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10 Best Zendesk Competitors for Your Business

Luca MicheliNov 25, 2022
10 Best Zendesk Competitors for Your Business
Contents

What is the first thing you check when you choose Customer Service Software? A list of features? Pricing? Customer support? Perhaps user reviews?

Probably, all of these. Let’s say you don’t want to take chances, so you choose a popular tool like Zendesk. 

However, after you start using it, you realize it might be out of your price range a bit. Plus, the customer support team is not always available to answer your questions, which deepens your learning curve. 

To help you avoid this, we compiled a list of 10 Zendesk competitors that can provide you the same, if not better customer support software, at a more reasonable price. 

Without further ado, let’s begin!

How do we choose Zendesk competitors?

Man looking through binoculars graph

According to GlobeNewswire, the global customer support software market is worth $29 billion and will reach $165 billion by 2030. Such a massive rise indicates a growing demand for customer service tools. 

As with any help desk software in the market, there is none you can join as an all-in-one solution. Even giants like Zendesk and Hubspot have their pros and cons. We kept this in mind when selecting the best Zendesk competitors.

More specifically, to come up with a list of top Zendesk alternatives, we used a particular approach. In a nutshell, the key was to focus on five factors:

  1. Main features
  2. Pros
  3. Cons
  4. Pricing
  5. Rating

When having all the information, we cross-referenced and compared different customer support tools to Zendesk. The one with the most promising results and the highest scores on g2 and Capterra has been crowned the top 10 best Zendesk competitors.

Notably, Zendesk is a help desk tool offering a myriad of functions. Yet, many users need to use some of the features. In such a case, when selecting the best Zendesk competitors, we also focused on factors like simplicity, intuitive interface, and support

Most users do not need a few advanced features with help desk software. They need an understandable interface and functionality that even a person without experience can handle.

10 best Zendesk competitors

Choosing the right desk software is difficult. It should have multiple support channels, generate customer interactions, preferably have a built-in ticketing system, provide in-app messaging, and offer basic features.

At this point, a viable Zendesk competitor should be a help desk offering what we mentioned above and much more. Without further ado, let’s proceed to the 10 best Zendesk competitors on the market:

  • Customerly
  • Freshdesk
  • Olark
  • Tidio
  • HelpCrunch
  • LiveAgent
  • Kayako
  • Drift
  • Hubspot
  • Front

These insights will help you stick to the Zendesk alternative you prefer and help you choose the best customer support self-service system meeting your specific needs.

1. Customerly

Customerly dashboard - shared inbox

Customerly is the first behavioral messaging platform offering you to communicate with your SaaS customers via Chat and Email. In contrast to more traditional help desk software, which focuses on a ticketing system with numbers, this platform firmly believes that clients should be treated as people. As a result, Customerly emphasizes frictionless conversations instead of soulless tickets.

Key features

  • Live Chat—superior chat option that allows you to assign conversations to your teammates, chat with customers in their own language (with the help of inline translation), tag conversations based on progress, add internal notes about each customer, AND access detailed user data at any time. Plus, you can easily integrate chat with Facebook messenger or your own website. 
  • Shared inbox—with Customerly inbox, you can have all of your teammates and conversations in one place. From there, it’s easy to mention people and entire teams that need to take over a conversation.
Team inbox
  • Video chat — an option to start a live video call with your customers within the live chat widget—no need for extra video conferencing tools! 
  • Help сenter — a rich library of articles that answer customers’ most common questions. Plus, people can open them within the chat window. No need to switch to a different tab
  • AutoReply—a feature tapping into what automation in customer support service can offer
  • Canned Message Templates—a rich library of canned message templates to use right away

Hello {{name}}.
My name is [YOUR_NAME].

It will be my pleasure to help you with your issue.

Let me look into this quickly and I will get back to you in a moment with all the helpful information I can find.


Meanwhile, if you have any additional information please let me know. 😊

avatar

First reply

Personalize the first reply and take time to check into the issue

  • Workflows—an easy system for creating complex workflows for your marketing automation or customer support campaigns
  • In-chat surveys for effective feedback gathering
How did you hear about [YOUR_COMPANY]?
Blog
Google
Facebook ads
Friends
Partnership
Run in-app Surveys with Customerly

Source of acquisition

Ask your new users where did they get to know you

NPS survey

Pros

  • A fully customer-centric behavioral messaging platform (not a ticketing system)
  • Multi-channel support
  • Customer-centric communications
  • Great in-app messaging for lead generation
  • Flawless workflow automation
  • Easy-to-use
  • 24/7 customer service

Cons

  • Some users report minor issues with UI
  • Missing ticket id

Pricing

These are five pricing plans available:

  1. Essential for $7/month (3 Free templates + 1,000 interactions).
  2. Startup starting at $39/month (6 Free templates + 10,000 interactions).
  3. Pro starting at $82/month (10 Free templates + 20,000 interactions).
  4. Enterprise starting at $249/month (15 Free templates + 50,000 interactions).
  5. Plan customization based on the client’s needs.

