In this Zoho Desk review, we’re looking specifically at one of the most powerful features offered by the Zoho ecosystem. Known around the globe for its convenient and reliable SaaS solutions, Zoho is one of the market leaders in the sales landscape today.
Zoho Desk is just one element in a comprehensive suite of tools from the Zoho brand, but it’s one of the most popular. This omnichannel customer service software currently supports more than 50,000 businesses worldwide, offering everything from increased customer satisfaction to better agent productivity.
Recognized by the Gartner Magic Quadrant for 2021 Customer Engagement Centers, Zoho Desk is an all-in-one environment where companies can easily track messages from customers, automate the workflow of hybrid teams, and even access self-service functionality. Let’s take a closer look at what Zoho Desk can do.
What is Zoho Desk?
Zoho Desk is a tool from the Zoho SaaS provider billed as the first “context-aware” solution for customer service and support. Every interaction enabled with customers through Zoho is powered by access to a host of valuable data insights, to allow for more personalized connections.
At its core, Zoho Desk is an omnichannel help desk and customer service system, which allows business leaders to manage conversations across a range of channels, like email, phone, chat, and social media. You can also automate repetitive manual actions for your teams and assign specific tasks to members of staff to help ensure productivity.
Zoho Desk integrates seamlessly with a range of other tools in the digital landscape, thanks to REST APIs, and you can build your own internal apps for the help desk ecosystem through SDKs. Plus, there’s access to crucial trending tools, like self-service knowledgebases enhanced by AI, and intelligent insights with Zia, an AI-powered assistant.
Zoho Desk Features
Created to suit all companies, of any size, from every business vertical, Zoho Desk is one of the more flexible tools on the market today. According to the Zoho team, this technology helps companies to improve agent productivity, and offer excellent 24/7 support to customers, without investing in an expensive global team.
You can manage support processes from start to finish and track the outcomes of conversations with clients in a simple, unified space. Let’s take a closer look at the individual components of Zoho Desk.
Zoho Desk Review: Omnichannel Support
At the heart of Zoho Desk is the omnichannel ticketing system, which collects and streamlines customer support tickets across your entire ecosystem. The Ticketing system software provides all the context users need to resolve issues and allows staff to prioritize and even automate certain tasks.
The omnichannel ticketing system is valuable because it collects your support tickets from different channels and aligns them in one interface, for comprehensive context and fast responses. Some of the channels available to connect with Zoho Desk include:
- Social media
- Live chat
With all of your tickets aligned in one space, you can easily sort through conversations, prioritize VIPs, and search for the right context during conversations. Business leaders can also set up assignment rules to ensure tickets are sent to the correct department automatically.
Other features of the omnichannel support environment include:
· Work modes: Specific status settings for tickets with filters like priority, urgency, and type of customer, to help organize important tasks for employees.
- Intuitive ticket view: Simple ticket view highlights the important information for employees easily to keep everyone on-track.
- Context aware: CRM connections support both service and sales teams with access to extensive customer information through Zoho CRM.
- SLAs and workflows: You can set SLAs and execute workflow automations to make sure you come through on your promises.
- Multi brand help center: Users can create and maintain help centers for each of the brands they manage and create communities for each environment.
- Real time insights: Zoho Desk HQ allows users to see essential metrics quickly, like customer happiness score, ticket traffic, and most threaded tickets at a glance.
- Zia AI: Dedicated customer support from a Zoho Desk support assistant. The system can even identify sentiment behind every ticket.
To make managing your entire support ecosystem more effective, Zoho also integrates with a range of other tools. You can connect with other services in the Zoho ecosystem, like Creator, Assist, Analytics, or CRM. Alternatively, you can link your technology to leading tools like Salesforce, Trello, Shopify, Slack, Jira, and Intercom.
Zoho Desk Review: Workflow Automation
Blueprint is the automation environment included with your Zoho Desk purpose. It allows companies to set up automations for specific crucial actions. As your business grows, automation can help to ensure you continue to serve your audience with the same speed and efficiency.
