Zendesk vs. Kustomer
Although Meta has spun off Kustomer, Kustomer’s future is still uncertain. With limited resources to support your business, switch now to a trusted and reliable company like Zendesk.
Zendesk vs. Kustomer: A comparison guide
Your agents might be the rockstars of customer service, but it’s hard to create a catchy tune with broken instruments. As Meta begins to divest Kustomer, you need a reliable customer service solution that boosts your team’s performance instead of limiting its success. Switching to Zendesk gives your agents the tools to harmonize the customer experience and produce memorable interactions that build a loyal fan base.
Zendesk helps your teams stay in sync to deliver a level of service that makes customers sing your praises. Understanding the difference between Zendesk vs. Kustomer and what sets Zendesk apart is, as The Jackson 5 said, “as easy as 1, 2, 3.”
- Trust: Delivering a great customer experience is key to growing and retaining revenue. Zendesk is trusted by more than 130,000 businesses and has a proven track record of success.
- Scalability: Customer service teams need to support more use cases than ever before—like new products, customer segments, and communication channels—and Zendesk offers a complete solution that can scale to any and all use cases.
- Agility: As businesses move and evolve quickly, they need a flexible solution to keep pace. Zendesk is agile and built to absorb planned and unplanned initiatives.
More in this guide:
- Comparison at a glance: Zendesk vs. Kustomer
- Zendesk vs. Kustomer: Features comparison
- Pricing plans: Kustomer vs. Zendesk
- Customer stories about using Zendesk vs. Kustomer
- Frequently asked questions
- Ready to try Zendesk?
At-a-glance comparison: Zendesk vs. Kustomer
Want to see how Zendesk and Kustomer match up? Our comparison chart provides a side-by-side view of the features the two customer service solutions offer.
|Omnichannel customer service||
|AI and machine learning||
|Frictionless agent experience||
|Conversation and case management||
|Reporting and analytics||
|Ease of deployment||
|Business agility and scalability||
|Designated customer success and support programs||
Zendesk vs. Kustomer: Features comparison
The best customer service solutions have features that help your team make customers the star of the show. Let’s cut the lights and draw back the curtains to compare the features. Which platform will take center stage?
Omnichannel customer service
Omnichannel customer service goes beyond offering several communication channels. It means meeting the customer where they are and delivering consistent, exceptional support across channels, ensuring seamless transitions through live and asynchronous conversations.
Zendesk enables businesses to deliver a complete omnichannel customer experience. Our Agent Workspace allows agents to work seamlessly across channels, all within one modern interface. Agents can use the appropriate channels to address issues, without being restricted to the channel in which the customer originally made contact. Customer interactions and data are consolidated into a single view, giving agents the context they need to effectively assist each customer.
The platform also supports a multitude of channels that help your teams deliver personalized, conversational experiences. These channels include:
- Messaging channels, like WhatsApp for Business, Facebook Messenger for business, and Apple Business Chat
- Live chat
- Web form
- Native, integrated messaging call back, or third-party voice solution
- Authenticated portal
- Unified omnichannel web widget
Though Kustomer features a single interface for support agents, it falls short of creating the rich, conversational experiences that customers deserve. There’s only a basic real-time chat with no rich content embedding, there’s no native voice, and there are limited channels in the web widget. Additionally, Kustomer offers fewer than five social messaging integrations, creating barriers to customer communication and fractured experiences.
Self-service options help your business improve the customer experience and increase agent efficiency while reducing support costs. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023, 37 percent of customers become noticeably frustrated or stressed when they can’t complete simple tasks on their own.
Zendesk has robust self-service capabilities that help customers conveniently resolve issues or find information on their own. Advanced knowledge management tools—like Content Cues, content blocks, and Team Publishing—streamline the process of keeping knowledge base information and articles current. AI-powered bots are another self-service option, providing 24/7 support and surfacing resources like help center articles and FAQs.
Kustomer delivers a cobbled self-service experience that can result in higher ticket volume and support costs. Kustomer omits valuable features like knowledge management publishing and approval workflows, article versioning and history, bulk article editing and updating, and agent feedback loops.
AI and machine learning
Customers are embracing artificial intelligence, and businesses are finding innovative ways to use it to improve customer service. According to our CX Trends Report, both businesses and customers are seeing the benefits of AI and machine learning technology:
- 72% of consumers have reported a noticeable increase in service quality from AI chatbots.
- 59% of business leaders have reported measurable ROI as a direct result of deploying AI.
Zendesk uses AI and machine learning to optimize efficiency throughout the customer and operational experience. In addition to standard chatbots, Zendesk offers advanced, pre-trained AI to understand the top customer issues specific to your industry. It understands customer sentiment, intent, and language and learns with every interaction. It works right out of the box, meaning you’ll spend less time and money configuring the tool.
Kustomer’s chatbots also provide 24/7 support and intent detection but require manual model training for AI. Because of the company’s uncertain future and vision, AI technology may remain stagnant with its platform.
Frictionless agent experience
Empowering your team with a unified toolset can create a frictionless agent experience, allowing your agents to focus on the customer instead of a clunky interface.
