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Desk.com Review: "Spend the extra money and get ZenDesk (if you can!)"
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Katie Nix profile photo
March 23, 2017

Desk.com Review: "Spend the extra money and get ZenDesk (if you can!)"

Score 3 out of 101
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Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Desk.com

Our primary CRM tool for customer support, and our primary CMS tool for customer-facing knowledge. We use it to handle email tickets and live chat, including some automated routing and custom filters. We also use the built-in customer satisfaction tool to track customer health and agent performance. We use the built-in CMS knowledgebase tool as well, for an external (customer-facing) knowledgebase and an internal support staff knowledgebase. Having a CRM allows our support team to be more efficient and transparent, but Desk isn't a particularly great tool considering others on the market.
  • Case filtering based on custom parameters (labels, assignments, time rules) is easy to set up and manage
  • Basic case handling (responding to emails, adding notes)
  • Customized / branded outbound email templates
  • Knoweldgebase tools included in the price of the software
  • Internal knowledge tools are clunky and annoying to access, outside the regular workflow of everyday staff
  • Arbitrary and confusing limitations in business rules and custom fields
  • Arbitrary and confusing limitations in case handling - for example, if you begin a case as a phone call you CANNOT email the customer from the case. As though no one working at Desk has ever sent a follow-up email...?
  • Not very good for B2B, mid-to-large businesses. Difficult to set business rules based on company information (for example, service level/tier) and nearly impossible to track key stakeholders and get clear insight into the relationship at a high level
  • Reporting tools are clunky, slow, and just all-around pretty useless
  • Fast response time to cases
  • Case macros cut down on agent time spent handling each case
  • Knowledge tools allow introduction of self-support center & increased ROI from support area
Lower pricing per user. That's about it! Other companies have all-around better features and easier user interfaces, but Desk can beat them on pricing even at higher account tiers. Included knowledgebase tools are a plus, and fairly easy to manage.
The knowledgebase tools are fairly straightforward, and pretty consistent and easy to use. Easy to organize content by category and they have 'brand' options that allow publishing to multiple knowledgebases at once. We also use Desk to publish to a video center, which is not a great feature (although I'm glad they have it!) - it seems to be something that Desk implemented as a hack for themselves and never really developed as an actual feature, which makes it pretty hacky to design and maintain. The main downside is reporting, for example it's impossible to segment articles based on customer thubs-up/thumbs-down score.
Okay. Business rules are robust and flexible but buggy and sometimes annoying. Nothing on the back end is very intuitive, and setting up a business rule often involves running through several different areas of the back end (and you have to know exactly what you're looking for). There are seemingly arbitrary limitations on customization (for example, if a business rule has more than a certain number of inputs it will just stop functioning with no error or warning). Reporting is terrible. Permissions are opaque and not customizable (i.e. you can put people into groups, but can't change the settings for those predefined groups) but mostly cover our needs.
The analytics are pretty terrible. The reports are astoundingly slow and highly limited in terms of customization. I often find myself just downloading a huge amount of case history to analyze in Excel, because I just can't ever seem to get to what I want using their report engine.
Seems well suited to high-volume B2C businesses (unfortunately, we are not that!) Complex B2B businesses will run into trouble at every corner. Low price compared with competitors and you definitely get what you pay for. Good for having insight and transparency across teams (easy handoff from customer support to escalation teams with full case & customer history) but difficult to integrate with other systems if your teams aren't all in Desk (for example, if CSM or other teams work primarily out of Salesforce).