Top Zendesk Competitors Compared

Zendesk is considered one of the best help desk solutions you can choose for your business. But every customer service software has its own advantages and priorities. Some focus on being a cheaper option; some concentrate on offering the best knowledge base instead of a complete customer service solution; this means there are many good Zendesk competitors out there in the market.

Deciding which customer service software you are going to choose is a big step and needs a lot of thinking, as changing the tool later becomes a monumental task. Also, help desk software lets you communicate with your clients and provide the best customer service. Choosing the wrong software can make customer service a hassle instead of a blessing.

FACT:  Companies that use support management tools have higher first contact resolution rates than those that don’t. (source)

We have compiled a list of 11 Zendesk Competitors and their reviews with all of their pros and cons for your ease. This list will help you decide which Zendesk competitor is best for you.

11 Zendesk Competitors

Each tool mentioned in this list has its own advantages; let’s have a look at Zendesk’s competitors.

Software Name Pros Cons
The Cloud Tutorial
  • Help desk software focused on quick resolution, hence the knowledge base
  • Advanced AI-based search to handle typos as well
  • Multiple roles assigned to a single user
  • Reporting available on all plans
  • The focus is on the knowledge base only. If you are looking for a complete help desk solution with ticket management and customer calls, this might not suit you
Freshdesk
  • Clean UI
  • Great reporting
  • Prefers ease of use instead of extensive customization
  • Not a good standalone knowledge base platform
  • Can become expensive if AI features need to be used
Zoho Desk
  • Value for money as it is relatively cheap
  • AI agent ticket escalation features are quite useful
  • Strong integration with other Zoho solutions
  • UI can be better
  • Reporting needs to improve
HubSpot
  • The complete customer journey can be handled in HubSpot, including marketing, sales, and support
  • Customization of reports and dashboard is straightforward
  • Can become very expensive
  • Navigation is a little confusing
  • Service hub is a new module added in the HubSpot arsenal; it may take time before maturing into a full-blown services hub
Salesforce
  • Automation is amazing. You can set up any needed flow
  • Difficult to set up, will need expert help
  • Becomes expensive as you have to purchase the sales model
Atlassian
  • Highly customizable
  • 1000+ integrations available
  • Difficult to set up, will need expert help
Live Agent
  • Easy to set up
  • Very simple and easy to use
  • To keep everything simple, they have lost a few functionalities
  • Customization is limited
Helpcrunch
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Bare minimum help desk solution i.e no complexity involved
  • Limited social media integration
  • No advanced solution available
Groove
  • Great reporting
  • Suitable for small and medium companies
  • Training videos/ documents need to improve
Help Scout
  • Great personalization features
  • Workflows are great
  • Spam filter needs to improve
  • Detailed reporting is a little difficult to find and setup
Kayako
  • Good knowledge base
  • Easy scalability
  • Becomes expensive if you want to use all features
  • Interface needs to improve

Zendesk Competitors

  1. CloudTutorial

    The Cloud Tutorial

    CloudTutorial is a cloud-based system that focuses on the knowledge base creation. CloudTutorial believes that in today’s fast-paced world, the customer wants an instant solution to their problem without logging in tickets or waiting for a customer representative to come online and answer the questions. That is why the core focus is on the knowledge base.

    With CloudTutorial’s feature-rich knowledge base, you can easily entertain any incoming inquiry without the need for a complete help desk solution.

    To create knowledge base articles, creators will have to spend most of the time inside an editor to create helpful articles. With TCT’s advanced editor, you won’t have to switch between different text editors. All history of article edits, who changed what, and who has access to edit a specific article can be managed easily, making it a handy collaborative tool.

    A knowledge base is as good as its search. There is no point in writing useful articles if the information does not reach the required customer when searching. With The CloudTutorial search engine, users will always have the required information served to them instantly. The AI based search engine also handles typos, i.e., if someone searches for a term with a typo, the AI engine recognizes it and informs the system to act accordingly and show the required information.

    User management is also one of the strong suits of CloudTutorial. You can assign the required role to any user as needed. You can either use already created user roles or create your own custom roles based on your requirement.