Rating

g2: 4.3

Capterra: 4.5

2. Freshdesk

Freshdesk dashboard

Freshdesk is a powerful customer support instrument that many support teams value. This help desk software is among Zendesk’s competitors focusing on usability and affordability. With Freshdesk, support agents can automate workflows and prioritize incoming requests based on different factors.

Key features

  • Help desk
  • Social support
  • Live Chat
  • Call Center tool
  • Knowledge base

Pros

  • Minimalistic user interface
  • Robust toolkit
  • Regular updates and improvements (unlike Zendesk)
  • Glitch-free
  • Includes a Free plan

Cons

  • Lacks customization in dashboards, customer portals, and reports
  • Minor issues with automation, which leads to email and message duplication

Pricing

As a Zendesk alternative, Freshdesk comes with four pricing options:

  1. Free plan (up to 10 agents)
  2. Growth plan for $15 per agent/month
  3. Prop plan for $49 per agent/month
  4. Enterprise plan for $79 per agent/month

Rating

g2: 4.4

Capterra: 4.5

3. Olark

Olark dashboard

When it comes to great customer experience and top-notch customer support, Olark is a help desk software to mention. Among Zendesk’s competitors, this platform is considered a lightweight instrument for chatting with your website visitors. In a nutshell, Olark comes under the Customer Support Chat category.

Key features

  • Live Chat 
  • In-app messaging
  • Phone support
  • Integrations, including CRM and Help desk
  • Concurrent chats support

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Can handle concurrence chats
  • Centralized customer support
  • Usability
  • Automation
  • Free plan

Cons

  • Basic web client
  • A bit pricey for its toolkit and services

Pricing

There are several pricing plans Olark offers:

  1. Free plan for up to 20 chats per month
  2. Core plan for $29 per agent/month (the price will be $19 if you pay for two years in advance)

Rating

g2: 4.3

Capterra: 4.5

4. Tidio

Tidio dashboard

Tidio is a live chat support solution often used by eCommerce companies. The platform helps solve customer queries easily and at a moment’s notice. Among Zendesk competitors, Tidio has one of the highest rankings on the Shopify store.

Key features

  • Live Chat
  • Email channel support
  • Facebook Messanger
  • Supports Shopify, Magento, and PrestaShop
  • Auto-responding
  • Code-free development

Pros

  • Support teams can keep track of interactions within multiple support channels in a single-page setup
  • Real-time customizable widgets in Live Chat
  • Automated FAQs
  • eCommerce integrations

Cons

  • It does not work with Instagram or Twitter
  • Slow user notification
  • Extra costs can mount up quickly when using multiple agents
  • 7-day free trial

Pricing

Tidio comes with four pricing packages:

  1. Free plan with 50 users for Live Chat and 100 users for Chatbots
  2. Communicator plan for $19/month for up to 5 operators
  3. Chatbots option for $39/month for up to 40,000 users
  4. Tidio+ package starting at $289/month with a custom number of operators.

Rating

g2: 4.7

Capterra: 4.7

5. HelpCrunch

Helpcrunch dashboard

HelpCrunch is one of the most affordable Zendesk competitors. A support team equipped with this tool will be capable of handling sales and marketing with ease. On top of that, HelpCrunch is a Zendesk competitor with smooth and intuitive dashboards. As a result, you can install and use this help desk in minutes.

Key features

  • Live Chat
  • Help Desk
  • Chatbots
  • Pop-ups
  • Knowledge base portal
  • Auto-messaging
  • Email automation (comes at extra costs)

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Flexible customer service data interactions (Live Chat, Chatbot, and Email)
  • 24/7 customer support with human agents
  • Great customer-facing knowledge base
  • Various customizations options
  • Affordability

Cons

  • Does not send proactive messages
  • Minor issues with push notifications

Pricing

HelpCrunch offers three pricing plans:

  1. Basic at $15/month for 1 team member
  2. Pro at $25/month for 1 team member
  3. Enterprise plan with unlimited team members (the price is customized to each client individually)

Rating

g2: 4.7

Capterra: 4.8

6. LiveAgent

LiveAgent dashboard

When hearing support tickets and customer conversations, LiveAgent comes to mind. It is a help desk software helping small businesses and organizations streamline customer service processes. It works as a call center and offers multi-channel communication via live chats, websites, and digital networking.

