Top Features of Zendesk Help Desk Software

What are the top features of Zendesk help desk software? In this article we’ll review in detail the following main functionalities of this leading solution:

  1. Help desk
  2. Ticketing system
  3. Self-service portal
  4. Analytics
  5. IT service desk

Customer service is one of the most crucial aspects of your business. It must not just be “available,” but must also have empathy with customers’ concerns. Addressing this critical need must start with a  good help desk solution.

This is vital to resolve your customer’s concerns, inquiries, and problems. It serves as your customers’ first point of contact by knowing exactly where and how they can reach you when they need your help. One of the leaders in this niche is Zendesk which is packed with a robust set of tools and features to address your unique help desk needs.

In this article, we’ll focus on the top features of Zendesk that are worth looking into for your help desk solution needs. First, a briefer about help desk software.

A help desk software performs a wide range of essential functions such as answering questions whether through self-service or through a help desk agent, measuring customer satisfaction, and helping your agents be more productive with their workflows. There are also various types available for customers (for external customers), IT support (for internal staff), and business (for teams outside of IT, including legal, finance, and HR). You can read more about different systems in our what is help desk software manual.

A survey shows respondents demonstrating how improving the quality of customer services directly increases company sales and store traffic. (Source: Brickstream)

Leveraging the quality of your customer service through a reliable help desk system is essential, and it can even prevent you a huge amount of financial losses. In fact, a study shows companies lost an estimate of $41 billion due to poor customer service according to NewVoiceMedia.

Before implementing a system such as Zendesk in your organization, learning what its core features are can help you maximize it to its full potential. For more information on other solutions of this type check out our top 20 help desk software guide.

What is Zendesk?

Zendesk reporting

In its entirety, Zendesk is a robust all-in-one customer service platform. One of the areas where it really shines though is its help desk solution. It’s designed with design and function in mind to achieve more meaningful, personal, and productive customer relationships. By providing companies with a reliable support, the app assists them to mature into a proactive and self-service engagement.

Zendesk’s help desk software paves the way for an improved customer experience for your company. It helps your support agents monitor, prioritize, and resolve customer support tickets. The intuitive and easy-to-use cloud-based software is powered with automation and time-saving tools to provide convenience for your customers and increase the productivity of your agents.

It is built for various types of users so you can expect to utilize the app’s features no matter what your industry is, whether it’s for retailers, SMBs, enterprises, HR teams, IT teams, and educators. This hub centralizes all your conversations in a single place, solves problems efficiently, gains insights for customer interactions, gathers the right information from your customers, and lets you take your help desk system even on-the-go, among others.

Top Features of Zendesk Help Desk Software

1. Help Desk

At its core, Zendesk is a central hub that connects everything you need to leverage customer experience and support. It packs the following features for solving problems and issues collaboratively and enabling customers and agents to help themselves proactively:

  1. Real-time updates. Your team views real-time data on the actions and activities occurring in the system, such as who’s currently viewing a ticket a given time, for better productivity and efficiency.
  2. Agent collaboration. When an issue arises, your agents share information via private comments to help solve the problem faster.
  3. Help desk automation. Common tasks are automated to free up time for your agents, such as closing inactive ticket alerts and notifying a manager of a new issue.
  4. Macros. For a quick response to recurring customer inquiries, agents create and share personalized, standard replies.
  5. Request forms and ticket fields. This gives your clients more information right from the customer to prepare a more personalized customer support regarding the specific issue.
  6. Custom views. Agents see a personalized view of their queue according to a ticket status, group, assignee, and numerous conditions.
  7. SLA management. The built-in SLA (Service-level Agreement) enables agents to set their own parameters and utilize up-to-date measurements to monitor a specific ticket’s status.
  8. Mobile apps. Agents can respond to inquiries even while they’re on the go through the mobile apps on their smartphone or tablet devices.

2. Ticketing System

Zendesk ticketing

Zendesk’s ticketing system or support ticket system offers the following:

  1. Multi-channel. Zendesk is available in various channels including email, social media platforms (such as Facebook and Twitter), chat, phone, message, and SMS.
  2. Multilingual. It’s available in over 40 languages for a localized support content. It can be applied in macros, knowledge base articles, triggers, and automation, among others.
  3. Multi-brand. It’s also designed for unique support channels, business rules, regions, brands, products, and help centers.
  4. Workflows. Support agents ensure each ticket is routed, assigned, and escalated via workflows so no inquiry or issue gets lost or overlooked.
  5. Centralized hub. A single space for all channels and resources (forum posts, knowledge base, and tickets) to be searched and accessed.
  6. Audit trail. Enables your agents to have a full audit trail of each conversation in its entirety even if it spans in multiple agents and channels.