    A feature unique to CloudTutorial is assigning multiple roles to a single user. Sometimes the same team or the same resource is a part of multiple projects. This is where multiple role assigning comes in handy; the same user can be an editor for one project and a manager for the other.

    Top-notch reporting also makes CloudTutorial a competent  Zendesk alternative. You can create Reports on :

    • Daily visitors
    • Search Analytics
    • Articles
    • Categories
    • Users / vendors
    • Tags
    • Contact Us Form analytics

    The good thing is all these reports are available across all plans.

    CloudTutorial’s search analytics helps analyze:

    • Total article views and total searches by a visitor
    • “No result found” search inquiries so articles can be created
    • Popular search terms

    And much more. Integration with Google Analytics also helps in advanced tracking if needed.

    Because of these mentioned features, we consider CloudTutorial as one of the top Zendesk Alternatives.

    CloudTutorial vs. Zendesk

    If you want a standalone knowledge base management tool, CloudTutorial is better overall with advanced features like typo management, multiple assigned user roles, and an advanced text editor. However, if you are looking for a complete help desk solution that includes live chat option, you are better off with Zendesk.


  2. Freshdesk

    freshdesk

    Perhaps one the most complete Zendesk alternatives, Freshdesk is a help desk software that offers all support related functionalities.

    Freshdesk offers an omnichannel support system, where any incoming inquiry from social media, WhatsApp, chat, email e.t.c is shown on a single screen. This helps avoid looking into multiple channels and focus on the support. It also helps prevent any slippage of inquiry.

    A good ticket management system is an essential part of any help desk software. Inquiries coming in from any channel can be converted into support tickets in Freshdesk. The tickets can be assigned to agents based on the created rules. For example, a Spanish ticket will be assigned to a Spanish speaking agent automatically. You can also prioritize tickets based on specific keywords or whatever rules are decided. This helps reduce ticket management workload and focus on ticket resolution.

    In Freshdesk, you can also set a performance threshold for support agents and see how quickly and accurately an agent performs. An issue can be escalated if a resolution is not suggested in the required time.

    Freshdesk’s AI tool, named Freddy, helps customer support agents handle inquiries efficiently. Based on the incoming query, Freddy shows relevant help articles automatically to the customer service agent.

    In Freshdesk live chat, Freddy also suggests useful articles to customers. This reduces the need for human intervention and solves issues quickly.

    Collaboration is one of the strong suits of Freshdesk. Team members can tag each other and add comments to help each other out. A ticket can also be shared between two team members as shared ownership. This way, front desk support agents can assign the ticket to relevant departments and see the resolution, hence avoiding the loss of tickets in between internal communication.

    A ticket can also be split into parent-child relation tickets, where tickets can only be closed once all child issues are resolved. This helps solve the problem quickly in parallel.

    Freshdesk reporting can help you analyze the efficiency and usefulness of each team member and the whole setup. Reports like How many tickets are in progress right now? What agent has the best rating? helps you find actionable items.

    Like Zendesk, Freshdesk also lets you customize the system’s look and feel, so it reflects your brand.

    Freshdesk vs. Zendesk

    Both products (Freshdesk and Zendesk) compete strongly with each other. If you are looking for ease of use with better UI, you will love Freshdesk. If you are looking for a feature-rich solution with a lot of customization, Zendesk is the way for you.

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  3. Zoho desk

    Zoho Desk

    Zoho desk is one of the pioneers of help desk solutions and can be considered a complete alternative to Zendesk.

    Targeted at small to medium business owners, the Zoho desk lets you create a free account for up to 3 support agents. This helps you decide what features you need and if Zoho Desk suits you or not.

    Zoho desk also offers omnichannel support where all incoming inquiries are handled inside the tool, from social media, email, chat, or support tickets. This helps reduce ticket management tasks and also avoid losing any incoming queries.

    You can view a customer’s history on a single screen; this helps avoid repetitive questions to the client as every agent has the support ticket’s history.  You can also define rules for how and who to assign new incoming tickets.

    Named Zia, Zoho desk’s AI agent is one of the best in the market. The job of Zia is to make a customer service agent’s life easier. Whenever a customer support agent talks to a customer, the AI agent automatically picks up the ongoing keywords and suggests relevant help articles. It can also detect customer sentiments based on the tone of a customer. If it sees a conversation going in the wrong direction, it automatically escalates the ticket to higher management.