Blueprint is an easy-to-use, visual automation builder which helps anyone to start building automations in no time. The Drag-and-drop technology means users can assemble sequences of actions in seconds. You can also customize every detail of the processes you design, down to the last action, to ensure your business remains unique.
Multiple teams and employees can also be introduced to the same Blueprint, without any requirement for supervision or intervention. You can also clearly identify the who, when, what, and why of bottlenecks in your workflow. Blueprint also has additional support solutions in place for companies training new hires.
Unlike your standard workflow, which automates email alerts, task assignments and field updates when certain rules are triggered, Blueprints mandate entire series of actions, taking a support ticket from one state until the next until they’re fully resolved. You can set up Blueprints for everything from recruitment to giving refunds.
Automating manual actions helps your team to become more efficient, while reducing inaccuracies.
Platform and Integrations
The “platform” environment from Zoho Desk is intended to extend the power of your existing technology. You can customize every part of your CRM ecosystem, to give your teams as much power as possible online.
Zoho is extremely effective at offering customizations, with the option to brand and alter virtually every part of your helpdesk. What’s more, native integrations with other parts of both the Zoho environment, and external tools makes it easier to ensure ongoing business success. You can extend the power of your helpdesk to suit your business needs accordingly, building custom solutions via APIs and unique integrations.
“Custom functions” are another excellent feature for customizations. They’re essentially instructions you can write to allow for more mature processes, like telling Zoho Desk to add a task to your project management app, or send time spent on a specific ticket to an integrated invoicing app.
The complete range of APIs means customers and developers can easily link their Zoho Desk modules to anything they choose within their business environment.
Self-service solutions are becoming increasingly crucial, particularly as 89% of customers expect companies to have some manner of online self-service portal available.
Zoho desk supports self-service with a multi-brand help center where customers can search for solutions to their problems. Each brand gets its own help centre, with different notifications, service channels, SLAs, and knowledge base articles.
The self-service ecosystem comes with portal customization to adjust the look and feel using HTML and CSS. There’s domain mapping to make your help center feel like a natural extension of your brand. You’ll also get secure access for visitors, and integration with Google analytics for tracking self-service behavior and better understanding the customer journey.
Zoho Desk allows users to build a comprehensive community environment, where users can create an account to ask questions and comment on messages left by other clients. The whole design is SEO friendly, to help you compete on the search engines, and you can even allow your customers to “rate” your knowledge based articles based on what they find most useful.
For questions which aren’t answered by the knowledge base alone, customers can submit tickets from the help center and track ticket statuses to see when they might get a response.
Alternatively, you can embed your entire help desk into your app, so customers can browse your knowledgebase, chat with your conversational assistant, connect with the community, or issue a support ticket all in the same place.
Like many of the leading tools on the customer service market today, Zoho Desk features a dedicated AI solution. “Zia” is the helpdesk assistant from Zoho which allows customers to connect with agents directly through your mobile apps or website. Your Zia technology will process questions and offer answers automatically using your knowledge base.
You can also use the skill builder technology to train Zia to perform customer actions like placing orders. Zia is designed to add context to conversations by checking the history of a ticket or customer request, which can help to make conversations more relevant.
The AI can also process incoming tickets and give them tags to help agents identify the tickets which match their skill sets or demand attention as quickly as possible. Color coding is an easy way for the system to highlight high-priority issues.
Agents can even access pre-typed responses from Zia based on knowledgebase information. At the same time, the technology can conveniently monitor anomalies in team performance, and warn staff when there’s an upcoming surge in tickets. The analytics environment can combine predictions across trending ticket tags, anomalies, sentiment, and other factors to even build a dashboard of insights for business leaders.
The easy-to-use skill builder interface even means you can set up elements of your intelligent technology on your own, without the need for developer input.
