The Pros and Cons
The Multibrand feature is a replacement for, and improvement for, the Hub and Spoke method for supporting multiple brands. Hub and spoke is a workaround that allows for multiple Zendesk accounts to be strung together with ticket sharing agreements to manage multiple brands with a single team of agents.
The Multibrand feature set provides more transparency, which is good, but may be jarring for a team used to working with hub and spoke.
The most important thing is that Multibrand is the supported solution for supporting multiple brands, while hub and spoke is a workaround, or a legacy system, that is not supported. Migrating is in your best interest in the long term, but you should be aware of its affect.
Advantages of Hub and Spoke
Hub and spoke might still have a few advantages compared to Multibrand. You can use this list as a guide.
- One email template for each brand
- Allows for one unique SSO protocol for each brand
- Individual security and user settings for each brand
- Separate user accounts on each branded account, so users are not exposed to your individual brands
- In hub and spoke, users register separately for each of your Help Centers and don't have access to Help Centers for your other accounts, unless they also register in those Help Centers.
- In Multibrand, users have a single account that grants them access to all of your branded Help Centers; this means their password is the same across Help Centers, but their tickets and activity are unique to each Help Center
Advantages of Multibrand
There are many, many advantages to having all brands exist within a single account, and this is a thorough (but probably not exhaustive) list.
- Agents only need to log in to one account to access everything
- Tickets have a native brand value, instead of relying on tags
- User data is available in your account and on tickets
This was probably the number one complaint about hub and spoke; user didn’t get shared from spoke accounts to the hub
- Ticket channels are always visible
Much like user data, channel data doesn’t transfer from the spoke to the hub, so you can’t tell if you’re answering a tweet or a ticket
- Centralized reporting for all ticket and user values for:
Help Center stats
- You can track customer satisfaction
- Because there’s only one account, you’ll only set up these things once:
- Ticket fields
- Dynamic Content
- All of these things can be managed on the user now:
- User tags
- Notes and details
- Talk and Chat work much, much better with Multibrand
All of the differences between Multibrand and hub and spoke stem from a single difference. Hub & spoke relies on multiple Zendesk accounts, while Multibrand replies on a single account, differentiating tickets and contact points by relationship to brands.
The single biggest result of this difference is how users are handled. We approached this set up because the majority of our users were concerned with not being able to associate user data with tickets. By integrating all of your brands into a single account (with a single pool of users) we provide you all your data in one place.
When users register for an account, they create an account for all of your branded Help Centers. To avoid confusion down, we let customers know that they’ve registered for an account with multiple portals. The user has a single login for all your Help Centers, but their profile and activities (tickets, posts, comments, and do on) is unique to each Help Center.