    Like Zendesk, Zoho desk’s knowledge base is also top-notch. You can plan and convert any conversation into an article that can be shared with other clients, reducing the real time load of repetitive inquiries.

    Zoho desk also offers VoIP, Accounting, and sales solutions. If you are using any of those, robust integration with the customer support portal can be a huge plus.

    Zoho desk vs. Zendesk

    If you are a small business and price is one of your concerns, Zoho desk can be the best Zendesk competitor with its lower per agent costs.  The free trial, along with free features, makes it a perfect stepping stone into a feature-rich per month engagement.

    However, if you are an enterprise looking for a complete solution, Zendesk might suit you more.


  4. HubSpot

    hubspot

    Hubspot might seem to be an odd one out in this list, as it is considered a marketing, sales, and support tool with a core focus on marketing. But make no mistake about the customer service tools of HubSpot as with CRM at the base of HubSpot, the services hub makes it a strong Zendesk competitor.

    With HubSpot service hub, you get:

    • Self-service knowledge base, where you can write useful articles and store documents, images, and videos.
    • Ticket management system
    • Easy to create and use Feedback forms and surveys
    • Conversational tools
    • Email tracking
    • And much more

    HubSpot’s automation is top-notch and very easy to set up. With simple drag and drop steps and actions, you can create as many automation rules, and you want to. Hubspot’s Ai based chat module is very easy to use and set up, making it an ideal customer service auto agent. Any entry coming in through the chat is automatically stored in the free CRM.

    Reporting is also one of the strong suits of HubSpot. You can set up reporting dashboards with a few clicks. Hubspot is created keeping ease of use in mind, and it does not fail to deliver.

    HubSpot vs. Zendesk

    If your company is looking for a complete marketing, sales, and support solution, there can be no better solution than HubSpot. If your only requirement help desk software, then Zendesk is a better and cheaper option


  5. Salesforce

    SalesForce KM

    Salesforce falls in the same category as HubSpot. Considered a good Zendesk alternative,

    It is a complete marketing, sales, support solution with CRM at the base.

    You can find the customer service features under the Salesforce Service Cloud. Like Zendesk, you can use AI-based live chatbots to directly talk to customers without a customer service representative.

    Self-service options are also beneficial in Salesforce. You can create knowledge base articles with all necessary features like feedback forms, helpful article buttons, e.t.c. You can create as many categories as you want; this helps organize and find articles easily.

    You can create communities where your users can help each other out as an alternative to customer support.

    Automation is one of the strong suits of Salesforce. You can virtually create and handle any scenario using Salesforce automation. But setting up Salesforce needs professional assistance.

    Salesforce’s agent portal is convenient. An agent can check out all user information, history of the problem, and different agents he/she has talked to on a single screen, making it easy for him to respond quickly and more efficiently.

    1000+ Salesforce integrations and solutions also help manage queries easily. Integration with Amazon Connect has made Salesforce a perfect VoIP solution as well. Using Amazon cloud solutions, agents can call customers quickly. Live chat AI helps suggest relevant articles to agents.

    Salesforce vs. Zendesk

    While Salesforce is feature-rich and a complete end to end solution for a business, setting it up requires expert help, which would cost more and adds complexity. Zendesk, on the other hand, is a pure customer support tool. If you are already using Salesforce, using it as a support tool might be a good idea.


  6. Atlassian

    Atlassian Jira

    If you have worked in the software industry or Saas products, the chances of hearing about Atlassian & JIRA are very high. It is a complete project management solution that is used in most of the software world.

    JIRA Service Management (formerly known as JIRA Service Desk ) is a part of the JIRA franchise. Created for high-velocity teams, this system is ideal for both support agents and customers all together.

    JIRA ticket management system is quite detailed and famous in the software industry, as a lot of collaboration is needed to solve complex issues. You can create your own ticket resolution process or follow default ones.

    Customization is one of the strong suits of JIRA Service Management. You can create your own customized process for ticket resolution or use the default ones.

    JIRA search is one of a kind. You can create as many combinations of searches as you want using the JQL Jira query language.