Zoho Desk Ease of Use
Compared to other market-leading tools like Freshdesk, Zendesk, and similar offerings, Zoho Desk is one of the easier systems to empower your support team and improve ticket management. The user interface is straightforward, with Android and iOS applications available for management on the move. Everything is designed to make managing customer conversations easy.
Whether you’re using Zoho for chat support, to set up forums for your customers, or to combine various elements of your help desk solution for customers, there’s a lot of functionality to access with minimal stress. The solution can even make it easier to track calls from your call center.
The customizable elements of Zoho Desk make it particularly appealing. With customization, you can adjust the key features of your help desk to suit the individual needs of your employees, wherever you are. Ticketing in particularly is very straight forward, particularly with the help of AI and automations.
While the report builder for your multichannel ecosystem isn’t the most intuitive, it does allow you to access a range of insights you would struggle to unlock elsewhere. You can even download information about your phone support, routing efficiency and support time to share with other members of staff.
Overall, Zoho desk can help a small business or larger company improve customer performance at an exceptional value for money. You may need to consider looking into other Zoho desk alternatives as your company size increases, but for the most part, the tool is ideal for a range of brands.
Zoho Desk Pricing
Zoho Desk is pretty straightforward with its pricing structure. You can try any plan for free for 15 days, and you automatically access discounts when paying annually instead of monthly. The packages available include:
- Free: For up to 3 agents, you can access email ticketing, help center technology, customer management, predefined SLAs, a private knowledge base, multi-language help desk, mobile app and 24/5 support for free.
- Standard: £12 per month/agent for all the features of free plus social and community channels, product-based ticket management, and a public knowledge base. There’s a help center themes gallery, SLAs and escalations,, customer happiness ratings, workflow and assignment rules, work modes for tickets, marketplace extensions and integrations, embeddable self-service, and add-on light agents.
- Professional: £18 per month/agent for all the features of Standard plus multi-department ticketing and team management. You’ll also get automatic time tracking, telephony, Blueprint process management, round robin ticket assignment, agent collision, tasks, events and call activities, ticket templates, private marketplace extensions, ticket sharing, and SLA dashboards. Mobile SDKs are also available
- Enterprise: £35 per month/agent for all the features of professional plus Zia artificial intelligence, live chat and a multi-brand help center. There’s also advanced process management, custom functions, multi-level IVR, global reports, scheduled reports and contract management. Zoho also offers validation rules, layout rules, field watching, role-based data sharing, multiple business hours and holidays, and 50 “light” agents.
Custom priority support is also available on an additional paid plan.
Support and Security
If you’re looking for a help desk platform with a ton of valuable tools, Zoho Desk is a great choice. The solution simplifies everything from onboarding to managing customer service macros. For startups and small businesses, there’s even the option to provide your team members and business levels with an additional level of support.
Unlike most companies, Zoho adjusts the support you get from their customer support team based on the tier of pricing you choose. The “basic” support is available for free, while other options cost 20 or 25% of your license fee, depending how much priority you want.
The free option offers toll-free phone support and live chat during business hours, while the other packages allow you to access assistance for 24 hours a day. There’s also access to remote configuration assistance and extra help with all of your Zoho products on the paid plans.
From a security perspective, Zoho offers a similar experience to other leading service desk and help desk solutions from companies like Microsoft. You can set permissions for your teams, and access a range of encryptions and security tools within your helpdesk platform. DDoS protection, network redundancy, and restricted access to data centers are all included.
Further reading 📚
Zoho Desk Review: Verdict
There’s no shortage of help desk software options out there today, from LiveAgent to Zendesk. However, Zoho Desk is one of the most popular choices for various reasons. It can help companies to reduce their response time when dealing with critical customer requests without compromising on ease of use or pricing.
If you’re just getting started with customer experience and help desk ticket management, you can even leverage the free plan from Zoho Desk and get a great number of features without spending anything. At the very least, it’s worth checking out the demo.
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