How do they work together? The ticketing system, much like a shared inbox, gathers all customer support requests from multiple sources into a single location. With the availability of formats where a customer can contact your company at their convenience, it can be hard for your agents to reference previous issues or respond with a requisite contextual data. This feature solves this problem by streamlining the process of responding to customers with consistency.

3. Self-Service Portal

The Zendesk Guide, one of Zendesk’s help desk products, uses a smart knowledge base for empowering your agents and customers through a self-service solution. This caters to customers, which is around 73% of millennials, who prefer to look for answers on their own instead of waiting for the response of a live agent for a faster resolution unless their inquiry or concern is critical and cannot be solved by the available resources.

BizReport also reported that 1/3 of the respondents even said they would “rather clean a toilet” that converse with customer service agents. This stresses the importance of providing a self-service portal as 65% of customers from the report says they feel good about the company and themselves if they solve a problem on their own.

Here are its vital self-service help desk features:

  1. Knowledge base. A customizable web-based knowledge base is available where you can get a list of changes in its integrity over time, auto-save drafts while editing, create easy-to-read articles with rich formatting, and translate to over 40 languages for a localized customer experience. An internal knowledge base can also be restricted to specific groups.
  2. Help center. This reduces support requests through your customizable and responsive help center that can be accessed by your customers anytime and anywhere.
  3. Customer portal. A place where customers can keep track on the status of their request, monitor content they’re following, and review modifications and updates in their knowledge base on their own.
  4. Community forums. This fosters customer engagement and accesses valuable feedback to help you understand what you’re doing right or wrong in your business for a more informed development of strategies.

4. Insights and Analytics

Zendesk Analytics

Zendesk comes with analytics tools that will help you drill into your help desk data and make smarter business decisions.

Also included in the top features of Zendesk help desk software is its easy-to-use interface that enables you to access reports and analytics to learn more about your customer support and help desk system. Fostering customer relationships is done by utilizing data-driven information. The software then transforms data into useful and meaningful insights using visual styles and point-and-click functions.

  1. Customer analytics. It lets you view and understand how your customers interact and use your website, products, and support channels to determine how you can improve their experience. You can also see which customers are happy or unsatisfied.
  2. Performance Measurement. Analyze and keep track of your team’s performance and workload capacity to make better decisions in assigning and managing tasks with productivity and efficiency in mind.
  3. Prescriptive dashboards. This lets you know which analyses are relevant to customer experience and team management.
  4. Customization. Allows the easy creation and customization of metrics, dashboards, and reports without SQL.

5. IT Help Desk

Aside from a customer help desk, Zendesk also administers support for internal staff and solve their problems, such as resetting passwords or resolving a whole network that’s going down, through a single or multiple points of contact in its IT help desk. This streamlines the tracking of issues, troubleshooting of problems, and getting assistance regarding products and services. Here are some of its features:

  1. ITIL process. Tailoring ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) implementation can be done without the typical complexities in order to facilitate a more continuous improvement.
  2. Automation. It provides tools that help teams in managing events, incidents, problems, and service requests in an optimized manner.
  3. Macros. Pre-defined responses that solve common, recurring problems.
  4. Issue tagging. This streamlines the process of reporting, categorizing, and archiving problem management across a wide array of tickets.
  5. IT asset management integration. Tracks phones, computers, and monitors, among many others, through a robust integration whether you’re in the office or not.
Christopher Robinson

By Christopher Robinson

Christopher Robinson is a senior productivity research analyst who specializes in optimizing online collaboration and project management using Scrum and agile approaches. In his work, he always emphasizes the need for distributed work training and the formation of efficient work habits. His work was mentioned in various business publications, including Entrepreneur and InfoQ. He’s a strong proponent of the GTD model. He has been cooperating with the FinancesOnline team for 5 years now, and his publications always focus on practical aspects of productivity tools that can have an actual, transformative impact on a company.

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