A few years ago when there were not many options available for cloud-based helpdesk software, companies had Zendesk as a big support for their customer service and helpdesk solution.
Zendesk has been quite popular as a cloud-based customer service software and is used by several companies like Vimeo, Airbnb, Fiverr, Shopify, and Slack. Zendesk’s popularity is no secret. It holds a strong 72% market share among all the helpdesk software available. This makes Zendesk rank as one of the highest used and preferred platforms.
But there have been companies that have had to look for the best Zendesk alternative because of the limited features at the offer.
This made us wonder about what Zendesk lacks? Also, we started thinking about how these alternatives are different or better from Zendesk? We will soon address these questions in this blog. But before that, let us look into what problems people are facing with Zendesk and the features its alternatives must possess.
Table of Content
What is Zendesk?
Zendesk is an online customer service solution. It provides you with a customizable front-end portal. It brings together a knowledge base, customer support, and smart self-service options for your customers that include live chat features and integrations with Google Analytics and Salesforce. Zendesk is preferred as a customer support software for its ease of use, APIs, and fast setup of the portal.
The centralized system for answering customer requests is one of the most popular features of Zendesk.
Let us check out some features of Zendesk:
- Effective ticket management system with programmed workflow
- Offers multi-channel support like phone, chat, email, social media, web
- Strong reporting system with advanced analytics
- Offers mobile support with native Android, iPhone, and iPad apps
- The AI-powered chatbot also helps in directing customers to self-service options
- Report cards for customer feedback and support help in tracking team/employee performance
- Open API makes integration with your business easier
- Essential: $5 per employee, per month
- Team: $19 per employee, per month
- Professional: $49 per employee, per month
- Elite: $199 per employee, per month
- Enterprise: $99 per month
Why Is There a Need for a Zendesk Alternative?
Over the years, Zendesk has maintained its image of being a good customer service software on various review platforms like Capterra and Getapps. This has been achieved by an effective feature-rich ticketing system.
Now the question arises as to why do we need a Zendesk alternative?
Zendesk has faced its fair share of dissatisfaction among its many users. The issues that came up were related to the following points:
- Complex System: Even though Zendesk offers ease of use, the overall system becomes a bit too complex to understand and work out when you try to bring all the functionalities of the system and work together. This way, it becomes difficult to keep track of your business users. If you are a Saas that works to support clients who are the end-users of the product, arranging complaint tickets, and recording issues become really important to the flow of the process. This is something Zendesk doesn’t allow at a Team level.
- No way to merge separate channels: Chats with your customers and email tickets generated from your system are separated on Zendesk and there is no way you can merge them. This doesn’t make it possible for you to queue all your customer requests in one go. This means the customer service executives will have to work between two different channels to find a solution to any query.
- No email marketing functionality: Email marketing is one of the indispensable functions for each organization and a lot of customers are approached using that channel of communication. There is no email marketing functionality available in Zendesk. You also cannot set any automated email sequences tool to better handle your communication with your customers.
- A not-so-modern interface: Zendesk has been around for a long time. In the last few years, many new & modern interfaces have been made available to users. Compared to these modern advanced tools offered by a lot of customer service portals these days, Zendesk’s interface seems to be a little outdated and not useful enough.
- Expensive: As mentioned above, Zendesk offers four pricing tiers. It starts with the Essential plan which is the cheapest option from the lot. At times, even the lowest of Zendesk pricing will prove to be no good value for money according to the features they offer. These days almost every cloud-based help desk software can offer similar features and more at a cheaper price.
A Zendesk Alternative Must Have These Features
Zendesk has been around for years, but it might not be suitable or the right fit for all businesses. But there are many competitors of Zendesk that are just equally popular for their features. They have some excellent functionalities at a much lower price.
- An easy, comprehensive overview of the entire software process and ticketing system.
- Customer support teams should be able to collaborate and share knowledge and solutions.
- Enable KPI tracking like service rating, time is taken to respond.
- Assignment and delegation of customer support tickets to agents from beginning to end, in real-time.
- An automated process like FAQs, offering answers to customers easily, options for self-service, etc.
- Easy to use and navigate.
- User-friendly and easy to understand UI/UX interface.
On What Basis Do We Choose Alternatives for Zendesk?
- Customer Service Features: The product must offer all the basic customer service features like knowledge base, FAQs, live chat, self-service, etc. Support agents must be assigned to each customer service task. This must be handled through a robust ticketing system with multi-channel support. Multi-channel support is more important than you think for any customer service helpdesk software.
- Real-time user reviews: Real-time user or customer satisfaction rating reviews are important because they can help you in analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of a certain product and you can make quick decisions based on the information presented to you.
- Recommendation ratings: Each product is required to have a minimum average recommendation rating of 8 out of 10 on sites like Capterra.
- Functionality Ratings: Each product is also very much similar to the Recommendation ratings required to have a functionality rating of 4 out of 5 on sites like Capterrra, .
