6 Zendesk Alternatives for Better Customer Support in 2022

As of 2022, it’s quite possible to say that there are only two words that keep the customers coming, customer experience.

If everything is handled seamlessly, customer engagement will boost without a doubt. 

But, if things don’t go as expected… you’ll be here looking for a new customer support platform that will aid you throughout the customer service operations instead of Zendesk.

So, hang on tight because this is THE article that will help you find the customer support software of your dreams!

What is Zendesk?

zendesk customer support tool

Zendesk is a company that provides unique services to both sales and customer support teams by creating a platform that helps agents deal with urgent customer issues with ease in order to strengthen customer relationships and build loyalty.

The main product of this article is Zendesk Support Suite, as it corresponds to customer requests through customer service channels. Just like the other help desk solutions, Zendesk has a few key features to highlight for improving customer inquiries, such as easily building a customer database, suggesting ticket fields, swiftly combining all incoming emails to a single dashboard, and involving an expansive self-service knowledge base.

Zendesk integrates with TypeGenie, Ticket Analytics, Jira, Shopify, Asana, Trustpilot, SurveyMonkey, Slack, GitHub, Google Drive, Dropbox, and many other useful business apps that you derive benefit from daily.

Zendesk Pricing

  • Suite Team: $49/month per user when billed annually
  • Suite Growth: $79/month per user when billed annually
  • Suite Professional: $99/month per user when billed annually
  • Suite Enterprise: $150/month per user when billed annually

*All the plans above include a 30-day-long free trial, making it possible to try them out before committing to an annual purchase.

Zendesk Reviews

👍 Pros:

“Customizable and dynamic, you’re able to bridge together several teams or business units to work together in an effective way. We’ve been able to set up multiple integrations with other tools using webhooks and other native integrations to help make actionable triggers that save us time and process effort. Reporting is very powerful.”

👎 Cons:

“Their support is abysmal. Something changed in the last couple of years which has nearly caused me to stop using their services. In addition, there are too many things that require add-ons (apps) that the product should do out of the box. Example: round-robin ticket assignments, creating and organizing views, changing the Reply From email address when taking over a ticket, and a VERY limited satisfaction survey.”

Why you need a Zendesk Alternative

These are the reasons why you’re reading this article:

1- Requires add-ons ➕

Although many standard features are included within Zendesk’s plans, some hidden fees might arise anytime due to its lack of out-of-box features that should’ve been included in the first place. These robust features are mostly related to the chat features, such as a chance to customize chatbots, provide a more extensive customer satisfaction survey, and give product tours regarding the chat software.

2- Customer support sucks – at least human support🔊

While it’s no secret that Zendesk contains several relevant help articles that might be of help when you encounter a problem, some cases might require more than articles. For those cases, you might be unable to rely on their customer support agents because they also direct you to a never-ending search through articles, offering you nothing more than an upgrade to a more expensive plan.

3- Too complicated to use😕

The overall system of Zendesk might run without difficulty, but having beginner-friendly mechanics is definitely not a characteristic of it due to its overloaded user interface. Soon, you might find yourself wandering from one page to another within the self-service portal, not even knowing which redirect has led you there.

Top Zendesk Alternatives

Here are the top 6 alternatives to Zendesk:

  1. HubSpot Service Hub
  2. Freshdesk
  3. Help Scout
  4. Intercom
  5. Zoho Desk
  6. Salesforce Service Cloud

I’ll go over each tool while highlighting its advantages over Zendesk and talk about which cases they should be preferred. So, without further ado, let’s start with our first product:

1- HubSpot vs. Zendesk – more adaptable in supporting and shaping each step throughout the process

HubSpot is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool with a clean and intuitive user interface that helps users find the needed element in a breeze. For customer service teams, HubSpot suggests HubSpot Service Hub, a customer service software that displays the customer journey from A to Z, giving the agents a chance to observe insightful reports regarding customer queries.