The Agent Workspace from Zendesk helps your teams solve issues faster, with customer context, intelligent suggestions, relevant knowledge base content, and customer interaction history in one place. The interface also displays ongoing conversations, customer data, integrations with Zendesk, and any support apps. Agent Workspace gives agents the information they need to better serve the customer without toggling between systems or apps.
The side conversations feature allows agents to have discussions with other teammates and share relevant customer information—directly from the interface. This enhances collaboration across departments, breaking down data silos for more effective customer service and a frictionless agent experience. The Agent Workspace is also highly customizable, so you can tailor your view to display the most important information in your preferred layout.
With Kustomer’s less efficient, non-customizable agent interface, your team may struggle to find customer data scattered across different apps and tools. You can’t link new and old conversations, either—the timeline view is a single, long-running, asynchronous thread you must sift through to find information. This can lead to longer wait times, frustrated customers, and higher customer churn.
Conversation and case management
Service level agreements (SLAs) are common with customer service platforms and help teams meet customer service expectations. Zendesk and Kustomer have SLAs, but Zendesk is the only software with operational level agreements (OLAs). This means internal departments are held to a high level of operational standards.
Zendesk offers conversation and case management features that are important for every customer service team. They allow agents to stay organized and efficiently track and manage requests. Previous, related conversations are easily accessible to provide more context for new issues.
Kustomer’s conversation and case management features have a few gaps. The conversations are long-threaded, forcing agents to sift for specific, relevant information. There are also no custom data forms or customizable fields that can improve data capture. Side conversations aren’t available either, further complicating the ability to track and manage conversations.
Reporting and analytics
Reporting and analytics tools provide insights that help you gain a deeper understanding of your customer base and internal performance.
Zendesk features a native analytics tool with pre-built, real-time omnichannel dashboards that show you valuable information—out of the box. Customizing reports is easy, with a low-code, point-and-click configuration that lets your management teams create a tailored view with only the metrics they want displayed.
With weaker native reporting and analytics, Kustomer doesn’t quite hit the mark. The tools are difficult to customize, so it’s cumbersome and time-consuming to output the data you want. The reporting could benefit from the addition of several useful features like time series benchmarking, event level tracking, and flexible data visualization options.
When your customer support solution has several integration options and APIs, you can build the platform of your dreams.
Zendesk puts you in the best position to customize your customer service solution and enhance the customer and agent experience. The Zendesk App Marketplace has more than 1,300 pre-built apps and integrations that connect seamlessly with your tech stack without coding. Zendesk stands out, with 30+ social media integrations that level up your omnichannel messaging experience through apps like Slack, Salesforce, and Shopify.
Kustomer’s integration library offers fewer than 100 basic pre-built apps. The lack of options can limit the capabilities and functionality of the platform you want to build and hinder your ability to deliver a high-quality customer experience.
Ease of deployment
Investing in customer support software shouldn’t be complicated. Time is the most valuable asset—spending resources on deployment and training takes away from the time you can spend with the customer.
Zendesk sets up in days and works out of the box, so you can start rockin’ and rollin’ fast. Zendesk has a ton of resources available if you do happen to have questions along the way. Our help center offers many self-service options, including FAQs, knowledge base articles, and a community forum. Live coaching can help you with personalized, one-on-one support, or—in complex situations—Zendesk Professional Services can do it for you.
Once you set it up, the intuitive Agent Workspace is simple to learn and navigate for your team.
Kustomer is more complicated, with deployment heavily reliant on developer assistance or coding knowledge. The same coding roadblock exists for creating new or modifying existing workflows, making updates labor-intensive.
Business agility and scalability
Customer support agents are customer-facing roles, so it’s important that the software they use can adapt and scale to a variety of use cases. If you have a flexible platform that can handle a broad set of use cases—like multi-product support, in-store associate support, or new region support—the more revenue streams your business can tap into.
Zendesk is an agile system with a proven track record to handle any use case. It’s easy to use, simple to customize, and loaded with tools that improve the agent experience, including:
- A conversation-focused agent workspace to provide agents with the data and context they need, all in one place
- Skills-based ticket routing that streamlines workflows
- Internal self-service resources like knowledge bases, help centers, and portals that help agents help themselves
- Automations that eliminate manual, time-consuming tasks
- AI and bots that help deflect tickets
The capabilities and tools that Zendesk provides consistently create a positive customer experience, resulting in a faster time to value.
Because Meta is divesting Kustomer, the platform is now even less agile and scalable, with limited product updates and team layoffs. It’s also a complex solution with a clunky interface, fewer customizable options, and limited messaging channels. This may make it difficult for agents to execute their day-to-day tasks efficiently.
Designated customer success and support programs
As your business grows, your solution should scale with you and support you. Whether you’re looking to onboard, expand, or differentiate yourself in a crowded market, these programs will help you at every step.
Zendesk is a reliable option trusted by more than 130,000 companies across various industries. With a commitment to helping customers thrive, Zendesk invested in designated success and support programs. These partner programs offer resources—like customer support training and customer service templates—for everyone, from enterprises to small businesses.
