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Top 10 Alternatives to Zendesk: Analysis of Leading Help Desk Software Solutions

What is the top alternative to Zendesk?
The top alternative to Zendesk is Freshdesk because it offers a similar feature set that includes advanced tools such as automation, time tracking, and surveys. Moreover, the vendor offers a free plan called Sprout that is very functional and, in many cases, can handle all the basic help desk requirements of small- to medium-sized businesses.

As much as 92% of online shoppers abandon shopping carts because of negative reviews, a fact easily mitigated by a responsive held desk system. More than anything, it underscores the importance of having a customer service specialist available to answer important questions during this critical purchasing phase. The best way to do that is by arming yourself with a good help desk software. And, one of the best ones out there is Zendesk.

However, it is not the only solution at the top of the heap. Many others rival it in ease-of-use, price, additional features, and customer support. Also, many of Zendesk’s wonderful features are perched way up on its pricing tiers. Many potential users can’t get over this price barrier. So, in this article, we present to you the top alternatives to Zendesk available today. If you want to switch platforms or are just shopping around, we hope this article helps you make a well-informed purchase.

leading zendesk alternatives

Experts have predicted that the key brand differentiator will be overall customer experience instead of the traditional product quality and competitive pricing. This is corroborated by recent help desk software statistics. Data shows that 84% of customers are willing to spend more to get better service.

Customers also tend to be present in multiple online channels. So, it is best for helpdesk platforms to have integrations with popular ones. The need for such integrations got even more pronounced when the COVID-19 outbreak limited business touchpoints to online avenues.

Source: Commbox, 2020

And, in 2020, it was found that the top communication channels preferred by customers include website chatbots (44%), Facebook (42%), and WhatsApp (34%). This is on top of more traditional ones such as SMS and email. So, when choosing a help desk platform, make sure that you got these bases covered.

Zendesk does, and its top alternative Freshdesk also has integrations for these. Before getting to know other alternatives, here’s a brief summary of Zendesk.

What is Zendesk?

Zendesk Dashboard

Zendesk is a powerful, cloud-based help desk software designed to help businesses deliver fast and effective customer support. Regarded by many as one of the leaders in the help desk software category, Zendesk provides scalable customer service and engagement tools tailored to cater to the needs of businesses, big and small. Whether you’re starting with the basic plan or premium package, you get to set up a multi-channel and extensive self-service support. This way, you can reach out to and engage your customers from all channels with ease.

Emails, chats, web form submissions and social media posts by your customers are easily transformed into tickets and pooled into the system like a one-stop-shop for customer issues. Add to that the self-service portal that can host a rich knowledge base and online communities for FAQ searches; you now have 24/7 customer service, even with only a few agents at the frontline.

For managers and team leaders, Zendesk provides powerful reporting and analytics to measure key metrics like customer satisfaction ratings, resolution speed, and agent performance. Newbies to customer support management will also find the 20+ report templates helpful. Other notable features are screencasting, public and private forums, multi-location time zones, and a branded front-end web interface.

Zendesk is accessible from desktop and mobile via the cloud, a practical helpdesk app that puts your customer service on par with that of big companies.

Benefits of Zendesk

  • Flexible ticket management with configurable rules and macros
  • Can manage thousands of tickets daily even with a small team
  • Self-service allows for 24/7 helpdesk coverage
  • Branding and customization helps freelancers exhibit a corporate professional look
  • Wide integration with key systems like analytics & reporting, agent productivity, CRM, eCommerce, social media; specifically with Salesforce, Google Apps, Atlassian, FreshBooks and WordPress
  • More than a hundred off-the-shelf integrations with 3rd party apps, and API key for your apps

Top 10 Zendesk Alternatives

The ten Zendesk alternatives on our list include three service desk management systems that also act as helpdesk solutions for many companies. For each app, we highlight the features that are not present or limited compared to Zendesk and the other way around. In case the solutions on this list are still too advanced or expensive, you might also want to check out our list of top help desk software for small business.

1. Freshdesk

freshdesk dashboard

Freshdesk tops our list for its intuitive ticketing management, enhanced by key functions like automation and self-service portal. Our review experts conducted extensive testing of its features and, overall, considered the app a leading customer support software for small and medium-sized businesses. It helps drive the efficiency of your support agents and improve their overall customer service performance. It’s a key business app for keeping customers satisfied and establishing long-term profitability.