HubSpot might be the most popular alternative to Zendesk, but this isn’t only due to its advanced features; it’s also the ease of use, set-up, and admin that makes it a great customer support tool. Additionally, one of the center features that I love using is the customization options that actually offer a rather original journey for the customers. Let it be custom properties, custom surveys, or custom reports; you can shape everything according to your team’s and customers’ needs.

Thus, HubSpot takes the first spot on our list as an all-in-one solution that meets ALL of your requirements.

With HubSpot Service Hub as your customer support management tool, you can:

  • Perform user, role, and access management on selected data, features, and many more.
  • Allow customization for users in terms of texts, logos, and chat colors.
  • Track vital metrics regarding the performance of customer support and improve workflow.
  • Set up an automated reply to the support tickets based on their specific category and collaborate on tickets with ease.
  • Create surveys to send out to customers and analyze their responses to find ways to boost the support team’s performance. 

Hubspot Pricing

  • Individual plan: 100% free (no credit card required)
  • Starter plan: $50/per month for 2 seats ($45/per month when billed annually) + per additional user cost is $25 and $23, respectively
  • Professional plan: $500/per month for 5 seats ($450/per month when billed annually) + per additional user cost is $100 and $90, respectively
  • Enterprise plan: $1,200/per month for 10 seats with a cost of $120/per additional user

*To decide on a better plan that suits your needs, you can always contact HubSpot’s sales team, as each plan has a button below leading you there.

HubSpot Reviews

👍 Pros:

“I like how HubSpot Service Hub helps a company from every perspective. If you are from Sales team, you have the right tool to accomplish your goals. If you keep in touch with customers, you have the best tools to do everything you need as well as all the new features they release quite often. For me, as part of Customer Experience team, is game-changing to have marketing email tools and different forms to contact our customers. We can take different approaches, using our database and qualifications, to reach our goals and make our customers’ experience way better.”

👎 Cons:

“There are some tools (Microsoft/Bing ads for example) that don’t integrate with HubSpot so it’s kind of a pain. Hoping HubSpot moves on this integration soon!”

2- Freshdesk vs. Zendesk – quicker in implementing, faster in responses

freshdesk for customer support

Freshdesk is a product of Freshworks, which focuses on aiding customer support teams solely. Involving Freshdesk Omnichannel within its system, Freshdesk grants many wishes of its users by having features using artificial intelligence as a base, which might sound like premium features as Zendesk doesn’t include built-in AI-powered chatbots within its system.

Additionally, its omnichannel takes social media integration to the next level, thanks to communication channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, and WhatsApp.

If you’re looking for a customer support tool that involves advanced features regarding custom bots, try using Freshdesk.

With Freshdesk as your customer support tool, you can make use of the following:

  • Powerful ticketing system that includes a team inbox and service level agreements,
  • Multi-channel support that includes e-mail ticketing, integrated phone support, live chat, feedback widgets, Facebook and Twitter integrations, and mobile apps in one place,
  • Increase in team productivity, thanks to gamification and automations,
  • Self-service culture via knowledge bases and community forums,
  • Global support that you can get due to multi-product support, multiple languages and time zones, and multiple SLA policies,
  • Great security, including a custom SSL certificate, trusted IP, single sign-on, configurable password policy, role-based access control, custom mail servers, and email signing,
  • Smart reporting that contains insights, reports, and customer satisfaction surveys,
  • Apps that will support all of your processes, including self-service portals, FreshThemes, and native apps.

Freshdesk Pricing

  • Free plan: $0 (up to 10 agents)
  • Growth plan: $15/user per month when billed annually ($18/user per month when billed monthly)
  • Pro plan: $49/user per month when billed annually ($59/user per month when billed monthly)
  • Enterprise plan: $79/user per month when billed annually ($95/user per month when billed monthly)

*All the plans above include a 21-day-long free trial, making it possible to try them out before committing to an annual purchase.

