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Zendesk vs. Microsoft

Compare Zendesk vs. Microsoft Dynamics 365 on features, ease of use, value for money, and more.

Zendesk vs. Microsoft Dynamics 365: A comprehensive guide

Última atualização em January 22, 2024

Businesses should always be on the lookout for tools that can improve their customer service management (CSM) and enhance the overall customer experience (CX). Zendesk is a leader in this space while Microsoft offers a wide range of products, and its support software, Dynamics 365, is just one of them. The reality is that the broad focus of Microsoft products can hinder its effectiveness in the customer service space.

Choosing between Zendesk and Microsoft Dynamics 365 can feel daunting, but evaluating their CX expertise, time to value, and total cost of ownership can simplify your decision. This comparison aims to shed light on the capabilities of each software, helping you make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and operational requirements.

3 ways Zendesk outperforms Microsoft Dynamics 365

CX expertise

While Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers many business solutions, Zendesk focuses on CX. Businesses can access an internal team of experts and a large customer community that share industry best practices and drive innovation. This dedication to the customer experience niche gives Zendesk an edge over broad-focus platforms like Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Fast time to value and agility

The streamlined design and user-centric approach of Zendesk means businesses can quickly deploy and adapt our solutions in an agile system, which can result in a fast time to value (TTV). Users rate Zendesk higher than Microsoft in key areas, like ease of use, setup, and admin.

Low total cost of ownership

You’ll save time and money with Zendesk. You don’t need a developer army to start using Zendesk, or an influx of agents to keep using it. According to Microsoft Dynamics 365 users, the software has a complex setup and in some instances requires businesses to hire developers to implement the software and make changes.

More in this guide:

At-a-glance comparison: Zendesk vs. Microsoft

What you need to deliver the best CX
Critical capabilities
Zendesk
Microsoft Dynamics 365

Rating

Product capabilities

4.5/5 (Gartner)
4.3/5 (Gartner)

Integration and deployment

4.6/5
4.2/5

Service and support

4.5/5
4.1/5

Ticketing and case management

Skills-based routing

360-degree view

Workflow automation

Enterprise plan

AI

Bots

Intelligent insights

Reporting and analytics

Analytics

Enterprise plan

Real-time insights

Enterprise plan

Scalability

Fast time to value

Low total cost of ownership

Customizable

Enterprise plan

Self-service

Knowledge base

Community forum

FAQ

Integrations

Highly rated integrations

Robust catalog


Zendesk vs. Microsoft Dynamics 365: Features comparison

Businesses need customer service software that provides practical tools and resources if they want to deliver great experiences. Here’s a rundown of the features that Zendesk and Microsoft provide and how well they perform.

Ticketing and case management

Zendesk ticketing and case management features are some of the most robust and intuitive in the CSM software industry. At its core, Zendesk is a centralized software that transforms customer interactions from any communication channel into actionable tickets. Users can easily categorize, prioritize, and assign tickets in Zendesk to the appropriate teams or individuals.

Automated workflows, pre-written responses, and a comprehensive tracking system ensure no customer query goes unanswered and service level agreements (SLAs) are honored. Side Conversations allow agents to collaborate with other team members to solve customer issues without leaving the help ticket. The software provides a holistic view of each customer's history to further empower agents to deliver personalized service, enhancing the overall CX.

SVP of Operations at BombBomb quote

Microsoft Dynamics 365 complex ticketing and case management features sometimes fall short of user expectations. Users have reported a steep learning curve, which can lead to longer onboarding times for teams unfamiliar with the platform. Additionally, the system's interface struggles to share information across portals. For example, one user experienced difficulty in accessing contact details across systems.

AI

Zendesk embraces the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance its customer support capabilities, offering tools that drive efficiency for agents and improve the experience for customers. Zendesk AI can recognize the intent and sentiment behind customer messages, enabling the bots to equip agents with insights and suggestions. Our chatbots come pre-trained based on billions of real service interactions, so they can support customers without a human agent ever getting involved.

Zendesk AI is ready to perform from the moment you sign up, so you don’t have to enlist the help of outside consultants before it will work. These AI products use machine learning to better understand your customers and employees, meaning they will only become more effective with each interaction.

