As of 2023, 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 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.
- Suite Team Plan: $55/month per user when billed annually
- Suite Growth Plan: $89/month per user when billed annually
- Suite Professional Plan: $115/month per user when billed annually
- Suite Enterprise Plan: For this plan, please contact Zendesk’s sales team.
*All the plans above include a 30-day-long free trial, making it possible to try them out before committing to an annual purchase.
“Customizable and dynamic, you’re able to bridge together several teams or business units to work together in an effective way.”
“Their support is abysmal. Something changed in the last couple of years which has nearly caused me to stop using their services.”
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 9 Zendesk Alternatives
Here are the top 9 alternatives to Zendesk:
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- Salesforce vs. Zendesk – customer support solution that offers more third-party integrations and AI at the same time for larger companies
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.
One thing that caught my attention during my Salesforce trial was that it uses Einstein GPT to enable customer service teams to benefit from AI when it’s time to manage communication with customers successfully.
Along 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.
This feature alone facilitates the operation process on incoming tickets, as agents can use their favorite social channels to get in touch with each other without swapping applications.
Thus, you should give Salesforce a go if you’re after some powerful integrations to use on your base plan.
- 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 can do just about anything you need it to. I love the integration with other platforms (marketing, finance, etc.), and it is so highly customizable.”
“That it is not easy to use straight away, there should be open-source training that lets you know how to better use the system and that it allows a little more freedom.“
2- HubSpot vs. Zendesk – customer service tool that’s 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.
- 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.
“I like how HubSpot Service Hub helps a company from every perspective. If you are from the Sales team, you have the right tool to accomplish your goals.
“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!”
3- Freshdesk vs. Zendesk – customer service platform that’s way quicker in implementing and faster in responses
Freshdesk is a product of Freshworks, which focuses on aiding customer support teams solely.
Involving Freshdesk Omnichannel within its system, Freshdesk grants many wishes to 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,
- 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.
- 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 is easy to set up and get started. It has the quickest go-to-market deployment, even when considering novice users.“
“Freshdesk is good for simple implementation but has limitations to support complex business scenarios.“
4- SysAid vs. Zendesk – robust help desk software that specializes in IT services as well
What makes SysAid different from the others is the fact that it focuses on IT services as a help desk.
What do I mean?
I mean that this product fully operates on your IT system essentials, such as handling tickets, managing assets, and eliminating all the manual work.
For example, ticket automation works in such a way that it prioritizes and sorts tickets on its own, leaving teams the closing part only.
In short, this product aims to boost productivity with the powerful features below:
- self-service automation,
- ticket automation,
- asset management,
- remote control,
- advanced and automated reporting,
- codeless configuration, and
SysAid offers custom quotes; thus, it’d be better for you to contact its sales team.
“The experience has been rewarding; the way you can parameterize and organize your workflow to create a synergy between your clients and administrators allows you to create an excellent customer service experience.“
“The initial implementation and parameterization can be a bit slow due to the internal processes of each company. But when you get past that step, you realize that it is worth it to experience every tool of this great solution.“
5- Zoho vs. Zendesk – decent desk software solution with the same self-service options for a lower price
Zoho is a private company that promises practical help desk software, especially for small and mid-sized businesses.
Compared to Zendesk, 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
- Standard Plan: €12/month per user when billed annually (€18/month per user on monthly subscriptions)
- Professional Plan: €20/month per user when billed annually (€30/month per user on monthly subscriptions)
- Enterprise Plan: €35/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
“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.”
“Sometimes the mail that lands in the mailbox of the agent comes late. Zoho can improve this functionality and help the agents to take the tickets on time.”
6- JitBit vs. Zendesk – good desk platform with more self-hosted options and unlimited customizations
JitBit is one of the oldest helpdesk ticketing software applications in the market that launched way back in 2005. It is used by some of the biggest brands, including ESPN, HP, Philips, Siemens, Oracle, Adobe, Xerox, General Electric, Dell, and Vodafone.
Unlike Zendesk, Jitbit is available in both cloud-hosted and self-hosted options.
The self-hosted option is available for a one-time perpetual license fee that covers free upgrades for up to one year. More importantly, it gives customers access to the complete source code that can be completely customized. This is ideal for enterprise customers with very specific feature requirements.
The cloud-hosted version of JitBit is more similar to Zendesk and is ideal for small and medium businesses. However, compared to Zendesk, JitBit is much cheaper with a starting price of just under $25/month (billed annually).
JitBit’s cloud application does not overwhelm you with features. However, it includes all the vital elements, including features, such as:
- Unlimited storage and attachments
- Custom domain support
- Categorization and tag support
- Email integration
- Live chat, knowledge base, and time tracking
- Dashboard, logs, and reports
- Third-party integration (JIRA, Zapier, Dropbox, Asana, Slack, etc.)
1- Cloud-hosted Plan
- Freelancer Plan: $29/month ($24.92/month billed annually)
- Startup Plan: $69/month ($58.25/month billed annually)
- Company Plan: $129/month ($108.25 billed annually)
- Enterprise Plan: $249/month ($208.25 billed annually)
2- Self-hosted Plan (perpetual license fee)
- Small Plan: $2199
- Company Plan: $3799
- Enterprise Plan: $6499
“I like the simple JitBit interface; it’s intuitive. In addition, it reduces the attention of repetitive tasks and allows us to focus on priority tasks.“
“There doesn’t seem to be a good way to allow a user to have full read access to all tickets in a category or section without giving them technician access as well.“
7- Help Scout vs. Zendesk – customer service solution with desk features that are more user-friendly and less complex
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
- 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: $40/month per user when billed annually ($50/month per user on monthly subscriptions)
- Pro Plan: $65/month per user when billed annually (no monthly option)
*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
“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.“
“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.”
8- Intercom vs. Zendesk – helpdesk software with customer service features that make it less painful to build custom chatbots
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.
- 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.
“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.”
“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.“
9- LiveChat vs Zendesk – a better option for small and medium businesses that are looking for an outstanding customer service product with lots of features
LiveChat is a customer support software with an intuitive interface that improves customer interactions thanks to the wide range of features it offers. Within this customer service management tool, agents will benefit from the notable features below:
- canned responses,
- knowledge base,
- data summary,
- app messaging,
- analytics features,
- AI-powered automation.
With all the standout features this chat tool provides agents with, customer support teams are able to improve any customer support service and streamline customer support requests on a single platform.
Moreover, dedicated teams will be able to make use of some basic features, such as ticket assignment, task management, and ticket management, if they integrate LiveChat with HelpDesk—which is a comprehensive solution for customer support operations.
- Starter Plan: starting from $20/month per agent when billed annually
- Team Plan: starting from $41/month per agent when billed annually
- Business Plan: starting from $59/month per agent when billed annually
- Enterprise Plan: For this plan, please contact LiveChat’s sales team.
*All the plans above include a 14-day-long free trial, making it possible to try them out before committing to an annual purchase.
“I hold LiveChat’s ticketing system in high regard. This system allows me to work with multiple colleagues on a customer support query, while keeping all collaboration and communication efforts within the LiveChat platform.”
“The learning curve is kind of tricky, but at least the support is good, and they help you.”
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.