Updated: April 04, 2023

14 Best Zendesk Alternatives & Competitors

You have found our list of the best Zendesk alternatives.

Zendesk alternatives are software and tools that you can use for customer support that are not Zendesk. Example alternatives include Zoho Desk, Help Scout and Freshdesk. The purpose of these tools is to enable a business to provide efficient and effective customer support. These options are also known as “Zendesk competitors.”

These platforms are examples of customer service software and are similar to Freshdesk alternatives, Help Scout alternatives, and Intercom alternatives.

The following list includes:

  • Top Zendesk alternatives
  • Zendesk alternatives for small businesses
  • Best Zendesk alternatives for large businesses
  • Free Zendesk alternatives

Let’s get started!

List of Zendesk Alternatives

From FreshDesk and Sharepoint to HelpScout and Happy Fox, here is our list of the best Zendesk alternatives.

1. Zoho Desk

Zoho is known for its customer relationship management (CRM) tool, but the platform also offers help desk software. Zoho Desk has many features, such as phone integration, chat, and shared inboxes. Though some features are limited to Zoho Desk’s most expensive plans, the platform offers many free features and great value.

Zoho Desk has a wide array of other integrations designed to connect with the rest of your tech stack. The tool is great for both small and large teams because it is customizable to fit the needs of most businesses.

Learn more about Zoho Desk.

2. Freshdesk

Freshdesk closely resembles Zendesk. Both platforms share integration features, a knowledge base, a shared inbox, and automation capabilities. The key difference is that Freshdesk focuses on affordability and usability. Organizations can use Freshdesk to set up and handle certain customer inquiries automatically, which saves time and errors.

Yet, the platform also understands the importance of real-time updates of documents and information. The software even includes “collision detection,” which ensures multiple agents are not trying to answer the same call. Another benefit of Freshdesk is that the documentation and information produced by an agent or customer can be easily uploaded “on the fly” to the software’s knowledge base. Thus, allowing this content to be updated as needed over time.

Learn more about Freshdesk.

3. Help Scout

Help Scout is a Zendesk alternative that works well for small businesses. The help desk solution was created to build the best customer communications for SaaS, education, healthcare, finance, and eCommerce companies.

Help Scout offers many features, including:

  • Automated Workflow
  • In-app and live chat messaging
  • Knowledge Base
  • Data Collection for Prospects
  • 50+ API, SDK, and Integrations

Many businesses find Help Scout to be a complete customer service software that takes both the agent and customer experience into consideration. Another thing that makes Help Scout so attractive is that there is a refined feature set and intuitive interface that make the system simple to use. In fact, most companies have this system up and running within just a few hours, and many users have the program mastered within one week.

Learn more about Help Scout.

4. Intercom

Intercom is another wonderful Zendesk alternative. The customer messaging platform places focus on enabling companies to build genuine relationships with clients through each stage of the sales funnel.

Using Intercom, users can communicate with clients via email, live chat, push notifications, and in-app messaging. These options enable companies large and small to reach the right people on every platform at the right moment.

Another great Intercom feature is that it allows users to create comprehensive knowledge bases. Thus, clients can easily and quickly find the answer to complex and simple questions without needing to speak with a customer service representative. Of course, Intercom’s messaging capabilities also make it easy for clients to connect with agents when necessary.

An advanced feature Intercom offers is the in-depth report that the company receives each time a client issue is resolved. This information helps organizations revisit the knowledge base and make changes to help documents as necessary.

Learn more about Intercom.

5. HappyFox

HappyFox is a popular all-in-one solution for a business’s help desk software needs. HappyFox allows users to support their clients via social media, live chat, email, and phone. The software also helps support staff reach customers where they want to be contacted. Many people like HappyFox because it makes the process easy for everyone.

Another key feature of HappyFox is that it enables companies to build a knowledge base that integrates with the software’s self-service functionality. With this, HappyFox’s self-service portal provides pertinent information rewarding a customer’s inquiries and can check information about the logistics of the issue.

Learn more about HappyFox.

6. Gorgias

Gorgias is an excellent option for small businesses that use Shopify, as this software is focused on eCommerce and small businesses. This platform offers features like live chat and shared inbox. However, Gorgias is set apart from the competition thanks to its integrations with BigCommerce, Shopify, and Magento.

The integrations mentioned above allow you to see and edit order details and process refunds right through the help desk, thus saving you time. Aside from eCommerce integration, Gorgias also integrates well with social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The integration with social media allows you to track conversions coming from those channels.

Moreover, Gorgias is one of the few platforms that place ticket limits on monthly plans. In other words, your costs may vary depending on the total volume of tickets. So, for some small businesses, this may lead to considerable cost reduction.

Learn more about Gorgias.

7. Groove

Groove is another Zendesk alternative that is great for streamlining customer inquiry and support processes. Using this software, agents can provide customer support through Facebook, Twitter, email, phone, live chat, or text messages. Moreover, Groove allows multiple agents to work collectively on one support item as needed in real-time. Agents collaborating using Groove can do so using private internal means or customer-facing channels.

