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Top 10 Zendesk Alternatives for Superior Customer Service

Harry Lees
February 26, 2021
Customer Success

Top 10 Zendesk Alternatives for Superior Customer Service

*This article was updated on February 26th, 2021 based on new research by the TrustRadius Team

Zendesk is a leader in customer service software. While a great product, such an important aspect of any business shouldn’t have only one choice. We have combined reviews and pricing information to create a list of the best Zendesk alternatives. Each of these will suit a different use case. By having this information, you will be able to make a more informed decision for company needs.

Customer Service Software Like Zendesk, But Different

7.9/10$49/mo. to $215/mo, Per AgentPopular, Trusted PlatformOverwhelming for Some, Less Flexibility
9.5/10$0/mo. to $39/mo Per UserSimplified for Small-to-Mid Size, Great Live ChatReviewers Wanted Whatsapp Integration, More Attractive UI
                                                                      8.7/10$15/mo. to $99/mo. Per AgentGreat User Experience,Fewer Integrations, Pricier than Some Alternatives
8.7/10FREEIt’s Free! Ease of useFewer Features than Zendesk, Tailored for IT
8.6/10Pricing on RequestFocus on Social Customer ServiceReviewers Want More Analytics Tools
8.6/10$0/mo, to $26.95/mo. Per UserComms. Tool for Agent to Customer TalksNot Strictly a Helpdesk Solution
8.4/10$20/mo. to 35/mo. Per UserValue for Money, Strong Email SupportUI Could be Improved, Very Email-Focused
8.2/10$10/mo. for up to 3 users, $20/mo. up to 15Easy to Use and Set UpSome Learning Curve to Properly Master
8.1/10$50/mo. Per User, 69/mo. Per User for Tech and Software Co.Automation FocusedExpensive
7.9/10Pricing on RequestMany Different Services in One PlatformExpensive, Less-Friendly UI
7.4/10Pricing on requestFull Suite of Tools for Marketing, Sales, and MoreHard to Set Up, May be More than You Need

But First, Zendesk Itself

We can’t move on without giving a reference point. As the market-share leader, Zendesk has earned this spot. Zendesk is highly scalable, supporting anywhere from 5 to 500 helpdesk agents. The tool converts any customer communication into tickets for your support team. Zendesk ticket system capabilities are a big part of making it the industry leader. This will help larger teams and makes tracking easier.

Zendesk can prove overwhelming for smaller organizations. If you do not need the complexity, the implementation can be tricky. The system is less flexible than some alternatives.

Pricing For Zendesk starts at $49/mo. per agent and runs up to $215/mo. per agent depending on company size.

Freshdesk

“It is well suited for organizations that are just looking for an easy-to-use helpdesk solution, without being too complicated to set up/manage. As it is a web-based cloud solution, there is also the benefit of the back-end of the program being managed by the vendor, so there is not a need for a Sys Admin to run this on a server and manage it.”

Verified Use, Supervisor in Information Technology| Education Management Company, 1001-5000 employees

Freshdesk is one of the top Zendesk alternatives available on the market. Reviewers praise the great user experience, interface and ease of use. Some of the specific features of Freshdesk that help it stand out include:

  • Team Inbox: All agents can view and track tickets from multiple channels within a single shared inbox. 
  • Canned Responses: Helpdesk agents can quicken their pace by using engaging responses that are saved on the helpdesk platform.
  • Scenario Automation: For tickets that require similar responses, agents can make several actions happen with a single click of a button.
  • Team Huddle: For particularly challenging tickets, agents can consult with other team members and leadership for a clearer answer. 
  • 24/7 Support: Freshdesk offers 24/7 email support and 24/5 phone support for all of their customers.

Freshdesk pricing ranges from $15/mo. to $99/mo. per agent. For most small- and medium-sized businesses, the helpdesk app shouldn’t run more than $35/mo. per agent.

Help Scout

“Help Scout is good for small, medium, and large size offices. The software allows for many team members to interact with tickets without causing conflicts. I can’t see any organization where HelpScout wouldn’t be a good fit!” 

