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Zendesk Competitors: Top 5 Help Desk Software Solutions

What is the top Zendesk competitor?

The top Zendesk competitor is Freshdesk as it offers a robust interface and powerful features that can rival Zendesk. From ticket management and multi-channel support capabilities to knowledge base creation and community portal tools, this application is a well-rounded solution for all of your help desk requirements.

As one of the most popular help desk software solutions on the market, Zendesk offers a wide range of functionalities that allow businesses to provide fast and reliable assistance to their customers. However, as with all tools on the market, Zendesk was not built to please every single company in the world. Some professionals may see that it is not available at the right price point or that it doesn’t have certain features that they are looking for.

Now, if you’re one of these companies who simply can’t find zen with this help desk software, then you’re in luck as we’ve listed down some of Zendesk’s top competitors for you. We went down to the nitty-gritty of explaining their features, their similarities to Zendesk, the strengths and weaknesses of the platform, as well as how they are priced. This way, you’ll have all the information you need as you choose the best help desk platform for your operations.
zendesk competitors

Providing reliable customer support is an essential aspect of doing business. In the State of Digital Care in 2018, 63% of consumers cited the quality of digital care experience as a crucial factor to brand loyalty. Another study, the 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report, echoed this statement when their survey results showed that 61% of respondents say they stopped doing business with a brand solely because of poor assistance. Some of the reasons that led them to such a decision were unequipped customer service representatives (36%), repetitive information collection (31%), the difficulty of reaching a live agent (20%), and the lack of self-service options (12%).

Source: 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report

This is why it is important for any organization to use good quality help desk software solutions to boost its customer service capabilities and avoid the abovementioned problems. One such platform that can help you out is Zendesk.

Zendesk is a complete suite of customer support application that covers call center management, ticket management, multi-channel communication, as well as self-service technical assistance. With this, you can accommodate all customer inquiries and service requests as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, as mentioned earlier, this platform may not be for everybody.

To help you out, we will be providing you with an overview of Zendesk as well as five alternative products that offer comparable or even better features than Zendesk. Hopefully, this analysis of Zendesk competitors will allow you to select a help desk tool best suited for your company’s needs. You may also want to take a look at our list of top help desk solutions of 2022.

What is Zendesk?

zendesk dashboard example

Founded in San Francisco, CA, Zendesk is a popular help desk solution used by more than 40,000 customers worldwide. They are trusted by a handful of prominent organizations such as Vodafone, Groupon, Shopify, GILT, and the UK government for its robust ticketing management and multi-channel support. Moreover, the platform offers a wide array of self-service options such as customer portals, knowledge bases, FAQs, and forums in order to fast track the customer support process.

In addition to these essential help desk features, Zendesk also has built-in reporting and analytics features. With these, you can monitor agent performance, evaluate response times, as well as find any bottlenecks in your workflow so that you can further optimize your overall customer service.

For users who want to offer a more professional and personalized customer support experience, Zendesk also provides customization options so that you may add your brand aesthetic to the entire help desk interface.

Zendesk

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Other notable features include:

  1. Flexible ticket management with automated workflow
  2. Multi-channel support: email, web, phone, chat, social media
  3. Mobile support with native iPhone, iPad, and Android apps
  4. Customer facing web interface that you can easily brand
  5. Over 100 out-of-the-box integrations with 3rd party apps
  6. Open API enabling seamless integration
  7. Multi-brand support with linked accounts
  8. Unlimited, free “light agents” (Enterprise plan only)

Another reason why Zendesk remains as one of the most popular help desk solutions on the market is its affordable price. They offer a Zendesk Suite plan that starts at $89/seat/month which is inclusive of all the help desk modules that the vendor has to offer. In case you are looking for something more basic, they offer these modules separately. Just start with their Support plan which is available at $5/agent/month to $199/agent/month and then when you’re ready to expand your customer support operations, just add any of their Guide, Chat, Talk, Connect, Explore, and Sell modules to your system. Be sure to contact the vendor for additional information on pricing.

Detailed Zendesk Review

Top Help Desk Software Solutions

1. Freshdesk

freshdesk dashboard example

The most significant among Zendesk competitors is definitely Freshdesk and for good reason. Out of all popular help desk services, our experts found Freshdesk to be the best one available. After a thorough analysis, our review team put Freshdesk at the very top of our help desk software listing, and its high customer satisfaction rating further highlights how appreciated this solution is by its clients. If you want to test the app’s features on your own you can always use their great free trial plan or try out the freemium package they offer.

Freshdesk is an intuitive, mobile-optimized help desk solution that allows you to deliver top quality service using robust multi-channel capability, self-service portals, community forums, and smart automations. It offers a host of benefits such as better email response, fast ticket labeling and accurate routing to the right person, customizing your tickets and fields in a snap, automating your support, providing customer support through social media channels, providing a knowledge base as a self-help tool for customers, building a community of passionate customers by encouraging interactions, tracking your agents’ turn-around time, multi-product support, global support across different time zones and languages, game mechanics to inspire your agents, and insights that you can use to improve your company’s customer support performance. You can even boost its capabilities by integrating it with your favorite applications.

