Service Operations Manager, 4+ Years of Project Management and Digital Marketing Experience
July 24th, 2019
Are you looking for the right software to help your customer service team complete support requests and become more efficient?
Without a process or software in place, your team might feel overwhelmed with the number of customers to respond to daily. When your team has the tools and resources they need, their jobs become simplified and most likely more enjoyable.
You can increase productivity, boost team morale, keep your team organized, track the results of your efforts and much more by finding a customer service software that fits your team’s needs.
Purchasing a service-focused software like this is a big decision. It’s important to assess what tools would actually enable your team to do their job better and more efficiently.
We will compare the features of two of the top tools in the industry, Zendesk and HubSpot Service Hub, to help you along your journey.
But first, how did get HubSpot started in the service industry?
“People have changed. Today, we're less patient and less willing to spend significant time on phone support, and instead lean-into online experiences and chat. In addition, today we trust friends and reviews over marketing. This change is exactly why leaning into your customer's success can help you grow.”
Since Service Hub’s initial launch, HubSpot has become a popular customer service tool and is often compared to industry leader Zendesk Support when vetting platforms.
Let’s dive into the features of both HubSpot Service Hub and Zendesk Support to determine which option is best for your team.
HubSpot Service Hub Features
The Service Hub offers four different plans for different budgets and team sizes. Below are the features available with each different plan and their prices.
If you’re a small customer service team and don’t need the same functionality as a large team, HubSpot’s Service Hub Free is a great place to start.
With access to HubSpot’s CRM, tickets, and more, you can get your feet wet in using HubSpot’s Service Hub and really determine if its a good fit for your team and its processes.
Let’s say you have a handful of emails that you send one after another depending on specific variables, the Sequences tool allows you to piece those emails together and send them automatically based on the specified criteria.
Service Hub Starter includes 1,000 sequences and 150 daily enrollments
You can also send out surveys that ask customers about their recent experience working with your service team.
Like the reporting dashboard, you can access important insights from one easy to find page.
There may be additional metrics that are important to your team or company leaders. You can create a custom report that pulls in that information.
Service Hub Professional includes 20 custom reports.
Ticket status, ticket routing, task automation
Ticket status displays what stage the ticket is in, routing shows the rules specified for the tickets, and task automation allows you to automate tasks like sending an internal email or turning a chat into an email.
Satisfaction prediction uses machine learning to determine whether your customers are satisfied with their support or not.
You may have multiple ways that your customers can reach out for support like support emails or a Help Center. Multi-brand support allows you to set these up separately and easily track what channel the conversation came from. All other plans set your channels up as one brand.
Launch Success Program
The Launch program gives you access to a team of experts to help you customize the tool to your team’s needs.
The Enterprise plan begins at $99 per agent, per month.
Elite is the most robust option for Zendesk Support provides. By choosing this plan, you have access to all previously mentioned features, plus:
Unlimited light agents
A light agent has limited access to the tools, but can stay up to date on tickets and even add private comments on tickets. The Elite plan gives you an unlimited number of light agents.
99.9% uptime SLA
With the Elite plan, you can receive a 99.9% uptime Service Level Agreement. This means that if the service goes down for some reason, you will receive 99% credit usage to your account.
1-hour service level objective
By setting up objectives based on SLAs, you can stay on top of your goals by setting a policy to ensure a 1-hour service level objective.
Zendesk Support Elite offers advanced encryption and security to ensure your customer’s information is kept safe by backing it up daily.
Data center location
This feature allows you to choose the location where your account data is hosted but is only available in the U.S. or EU.
As the plan with the most options, Zendesk Support Elite starts at $199 per agent, per month.
Now… Which is Right for Your Team?
Now that we’ve gone through all of the features for the two platforms, you’re probably wondering which platform is best for your team.
While both platforms are great options, the factors below can help make your decision easier:
Smaller Service Team
If you currently only have 1-3 customer service team members, you most likely don’t need something as robust and expensive as HubSpot Service Hub Enterprise or Elite. HubSpot Free or Starter are ideal for smaller teams because the platform offers more services than Zendesk’s Essential package.
With HubSpot, you also get access to a free CRM that allows you to easily access and manage information about a customer or company that has reached out to you.
NOTE: HubSpot Free, HubSpot Starter, and all of Zendesk’s plans only include one user.
Larger Service Team
Teams that are large, but only need their platform for a select few tools should look into Zendesk Support.
Since you may not be using as many features as HubSpot offers, this is a more cost effective option to managing your customer service tasks.
For teams that are larger and need access to more tools, custom reporting and helpful productivity tools for example, HubSpot is a better option.
As you saw above, there are many more tools offered through HubSpot Professional and Enterprise that will allow your team to cover all of your bases.
NOTE: HubSpot Professional includes five users, HubSpot Enterprise includes 10 users and all of Zendesk’s plans include only one user.
You may have noticed that Zendesk is more affordable compared to HubSpot, but HubSpot offers more at the basic levels than Zendesk does.
This is probably the most important thing to consider. Would you prefer a tool that is less expensive with minimal tools, or a more expensive tool that has everything you need?
NOTE: If you’re using HubSpot CMS, Marketing, and Sales you can get the Growth Suite for 25% off. We all love a good deal right?
The rest of the things you should consider depend heavily on your actual customer service processes:
If you’re an efficiency nerd like I am, you’ll want your customer service tool to be up to speed with you.
One of the best parts about the HubSpot Service Hub tools are the templates, snippets, and sequences offered.
By saving documents that are frequently sent, snippets of text that you use often, templates of emails, and even email sequences if you choose the Starter plan, your team can save a ton of time and respond back to more customers than before.
Using the automation tools available in both HubSpot and Zendesk will keep your team organized and save a ton of time. Routing requests to specific team members and automating your conversations will give you more time to talk to other customers and increase your overall productivity goals.
You may also want to consider setting up integrations with other platforms, like Slack. These integrations save time by allowing your team to use only one platform for requests instead of having to switch back and forth between multiple screens.
Customer Satisfaction Tools
While both HubSpot Professional and Zendesk Professional offer NPS survey tools, Zendesk offers customer satisfaction prediction with their Enterprise tier.
This prediction tool allows you to predict bad satisfaction ratings before they even happen. This seems like a useful tool to have when trying to better understand your customer’s habits!
If you currently monitor NPS and are looking for ways to make this process more efficient, Zendesk Enterprise may be the best option for you.
Some industries, especially B2C businesses, have a huge social media audience where customers may reach out with support questions.
One of the coolest parts about Zendesk is that it integrates with platforms like Facebook and Twitter to show all messages from your social media channels in one easy to find place.
Anyone who uses social channels to respond to customer service requests should seriously consider Zendesk. This feature is even available with their Essential plan.
Unlike HubSpot, Zendesk Professional, Enterprise, and Elite allow you to manage your service-level performance to make sure all issues are being resolved.
The tool even highlights tickets that do not meet service level targets to help you quickly identify the issue.
So, What Are Your Next Steps?
Ok, we’ve covered a lot of information here and compared some of the most important differences of both HubSpot Service Hub and Zendesk Support.
The most important takeaway is to make a list of all of the tools your team needs in order to succeed, prioritize them based on level of importance, then see which plan best addresses those priorities.