Zendesk Pricing Explained

Content Writer
January 11, 2024

For B2B companies, the decision to invest in customer service software like Zendesk is significant. It’s not only about the features but also about whether the investment makes sense financially and operationally.

The search for an optimal solution brings us to a pivotal question: Is Zendesk the right choice for your business needs and budget? This article explains Zendesk’s pricing structure, dissecting the platform’s fees and features while exploring an affordable alternative that might be better suited to your needs.

What is the cost of Zendesk?

Zendesk's pricing is designed to suit a variety of business sizes and needs, starting with a basic plan perfect for small businesses and extending to more sophisticated options for larger corporations.

Each level offers different features, including customer support, analytics, and customization. As a business expands and incorporates more users, Zendesk's costs will adjust to reflect this growth. This tiered structure makes it flexible but also means costs can rise as your business needs evolve.

Let’s see how different Zendesk plans fare against each other.

Zendesk license costs and features

Zendesk's pricing in 2024 covers a broad spectrum of business needs.

There are two main categories: the Basic plans (Support Team, Support Professional, and Support Enterprise) and the more extensive Zendesk Suite plans (Suite Team, Suite Growth, Suite Professional, and Suite Enterprise).

Zendesk Basic plans

The Basic category in Zendesk's pricing structure has three tiers, each offering a range of features to suit different requirements. As you move to more advanced packages, the pricing increases accordingly. Here’s how these plans compare and contrast:

  • Support Team: Designed for small businesses, this plan offers basic features such as email and social media support. It's an entry-level option, ideal for businesses just starting to structure their customer support. This plan comes at $25 per agent per month for monthly memberships or $19 per month if paid for a year in advance.
  • Support Professional: A mid-tier option, the Support Professional plan introduces more functionalities like business rules and performance dashboards. Suitable for growing teams needing more than just the basics. Pricing begins at $69 per agent per month or $55 per month for annual subscriptions.
  • Support Enterprise: As the most expensive option, it includes multilingual support and advanced analytics, catering to businesses with a broader customer base and the need for detailed insights. This Zendesk plan comes in at $149 per agent per month, but choosing the yearly payment option reduces it to $115 per month.

Note: At the Professional and Enterprise levels, Zendesk also offers a variety of add-ons. For instance, companies can opt for advanced AI bots or intent suggestions for an additional $50 per agent per month, further increasing the overall cost.

Zendesk Suite plans

Zendesk Suite plans provide a comprehensive solution encompassing ticketing, messaging, help center, voice support, and robust AI capabilities. These plans are available in four distinct tiers:

  • Suite Team: Priced at $69 per agent per month, this plan includes a ticketing system, email, chat, voice, social messaging, help center, and standard bots. It also offers predefined responses, custom business rules, online support, and digital onboarding resources.

  • Suite Growth: At $115 per agent per month, this plan builds upon the Team plan by adding features like multiple ticket forms, light agents, SLAs, customer satisfaction ratings, multilingual support, a self-service customer portal, and business hours.

  • Suite Professional: For $149 per agent per month, this plan includes all features of the Growth plan plus custom and live analytics, side conversations, skills-based routing, integrated community forums, data location options, and HIPAA enablement.

  • Suite Enterprise: This plan offers a comprehensive solution for enterprise needs, including advanced AI add-on eligibility, sandbox, AI-powered Content Cues, content blocks, custom agent roles, and dynamic, contextual workspaces. Pricing details are available upon contacting Zendesk.

Just like with the Basic plans, those who opt for an annual subscription can benefit from a small discount.

But is Zendesk worth the cost? Hear out what actual users have to say.

Zendesk users’ take on pricing

Zendesk undoubtedly provides numerous benefits for businesses and stands as one of the most advanced solutions available. However, its cost can be somewhat steep, especially for smaller businesses.