Aaron StPierre, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) | Saintly Solutions | Information Technology and Services, 1-10 employees

Help Scout is a relatively smaller helpdesk app company with a strong service team. As an alternative to Zendesk, Help Scout’s goal is to make every interaction with customers personalized. This is done by doing away with automated emails and ticket numbers. They have a great environmental program, where they commit to planting one tree per customer. Helpscout is built to be a great customer support software for email marketing teams

Some of the highlights of Help Scout as an alternative to Zendesk include:

  • Multiple Mailboxes: The helpdesk app allows managers to create different boxes for shared email addresses. Every team member knows which communication they are responsible for.
  • Tagging: Keep track of which tickets are which, and trigger automated actions with the tagging system.
  • Collaboration Notes: Agents can make notes on a ticket. These collaboration features helps other agents or managers  work together on a response.

At $20/mo. per user, reviewers say Help Scout delivers good value for the price. 

LiveAgent

“Live Agent is just what we needed. Other companies had us using multiple programs to do the same thing that we do inside LiveAgent now. The simple billing structure was a plus as well, easy to calculate the cost per agent and no hidden surprises. We use LiveAgent for customer information, ticketing systems, issue tracking, and resolution. The custom tags, and easy to generate reports help us get the info we need anytime we need it. Was easy to set up and get running, quick integration, and easy to add or remove agents as needed.”

Caleb Stokes, Warehouse Operations┃TF FulfillmentLogistics & Supply Chain, 11-50 employees

Overall, LiveAgent is a simplified alternative to Zendesk for small and mid-sized companies. They focus on resolving customer support platform issues via live chat on their website, particularly in the ecommerce industry . Some of the Zendesk-like features of LiveAgent include:

  • Hybrid Ticket Stream: The platform makes all tickets uniform, no matter which channel they come in on.
  • Automated Ticket Distribution: Tasks do not need to be manually assigned. Managers can monitor agent performance based on the number of tickets assigned/completed. 
  • Universal Inbox: Managers can track all tickets in one place.

Pricing for LiveAgent ranges from $12/mo. per user to $59/mo. per user. The higher-end pricing includes time tracking, social channels, and even gamification features.

Teamsupport

“TeamSupport is well suited for any company that needs to manage customer accounts and/or products. This tool encourages self-support tools for their customers, and needs a simple way for the support team to communicate with each other. These self-service portals help better manage support tickets systems built into the tool.”

Jennifer Desautels, Managing Director ┃ Lord Heritage IncEducation Management, 1-10 employees

TeamSupport is an alternative to Zendesk with a strong focus on automation. Companies with growing customer support teams should consider this tool.

Some of the components it has in common with Zendesk include:

  • Email Integration: Respond to tickets and take actions directly through email.
  • Ticket Automation: Managers can set rules for who receives which tickets, making the distribution process automatic after setting rules. 
  • Ticket Collision Prevention: Ensures that no two agents are working on the same ticket.

In comparison to Zendesk, pricing for TeamSupport is a bit steep. Monthly quotes start at $50 per user and jump to $69 per user for tech and software companies. As one of the Top Rated helpdesk apps, it may just be worth the cost for your team.

Spiceworks

“We are using Spiceworks for IT helpdesk ticket submission, reporting, and as a knowledge base repository. We are also using it to track purchases. It is used solely in IT as a way to keep IT issues at the forefront and as a way for users to keep in constant contact with the ticket owner.”

Sam Fowler, IT Manager┃Cesca Therapeutics Inc.┃Higher Education, 51-200 employees

Spiceworks is a help desk solution tailored for IT companies. Spiceworks includes email integration and a simple ticket management system. It’s a quick and easy helpdesk solution for IT. While the tool is not asas full-featured as Zendesk, Spiceworks does include email integration and a simple ticket system. Ultimately, it’s a quick and easy helpdesk solution for IT.

The price point for this Zendesk alternative literally cannot be beaten. It is free. As reviewers who recommend Spiceworks note, if Spiceworks can meet your needs, why pay more?

Connectwise Manage

“Connectwise is really the central tool of our operations and we use it for all core business activities such as ticketing, project management, invoicing, and real-time entry, just to state a few of its uses. We use it across the entire company and all departments.”

Jeremy Kushner, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) ┃BACS Consulting Group┃Information Technology & Services, 11-50 employees

ConnectWise offers a host of business management software in a single suite, including but not limited to help desk software. ConnectWise Manage may not be as simple to set up as Zendesk. However, it is a powerful tool for tech and IT services companies that want to manage sales. It also handles marketing and customer service requests in a single system. Customer feedback is a vital part of this tool.Some of the Zendesk-similar features include:

  • Customizable Tickets: See all of the information that you need on a single screen.
  • Review the Team: See how the customer service team is spending their time. 
  • Data Tracking: Set goals on your time-to-resolution, and track them.