Freshdesk Reviews

👍 Pros:

“Freshdesk is easy to set up and get started. It has the quickest go-to-market deployment, even when considering novice users. The integrations with third-party platforms are seamless. Even on the Sprout (basic and free) plan, there aren’t many restrictions. Free email support and integration with automatic ticket creation allow easy access and reporting for running a user helpdesk. The ability to reply via email directly greatly increases efficiency and response time. The export function allows further classification and advanced reporting with custom filters for better data representation. The help documentation is very detailed yet easy to understand and implement. The support is always reachable and offers excellent resolution in a quick turnaround time.”

👎 Cons:

“Freshdesk is good for simple implementation but has limitations to support complex business scenarios. Good for simple configurations and customizations. But as the system grows, some limitations are seen from the product side. I also don’t like the limitations around the access and roles.”

3- Help Scout vs. Zendesk – more user-friendly, less complex

customer support software helpscout

Help Scout is a software company that is famous for its customer service platform that promotes a very user-friendly interface for everyone to grasp the everyday actions and general items that will be used consistently to facilitate and manage customer communication.

What makes Help Scout a good alternative to Zendesk is the ease that comes with a unified dashboard that boosts team collaboration, thanks to its modern interface. By means of this perk, you can leave a comment, which is called a private note, on an email for your colleague to review before sending it. This beneficial feature can be achieved via even a basic plan and is a big advantage for larger teams that need to keep in touch regularly for email ticketing.

With Help Scout as your customer support software, you can:

  • increase team collaboration on tickets that your customers leave
  • build valuable relationships with your customers to boost customer loyalty
  • automate actions
  • create custom folders to make tracking of communication easier
  • send bulk replies with a single click
  • make use of collision detection, notifications, and advanced search and security
  • get reports to gain insight regarding conversations, chats, documents, emails, and company
  • take your data wherever you go with Help Scout’s mobile application
  • create blog posts to answer frequently asked questions with ease on your own site or even on Google Docs
  • launch a help center with custom CSS to promote self-help
  • provide live chat support, and many more

If you’re out there looking for a simple yet robust tool with cool features, such as collision detection, try Help Scout as soon as possible. 

Help Scout Pricing

  • Standard plan: $20/month per user when billed annually ($25/month per user on monthly subscriptions)
  • Plus plan: $35/month per user when billed annually ($40/month per user on monthly subscriptions)
  • Company plan: $60/month per user when billed annually

*All the plans above include a 15-day-long free trial, making it possible to try them out before committing to an annual purchase.

Help Scout Reviews

👍 Pros:

“Help Scout makes it super-easy to handle email support. It does all the basics, like assigning email threads to different people and managing those threads. You can track stats to see which members of your team have helped the most people. I especially like the “merge threads” feature– users will often send in new emails instead of replying to the previous ones or will send in multiple emails about the same topic. Merging them into one thread helps keep things organized.”

👎 Cons:

“Sometimes there are bugs with drafts which can be frustrating because I rely heavily on my drafts being saved. I also wouldn’t mind a more pretty design and customizable colors for different user accounts.”

4- Intercom vs. Zendesk – less painful to build custom chatbots

intercom customer support

Intercom is a software company that offers a help desk software for customer conversations to take place within a comprehensive platform with very innovative features that happen at lightning speed. Such features include the swift operation of user segmentation and filtering when sending emails or campaigns to the users through Intercom. Another feature almost liked by every user is the ability to use the shared inbox, which enhances the workflow and automation process by enabling ticket automation, workload management, and routing automation.

So, if you are a fast-paced company looking for a tool to match your speed, Intercom could be the right customer support software solution for you.

Intercom Pricing

  • Starter plan: starting from $74/month per agent when billed annually 

*As Intercom’s pricing structure isn’t revealed on its page, it might be a good idea to contact its sales team. On another note, it has a 14-day free trial for you to try before making any commitment.

Intercom Reviews

👍 Pros:

“The inbox is intuitive and easy to use. I especially love the ability to chat with colleagues within a ticket. This enables us to collaborate on customer issues and keep a record of those conversations. I also really like the articles and macros, which allow us to provide more detailed support without having to recreate the wheel each and every time. As a Director of Operations, the Reports are a useful tool to help our customer support team assess their performance.”