11 Best Zendesk Alternatives
The Cloud Tutorial
The Cloud Tutorial is one of the best Zendesk alternatives available to you in the help desk software market. It is the perfect knowledge base software that also manages to offer exceptional customer support and allows your customers to quickly find answers to their questions. It helps you make data-driven decisions and provide unmatched customer support which allows your teams to spend less time answering questions and more time focusing on tasks that are more urgent.
Top The Cloud Tutorial features are:
- Segregate information and data by category and sub-category
- Easy to use content editor
- Tailormade FAQ page
- Add a team member to the platform
- Customizable domain, theme, and a contact form
- Rename Cloud Tutorial branding
- Managing information from one place
Best used for: Companies looking to create a knowledge base for their teams and their customers so that they can access and manage information from one place and do it easily.
Free Version: The Cloud Tutorial offers a version of the software
- The Standard plan starts at $14.99 per month for 5 team members
- The Gold plan is available at $49.99 per month with some additional features like Custom Redirects and a Private knowledge base for 50 team members
- The Plus plan is also the best value plan at $99.99 per month for 250 team members
Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.
Take your app and help center to the next level with The Cloud Tutorial.
Help Scout is a customer service software that is largely used by freelancers and small businesses. It is not only easily accessible but is also easy to set up. Help Scout provides a very robust notification system by the way of automated email and ticket numbers.
- Great customer support
- Integrated knowledge base
- In-app messaging
- Real-time reporting
- Instant answering with Beacon
- More than 40 integrations with 3rd party apps like Hubspot, Jira, and Salesforce
Best Used for: For any company that treats their customer more as an opportunity and less as a complaint ticket. It can offer authentic and organic communication and make sure the customers and their issues are prioritized.
Free Version: Help Scout offers no free version of the software.
Pricing: A Standard plan starts from $20 per month per user. A Plus plan is for $35 per month per user. Nonprofits and startups in their first year can get a discount from Help Scout.
Freshdesk is considered to be a very close competitor of Zendesk and has a good amount of market share when it comes to platforms for customer experience. Freshdesk aims at making the workflow of its customers more collaboration-driven. It is software that can be easily adapted to any business model.
- Support across channels
- Easy ticketing
- Multi-channel customer support
- Increasing the overall productivity of the team
- Easy to measure and improve efficiency
- Amazing data security
Best used for: Freshdesk is a really good option for small businesses that require a robust customer experience platform. It is an easy to use platform for the support team as it offers multi-channel customer support.
Free version: Freshdesk has a free version available
Pricing: The Blossom plan is at $15 per month, while the Garden plan is at $35 per month. There is an Estate plan which costs $49, while the Forest plan which is the biggest and the best plan is available at $99. All these plans are billed annually.
HelpCrunch can prove to be a really good alternative to Zendesk if you are looking for something that is cheaper, handier, and different from a traditional ticketing approach. HelpCrunch has a bunch of good options to choose from like live chat for mobile apps and web, and email marketing.
- Helpdesk and ticketing
- Customer Onboarding Campaign
- Free chat and email support
- Multi-channel customer communication
- 100% customizable chat widget
- Selective Feedback collection
Best used for: Creating automated messages and pushing forward new product information for receiving quick feedback. The chat is best used for direct interaction and solving issues quickly. It offers some really good and helpful features and is fit for several uses considering the affordable pricing option.
Free version: HelpCrunch offers a 14-day free trial for you to see how it works and if it is really useful for you.
Pricing: The Standard plan is available at $12 per user per month, while the Premium plan costs $20 and per user per month. All the plans are billed annually. You can also choose a custom Enterprise plan and request a trial for it.
Zoho Desk Customer Service Software
Zoho is an AI-based Zendesk alternative. The included automation system is great for powering the ticketing system and increasing productivity for customer support agents. It allows you to customize the layout, colour, and design of the tool in order to match your brand. The artificial intelligence Zia can speak to customers and offer relevant solutions to them.
- Ticket assignment automation
- Ticketing workflows
- Self-service with the knowledge base
- Customized layouts and templates
- CRM integration
- Social media support
- Alerts and notifications
- Customizable reports
Best used for: The asset management system is the most useful for managing capabilities. Some of the features are most beneficial for organizations that are looking to support team productivity and even adding AI support for most of their customer queries.
Free version: Zoho Desk has a free version available
Pricing: Zoho Desk’s Standard plan starts at $12 per month, Professional plan at $20 per month, and Enterprise plan at $35 per month, all billed annually.
Groove Customer Support Software
Groove is another interesting alternative to Zendesk with a simple design and an easy to use interface. The entire process of collecting and solving customer inquiries of Groove makes the overall customer experience totally worth it. Multiple agents can easily collaborate with the use of customer-facing channels in real-time. It also offers integration with Outlook and Gmail, which makes Groove an existing software solution.
- Self-service portal
- Email integration
- Live chat system
- Multi-channel communication
- Knowledge base management
- Response Automation
- Third-Party integration
- Customizable branding
Best used for: Companies and teams that really want to cut down on support hours or do not want to invest too much manpower into it. Businesses that require customer support software that can easily integrate into the systems that are already being used by the business.