    With hundreds of third party useful apps, you can create any solution according to your needs.

    Atlassian vs. Zendesk

    If customization is one of your priorities, there is no comparison of Atlassian’s strong customization abilities. But many users report that a steep learning curve is required to set it all up. If simplicity is your requirement, you are better off with Zendesk suite.


  7. Live Agent

    LiveAgent

    Live agent is a help desk tool created with the goal of keeping it simple. Like Zendesk and Freshdesk, it can combine all incoming inquiries into a  single platform, be it an Email, Chat, Facebook, Twitter, Support Ticket, Forum, Posts, e.t.c.

    Live chat feature helps you see what your customer is typing, even before they have clicked send. This enables you to understand clients’ issues before they have sent them to you. You can look for the relevant help article or prepare your argument before you have the inquiry.

    Another great feature is Facebook integration. All your conversation on a Facebook post and comments are saved accordingly and can be converted into support tickets directly if needed. The same applies to Twitter as well. It’s not only for social media. Customers contacting different platforms get a reply on their choice of medium.

    Automated ticket distribution helps divide the workload between support agents without the hassle of agents selecting the ticket they want to solve.

    Like Zendesk, automation is also an essential part of Live Agent’s help desk solution. Called “Rules”, the live agent helps you automate action-based workflows. Most common automated workflows usually involve marking spam, adding tags, and forwarding tickets to a specific department, e.t.c.

    You can also merge multiple tickets into one. This simple yet effective feature helps reduce the workload on the help desk staff.

    Because of all these useful features, Live Agent is considered one of the best Zendesk competitors.

    Live Agent vs. Zendesk

    While  Zendesk offers a lot of functionalities, Live Agent is created keeping simplicity in mind. While most functionalities are easy to understand, set up, and use, It might lose a few customization options. If you are looking for simplicity, Live Agent is your Zendesk alternative.

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  8. Helpcrunch

    HelpCrunch

    Famous for its live chat, Helpcrunch is a help desk software offering live chat, knowledgebase, pop ups, and email marketing solutions.

    This is one of the simplest help desk solutions, with a core focus on email and live chat. Customers can ping you from your website’s live chat or simply contact you via email for a support request.

    Liked for its simplicity, Help Crunch works as a shared inbox, where company inquiries come in. Agents can see all the requests on a single screen, where they can also check other useful information like the customer’s time zone if the customer has your subscription, their country, e.t.c.

    Like Zendesk, HelpCrunch offers an intuitive knowledge base platform where you can create articles and share them with customers when required.

    The knowledge base is also linked with the chat, i.e., these self-service features help solve your customer’s issues quickly; when customers contact you, you can quickly share any pre-made articles with them.

    Help Crunch vs. Zendesk

    While Zendesk is a complete help desk software, Help crunch is a very simple, bare minimum customer support software. If you are one of the small businesses looking to fulfill service options without the need to invest a lot in customer support software, agents, and training, you can opt for Help Crunch.


  9. Groove

    Groove KM

    Groove is a complete customer experience solution focused on growing teams.

    Like Zendesk, Groove has a shared inbox where inquiries from different mediums are sorted into. Team members can collaborate and guide each other on the same tickets that only your team members can see. You can also tag other team members in a ticket to bring them in the loop.

    Collision detection can make sure the same ticket is not assigned to two different agents.

    With automation, you can speed up different flows and scenarios. Canned responses keep all the common scenario answers at your fingertips. All of this automation is to help answer your customers quickly without them waiting for a response.

    Reporting is one of the strong suits of the Groove. There are four different types of reporting you can get from your Groove account.

    • Conversations Report: In this report, you can see the details of all tickets created, tickets resolved,  average new incoming inquiries per month, average resolutions per day, e.t.c. This helps analyze the flow of incoming inquiries and if any further resources are needed or if any flow needs to be modified.
    • Performance Report:  This is where you can analyze your team’s performance. You get useful metrics like the average resolution time of that specific agent, their first response time, the percentage of the first reply solve ratio e.t.c.
    • Happiness Report: This screen helps you analyze the overall happiness scale of your customers. You can check out matrics like average ratings of your team. Is happiness ranking increasing or decreasing?
    • Company Report: This is the detailed breakdown of each agent’s performance, a team’s performance, and the overall performance of the help desk agents.