Microsoft is a leader in AI development, but applying AI tools in Dynamics 365 sometimes requires specialized configurations which can lead to a slower time to value. Additionally, the difficulty of integrating Dynamics 365 with third-party software further limits the usefulness of its AI.

Reporting and analytics

Zendesk reporting and analytics capabilities empower businesses with actionable insights into their customer support operations. Users can access a wide range of metrics within the software, from ticket response times to customer satisfaction scores.

Zendesk users can access customizable reports, allowing them to dive deep into data and identify trends, bottlenecks, and areas of improvement. Data can easily break down into charts and graphs for straightforward interpretation.

Head of Supply Chain at Accent Group quote

Microsoft Dynamics 365 users have pointed out that the reporting interface is difficult to understand without a deep technical background. It can sometimes require hiring a professional service to get reports set up correctly, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Scalability

Zendesk software is renowned for its scalability, catering to businesses of all sizes—from budding startups to global enterprises. Recognizing the dynamic nature of businesses, Zendesk has solutions that grow with an organization's evolving needs.

Whether it's expanding customer support teams, integrating new communication channels, or accommodating surges in ticket volumes, Zendesk ensures smooth scaling as efficiency and automation are baked into our product. Zendesk works out of the box, ensuring that businesses can expand their operations without the need for hefty investments in hardware or prolonged setup times.

As businesses grow and evolve, the complexity of the Dynamics 365 suite can become a double-edged sword. Customizing new and existing modules can demand significant time and technical expertise, potentially slowing down a company's adaptability.

Self-service

Zendesk helps businesses empower their customers by providing comprehensive self-service software. Central to this is the knowledge base software that allows support teams to create and manage a library of articles, FAQs, and tutorials. Content Cues automatically provide support teams with knowledge gap alerts so they can keep articles up to date and ensure customers can find answers to their queries.

Zendesk provides businesses with community forum software so that businesses can offer places for their customers to engage with one another and collaborate to solve problems. These self-service tools foster a sense of autonomy and confidence among customers. This self-service repository enables customers to find solutions to issues without contacting support, reducing ticket volumes and enhancing customer satisfaction.

A common criticism of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is its complex interface, and its self-service features are no exception. Setting up and customizing the Microsoft knowledge base software can be intricate, potentially leading to gaps in information or a less cohesive user journey. Businesses might find themselves investing more time and resources in optimizing the self-service experience for their customers.

Integrations

Zendesk provides an extensible customer support solution, as evidenced by its large catalog of integrations. Recognizing the diverse tech stacks businesses employ, the Zendesk Marketplace offers apps and integrations that span categories from customer relationship management (CRM) to e-commerce, ensuring seamless connectivity with third-party tools.

Whether it's syncing with popular software like Slack, Salesforce, or Shopify, Zendesk ensures data flows smoothly across systems. This interconnected ecosystem eliminates data silos and ensures support agents have a comprehensive view of customer interactions.

Many Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers use the platform due to its natural integration with other Microsoft products. But if users require integrations with third-party applications, the software struggles to support non-Microsoft tools. As a result, many businesses need to allocate their staff or hire expensive consultants to fix integrations, requiring additional time and resources.

Pricing plans: Microsoft vs. Zendesk

Zendesk
Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Support Team: $19 per agent/month

  • Support Professional: $55 per agent/month

  • Support Enterprise: $115 per agent/month

  • Suite Team: $55 per agent/month

  • Suite Growth: $89 per agent/month

  • Suite Professional: $115 per agent/month

  • Suite Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing

    *Plans are billed annually.

  • Customer Service Professional: $50 per user/month

  • Customer Service Enterprise: $95 per user/month

  • Field Service: $95 per user/month

  • Remote Assist: $65 per user/month


Zendesk offers greater total cost of ownership due to the out-of-the-box readiness of its many features. Businesses don’t need to hire specialists to build solutions because employees without technical knowledge can easily use the tools that each plan provides. This also leads to a fast time-to-value since the software doesn’t require prolonged training or downtime while features are developed.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers many different products, so the true cost gets complicated depending on the types of plans you need and the number of licenses. Customer service plans have distinct business applications, like field service and remote assist. If one agent needs access to the core features of these different plans, they’ll need to purchase multiple licenses.