Other notable features include:

  1. Email to Ticket Conversion
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Self Service Portal
  4. Multiple Service Level Agreement Policies
  5. Advanced Automation Options
  6. Community Portal
  7. Multi-Brand Support
  8. Multi-Language and Multi-Time Zone Support
  9. Satisfaction Surveys
  10. Leaderboard and Gamification

For pricing, Freshdesk offers subscription plans that are bundled according to the number of features you’ll be needing for your operations. Small teams that need basic knowledge basis and multi-channel communications can use the platform for free via the sprout plan. Meanwhile, larger teams can choose from any of their Blossom, Garden, Estate, and Forest plans which cost $25/agent/month, $44/agent/month, $59/agent/month, and $99/agent/month respectively. Discounts apply if you choose to have your plan billed annually.

Detailed Freshdesk Review

2. LiveAgent

liveagent dashboard example

LiveAgent is a simple help desk and live chat platform created for businesses of all sizes. It aims to combine all your communication channels in one platform and collect all service requests in a unified inbox to facilitate faster customer service responses. The platform also comes with a sophisticated ticket management system with agent collision detection features, SLA tracking tools, CRM solutions, and contact management functionalities. Moreover, it allows users to interact with clients in real-time to assure complete client engagement.

Another LiveAgent feature to commend is its robust reporting module. It offers comprehensive performance reports to help you determine if there are any factors putting a damper on your operational productivity. If you think that this Zendesk competitor is the right platform for you, then don’t hesitate to sign up for a LiveAgent free trial.

LiveAgent

LiveAgent

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Other notable features include:

  1. Universal Inbox for All Service Requests
  2. Hybrid Ticket Stream
  3. Real-Time Chat Feature
  4. Self-Service Support Portal
  5. Social Media Integration
  6. SLA Compliance Reporting Options
  7. Agent Gamification Tools
  8. Agent Availability Monitoring
  9. Supports Over 39 Translations
  10. Deployment Options Available

As for pricing, LiveAgent offers their product in modules. If you only need ticketing management tools, they offer a Ticket Plan at $9/agent/month. For $29/agent/month, you can take advantage of their Ticket + Chat plan which is an upgraded version of their cheapest plan. In case you want a fully-integrated support system, LiveAgent also offers an All-Inclusive plan at $39/agent/month which comes with all the features that the product has to offer. There is also a LiveAgent Enterprise package which is only available by quote.

Detailed LiveAgent Review

3. Zoho Desk

zoho desk dashboard example

Capping off our list is yet another popular help desk software provider, Zoho Desk. This help desk application allows you to collect support tickets using social media channels as well as provide phone call support for your customers. With this, you no longer have to rely on multiple platforms to handle all of your customer service efforts. It even offers self-service options such as knowledge bases, forums, and FAQs so that clients can get access to the information they need without having to call your agents or submit a service request.

As for agent performance optimization, Zoho Desk comes with analytics tools that can pinpoint workflow bottlenecks as well as productivity concerns. This way, you can address the issues swiftly and yield higher satisfaction ratings from your clients. Should you be interested in this platform, sign up for a Zoho Desk free trial.

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk

Try out Zoho Desk with their free trial

Other notable features include:

  1. Call Center Management
  2. Automated Ticketing System
  3. Multi-Brand Help Center Support
  4. Knowledge Base Creation
  5. Agent Productivity Tracking
  6. Built-In Collaboration Features
  7. Smart Reporting
  8. Customer Happiness Rating
  9. Domain Mapping Options
  10. Powerful Integrations

As with some of the products mentioned on this list, Zoho Desk offers budget-friendly pricing plans for businesses of all sizes. If you have a small team of up to three users, you may utilize the basic functionalities of this system completely for free. For larger teams, they offer two paid plans with more advanced feature sets: the Professional package and the Enterprise package which are available at $15/agent/month and $30/agent/month respectively.

Detailed Zoho Desk Review

4. JitBit HelpDesk

jitbit dashboard example

Last on our list is JitBit HelpDesk, a robust help desk ticketing system built to address the needs of small companies, large enterprises, and everything in between. It is equipped with everything from multi-channel communications and ticketing management to two-way email integration and agent performance reporting. With this at your disposal, you can easily streamline the entire customer support operations and make each interaction more personalized than ever.

Like most of the products on this list, it also comes with features that let you store specific client data including contact information, previous transactions, and website activity. This way, you have the data you need at your fingertips when interacting with customers. Furthermore, it comes with self-service options that let you set up FAQs and knowledge bases that are easily accessed by the clients themselves. This way, you can lessen the number of tickets piling up in your queue while still giving your customers the information they need. Should you want to learn more about this software be sure to sign up for a JitBit HelpDesk free trial .

