Our top three challenges with Zoho Desk

Our top three challenges with Zoho Desk
By Pedals | On Jul 26, 2022
3 min read

At TestBox, we hate buying software—or at least the tedious process that most people follow. In our quest to make things easier, our team has spent months diving into the most popular customer support platforms on the market, taking meticulous notes, and sharing our findings. Every solution we’ve examined so far has some clear advantages—as well as challenges.

Zoho Desk is no exception. The hefty customer support solution is stacked with advanced features, from custom ticket fields and auto-assignments to an AI-enabled chatbot that identifies customer sentiment. At first glance, it seems like they’ve thought of everything.

However, while we were raving about Zoho Desk’s best features, there were also some weak points that stood out to us. Before you start testing and comparing customer service solutions, here are three potential Zoho Desk dealbreakers to be aware of—as well as our suggested workarounds to help you overcome their limitations.

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1. Complex onboarding

Zoho Desk’s extensive functionality can make for a complex and confusing onboarding experience. There’s a lot to figure out, especially when setting up workflows—including automation, rules, and custom field configuration. 

Zoho Desk’s Salesforce integration also isn’t as simple or straightforward as it could be. This is a definite con for customer service and support teams who want to get up and running quickly.

Here’s what a few reviewers on G2 had to say:

Getting started with anything new is always a challenge. Would like to have better onboarding during the trial period so that I don't have to spin my wheels trying to figure the product on my own.
- President and Sr. Systems Engineer

I don't feel like the onboarding process is as clean as it could be, but there's tons of documentation. I wish it was a bit cleaner.
- Administrator in Hospital and Health Care

The onboarding and training process for using the app needs more support content. I found myself Googling a lot of the questions I have to try to look for solutions. I'm still testing it out but it seems that it's working so far.
- Administrator of IT and Services

Our recommendation:

To get your team off on the right foot, budget for an implementation expert who can explain how everything works in Zoho Desk (and take on the burden of setup too, of course!). This should help speed up the process and prevent unnecessary headaches.

2. Overwhelming interface

Zoho Desk’s cumbersome onboarding is compounded by the interface itself, which is overloaded with menus and features. This can not only slow down page loading times, but overwhelm new users looking to get oriented with different workflows—administrators and agents alike. 

It’s also worth noting that if you decide to take Zoho Desk for a spin, their 30 day trial period isn’t long enough to really get a sense of all the different components.

Zoho Desk looks especially clunky when compared with alternative solutions like Freshdesk. In fact, if your team doesn’t require a wide range of advanced functionality, Zoho Desk might be overkill. For others, however, a modern and intuitive interface matters less than the functionality to handle complex customer interactions and robust customization, which is where Zoho Desk really shines.

Our recommendation:

Zoho Desk will require additional time for your team to get familiar with the interface and truly ramp up. You can help expedite the process with live or recorded training sessions, user guides, and screenshots highlighting where to find important features for each role.

3. Limited customization in Knowledge Base and integrations

Zoho Desk’s extensive customization options fall short when it comes to their Knowledge Base. This is especially problematic because this feature plays such a significant role in the platform—without it, Zoho Desk’s AI-powered chatbot, “Zia”, can’t make automated article recommendations to customers or suggest ticket responses to agents. 

In spite of its importance, however, the Knowledge Base doesn’t have the same flexibility as other features, like ticket fields and automation rules. It’s also more difficult to actually customize. Instead of dragging and dropping sections, Knowledge Base articles need to follow a specific hierarchy that can initially be difficult to understand. 

Zoho Desk Knowledge Base

Zoho Desk also doesn’t support Open API, so users are limited in their ability to customize how their instance of Zoho Desk interacts with other tools.

Our recommendation:

Write articles to follow the same structure as your Knowledge Base. If documentation is designed for compatibility from the start, you won’t have to pull your hair out trying to hack your Knowledge Base to accommodate. 

As for integrationsI, Zoho Desk might not offer Open API, but  there are still over 1,000+ ready-made integrations available in Zoho Marketplace, which is one of our favorite features.

Your turn

Zoho Desk has a lot to offer—mostly positive, but there are some challenges to consider as well. It may or may not be the right  fit for your team. The best way to reduce the risk and make an informed decision is by actually testing out Zoho Desk before you buy. 

That’s where we come in! 😏

TestBox is free to use and lets you compare the best customer support software side-by-side, as well as access important information on pricing, data security, and compliance. All you need to do is get started!

Sam's Face

Pedals is a beloved member of the TestBox team whose entire goal in life is to author amazingly helpful blog posts and to cameo on every piece of TestBox swag.

TestBox empowers you to have a self-serve, customer-led experience so you can buy new software and feel confident that you made the right choice. Currently focused on Customer Support, TestBox allows you to test out Zendesk, Freshdesk, HubSpot, Dixa, and other products side-by-side. It takes a matter of minutes to sign up and take these products for a test drive. Find out more at TestBox.com or follow on LinkedIn.