new. At least you get superb stability, which is great all things considered.

Final Notes

As you can see, Zendesk Guide is a pretty great tool. It will help you manage all your content, as well as it will guide all your customers. In the right hands and in the tight setup, Zendesk Guide can make a huge difference. As for alternatives, the answer is clear, there is a bunch of them and each of them has something for everyone. Thus, we suggest that you take a look at what your company needs, overall those needs to the tool, and pick the right one. But for now, that’s all we have for today. See you in our next post!

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