JitBit HelpDesk

JitBit HelpDesk

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Other notable features include:

  1. Unified Inbox
  2. Two-Way Email Integration
  3. Asset Management
  4. Ticketing Management
  5. Help Desk Automation
  6. Customer Support Request Tagging
  7. SSL Encryption
  8. Multilingual Support
  9. Real-Time Reporting
  10. Self-Service Options

JitBit HelpDesk is available in different plans that are priced depending on your deployment preferences and required sets of modules. For their on-premise ticketing systems, they offer Small, Company, and Enterprise plans available at $1699, $3499, and  $4999, respectively. Meanwhile, for their SaaS solutions, they have a Freelancer plan available at $29/month, a Startup plan that costs $69/month, a Company plan priced at $129/month, and an Enterprise plan available at $249/month.

Detailed JitBit HelpDesk Review

5. Salesforce Essentials

salesforce essentials dashboard example

Salesforce Essentials is an integrated CRM and customer support solution that is purpose-built for small companies. Similar to Zendesk, this platform will allow you to accelerate the processing of service requests through advanced case auto-assignment features and escalation queueing. Moreover, it also centralizes your support channels so that you can resolve them as quickly as possible. What sets it apart is that it is a CRM tool at its core.

With Salesforce Essentials, you can get easy access to customer data that goes beyond contact information and current transactions. It leverages artificial intelligence to capture customer activity within your site, their browsing behaviors, as well as their previous interactions with your agents. This way, any agent can simply pick up where the last conversation went off.

Other notable features include:

  1. 360-Degree Customer View
  2. Opportunity Management Feature
  3. Robust Case Auto-Assignment
  4. Built-In Collaboration Tools
  5. Contact Management
  6. Sales Activity Tracking
  7. Einstein Artificial Intelligence
  8. Advanced Reporting Options
  9. Dedicated Mobile Application
  10. AppExchange Marketplace and Lightning App Builder

As it is tailored for small businesses, Salesforce Essentials also offers annual subscription plans that won’t break the bank. Users may opt for the Sales Cloud Essentials package which is inclusive of sales and CRM features or the Service Cloud Essentials package which comes with the collaboration tools and case management solutions. Both bundles are available at $25/user/month.

Detailed Salesforce Essentials Review

Tips for Help Desk Success

Help desk software solutions can help you improve your customer service but it is important to note that, like any other form of technology, it can only do so much. It can take menial tasks off your plate using automation, give you the ability to always be within the reach of customers through multi-channel support, and help you prioritize tickets better with advanced queueing systems. However, critical responsibilities like creating efficient workflows and interacting with customers will still fall on your shoulder. To help you out, here are some help desk tips that you can apply:

  1. Ensure Consistent Customer Experiences. Clients expect consistently good support experience from the companies they do business with. To help you do this, you need to set clear-cut standards for your agents. Map out how you want each interaction to be handled and make sure that your customer data, interaction information, and conversation histories you give them are always up-to-date and readily accessible. This way, you can be sure that everyone on your team, from the senior staff members to trainees, is up to snuff on each transaction and is able to pick up where the previous agent left off.
  2. Lessen Response Times. Aside from quality, speed is also an important factor when it comes to customer support. You need to be able to respond to your customer within a few minutes after they get in touch with you. Now, this may be easy for small businesses who only get a handful of calls and service requests on a daily basis but for growing companies and large enterprises, this can be a nightmare. To lessen response times without compromising quality, you can utilize email autoresponders. You prepare these beforehand and simply automate its sending once there are too many requests in your queue and you are unable to get to their query right away. For these emails, you can let them know that you received their message and that you are working on a solution to their concern or let them know when they can expect a response from you. Better yet, provide them with links to your knowledge bases or forums so that they can look for the information they need quickly. By doing so, you are able to accommodate each client quickly without even having to send a new message or answer a phone call.
  3. Train Your Agents to Fine-Tune Their Call Notes. Every customer interaction counts. This is why you and your agents should take the opportunity to note down as much information as you can whenever clients reach out to you. First and foremost, train your agents to fine-tune their call notes. Meaning, aside from having them take the who, when, why, what for each call, they need to ensure that the details they jotted down are comprehensible enough that any other agent perusing the notes will easily grasp their thoughts.

By following these guidelines, you can make the most out of any help desk software you use. Just make sure that you have, first and foremost, chosen a platform that works well with your operations. If you’re still in doubt about which Zendesk alternative to purchase, we highly recommend that you opt for Freshdesk. Our thorough analysis of the popular help desk software solutions on the market shows that this application is simply the best choice for all companies in need of a reliable and efficient solution. To find out for yourself, you can test their platform if you sign up for a Freshdesk free trial.

Christopher Robinson

By Christopher Robinson

Christopher Robinson is a senior productivity research analyst who specializes in optimizing online collaboration and project management using Scrum and agile approaches. In his work, he always emphasizes the need for distributed work training and the formation of efficient work habits. His work was mentioned in various business publications, including Entrepreneur and InfoQ. He’s a strong proponent of the GTD model. He has been cooperating with the FinancesOnline team for 5 years now, and his publications always focus on practical aspects of productivity tools that can have an actual, transformative impact on a company.

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