The software provides a wide range of support features best suited to support teams that are overwhelmed by volumes of tickets every day. The app includes smart automation, self-service portals, gamification, multi-channel options, and can handle varying SLA policies. But Freshdesk excels best in managing tickets, the bane of many a startup with small support teams.

The software covers most of the essential ticketing processes that a small team can manage tons of customer issues daily. Agents can collaborate, too, on tickets and provide fast but well-thought-of replies. Tickets are likewise routed automatically to the right person based on your settings. You can set rules, however, to override automation in special cases. 

If you want to know more about the features, the vendor has a free trial plan that you can take advantage of.

Freshdesk

Freshdesk

Try out Freshdesk with their free trial

Moreover, it helps you track customers’ mentions of you on social media and quickly post a reply to complaints or questions before an issue escalates. Also, Freshdesk has a solid self-service feature, allowing customers to search the answers from a knowledgebase. As they type a query in the self-service portal, customers get suggested topics, thus, fast-tracking the search experience.

Furthermore, the app automates the entire helpdesk process from ticket routing to resolution. Combined with self-service features for FAQs, automation makes it possible even for a team of five agents to handle your entire customer service. 

In case you are still unsatisfied with the features that this platform has to offer, feel free to check out these great Freshdesk alternatives.

Why use Freshdesk instead of Zendesk?

  • Free app available and is rich in features, such as unlimited agents, access to App Gallery, email channel, knowledgebase, standard phone channel, and basic social channel
  • Lower price entry at $19 vs. $25 for Zendesk
  • App users can turn to Freshdesk community for advice, tips, and ideas on how to optimize customer service using the software
  • Supports multiple SLA policies

Why use Zendesk instead of Freshdesk?

  • Prebuilt integration with Salesforce and SugarCRM
  • Integration with other specific systems like 123Contact Form, 3CLogic, AgileCRM, AppGuru, and Azuqua

Detailed Freshdesk Review

2. SysAid

SysAid dashboard

SysAid is a full-featured, highly-configurable help desk software aimed at helping huge businesses with their daily operations. It is also an asset handling tool as it comes in various modules. It can be accessed by Android and iOS users.

SysAid is an all-in-one IT service management tool inclusive of a powerful incident and service request handling module, chat, mobile device management, IT asset management, mobile apps, and industry measuring features.

SysAid

SysAid

Try out SysAid with their free trial

SysAid has all you need for efficient IT service and help desk management in one ITIL-aligned platform. Moreover, it boasts ITIL capablities, like advanced workflow and automatic features and problem and change management.

Why use SysAid instead of Zendesk?

  • Ticket management
  • Knowledge base
  • Remote control
  • Chat
  • Hardware/software inventory management
  • Patch Management
  • Broadcast messages

Why use Zendesk instead of SysAid?

  • User-friendly
  • More integration features
  • Comprehensive customization functionalities

Detailed SysAid Review

3. Salesforce Service Cloud

salesforce service cloud dashboard

Salesforce Service Cloud is a customer service platform that combines CRM, case management, and customer support in one convenient interface. Built for teams of all sizes who want to improve customer interactions and increase customer satisfaction, this software has the tools you need to drive efficiency and productivity. With it, you can easily route support requests promptly and make sure that requests are being forwarded to the right agents.

Salesforce Service Cloud also has great automation rules for processes like approvals, case assignment, and automatic triage. In this way, you can speed up your operations without compromising the quality of your performance. Moreover, Salesforce Service Cloud is one of Salesforce’s popular products

Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud

Try out Salesforce Service Cloud with their free trial

Moreover, the platform has a customizable self-service customer portal, where you can create knowledge bases, FAQs, and forums. Thus, customers can try and solve problems themselves, with an agent, or with other Salesforce users. This also helps reduce the number of your tickets and pull down your response time while increasing your issue resolution metrics. 

In case you don’t feel like this product is the right fit for your operations, worry not. Just take a look at these Salesforce Service Cloud alternatives instead.

Why use Salesforce Service Cloud instead of Zendesk?

  • Native Salesforce integration
  • Universal inbox consolidates emails, chats, Twitter/Facebook posts, phone calls
  • Built-in CRM tools
  • Comprehensive customer profiling, including associate contacts, past, and pending issues
  • Multilingual vendor support
  • Option to add AI capabilities to analytics features
  • Lightning App Builder capability

Why use Zendesk instead of Salesforce Service Cloud?