Here’s what we concluded after analyzing 5,700+ user reviews on G2:

  • Reasonable base pricing: The Zendesk Support Team plan starts at a competitive $19 per user per month (billed annually), which is fairly priced compared to its competitors.
  • Limited customization in the basic plan: The entry-level plan lacks extensive customization options, often leading users to consider higher-tier plans for more advanced features.
  • Prohibitive costs for small teams: The pricing structure of most Zendesk plans tends to be high for startups and very small teams, making it a less viable option for smaller businesses.
  • Add-ons increase overall cost: Essential features available as add-ons can significantly inflate the total cost, impacting affordability, especially when compared to competitors.

In summary, Zendesk's starting price points are attractive, but the lack of comprehensive features in its lower-tier plans and the added expenses from key add-ons can quickly drive up the cost. This makes it potentially less suitable for smaller companies and emerging startups.

Next, we’ll look at the point when Zendesk's pricing may become unsustainable for certain businesses, considering factors such as business size, required features, and budget constraints.

When does Zendesk become too expensive?

We can all agree that the tool offers solutions that span a broad spectrum of business requirements, accommodating everyone from small teams to large enterprises.

That said, it might not always be the most cost-effective option, as its pricing structure and the specific needs of your business can significantly influence its affordability.

Take a look at a few scenarios when Zendesk’s price might sneak up on you:

Your business is scaling

As your business grows and requires more than basic features, you need to upgrade to higher-priced tiers. This shift can lead to a significant increase in costs, especially for teams with many agents.

Let’s say you start with 8 agents on the Zendesk Suite Professional plan. Each agent costs $149 per month, bringing your total monthly expense to $1,192. Later, as your business expands, you find the need to double your customer support team. Now, with 16 agents on the same plan, your monthly cost doubles to $2,384. Quite a difference, isn’t it?

Expensive add-ons

When you're already paying for higher tiers, spending additional money on features that are only available as add-ons can be frustrating. These unplanned expenses can accumulate and significantly cut into your profits.

With Zendesk, you may find yourself needing to invest in certain add-ons that are included by default with other vendors.

A high volume of customer interactions

Lastly, businesses with a large number of customer queries may find lower-tier plans insufficient. Upgrading to plans that can handle this increased volume results in a noticeable jump in costs.

In short, if your business is on the smaller side with only a few agents, you're going to do just fine. Yet, as your operations grow, the creeping costs of Zendesk can be surprising. Need something more affordable, then? Thena could be the way to go.

How Thena helps you lower Zendesk costs

Thena is a B2B customer communication and intelligence platform that enhances customer engagement and support on messaging platforms, such as Slack, as well as through email and web interactions.

It employs AI to monitor, flag, and manage customer interactions, offering features like request management, analytics, and integration with popular business applications.

Thena’s main features include:

  • AI request detection: The platform uses AI to monitor and flag customer messages as requests. It offers different strategies (Aggressive, Conservative, Custom) for processing customer messages and classifying them as requests, such as feedback, compliance issues, direct inquiries, etc.
  • Request management and analytics: Thena provides tools for managing customer requests in Slack, including features like AI-powered request routing, intuitive tagging and filtering, custom SLAs, instant post-resolution feedback, data-driven customer service analytics, and CRM integration.

The best part, though, is Thena’s affordability compared to Zendesk. The tool offers an attractive pricing structure, charging businesses per customer channel rather than per agent or team member.

The Basic plan begins at $5 per Slack Connect channel per month, accommodating up to 50 channels, making it ideal for companies watching their bottom line. Moreover, Thena offers discounts to startups that have raised less than $10 million in venture capital funding.

The bottom line

Zendesk is undeniably one of the most robust products available on the market. However, its complex pricing and limitations on lower tiers could potentially price out many businesses. Some might even find themselves torn between basic features and the higher-tier plans.

Thena can serve as a great alternative for B2B organizations that primarily manage their customers within Slack. With its bi-directional integrations with Zendesk and other popular email ticketing platforms, Thena might just be the ideal solution for your business, offering a feature-packed experience at a fraction of the cost.

Ready to take the leap? Try Thena today, at no cost!

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