What is unique about LiveAgent, as one of Zendesk’s competitors, is its gamification approach. The platform enables agents to get badges for successful customer query resolution. With this method, LiveAgent can identify high performers among internal employees and handle Human Resources perfectly.

Key features

  • Live Chat
  • Chatbots
  • Time tracking
  • Support portal
  • Knowledge base
  • Hybrid ticketing
  • Tags
  • Badges and rewards

Pros

  • Multi-channel communication – Live Chat, website, phone, and social media
  • Automated customer service with IVR and text (only a few platforms have that)
  • Customizable customer portal
  • Streamlined customer experience
  • Quick bug fixes and round-the-clock customer service
  • Gamification approach
  • Free plan included

Cons

  • Some users reported onboarding issues
  • The tool lacks proper documentation and clear instructions
  • Mobile app is not as robust as the desktop version

Pricing

LiveAgents is available in four pricing packages:

  1. Free plan with one phone number and one email address
  2. Ticket package for $15 per agent/month with unlimited ticket history and email addresses
  3. Ticket + Chat package for $29 per agent/month with additional unlimited chat buttons
  4. All-inclusive package for $49 per agent/month will include all the features included

Rating

g2: 4.5

Capterra: 4.7

7. Kayako

Kayako dashboard

If you are looking for a gull-suite help desk tool, look no further. Kayako is a Zendesk competitor valuing unification above everything else. The platform grants omnichannel communication presented in a unified dashboard. In such a case, the support team can see the entire customer’s journey and handle all the requests in one place. Every interaction is recorded and displayed on a single page. With Kayako, your team will work as efficiently as ever before.

Key features

  • Live Chat
  • Chatbots
  • Email and social media integration
  • CRM
  • Call Center Management
  • Activity tracking
  • API
  • Virtual Assistant

Pros

  • Unified dashboards capturing the entire workflow
  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy task management feature
  • Great reporting tool

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lacking customization
  • Users report poor customer support
  • No file upload during chat option

Pricing

Kayako offers a single pricing plan:

  • All features start at $125 per agent/month (for five agents it will be $625 for 100 agents and more $12500)

Rating

g2: 4.1

Capterra: 4.0

8. Drift

Drift dashboard

Drift is an underdog among customer support solutions. As a Zendesk competitor, this tool is often associated with aspects like account-based marketing and conversational AI. However, looking deeper, one will reveal Drift to be a customer communication instrument. As a result, this customer service platform includes an emphasis on marketing.

Key features

  • Live Chat
  • Drift Help comes with a self-service knowledge base
  • Drift Video that includes video recording and sharing
  • Drift Email, which includes email-based sales automation
  • Demo booking feature coupled with Live Chat

Pros

  • Offers detailed customer service data analytics
  • Includes video messaging feature (this is unique for help desk software)
  • User-friendly interface
  • AI-based chatbot

Cons

  • Lacking customization
  • High cost
  • No multilingual customer support

Pricing

Drift comes with four pricing plans:

  1. Free plan for Live Chat with one seat
  2. Premium plan starting at app. $6000 per month for 10 seats
  3. Enterprise plan customized for large businesses
  4. Startup plan at about $500 per 10 seats

Rating

g2: 4.3

Capterra: 4.5

9. Hubspot

Hubsport dashboard

Hubspot is one of Zendesk’s competitors, being as large as Zendesk itself. Hubspot service hub is a cloud-based help desk software emphasizing simplification in handling customer queries while also boosting customer engagement for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to enterprises. It is a rare platform using almost all available means to connect with customers, including Live Chat, Conversational AI, one-on-ones, email, social media, and canned responses.