  • Reporting templates
  • More out-of-the-box third-party app integrations
  • Full CSS rebranding
  • Screencasting
  • Public and private forums
  • Lower price entry at $5 vs. $25 for Salesforce Essentials

Detailed Salesforce Service Cloud Review

4. Freshservice

Freshservice Dashboard

Freshservice is an IT-first service desk that keeps everything support-related simple. Like top general non-specialized help desk platforms, it offers robust ticketing and a help center module. Being a specialized IT-based help desk platform, it offers modules to manage assets, release, incidents, and your service catalog.

It is a product from Freshworks, the company behind Freshdesk, our top alternative, and other popular programs such as Freshsales and Freshmarketer.

Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you may do so if you sign up for the vendor’s free trial plan. 

Freshservice

Freshservice

Try out Freshservice with their free trial

And like Freshdesk, it has a very friendly pricing scheme that starts at only $19 per agent per month, billed yearly. Other features include a knowledge base, self-service portal, domain whitelisting, contract management, audit logs, sandbox, and many more. Of course, this is the help desk service of choice for companies with IT-heavy brands and products. This is especially so for B2B firms.

If you want to take a look at other IT help desk platforms, check out our Freshservice alternatives list.

Why use Freshservice instead of Zendesk?

  • If you need a specialized IT help desk, Freshservice provides it better
  • Has IT services-heavy features such as asset management, sandbox and change, problem, and release management
  • It is highly scalable

Why use Zendesk instead of Freshservice?

  • Stick to Zendesk if you are not offering much IT-related support like if you are in retail or real estate
  • Easy-to-use customer-facing UI
  • Simpler interface, navigation for average users

Detailed Freshservice Review

5. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk dashboard

Another great alternative to Zendesk is Zoho Desk, an omnichannel customer support software that includes all the features you’ve come to love in a modern help desk plus cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and automation. It combines live chat, ticketing, and call center functionalities so that your agents can provide more efficient service all in one system. 

One of the best features of Zoho is its AI-powered assistant called Zia. Through AI technology, you can proactively triage each ticket or support request your team receives. Since the sorting of each ticket is automatic, you can always have a bird’s-eye view of what tickets are urgent and assign agents who can address those issues.

Moreover, Zoho Desk seamlessly integrates with social media channels, so your agents can view and manage communication with customers easily. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can all be connected, which means you can respond to tweets or posts that mention your brand or inquire about your service all from within the Zoho help desk.

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk

Try out Zoho Desk with their free trial

It’s not only instant messaging that’s possible in Zoho Desk. You can also take advantage of cloud telephony capabilities. Telephony allows you to make phone calls from within the system. This is a very useful feature because your agents don’t need to be on a separate platform just to attend to customer inquiries. The system allows call recording, which means it’s easier to log and monitor calls then convert them into tickets that will be assigned to the next level of your customer support workflow. 

If you have a business website, you can use Zoho Desk to embed a web form widget on your website. Through this widget, you’ll have another convenient option to offer customers if they’re already on your website and want to inquire about a service or product.

If you’d like to find similar products, you can check out our Zoho Desk alternatives list here.

Why use Zoho Desk instead of Zendesk?

  • Product-based ticket tracking
  • Dedicated mobile app for managers
  • Ai-powered anomaly notifications
  • advanced process automation

Why use Zendesk instead of Zoho Desk?

  • Ease of use
  • More integration options
  • Extensive customization capabilities
  • High quality of training and technical support

Detailed Zoho Desk Review

6. Wix Answers

Wix Answers dashboard

Wix Answers is a popular cloud-based help desk solution built for businesses of all sizes. Known for its comprehensive set of features, the platform brings together all your support channels in one hub, be it calls, emails, live chat, SMS, or even social media communication. It also enables users to create self-service support options like knowledgebase and FAQs for their customers. Plus, with its one-tab workspace, agents to access all the tools they need quickly — no need to search for buttons hidden inside panels and menus.

The platform also offers basic and advanced reporting options so that managers can keep a close eye on performance metrics. This way, it is easier to determine which processes need improvement as well as how to improve them.

The vendor offers a comprehensive 14-day free trial to get you up to speed with the features.

Wix Answers

Wix Answers

Try out Wix Answers with their free trial

Aside from the abovementioned functionalities, Wix Answers is equipped with other tools such as AI-generated replies, interactive voice response (IVR), internal note-taking tools, workflow automation, out-of-the-box SEO, and contextual self-service widgets. It can also integrate with other software such as Slack, HubSpot, Jira, and Zapier, among others.