Free version: Groove offers no free versions for any of its plans
Pricing: The Starter plan of Groove is available at $9 per month, the Plus plan is available at $19 per month, while the Pro plan costs $29 per month. There is a Company plan, pricing details for which can be acquired through contact.
With LiveAgent, customer support teams can easily streamline ticketing and services for the customers. It can work as an all-in-one solution that can allow companies to offer live chat support and also create a knowledge base for self-support. It offers several different ways to support teams to communicate with their customers.
- Fully customizable customer-facing portals
- Time tracking
- Knowledge base
- Real-time chat
- Integration with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Best used for: Any business that requires a branded, customizable customer-facing portal. Also, it is good for companies that want to offer support to their customers using different communication channels.
Free version: LiveAgent offers a free trial version for its software
Pricing: The basic Ticket plan offered by LiveAgent is at $15 per agent per month, the Ticket+Chat plan is at $29 per agent per month, while the All-Inclusive plan with all features under one roof is available at $39 per agent per month.
Kayako is one of the oldest helpdesk software and has been a Zendesk alternative for a very long time now. When compared to Zendesk, Kayako still has limited functionality. It is a simple all-in-one tool that can work as a ticketing system. There are several collaboration features that can be enjoyed by customers like assignment rules, real-time visitor monitoring, and private notes. Customers can help themselves through a Help Center that offers self-service and knowledge base and can also get support through live chat, email, Twitter, Facebook, mobile support, etc.
- Real-time messaging
- Unified multiple channel communication
- Advanced ticketing workflows and automation
- Shared Inbox
- Knowledge base
- Native mobile apps for iOS and Android
- Easy integration with Salesforce, Slack, Zapier, and over 500 other business apps
- Completely customizable help center
Best used for: Companies that require a more intuitive and collaborative customer support platform for their customers and their customer support agents.
Free version: Kayako offers free trial versions of all its plans
Pricing: The basic plan called Inbox is available at $15 per agent per month, the Growth plan is available at $30 per agent per month. The Scale plan is available at $60 per agent per month.
HappyFox is a multi-channel helpdesk solution that makes providing customer support much faster and easier. HappyFox is a trusted helpdesk software by several Fortune 500 brands like Whirlpool and Lowe’s. With the help of HappyFox, customer support individuals can provide support through live chat, social media, phone, and email. It also allows companies to create a knowledge base for customer-facing content. Through this content, customers can find answers to their questions even before they reach out to helpdesk employees.
- Task and asset management
- Ticketing system
- Multi-channel support through email, phone, live chat, and social media
- Integration with social media channels
- Smart rules for automation
- In-depth helpdesk reporting
- Intuitive user interface
- Over 30 language supported
Best used for: Companies and organizations that prioritize to work on real-time data with properly streamlined ticketing and documentation in order to avoid any sort of delay or overlap.
Free version: HappyFox offers no free version of the software
Pricing: HappyFox offers a Mighty plan that is available at $29 per month, then there is a Fantastic plan at $49 per month, followed by an Enterprise plan at $69 per month. There is also an Enterprise Plus plan with extra features at $89 per month. There is also something called Unlimited Agents plan at $1499 per month.
With the help of conversational, messenger based customer experiences, Intercom aims at building more authentic customer relationships. Customer support agents are able to offer multi-channel support through email, live chat, in-app messaging, push notifications All this can be done from one unified dashboard.
- Ticketing workflows
- Targeted outbound chats
- Help center with the knowledge base
- Custom bots
- Reporting for team performance, leads, and effectiveness
- Integrates with GitHub, Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack, etc.
- Inbound email address
- Real-time performance monitoring
- Personalized reply templates
Best used for: Any company or organization that is looking to prioritize or streamline their customer communication with software that is easy to use for the entire team.
Free version: Intercom offers a free trial of plans for regular-sized businesses
Pricing: For a regular-sized business, Intercom has plans starting from $499 per month for up to 10 people. For very small businesses, in order to support the needs of a small business owner, there is a $39 per month and $99 per month plan available.
Front is an email platform that allows you to keep all your business communications in one place. The front is a platform that is all about personal support and not about customer tickets. They try to resolve each issue with a human touch. It allows you to build automated workflows for sorting, routing and assigning any incoming complaints or requests so that they don’t get lost.
- Auto reminders and responders
- Unified inbox
- Real-time analytics
- Social media integration
- Rules-based workflow
- Full-featured mobile apps
Best used for: Companies and organizations that aim to offer all their solutions through emails or also for those companies that want to streamline support through email.
Free Version: Front offers no free version of the software
Pricing: The Starter plan is $9 per user per month, the Plus plan is $24 per user per month. The Prime plan is $49 per user per month, while the Enterprise plan is $99 per user per month.
Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.
Take your app and help center to the next level with The Cloud Tutorial.
With this comprehensive list of some of the best Zendesk alternatives available to you, we have tried to include all the amazing platforms that not only work as customer satisfaction and support software but also a shared inbox, knowledge base software with chat features and collaboration features.
We have put together options that not only offer the best customer support features like Zendesk does, but can also offer self-service features, with ticket assignment techniques, and with a modern look and feel. To get more such detailed articles in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.
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