Key features

  • Conversational dashboard
  • Knowledge base
  • Live Chat
  • Conversational bots
  • Reporting
  • Email templates
  • Canned snippets
  • Phone support
  • Routing and automation

Pros

  • Can house all self-service data and FAQs in one place
  • Enhances workflows regardless of the company’s size or industry
  • Perfect for onboarding
  • Focus on customer base growth
  • As close to an all-in-one solution as it gets

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • It takes a lot of time to get things done (challenging to handle a myriad of features)
  • Minor issues with ticket duplication
  • A bit pricey

Pricing

Hubspot service hub is available in three pricing packages:

  1. Starter at $50/month for two users
  2. Professional at $500/month per five users
  3. Enterprise at $1,000/month per 10 users

Rating

g2: 4.4

Capterra: 4.5

10. Front

Front dashboard

The last on the list of Zendesk competitors is Front. It is a customer communication platform providing clients with tailored-to-their-needs services. Front combines CRM automation with email simplicity. This platform is often used for fast scaling and greater cross-department communication.

Key features

  • Email tracking
  • Push notifications
  • Calendar
  • Desktop and mobile app
  • Tagging
  • Templates
  • Notes
  • Internal discussions

Pros

  • Centralization – all channels and messages are managed in a single place
  • Focus on team collaboration
  • Offers efficiency
  • Simple
  • Almost no learning curve

Cons

  • Doesn’t integrate with Slack or Gmail
  • Issues with API
  • 7-day trial

Pricing

Front is available in three pricing plans:

  1. Starter at $19 per person/month with a maximum of 10 users
  2. Growth at $49 per person/month with a minimum of 5 users
  3. Scale at $99 per person/month with a minimum of 10 users

Rating

g2: 4.7

Capterra: 4.5

Mistakes to watch out for when selecting customer support software

Man looking at laptop graph

Now that we know all 10 Zendesk competitors, it is time to look at mistakes one can make when looking for a help desk or any other best Zendesk alternative. Choosing the right solution stands on the actions you take and the decisions you make to avoid the issues mentioned further. 

1. Ignoring customer base and customer service data

Error 429 graph

When you choose a help desk platform, one of the vices you can have is to ignore what your customers need and want. Don’t forget that the primary reason for selecting a Zendesk support suite or a Zendesk competitor is to serve your customers. At this point, to avoid these mistakes, know your customer base relating to customer service data, track all the crucial customer metrics, and only then start looking for a Zendesk competitor.

2. Opting for an on-premise customer relationship management tool

Women untangling a thread graph

Businesses tend to stick to traditional on-premise solutions to store all the data within the firm’s premises. At this point, forgetting about cloud-based solutions can be a major mistake. Storing all the data on your premises is a costly process. You need to have physical hardware as well as dedicated space. As a result, maintenance costs will pile up along with upfront payment. Choosing cloud-based Zendesk competitors is a cost-effective and flexible solution compared to an on-premise option. 

3. Not knowing your customer service platform options

Man wondering graph

Many companies tend to stick to one particular help desk software they like. For most, the Zendesk support suite can offer enough instruments to handle simple tasks. However, there are always Zendesk competitors who can do a bit better in what you need. 

At this point, when choosing a Zendesk competitor, evaluate the entire system and not just its features. It will grant you the best insight – into whether this particular tool meets your business needs better than its alternatives. Naturally, before you even start looking for a Zendesk competitor, you need to clearly understand your business needs.

4. Ignoring email compatibility within customer requests

Laptop with envelopes on it graph

While companies that look for innovative help desk solutions often overlook email compatibility issues. It means a firm might purchase a pricing plan for one Zendesk competitor that only supports one particular email server. In such a case, after buying a product, you might find it entirely redundant, namely because it does not support your email server.

Even if you are looking to avoid Gmail promotions, you might still need email compatibility in general. Respectively, when selecting a customer service tool, double-check whether it supports your email server and comes with SSL encryption. 

5. Not focusing on personalization with a support team and customer support in general

Hands holding people graph

If you are looking for an efficient help desk solution, always focus on the customization factor. Platforms like Customerly.io ensure their customers do not feel like numbers. It is achieved through customization. A personalized email template can mean a difference between higher customer loyalty and higher customer turnover. Nobody likes generic responses, as well as nobody wants to feel themselves just one more ticket in your customer service platform.

