Customer service is one of the main building blocks of businesses today. Customers highly value companies that provide them with a personalized experience. From a financial perspective, companies can generate more revenue and retain customers in the long run.
So, if you are looking to optimize your service desk, employing customer service software would be a good option. The software can help you create, manage, and track customer requests and issues. In addition, the customization and reporting capabilities can help agents and business users do their job better.
The two-customer service software we will be exploring are Zendesk and ServiceNow. You can use these solutions regardless of whether you are planning to keep your service in-house or working with outsourcing IT service desk companies.
The article will compare the two software on the basis of deployment, integration, pricing flexibility, support, and reviews, among others.
Zendesk: What is it?
Zendesk offers a range of customizable solutions that can help improve the productivity and efficiency of your service desk team.
The company’s service solution provides agents with centralized portals, integrations, collaboration tools, in-built routing, and knowledge management, which help them perform their job better.
It enables companies to provide support over multiple channels. It uses AI and bots to present information in an easy-to-understand format.
It also boasts impressive analytic and reporting capabilities with monitoring over Zendesk and integrated third-party offerings.
ServiceNow: What is it?
ServiceNow focuses on workflows behind business processes. For example, with IT workflows, you can automate business operations and manage them from a unified IT platform.
Then you have the employee workflows that aim to make IT simpler for agents and let them access the right information as and when they need it. AI is used to optimize customer interactions, and the quality of service offered.
With customer workflows, you can further automate processes that are a part of the customer experience, improve collaboration and use digital transformation to your advantage.
Zendesk vs ServiceNow Compared 2023
Now that we know what Zendesk and ServiceNow are capable of, let us compare these two solutions to understand which customer service software will be apt for your business.
1. Ease of Deployment
Zendesk has a help center where you can access getting started guides. These guides can help with setting up the product, introduction to different service elements, planning the service project and knowledge base, launching the solution, and tracking and monitoring metrics.
In the help center, you will further find documentation for customizing features and answers to common issues.
With ServiceNow, you can access product documentation by scrolling to the bottom of the home page. Here, for example, under the Customer Service Management product, you will find documentation for exploring, configuring, integrating, and using the product.
Based on customer reviews, Zendesk has a slight upper hand when it comes to deployment.
Again, considering reviews, Zendesk has an intuitive design that simplifies navigation. New agents can be trained in a short period to use the tool.
On the other hand, ServiceNow can also be a user-friendly tool, but it has a learning curve to it. You will have to spend time training users and letting them explore, as the tool can be intimidating at first with its host of features.
Zendesk fares better here as users with limited technical knowledge can get started with the tool with ease.
4. Available Platforms
Zendesk and ServiceNow are available as web-based, iPhone, and Android app offerings. Most companies prefer hosting these products on their servers for better security.
ServiceNow can also work as a PaaS as you can deploy applications with the Now Platform. You can make customizations as required as you get your own instance of the product.
When it comes to integrations, it is Zendesk that is the superior choice here. The platform supports over 1300 apps. You can visit Zendesk’s Marketplace to get a full list of the apps it supports, integrations, and its partners available at regional and global levels.
Some of the top apps available on the platform are:
- AI Customer Service
On the other hand, ServiceNow supports over 300 partner and third-party integrations. The Customer Service Management product provides support for:
You can visit the ServiceNow Store for a list of integrations compatible with the service offering.
6. Pricing Flexibility
Zendesk offers several pricing plans that make the software accessible to different business types. All their plans are billed per agent/month, and the payments need to be made yearly.
The three plans under foundational support are:
- Support Team – $19
- Support Professional – $49
- Support Enterprise – $99
The pricing options available under the plans for everyone category are:
- Suite Team – $49
- Suite Growth – $79
- Suite Professional – $99
Under plans for enterprises, you have:
- Suite Enterprise – $150
- Customized enterprise plans – $215
ServiceNow offers three packages:
The company offers a custom quote depending on a company’s unique business requirements. You will have to provide your business information to get a detailed evaluation and flexible pricing quotes from ServiceNow.
7. Free Trial
You can request Zendesk for a free trial by providing your business information. The company offers a 30-day free trial. It also offers a demo session to help you understand how Zendesk for service works.
ServiceNow does not offer a free trial but provides access to its demo library. Here you can watch feature videos, view live demos, and access a free developer instance. You must be a registered user to access the demo library.
8. Customer Size
Owing to the flexible pricing option, Zendesk can be used by freelancers and small businesses. It is also suitable for medium and large enterprises.
On the other hand, ServiceNow, with its suite of features, is more suitable for medium and large-sized companies.
9. Customer Support
With Zendesk, you can sign up for a standard or premium support plan. In the standard plan, you can use Zendesk’s help center, which provides troubleshooting steps and solutions to common issues. You can pose questions on the community forum or use web forms.
In the premium plan, you get telephonic support, priority routing, and a dedicated engineer.
ServiceNow has a 24/7 support portal. Here you will find resources like:
- Product Documentation
- Knowledge Base
- Now Community
- ServiceNow Developer Site
As per customer ratings, Zendesk performs slightly better in terms of the quality of technical support offered.
Zendesk offers free online, on-demand courses. You can follow customized learning paths according to your role. For example, there are courses available for developers, agents, and admins. You can also refer to the certification learning material available.
Zendesk help can also be a good learning tool with available guides, articles, updates, and community access.
Under the ‘Customers’ tab on ServiceNow’s home page, you will find two categories – Customer Success and Customer Support.
Here you can find case studies, a success center, training and certification, support, and community. Now Learning is the company’s portal where you can access on-demand, live courses, certification material, and hands-on courses.
You can also explore customized learning packages created for your company’s needs.
According to Gartner, Zendesk has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 with 837 ratings, whereas ServiceNow is rated 4.6 out of 5 with 120 ratings.
Some of the top factors that Zendesk is highly rated on are deployment ease, ability to understand needs, and quality of technical support. 81% of the reviewers would be willing to recommend the product.
Some of the top factors that ServiceNow is highly rated on are community support and vendor timeliness. 80% of reviewers are willing to recommend the product.
Zendesk vs ServiceNow Comparison Table
|Ease of Deployment||Easy||Easy|
|User-Friendliness||Yes||Yes, has a learning curve|
Mobile – Android, iPhone
Mobile – Android, iPhone
|Integrations||1300+ free and paid apps||300+ supported integrations|
|Pricing Flexibility||All plans are billed per agent/month, payments to be made yearly
Support Team – $19
Support Professional – $49
Support Enterprise – $99
Suite Team – $49
Suite Growth – $79
Suite Professional – 99
Suite Enterprise – $150
Customized enterprise plans – $215
Contact ServiceNow for a custom quote
|Free Trial||30-days||Not available|
|Customer Size||Freelancers, small, medium, large enterprises||Medium and large enterprises|
|Customer Support||Standard Support:
Access support through product
99.9% service availability
|Now Support portal:
Recent known errors
Solutions for common issues
|Training||Zendesk Training module||Now Learning|
|Reviews||4.3 out of 5 (837 ratings)||4.6 out of 5 (120 ratings)|
The choice between Zendesk and ServiceNow depends on your company’s size and requirements.
For example, if you are a small to mid-sized company looking to improve your service desk with flexible pricing plans, Zendesk would be the more suitable choice.
On the other hand, ServiceNow would be the better option if you are a mid to large-sized company looking to automate business processes, leverage AI, and build customized applications.