Talking about Zendesk, everyone’s first question centers around pricing, so let’s follow the money.
If you google “help desk software", you’ll receive millions of them showing up in reviews, comparison, discussion, and posts. One of these tools is Zendesk.
Besides its overload features, there is another thing that many people are interested in: Zendesk pricing.
Zendesk pricing applies the “pay-per-agent” subscription model. Here is how Zendesk defines “an agent”:
An agent is what we call anyone who logs into a Zendesk product. Each rep, admin, or manager needs their own agent license.
Let us make it simpler for you: A Zendesk support agent is someone who handles support requests. “Handle” means they respond to customers and deals with tickets (creating, opening, moving, etc.).
With Zendesk pricing, every additional agent (or seat) leads to more money to spend every month if your business is growing.
So, what do Zendesk’s plans look like? Why do they eventually cost you more? Let’s find out in this article.
What is Zendesk for?
Zendesk defines itself as “a service-first CRM company that builds software designed to improve customer satisfaction and customer relationships.” It has been known as the biggest SaaS customer service platform in the market. Check out our complete overview of Zendesk and its features if you want more top-level information about the platform.
From managing tickets to handling CRM, Zendesk gives you a wide range of features to maintain relationships with customers. But because of that, many businesses, especially eCommerce merchants, become disinterested in Zendesk and start looking for Gorgias.
Let’s first have an overview of Zendesk pricing and plans. We’ll then explain to you why our ecommerce customer service solution Gorgias is much more affordable than Zendesk.
How much does Zendesk cost?
“Starting at just $5 an agent.”
When reading this, Zendesk pricing seems simple at first. Spend only $5, and you can get a help desk tool. Sounds good, huh?
But if you check Zendesk’s plans, you’ll realize how complicated it can get. The more you go through them, the more you feel overwhelmed because you have no idea what might fit your business.
They offer at least eight different plans within the “Support” section, with a handful of other options under “Sales” and “Platform” offerings. That doesn’t mention many items (i.e., Guide, Chat, Talk, Explore, and Gather) under the “Other products” category, plus the “Sunshine Conversations” shown at the bottom of their pricing page.
Okay, we know what you’re feeling right now. Here’s our attempt to boil Zendesk’s offerings down:
- Support: Price ranges from $9 per agent paid monthly to $199 per agent paid annually.
- Support Suite: Monthly price ranges from $109 to $179 per agent.
- Custom-built: Pricing isn’t listed.
- Sell: Monthly price ranges from $19/mo to $249 per seat.
- Sales Suite: Monthly price ranges from $95 to $149 per agent.
- Zendesk Sunshine Platform: Monthly price ranges from $25 to $69 per agent. A free Lite plan is available. Note that all plans in this category require Support Enterprise or Support Suite Enterprise subscriptions.
- Guide: Monthly price ranges from $19 to $34 per agent. A free Lite plan is available.
- Chat: Monthly price ranges from $19 to $70 per agent. A free Lite plan is for 1 agent only.
- Talk: Monthly price ranges from free to $110, plus usage fees.
- Explore: Monthly price ranges from $12 to $34 per agent.
- Gather: Monthly price at $9 per agent.
- Sunshine Conversation: Monthly price starts from $490.
Many of these offerings come with different plans. Since Support is Zendesk’s flagship and the first tool they offer on the pricing page, we select it to compare the included features.
Zendesk Supports has five plans: Essential, Team, Professional, Enterprise, and Elite. All these plans come with a free trial and paid add-ons such as real-time chat and social messaging.
The Essential plan is the basic Zendesk pricing model, designed for sole support agents and small teams. It offers a fundamental help center,web widget, mobile SDK, knowledge base, email and support channels.
The Team plan is meant for small and medium teams. It includes all Essential features, plus some others like business rules, social messaging and performance dashboards.
The Professional plan encompasses all features in the Team plan, designed for growing businesses. It also provides you with follow-up surveys, dashboards, reporting, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) management.
The Enterprise plan is tailored to large organizations. It includes all Professional features, plus additional features like contextual workspaces, custom roles, and guided mode.