Wix Answers offers four paid plans which are priced depending on the features that you need. Subscription rates range from $24/agent/month to $56/agent/month.

For more similar apps, please check out this Wix Answers alternatives list.

Why use Wix Answers instead of Zendesk?

  • Wix Answers has a more easy-to-use ticketing system.
  • It comes with out-of-the-box search engine optimization tools.
  • The platform has a unified timeline for all support channels for more seamless customer interactions.
  • It has collaborative content management options.

Why use Zendesk instead of Wix Answers?

  • More affordable pricing plans, which is ideal for teams with limited budgets.
  • It comes with native mobile applications which offer more flexible working environments.
  • Zendesk comes with a built-in analytics module.
  • The platform can support over 600 integrations.

Detailed Wix Answers Review

7. Hubspot Service Hub

Hubspot Service Hub Dashboard

HubSpot Service Hub is a relatively recent addition to the whole suite of HubSpot products like HubSpot Marketing and Sales. Like both of these, it is predicated on the core HubSpot CRM base, which, as its name suggests, offers a CRM framework for other business processes. And, just like its siblings, it is a top-flight program and one of the best alternatives out there for Zendesk. 

It provides you with comprehensive back-end features to manage interactions and provide support through all your virtual front-end touchpoints in just one place. The feature set includes conversational bots, reporting, live chat module, customer goals, knowledgebase, automation, routing, and conversations aggregator. Of course, like other top apps, it includes a ticketing module and other feedback options like surveys.

If you want to check its comprehensive feature set, you may take advantage of the free trial plan that the vendor offers. 

HubSpot Service Hub

HubSpot Service Hub

Try out HubSpot Service Hub with their free trial

Also, there are collaboration tools and performance tracking features for your team, as well. These include analytics, insights, and team email. These features are very comprehensive, especially for a software platform that is somewhat overlooked.

Service Hub is offered in three standard plans with its basic Starter plan at $50 a month with one paid user and a $400 Professional plan with five paid users. Enterprise, its highest tier, starts at $1,200 a month, including ten paid users.

Moreover, you can check out HubSpot Service alternatives here.

Why use HubSpot Service instead of Zendesk?

  • It has a more comprehensive feature set.
  • When you are already using a HubSpot product, this is the next logical add-on if you want to level up your help desk processes
  • Conversational bots

Why use Zendesk instead of HubSpot?

  • Lower starting price at $5 per agent/month
  • Screencasting
  • Cleaner interface

Detailed HubSpot Service Hub Review

8. Atera

Atera Dashboard

Atera is another IT help desk platform specializing in making complex IT-related issues simple. It is a remote monitoring and management platform that has robust modules for billing, support, remote access functions, and analytics. Other important features include custom scripting, mobile technician management, IT automation, and patch management. 

Of course, like its general and non-specialized help desk solutions cousins, it has a ticket management module complete with a chat feature. The difference is that it is a very specialized platform, just like Freshservice. However, it is best known for having a best-in-class remote access capability. For its Pro plan, you get a maximum of two concurrent remote access sessions.

You can try all its premium features at no cost when you sign up for a free trial plan.

Atera

Atera

Try out Atera with their free trial

But, as it is advanced and highly specialized, it is a little bit pricey for some. Its Pro plan starts at $79 per month per technician, billed annually. That’s $948 for a year. This is quite affordable when you get many incoming questions and complaints from customers. If you don’t, then maybe this is not the right product for you. However, you can easily have a go at this yourself.

If you want more choices, take a look at some Atera alternatives here.

Why use Atera instead of Zendesk?

  • Top-notch remote access sessions
  • Highly specialized tools for IT-based support
  • Patch management module
  • Analytics and billing

Why use Zendesk instead of TeamSupport?

  • Lower price entry at $5 
  • Email templates and tracking
  • Much simpler interface
  • Group rules and macros

Detailed Atera Review

9. NICE inContact CXone

NICE inContact CXone dashboard

NICE inContact CXone is a leading contact center solution that allows organizations to change customer and employee experiences for the better. It carries out an extensive suite of services that enables you to handle automation, omnichannel routing, analytics workforce optimization, and AI tools. It provides call center representatives with a broad view of customer interactions, making them more efficient and insightful.