Because it is a much broader suite of software, pricing for ConnectWise Manage is by request.

Khoros (Formerly Lithium)

“Our company uses the Khoros Care [(Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)] platform to manage our social media response and engagement on Facebook, FBM, and Twitter. We have ~15 channels that we support in the Care tool, as well as track and monitor social sentiment and top tags for our consumer insights team. The cross-functional collaboration opportunities between the Care, Communities and Marketing platforms give all teams in my organization appropriate visibility into the customer interactions so that we can deliver the best-in-class responses and experiences over social channels.

Verified User, Director in Customer Service ┃Transportation/Trucking/Railroad Company, 1001-5000 employees

Khoros focuses on the social aspect of customer relationships and satisfaction. This is known as social customer service, a different way of approaching the helpdesk concept. Its social response features allow customer service agents to efficiently address issues that surface on social media. This includes platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Posts are automatically routed to the most appropriate agent to respond. In turn, if the customer queries the conversation is threaded back to the original agent.  

Pricing for Khoros’s Social Customer Service is by request, alongside the company’s other social media and online service offerings.

Oracle Services Cloud

“Oracle CX Service [(formerly Oracle Service Cloud)] is a complete customer service platform and the platform fits well in a scenario where a company wishes to acquire a single hub to manage the various communication channels from social media, website and contact center instead of acquiring a single platform for all of these channels.”

Chris Edwards, Project Manager ┃TotalOil & Energy┃ 5001-10,000 employees

The software giant has made strides to create a customer support solution that goes far beyond a simple helpdesk. Its strengths are the ability to provide “omnichannel” support. It also integrates with other components of the Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite. Unfortunately, it may be overkill for smaller teams and organizations with a limited budget (in contrast to Zendesk). According to reviewers, Oracle’s UI is also less user-friendly.

Oracle is a big name in business software, and its helpdesk solution has the price on request.

Cisco Webex Support Center

“WebEx Support Center does what it is designed to do very well. If you need robust, efficient, and comprehensive remote support software, look no further. There are certainly other products that are simpler, and other products that are a bit “prettier” from a UI standpoint, but in terms of overall functionality, WebEx Support Center is hard to beat.”

Kurt Ferguson, Lead Desktop Analyst┃Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance┃ 201-500 employees

As it comes from telecommunications giant Cisco, WebEx Support Center is designed for providing technical support to major software clients on a global scale. Consequently, its limitation is that it is not meant to be a helpdesk solution in the strict sense of the term. It is a communication tool that allows support agents to talk with customers, share their screen and/or webcam, and help them troubleshoot issues. For companies that need to be in constant contact with customers for support, WebEx may be the solution.

WebEx is priced a bit differently than Zendesk. You pay between 0 and $26.95/user per month, with enterprise pricing being more.

Jira Service Desk

“If you are already using some Atlassian products like Confluence, BitBucket, and Trello, JIRA SD is a really good choice as it integrates well with these products. You can make Trello boards based on incidents (tickets) you have on your queue, or create use cases/troubleshooting guides on Confluence based on a specific incident.”

Gabriel Krahn, ECM Consultant┃T-SystemsComputer Software┃10,001+ employees

Atlassian is well known for its dev team productivity tools like JIRA, Trello, and Confluence. It also offers a helpdesk app for companies that provide IT services. They also integrate with other Atlassian products and are easy to use. Easy setup is another bonus.

Jira Service Desk is a cost-effective option at certain levels, but some reviewers have said that it gets pricey at scale. Pricing starts at $0/mo, and goes up to $40/user mo.

*In a previous version, this article mentioned Salesforce Desk. This software has since fallen below our trScore standards for inclusion in the post. For this reason, it has been omitted.

Software Like Zendesk, For Different uses

If Zendesk’s pricing is a bit steep, or you need different features other options may suit you. Zendesk is the market-leader and a great tool, but different use cases require alternatives. Software-as-a-service solutions are designed to be cost-effective, truly helpful, and customizable to your business needs. Many of these tools offer free trial versions to test the waters of your purchase. Take the time to read through our reviews on the dozens of helpdesk software solutions available on the market, and narrow your options down to what you really need.

If you are a more visual learner, check out this great video exploring 5 Helpdesk software options

About the Author

Harry Lees
I am a proud University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, with a Comprehensive Honors degree in Political Science and Journalism. Go Badgers! A dual-citizen with the U.S and U.K, in my free time I support Liverpool Football Club, obsessively follow politics and do extremely nerdy things with my friends.

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