    For self-service, you can purchase the knowledge base module. Users can search for answers, leave reviews, and add comments when necessary.

    Groove vs. Zendesk

    Zendesk is more suitable for enterprise-level companies; Groove is more suited for small businesses growing into medium/big companies.


  10. Help Scout

    HelpScout

    Help Scout is an all in one help desk system that focuses on customer management. Like Zendesk, Help Scout offers a shared inbox where customer service agents can entertain all incoming inquiries from any channel.

    You can create help articles and save them in your Help Scout knowledge base. A knowledge base is one of those self-service options that does not need any human intervention. Users can leave reviews of each help article. You can read and analyze those reviews to make sure each help article is useful.

    Help Scout also offers live chat customer support where you can engage your customers right from your website. 

    Considered one of the best Zendesk alternatives, Help Scout list all customer engagements and activities alongside every ticket. This helps support agents get the required info in real-time and respond quickly.

    50+ useful integrations are available to make connections seamless.

    Help Scout vs. Zendesk

    I consider Help Scout as one of the best Zendesk alternatives because of its ease of use and good enough features that can be used by both small businesses and big companies. Cost is about $20, which seems to be a reasonable price point against its competitor.


  11. Kayako

    Kayako Alternatives

    Last on our list, but definitely not the least, is Kayako.  It is one of the oldest help desk systems in the market.

    Kayako is a user friendly help desk system that focuses on making personal connections. Like Zendesk, incoming inquiries via email, chat, call, or social media, can be seen on a single screen, making real time support more friendly.

    The self-service knowledge base also makes it easier for customers to search for an answer. You customers can search the knowledge base and get answers in real-time without waiting for a service agent to come online and respond. You can also track most searched phrases and user reviews to track what your customers are looking for and modify your content accordingly.

    Kayako live chat makes it easy for customers to talk to help desk support staff. It also recommends messages based on the behavior of your customer.

    Other small but very useful features include:

    • See when your customer has read the message to decide if he wants a follow-up or not.
    • Read customer interactions with other agents for a better customer experience.
    • You can know what help articles the customer has already read to guide them for a better solution.
    • Collision detection makes sure no same customer is talked to twice.
    • Analyze performance reports of your agents.

    Kayako vs. Zendesk:

    Kayako is an old competitor of Zendesk as both were established around the same time. With an easy to use ticketing system, excellent user interface, and a wide range of other useful features, we declare it a tie.


FAQs

Zendesk is an advanced solution that best fits the needs of medium to large organizations like Universities, Walmart, Amazon, etc. These organizations have an advanced need that can be accomplished by the advanced features offered by Zendesk.
Zendesk is known for a variety of things, but the primary reason users love it is because of the Live Chat and Ticketing System. Both of these features are quite necessary for its current customer base, large companies.

Some of the free options to Zendesk include CloudTutorial, Zoho Desk, and Drag. Zoho Desk has limited functions in the free tier, and you need to pay to access the most useful features. CloudTutorial has a free plan with all the needed functions.


Conclusion

With its intuitive user interface, a superb ticketing system, and useful reporting, Zendesk is considered an industry leader in customer support. But that does not mean it suits your company’s requirements. The list compiled above shares the most competent Zendesk competitors. Each help desk solution has its own set of advantages. You have to choose which one suits your needs.

We believe if you have the right tools to set up a knowledge base, you might not need a call center or a ticketing system. That is why we created The Cloud Tutorial. With the complete focus on the knowledge base and knowledge base only, you get useful features like:

  • Your customers will find the right information instantly, saving you the money and the hassle of hiring a support team.
  • With TCT’s Advanced search, your customers will easily find the right articles. It also handles typos intuitively.
  • A feature-rich text editor makes it easy to create articles without the need to switch between different tools.
  • Useful analytics to analyze the written content and get actionable items.
  • Assign multiple roles to a single user based on the project they are working on currently.
  • Create as many categories as you want.
  • Cheap without compromising on the quality.

Feel free to talk to our experts and get to know more.

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