👎 Cons:

“They are about to introduce a new UI and it does not appear to be as easy to use as the old UI. A few pieces of functionality don’t seem to work the same or similar. Would like to be able to have our customer chat windows be movable around the screen.”

5- Zoho vs. Zendesk – same self-service options for a lower price

zoho desk customer support

Zoho is a private company that promises practical help desk software, especially for small and mid-sized businesses. Compared to Zendesk, Zoho’s Zoho Desk has very similar items regarding reporting features, a knowledge base feature, and advanced features. From creating customer portals to integrating social media channels, Zoho Desk allows users to benefit from itself as an above-average help desk tool. However, Zoho’s case is an exception because it’s a bargain for the functions it offers.

Zoho Desk might be your well-designed customer support tool if you want to see the pricing tiers on a rather reasonable side of the spectrum.

Zoho Desk Pricing

  • Free plan: €0 (up to 3 users)
  • Standard plan: €9/month per user when billed annually (€18/month per user on monthly subscriptions)
  • Professional plan: €15/month per user when billed annually (€30/month per user on monthly subscriptions)
  • Enterprise plan: €26.25/month per user when billed annually (€45/month per user on monthly subscriptions)

*All the plans above include a 15-day-long free trial, making it possible to try them out before committing to an annual purchase.

Zoho Desk Reviews

👍 Pros:

“The best thing about Zoho is living in one single echo system. You don’t have to switch between multiple applications to complete your daily tasks. The seamless integration between the Zoho products is ice on the cake.”

👎 Cons:

“Sometimes the mail that lands in the mail box of the agent comes late. Zoho can improve this functionality and help the agents to take the tickets on time. The password reset option for agents has to be there.”

6- Salesforce vs. Zendesk – more third-party integrations available 

salesforce service cloud customer support

Salesforce is a software company that offers a wide range of cloud computing solutions that aid the process of building authentic relationships with customers seamlessly. While dealing with customer management, Salesforce Service Cloud presents 2,500+ collaboration tools within its system, making it one of the most advanced tools in terms of integrations.

Thus, you should give Salesforce a go if you’re after some powerful integrations to use on your base plan.

Salesforce Pricing

  • Essentials plan: $25/month per user when billed annually (up to 10 users)
  • Professional plan: $75/month per user when billed annually
  • Enterprise plan: $150/month per user when billed annually
  • Unlimited plan: $300/month per user when billed annually

*All the plans above include a free trial, making it possible to try them out before committing to an annual purchase.

Salesforce Reviews

👍 Pros:

“Salesforce can do just about anything you need it to. I love the integration with other platforms (marketing, finance, etc.) and is so highly customizable. It makes it easy for my team to navigate customer accounts and stay organized day to day. I appreciate how easy it is to build out reporting and dashboards.”

👎 Cons:

“That it is not easy to use straight away, there should be a open-source training that lets you know how to better use the system and that it allows a little more freedom.”

Conclusion

Talking to customers, helping their issues in the best way possible, getting customer feedback… all thanks to the platform that connects you to them.

But, if this platform isn’t Zendesk, the best alternatives are right above, waiting for you to try them.

Don’t forget to give them a go!

Frequently Asked Questions


Who should use Zendesk?

Anyone looking for a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to run and improve the whole customer journey can use and benefit from Zendesk.


Is HubSpot better than Zendesk?

HubSpot is a much better option than Zendesk due to the perks it brings along as a fully-qualified platform that empowers your entire team.


What are the top alternatives to Zendesk?

The top alternatives to Zendesk are HubSpot, Freshdesk, Help Scout, Zoho Desk, Salesforce Service Cloud, and Intercom.


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Renk Mert

Sugar, spice, and everything nice... These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect creative content writer. But UserGuiding accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction: *sass*. Thus, the daydreamer Renk with an undying love for cats was born. Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn to talk about user onboarding, inbound marketing, and even the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.