The Elite plan is for teams who want to optimize Zendesk’s capabilities. What separates this plan from others is it has advanced encryption and security.
Frankly, the differences in features between these plans justify their price differences. The question to ask is: Why do so many people complain about Zendesk pricing?
Why Zendesk eventually costs you more
There are some reasons for that:
First, as we said earlier in this post, the monthly bill isn’t the only expense that will factor into any Zendesk plan. You need to pay extra money to purchase additional add-ons so you can make Zendesk work well for your business.
But the problem is the availability of add-ons varies depending on plans. For example, if you’re using the Essential plan, you can’t buy the multiple ticket forms add-on unless you upgrade your plan to Professional.
Second, Zendesk doesn’t provide the same level of support for all plans. More specifically:
- The Essential plan: Chat support only. Email and phone support from the Zendesk team aren’t available.
- The Team plan: Chat and email support. Email support limits 8 hours, 5 days a week.
- The Professional plan: Chat support, plus support via email and phone 24 hours a day, but only 5 days a week.
- The Enterprise and Elite plans: Chat support, plus full 24/7 support for email and phone.
The more you pay, the better support you get from Zendesk. Perhaps that’s why they’re losing a lot of customers.
Well, somebody should let Zendesk know.
Third, peak hour for ecommerce occurs between 8pm and 9pm—outside the 9-to-5 workday. You need to work through day and night to answer customers’ inquiries. But can you handle everything alone without sleeping? You can’t!
That’s why you always need to have at least another person to maintain your customer service all the time. And that’s where the costs really start adding up if you purchase a pay-per-agent help desk solution like Zendesk.
Okay, any solution?
Why Gorgias is more cost-effective than Zendesk
When comparing Gorgias and Zendesk pricing plans, one thing is clear: Gorgias wins on clarity.
Compared to Zendesk, Gorgias’ pricing is more straightforward and reasonable because of two reasons:
Gorgias’ plans reflect quantity, not better quality
With Zendesk, when you upgrade your plan, you may enjoy the same feature with better quality. Think about customer support from the Zendesk team. If you use the Professional plan, you can get 24/5 support. But just upgrade to Enterprise, you have two more days of 24-hour support.
With Gorgias, the more you pay, the higher quantity you get. More monthly tickets. More integrations. More new features.
And, if you select one similarly-priced plan across Gorgias and Zendesk to compare the included tools, you’ll see the quality of Gorgias’ features isn’t restricted by price.
Gorgias’ plans are consistent with the size of your store
Let’s say you have more tickets because you sell me. In this case, you can afford to upgrade your plan so you can solve more order inquiries. Otherwise, you can stick with the Starter plan until you gain more customers, meaning you only pay $10/month.
While our fee for “extra tickets” might look scary, one thing to keep in mind is we only count billable tickets no matter which channels you’re using to communicate with your customers.
For example, you run a BFCM Facebook ad campaign and receive many comments. We only count comments that need an answer. For comments that don’t require a response, we don’t count them as additional tickets.
We believe an ecommerce customer service solution should be affordable for and tailored to eCommerce merchants' needs. We don’t put our support as a premium feature because we actually care about our customers. It’s our responsibility; it’s not something you have to pay for.
Should you pay for Zendesk or Gorgias?
So, Zendesk and Gorgias—which one is right for your business?
The easy answer is Gorgias works best for eCommerce businesses, and Zendesk for non-eCommerce companies, especially enterprises. But it’s up to you to figure out which one will help your team foster growth.
At Gorgias, our goal is to provide immediate value to our customers. We work really hard to create the best eCommerce-dedicated help desk solution, strip away complexity, keep our plans simple, and deliver what we promise.
Here’s a final list of some reasons online business owners choose Gorgias:
- The ultimate ticketing system built for Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce merchants.
- 7-day free trial, no credit card required, instant set-up.
- Easy-to-understand and reasonable pricing plans.
- Also, we have Gorgias apps for Android and iOS.
If you’re ready to switch from Zendesk to Gorgias, we’re more than happy to welcome you. Join our buyout program today, and get full access to the help desk solution you’re looking for.
P.S. We continue to optimize our software. Check out our public roadmap to see where we’re headed.