Customer stories on using Zendesk vs. Microsoft

3 people standing together

Ave Living by Korman

AVE Living, a pioneer in short-term furnished apartments, faced challenges with its CRM system as the company expanded its real estate portfolio. When the company experienced rapid growth, its existing CRM became a friction point, often malfunctioning or shutting down, leading to significant frustration among the team.

The older system was suitable for the business’s initial six properties but was too limiting as the company grew. The need for a more reliable and scalable CRM led the team to evaluate almost 30 CRM options, including Microsoft Dynamics.

Zendesk emerged as the preferred choice due to the personalized attention our team provided. We took the time to understand AVE Living's specific needs, ensuring a tailored implementation. The transition to Zendesk brought about enhanced efficiency, with features like integrated email and appointment systems, comprehensive activity reports, and mobile access, which significantly improved the sales process.

“From the IT side, I see that everything is available, visible. We know where things are, at which stages, and do reporting in business intelligence. So that’s amazing to us because now we can see where we are getting most of our business.”

–Reena George, Vice President, Enterprise Applications at AVE Living by Korman

Accent Group

Accent Group, a leading lifestyle footwear company in Australia and New Zealand, faced challenges in modernizing its customer support as it expanded its operations. After the company’s merger with RCG Corporation in 2015 and the subsequent relocation of the executive team to Melbourne, Australia there was a pressing need to transform Accent Group’s customer support from a siloed operation using Microsoft Outlook into a cohesive digital space.

To improve communication practices and manage its growth, the company adopted Zendesk. One significant change was consolidating support teams across Australia and the Philippines into a unified system. This allowed for streamlined workflows using triggers and automations, enabling the entire team to support the business holistically.

The shift to Zendesk also gave Accent Group a clearer understanding of its crucial key performance indicators (KPIs) and better reporting capabilities.

“There’s value in moving to one uniform solution, not only because we believe in the product, but because we can get more product experts within our own business to prime and maximize the tools.”

–Mark Rizza, Head of Supply Chain at Accent Group

Nexon

Video game company Nexon faced challenges in delivering optimal customer service as it expanded its gaming portfolio. The company tried managing customer service tickets through Microsoft Outlook, but these solutions failed to enhance its customer satisfaction (CSAT) score or streamline internal operations.

Recognizing the need for an efficient and modern solution, Nexon chose Zendesk for its unified user interface, live chat capabilities, and security features. The transition from Microsoft to Zendesk was smooth and swift, with our team providing hands-on support during the implementation phase.

In roughly eight months, Nexon witnessed a remarkable 114 percent improvement in its CSAT score. This success was due in part to the user-friendly nature of Zendesk, efficient workflows, and the ability to quickly train agents in the new processes. The shift to Zendesk also enabled Nexon to achieve faster response times, with most email tickets getting addressed in 10 hours or less, significantly better than the 18-hour time frame listed in the SLA.

“We could train the agents how to use Zendesk very quickly. It’s been a helpful tool to get the right tickets to the right people and to respond to them in a good amount of time.”

–Barry Schwartz, Associate Director of Customer Support at Nexon

Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand is a global manufacturing conglomerate known for its diverse range of products. The company faced significant customer service challenges due to its vast product portfolio and limited Microsoft Outlook capabilities. The system made it difficult to monitor response times and ensure efficient support.

Ingersoll Rand transitioned to Zendesk, and its customer support operations underwent transformative changes.The integration of email and voice tickets and the software's API capabilities allowed for more streamlined workflows and better customer interactions. For instance, the company integrated Zendesk with UPS to swiftly generate warranty evaluations, repairs, and return labels.

Ingersoll Rand achieved more than a 35 percent increase in its customer satisfaction score. On top of that, its customer service team has a 95 percent success rate in meeting their four-hour first response time SLA.

“Zendesk has given us greater visibility into our incoming requests and helped us to level load our accounts. It’s also given us the opportunity to see what types of requests our distributors are asking repetitively, so that we can uncover training opportunities.”

–Kelly Dees, Vice President of Global Customer Experience at Ingersoll Rand

Frequently asked questions

Read on for additional information on why businesses choose Zendesk over Microsoft.

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Zendesk provides businesses with the fast time-to-value, agility, CX best practices, and low total cost of ownership they don’t get from Microsoft. Try it today to discover how it can help you achieve your goals and provide better customer service.

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