Organizations can also use Groove to create customer portals and a knowledge base. The knowledge base and customer portals can be used to depict information via multimedia or text to help customers find the information they need quickly. Furthermore, with Groove, users can create support widgets that are displayed on their websites. Installing such widgets allows the company to streamline the process of initially engaging with the knowledge base. Yet, widgets can also be used to allow customers to create support tickets.

Learn more about Groove.

8. Front

Front is a customer communication platform that allows businesses to offer tailor-made services on a large scale. Front combines the simplicity of email inboxes with the insights and automation of a CRM. The system allows every department to work collectively and send faster responses, organize messages across every channel easier, and maintain personal connections.

Regardless if you have a large or small team, Front can scale to match the communication needs of any business. Front also has many features. In fact, the software provides the ability to convert emails into custom platforms thanks to automated routing and various app integrations.

Learn more about Front.

9. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is often referred to as the best Zendesk alternative for cost value. LiveAgent is a cut-down, classic alternative to Zendesk. This platform acts as a help desk tool capable of receiving and managing client requests from various channels. For example, LiveAgent allows users to communicate via email, social media, telephone, or live chat. Many users agree that LiveAgent strikes a great balance between a simple interface and a feature-rich ticketing system.

LiveAgent’s primary feature is the help desk. The help desk interface looks similar to an older version of Gmail and is useful for receiving and handling customer requests. It is important to note that the only communication channel included in cheaper packages is email. So, if you want to use social media or other channels, then you will need to upgrade your plan.

Learn more about LiveAgent.

10. Hiver

Hiver is ideal for small teams and was created to serve as the first helpdesk for Google Workspace. The software is effective for helping teams provide empathetic and quick customer service through Gmail. Users can easily manage, assign, or collaborate on customer issues while also taking advantage of automation and advanced analytics from Gmail.

Many small businesses trust Hiver because their teams are already familiar with Gmail. Since everything is based around this email service provider, new users do not even require training. Though Hiver is best suited for small companies, that is not to say the software does not work for large enterprises. Some of Hiver’s most loyal clients are Harvard University and Upwork.

Learn more about Hiver.

11. HubSpot Service Hub

HubSpot Service Hub is a cloud-based customer service platform that aims to simplify the process related to customer support. HubSpot can work for companies of nearly every size, allowing users to quickly connect via conversational bots, live chat, canned responses, and phone calls with live agents.

Since HubSpot Service Hub offers a comprehensive knowledge base and automated customer marketing emails, the platform allows companies to constantly engage with customers. As you would expect, HubSpot Service Hub integrates with the most relevant third-party applications.

12. Kustomer

Kustomer is one of the best Zendesk alternatives for teams that need CRM capabilities. Though help desk software and CRMs historically existed in their own worlds, Kustomer worked to combine the two concepts into one useful solution. Kustomer allows users to see the whole picture of each client and update every system at once, saving energy and time.

The software is versatile and allows agents to connect with clients via chat, email, phone, or social media. If you are looking to deflect support requests to self-service options, then Kustomer has no-code chatbots available to help. The only downside to this Zendesk alternative is that it is a bit costly, and pricing can be confusing. Moreover, companies that have customer-centric teams may not like that Kustomer offers so many deflecting requests. Either way, Kustomer is worth at least checking out once.

Learn more about Kustomer.

13. Gladly

Another effective customer service platform is Gladly. This software provides a very personalized experience and is one of the best Zendesk alternatives due to its simple interface and adaptability.

Gladly is best suited for support teams that are mature and looking to invest in a high-end tool that focuses on phone support, robust routing, and IVR. However, it is worth mentioning that Gladly is similar to Zendesk in that the learning curve is steep, and some companies decide against it for that reason.

Learn more about Gladly.

14. Richpanel

Richpanel is another Zendesk alternative that is designed for eCommerce businesses. What this means is that, unlike Zendesk, Richpanel does not require you to cherry-pick customizations and features that suit you. Richpanel is built for eCommerce, so you can manage Omni channel support, repeat queries from customers, and offer a self-service portal.

Learn more about Richpanel.

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately, there are two types of Zendesk alternatives. There are those that are ticket-oriented still, and there are alternatives that are all-in-one solutions. If you want a system that is just like Zendesk, then check out Freshdesk or LiveAgent. Alternatively, some companies want a software similar to Zendesk but more accessible and modern. If this preference sounds like you, then check out all-in-one solutions like Help Scout or HappyFox.

FAQ: Zendesk Alternatives

Below you will find the most commonly asked questions and answers about Zendesk alternatives.

Which is better, Zendesk or HubSpot?

The easy answer is that it really depends on your end goal. Those looking for a help desk that also serves as a customer relationship management system should probably opt for HubSpot. Alternatively, if you are looking for software that is more focused on customer support and service, then Zendesk is a better option.

Is there a free Zendesk alternative?

There are many free Zendesk alternatives available. However, you should know that just like Zendesk, the free alternatives limit your features and functionality until you pay for a premium account.

Why is Zendesk so popular?

Zendesk is a comprehensive all-in-one tool that provides companies with customer service management functions and other customer service-related features. The platform is popular because it offers many options for companies of all sizes and budgets, making it appealing to enterprises and startups.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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