When I saw that Zendesk released their iPad application this week I decided that I’d take another look at their online help desk service. For a while I’ve been using Salesforce for tracking support cases and have found my needs are very basic. To me Salesforce is overkill for my support needs — especially at $65/mo per users (aks pricing – the hidden downfall of SaaS).
So for what seems like the 5th or 6th time I signed up for a 30 day trial of Zendesk. My conclusion? People who review and write about Zendesk don’t run a help desk for a living — or if they do they spend the bulk of their time setting it up and maintaining it.
My opinions this time aren’t much different than the last 5 or 6. The service to me is one stinking helping of fail.
Here are my main concerns with Zendesk
- First, it’s incredibly difficult to see how I’d setup a ticket and just plug in the customer’s name. Every time I try to do this “out of the box” it assigns the ticket to me since I’m logged in. The model here appears to be that you enroll your hundreds of customers into yet another system that they have to remember to log into. Fail #1.
- Second, I give up and create a user. Then when I try to go to create a ticket and the helpful text tells me that it will lookup my users for me. But it doesn’t. So God Bless anyone who has more than three clients and needs to remember names. No, really this isn’t a joke. It’s the way Zendesk performed for me out of the box – hence my observation that this probably attracts help desk folks with lots of time on their hands who love to spend a lifetime setting this up (Observation: The same people are usually attracted to Getting Things Done methodology which has a similar difficult implementation).
- Third, the integration to Highrise for CRM sucks for me. No, scratch that, it blows. It’s basically a lookup window. I mean this is one short step away from just keeping a piece of paper on my desk and looking at client names. Who are these guys kidding. The integration appears to have been first written in 2008 — and I’m guessing whoever wrote it has since jumped off a Highrise out of frustration.
- Fourth, it seems to want to have all my customers create accounts. That’s going to go over real well as customers (with active support questions that cannot wait) have yet another password to track and another login to manage. Fail.
- Fifth, in my opinion the whole interface looks like something that was state of the art when the web launched in the early 1980’s — but geez – it really looks dated.
My .02. Anyone else have even remote success with Zendesk?