Kustomer is a small business and hasn’t yet scaled to the same degree as a company. Meta recently divested Kustomer, creating a murky future. Because growth has been a challenge, customer mentoring programs likely aren’t on the horizon.
A highly secure platform should be non-negotiable—it can ensure that data stays protected so you can scale confidently. Because AI and chatbots collect customer data with each interaction, you should have software that prioritizes and protects privacy.
Zendesk has a modern platform with advanced CRM controls that allow you to create secure permissions. This restricts access to any sensitive information to trustworthy, approved employees. In addition to GDPR protection, Zendesk is HIPAA-enabled to keep personal medical data safe.
Starting in 2023, Kustomer will no longer support HIPAA. The company is also not FedRAMP compliant, meaning it hasn’t met the government-wide cloud software security standards.
Pricing plans: Kustomer vs. Zendesk
With similar prices, you should pick software that offers what you need—like Zendesk.
Zendesk vs. Kustomer: Paid plans
|Implementation & Ongoing Administration||
Customer service software can have costs beyond the monthly subscription price. You must account for any hidden implementation costs, maintenance costs, additional support and staffing costs due to a lack of self-service options or automation, and more.
Zendesk deploys quickly and easily and works out of the box. The ease of use and intuitive interface can reduce the learning curve so your agents get up and running fast. Case management, self-service options, robust reporting and analytics tools, and a wealth of apps and integrations help keep teams organized and efficient to deliver customer-centric solutions—something you’ll be happy to notice on your bottom line.
Because of the complex nature of Kustomer’s deployment process and the hidden costs associated with it, the total cost of ownership (TCO) can be much more than that of Zendesk. Keeping staff on-site to maintain and eliminate software bugs can cause your TCO to skyrocket.
Customer stories about using Zendesk vs. Kustomer
Here’s what customers are saying about their real-life experiences.
A customer-centric beauty product subscription service
“We’ve migrated our social media channels into Zendesk to create an omnichannel view of our customers. We improved our first response time and ensured that we resolved 100 percent of our private social media tickets.”
—Anna Skidmore, VP of BFA care
A forward-thinking lender and early-wage access provider
“We used Kustomer for, I want to say, four or five months before we realized it just wasn’t going to cut it.”
—Anastasia Parris, marketing operations manager
An innovative, customizable eyewear company
“We explored other CX solutions [including Kustomer], but none of them had the in-depth reporting and insights, automated features, and community support that Zendesk offers.”
—Ben Segal, senior director of CX
Frequently asked questions
Here are a few FAQs to help you understand the difference between Kustomer vs. Zendesk.
Is Zendesk designed for B2C and D2C businesses?
Absolutely. We work with thousands of leading B2C and D2C businesses, such as Etsy, Peloton, Stitch Fix, Pair Eyewear, Logitech, Boxycharm, Ipsy, Birchbox, and Uncommon Goods.
Can Zendesk deliver a conversational experience?
Yes, Zendesk helps create conversational, omnichannel experiences and provides a time-tested conversation management architecture so you can resolve the most complex issues.
What does Meta’s announcement to divest Kustomer mean for Kustomer’s customers?
While no one has a crystal ball to tell the future, it’s somewhat uncertain for Kustomer given this announcement. We would encourage any businesses using or evaluating Kustomer to do their diligence in understanding what this could mean from a product, support, and relationship perspective in the short and long term. Businesses may take on more risk by using Kustomer moving forward.
Does Zendesk enable customers to influence the roadmap?
Absolutely. Listening to the customer and implementing their feedback is a great way to improve products and processes. Our customer feedback software makes it easy to collect valuable insights and opinions. Customers feel heard when you implement their suggestions—and it usually translates into higher customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores, increased customer engagement, and stronger customer loyalty.
Is Kustomer scalable?
Meta’s divestment of Kustomer has serious implications for the business that hinder its scalability, including limited support, a stalled product, and layoffs. Kustomer always had a small team and struggled with growth. If Kustomer sticks around, it’s possible that only Kustomer’s biggest accounts will get the product enhancements, and Kustomer will need to meet their adoption needs, which is bad news for small businesses.
Is Kustomer cheaper than Zendesk?
No, Kustomer is more expensive than Zendesk at every tier. Zendesk starts at $19 per agent per month, while Kustomer starts at $29 per user per month.
While monthly pricing for Kustomer vs. Zendesk is similar, we encourage you to evaluate the total cost of ownership. This includes the licensing costs, the costs needed to administer the solution, the cost of weak conversation management capabilities, the cost of limited integrations, and the cost of very light reporting capabilities.
Ready to try Zendesk?
Zendesk makes switching platforms a seamless process, but we get it—it’s a big decision. If you want to take Zendesk for a spin, sign up for our free trial so you can check out the full Zendesk experience without obligation. Give Zendesk a try for free.
Explore how Zendesk compares with the competition
There are plenty of options to choose from when deciding on customer service software. Learn how Zendesk stacks up against the competition so you can make the right decision.