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Zendesk vs. Kayako

Delivering the best customer experience starts with flexible software that scales. Our Zendesk vs. Kayako comparison guide will help you make the right choice.

Zendesk vs. Kayako: A comprehensive guide

Last updated January 22, 2024

Businesses understand how impactful an exceptional customer experience (CX) can be. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023, 80 percent of business leaders plan to increase their customer service budgets.

When making such a crucial investment, pick a flexible solution with everything you need now and as you grow. When comparing Zendesk vs. Kayako, only one solution has CX in its DNA: Zendesk.

Here are three reasons Zendesk is a step above Kayako.

3 reasons why Zendesk is a step above Kayako
  1. CX leadership and expertise

    Zendesk has more than 100,000 happy customers, including startups, small and medium businesses (SMBs), and major enterprises from all industries. G2 even ranked Zendesk #1 best software product for customer service. On the other hand, Kayako isn’t ranked in the top 100.
  2. Product maturity and scalability

    Zendesk provides a flexible system that grows with businesses, no matter where they are in their business journeys. Unlike Kayako, Zendesk offers a complete service solution you can count on both now and in the future, including native omnichannel capabilities, pre-built and customizable reporting, built-in AI, and a robust marketplace full of integrations.
  3. Partnership and support

    Zendesk empowers you with our customer community that offers expert best practices, dedicated account management, and in-depth training to ensure you get the most out of our software. However, several reviews point to challenges with Kayoko's support, so you may not get the same level of CX partnership with Kayako as you do with Zendesk.

More in this guide:

At-a-glance comparison: Zendesk vs. Kayako

Let’s check out some key features and capabilities that the best customer service software should have. Our chart lets you quickly compare Zendesk vs. Kayako to see which company excels.

Key capabilities

Vendor performance

Analyst rating


Not recognized


Best of breed customer service

Customer service

High customer satisfaction at scale

AI and automation

Native AI functionality

Apps and integrations

App marketplace

Omnichannel ticketing system

Unified agent workspace

Reporting and analytics

Out-of-the-box reports

Custom dashboards

Custom metrics

Custom reports

Self-service portal and knowledge base management


Native functionality

Live chat and messaging

Case and conversation management

360-degree customer view

Zendesk vs. Kayako: Features comparison

To discover whether Zendesk or Kayako can better help you maximize your customer service solution, we'll dig into these key features:

  • AI and automation
  • Apps and integrations marketplace
  • Omnichannel ticketing system
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Self-service portal and knowledge base management
  • VR and CTI
  • Case and conversation management

Pricing plans: Kayako vs. Zendesk

Comparing pricing plans between these two software brands is challenging since businesses must contact Kayako for a quote. Rather than keeping pricing shrouded in mystery, Zendesk offers transparent pricing at every level. That way, there are no surprises or hidden costs.

Zendesk vs. Kayako: Pricing plans

  • Kayako Cloud: Contact Kayako
  • Classic On-Prem: Contact Kayako

When a software doesn’t meet your expectations, switching to a new solution can be expensive. Because Zendesk offers a scalable product that specializes in the customer experience, our software will grow with you.

Customer stories

Check out what our customers have to say about their experiences with Zendesk.

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods is a sustainable retail company that sells unique gifts for children, teens, and adults. Its focus on providing a great end-to-end customer experience while handling high ticket numbers led to upgrading its systems to Zendesk.

Since partnering with Zendesk, Uncommon Goods has experienced improvements, like:

  • 72% reduction in email volume.
  • 94.5% customer satisfaction rating.
  • 2 hour first response time by email.
Uncommon Goods director of customer service quote

Spartan Race

Spartan Race, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand, needed help adapting its customer support to changing business needs. To handle support in the face of staff reduction, it upgraded its systems to Zendesk. With Zendesk, it deployed chatbots and added additional channels, including messaging, to enhance the overall customer experience with a lower head count.

With Zendesk, Spartan Race has seen benefits, such as:

  • 78% one-touch resolution rate.
  • +90% CSAT rating.
  • +46% increase in self-service.
  • +40% increase in help center views.
Spartan Race director of global customer engagement quote

Luma Health

Luma Health provides a modern communication platform that makes it easy for patients and healthcare providers to engage. When Luma Health experienced sudden business growth, the healthcare platform chose Zendesk to help them streamline customer communication.

With Zendesk, Luma Health was able to offer personalized support at scale with a limited resource team. Since Zendesk entered the picture, Luma Health has seen these improvements:

  • 30% decrease in wait times
  • +5% increase to CSAT score
  • 1,300 calls handled per month with limited team
Luma Health director of global success quote

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions that customers ask when comparing Zendesk with competitors like Kayako.

Ready to try Zendesk?

Comparing Zendesk vs. Kayako, Zendesk is the right choice for your business if you’re looking for a solution that grows alongside your business and customer base, is a market leader, and is committed to your success. Start your free trial now and start enjoying the benefits from day one.

Start delivering better customer experiences with Zendesk