NICE inContact offers trustworthy, reasonably-priced, and scalable software. Its phone and internet network is accessible to over 150 countries. This network also has stellar connectivity guaranteed with voice quality. Plus, it has a 99.99% SLA.

The pricing plans of NICE inContact are available upon request. Call or chat with their one of their sales agents or check out their website for more details.

NICE inContact CXone

NICE inContact CXone

Try out NICE inContact CXone with their free trial

What makes NICE inContact a cost-effective tool for many businesses are its pay-as-you-go pricing plans. Hence, you can add or subtract seats as necessary and refrain from paying hardware and maintenance costs.

NICE inContact is mostly used by BPO companies. About 390,000 contact center representatives use the platform. It can also serve education, finance, health care, and government sectors.

If you need more choices, check out these NICE inContact alternatives.

Why use NICE inContact CXone instead of Zendesk?

  • Optimized Voice as a Service (Vaas)
  • Workforce Intelligence
  • Intelligent Workforce Management
  • Extensive Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Interactive Voice Response

Why use Zendesk instead of NICE inContact CXone ?

  • Powerful ticket handling and workflow automation
  • Self-service options for end-users
  • Integrations with an exhaustive array of apps

Detailed NICE inContact CXone Review

10. vtenext

vtenext dashboard

vtenext combines business process management with CRM functionalities and tools. This open-source, end-to-end customer relationship handling software is used by about 1,000 firms across fields and dimensions in running activities focused on sales, marketing, post-sales, and customer relations. It integrates marketing functionalities well, letting you handle and profile leads in different channels.

vtenext also aids in the planning, preparation, and implementation of marketing campaigns. On top of that, this solution studies the behaviors and demographical information that determine your market and helps you reach out to a wider customer base.

vtenext‘s subscription plan is quote-based only. Talk to them to get a detailed pricing information.

vtenext

vtenext

Try out vtenext with their free trial

vtenext includes sales features that help improve customer service, which the tool closely monitors. Sales operations are devised and directed through the software itself, enabling you to organize activities with your staff and follow up with customers. Similarly, budgets and department communications are overseen through the software. It also makes sales reports that bring relevant information such as which customer generates the most income.

In addition, vtenext makes the process of pricing simple. Equipped with key business tools, it assess product profitability and sales margins accurately.

vtenext is available to Android and iPhone users. It can be integrated with Gmail, Salesforce, Shopify, Mailchimp, and Outlook. It plays well with users in the US, Mexico, Germany, Italy, and South Africa.

For more choices, browse these vtenext alternatives.

Why use vtenext instead of Zendesk?

  • Open-Source CRM feature
  • Modules generation
  • Business Process Management Engine
  • Software Development Kit
  • Open-Source Integrations

Why use Zendesk instead of vtenext?

  • Open API to add your apps
  • 20+ template reports
  • Self-service support that comes with autofill searches and active online communities

Detailed vtenext Review

Some Tips on Help Desk Software Hunting

People have different reasons for looking up alternatives to a software solution. Some users are not totally satisfied with features, pricing, or just the overall look and feel of the platform anymore.

Meanwhile, others switch because of poor customer service experiences. For a fraction of first-time software hunters of a particular tool category, many are just looking for good alternatives to their top pick, and this is wise. It follows the adage, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” and eggs here are time and resources invested in research.

However, there are a few ways to cut down the time it takes to decide and make efficient strides to adopting a new software product. This is just part of the overall digital transformation process. So, to help you start on the right foot, here are a few tips that you might find useful.

  1. Assess who will be the end-users in your organization
  2. Have representatives from your target end-users help you decide on which software to purchase
  3. Assign teams to evaluate software in your shortlist using free demos and trial
  4. Have teams report on their findings and discuss with them before deciding
  5. Let representatives help you create a software adoption and process implementation plan for your entire organization

But, if you are the one tasked to do this for your outfit, then it’s likely that you have to do all of these on your own. To give you a headstart in evaluating what’s the best help desk software for you, we suggest that you give our top Zendesk alternative, Freshdesk, a try. First, you’d see that it has a free edition with ample features for simpler help desk processes. Second, it is as powerful as Zendesk. And last, it is more feature-rich when it comes to its lower-tiered plans. You can try all its premium features at no cost when you sign up for a Freshdesk free trial.

You can also take a look at current customer service statistics and data as well in this report. Happy software hunting, and good luck with your software implementation.

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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