Zendesk competitors comparison table

ToolKnown ForProsConsPricingFree TrialRating 
ZendeskTicket trackingBehavioral triggers
Knowledge base
Open API
Costly
Steep learning curve
Unintuitive interface
Complex tool
$49 – $9914 daysg2: 4.3
Cap: 4.4
Customerly.ioBalanced solutionsNot a ticketing system
Multi-channel support
Customer-centric communications
Flawless workflow automation
Easy-to-use
24/7 customer service
Some users report minor issues with UI

Low email delivery rates
$7 – $24914 daysg2: 4.3
Cap: 4.5
FreshdeskBuilding team valueMinimalistic user interface
Robust toolkit
Regular updates and improvements
Glitch-free
Free plan
Lacks customization
Minor issues with automation
$15 – $79Free plang2: 4.4
Cap: 4.5
OlarkExcellent customer support chatEasy-to-use
Can handle concurrence chats
Centralized customer support
SimplicityAutomation
Free plan
Basic web client
A bit pricey for its toolkit and services
$29Free plang2: 4.3
Cap: 4.5
TidioeCommerce supportUnified workflow
Real-time customizable widgets in Live Chat
Automated FAQseCommerce integrations
It does not work with Instagram or Twitter
Slow user notificationExtra costs can mount up quickly when using multiple agents
$19 – $289Free plang2: 4.7
Cap: 4.7
HelpCrunchAffordabilityIntuitive interface
Flexible customer service data interactions
24/7 customer support with human agents
Great customer-facing knowledge base
Various customizations options
Does not send proactive messages
Minor issues with push notifications
$15 – $2514 daysg2: 4.7
Cap: 4.8
LiveAgentStreamlining customer serviceMulti-channel communication
Automated customer service with IVR and text 
Customizable customer portal
Streamlined customer experience
Quick bug fixes 
Gamification approach
Free plan
Some users reported onboarding issues
The tool lacks proper documentation and clear instructions
Mobile app is not as robust as the desktop version
$15 – $49Free plang2: 4.5
Cap: 4.7
KayakoUnificationUnified dashboard
User-friendly interface
Easy task management feature
Great reporting tool
Expensive
Lacking customization
Poor customer support
No file upload during chat option
$12514 daysg2: 4.1
Cap: 4.0
DriftMarketing emphasisOffers detailed customer service data analytics
Includes video messaging feature
User-friendly interface
AI-based chatbot
Lacking customization
High cost
No multilingual customer support
$500 – $600Free plang2: 4.3
Cap: 4.5
HubspotAll-in-one solutionCan house all self-service data and FAQs in one place
Enhances workflows regardless of the company’s size or industry
Perfect for onboarding
Focus on customer base growth
As close to an all-in-one solution as it gets
Steep learning curve
It gets a lot of time to get things done 
Minor issues with ticket duplication
Pricey
$50 – $1,00014 daysg2: 4.4
Cap: 4.5
FrontCentralizationCentralization
Focus on team collaboration
Offers efficiency
Simple
Almost no learning curve
Doesn’t integrate with Slack or Gmail
Issues with API7-day trial
$19 – $997 daysg2: 4.7
Cap: 4.5

Conclusion

As you can see, stopping on Zendesk is not the best solution. There are enough Zendesk competitors who can do a way better job handling certain tasks. If you want affordability, look for smaller platforms like Tidio and Front. If you want a robust all-in-one solution, Hubspot is the one. Yet, keep in mind that it will cost you an arm and a leg.

In turn, if you are looking for a balanced solution, one offering high-quality personalized service for a reasonable price, Customerly.io is the place to go. If you believe in trying something for yourself before making a final decision, try our platform for free, and we guarantee you’ll never have to look for an alternative.

FAQ

Who is Zendesk competition?

Pondering upon Zendesk alternatives, there are several top Zendesk competitors to mention. First and foremost, Customerly.ai is one of the best Zendesk alternatives. Second, there is the HubSpot service hub with all its unique features Zendesk lacks. Finally, one can put HelpCrunch in the list of best Zendesk alternatives.

Is there anything better than Zendesk?

The Zendesk support suite has many positive reviews and users. However, there are still several Zendesk competitors competing with the platform. Custmerly.ai is a Zendesk alternative offering services Zendesk lacks. This platform can be coined as the best Zendesk alternative.

Moreover, there are additional customer service tools, such as Tidio, Olark, LiveAgent, Hubspot, HelpCrunch, and Front. Each can compete with the Zendesk support site while offering greater service and support to many users.

Is Zendesk better than Salesforce?

When choosing customer support software like Zendesk and Salesforce, it is hard to choose one particular desk software. Yet, in general, customer portals indicate Zendesk is the desk tool that is easier to set up, and its desk features are more intuitive than Salesforce. In turn, Salesforce as a help desk solution provides more advanced functionality and personalized support.

Luca Micheli

Luca Micheli

CEO @ Customerly

Luca Micheli is a serial tech entrepreneur with one exited company and a passion for bootstrap digital projects. He's passionate about helping companies to succeed with marketing and business development tips.

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