A Guide to Zendesk Alternatives

A Guide to Zendesk Alternatives

Zendesk is not perfect. There have been complaints about the cost, complexity, and support. This is why you may need a Zendesk alternative.

sanjana

January 9, 2024

10 mins read

Are you considering Zendesk but aren’t sure if it’s the product for you? Wondering if there are any better Zendesk alternatives that you should consider instead?

If you know anything about the customer service software world, you must have heard about Zendesk. Zendesk is popular and for good reasons. Zendesk comes with customer service features that are unique and useful for customer service operations.

But Zendesk is not perfect. There have been complaints about the cost, complexity, and support. This is why you may need a Zendesk alternative. In this article, we’ll tell you:

  • Why companies choose Zendesk

  • Why Zendesk isn’t for everyone

  • 9 best alternatives to Zendesk

What is Zendesk?

Zendesk is a great customer support software with features like handling messages from various channels and a helpful ticket system. It uses smart bots and works well for businesses of all sizes. It also has self-help options, phone support, and good reporting tools.

You can use Zendesk to bring people from different parts of your company together to help customers smoothly. It also has private messaging and read-only access, which helps your team communicate and share info better.

What’s unique about Zendesk is that it’s based on lots of real customer service experiences. It also has strong tools for making custom reports and interactive dashboards.

Why do companies choose Zendesk?

Zendesk powers 100,000+ customer experiences, but why are these brands choosing Zendesk? Here are some reasons why:

Real customer service data

Zendesk is built on the experiences of actual customer communication, which means it understands the real problems and challenges that support teams face every day. Zendesk knows how to help support teams be more efficient and effective to manage customer inquiries.

This customer relationship management tool not just a random set of features; it’s a customer support solution designed to tackle the actual problems support teams face. So, when you use Zendesk, you’re using a tool that understands customer queries and helps you deliver exceptional customer service.

Multi-channel support

Zendesk’s multichannel support makes things easy for both customers and support teams. It lets customers reach out through email, chat, phone, or social media, all in one place. This saves customers time and helps them get consistent help.

For support teams, it’s a big help too. They don’t have to jump between different tools. They can focus on fixing issues and giving good service. Plus, they can keep track of all customer interactions in one spot, which helps them do their job better. So, Zendesk’s multichannel support is a win-win for everyone.

Efficient ticketing system

Zendesk’s efficient ticketing system is designed to streamline the way customer requests are managed, ensuring that no customer inquiry gets lost or overlooked in the shuffle.

The cool thing is that Zendesk can figure out which tickets are really important and need quick attention. This helps companies respond fast to urgent issues, making customers happy.

Plus, lots of customer service agents can work on the same ticket, like a team. They can talk and share notes, which helps solve problems better. Zendesk’s ticket system keeps everything organized and helps companies give customers the help they need, when they need it.

AI bots

Zendesk uses smart computer programs called AI-powered bots. These bots are like digital assistants that can do repetitive jobs, so human support agents don’t have to.

These bots are really good at answering common customer questions. For example, if a customer asks about business hours, the bot can quickly give the answer. This makes customer conversations faster and keeps the information consistent.

These bots can also do things like setting appointments, helping customers reset passwords, or checking order statuses. By doing these routine tasks, they make customer support work better and faster. This means that human agents can focus on helping with more complicated issues, which is great for both the company and the customers.

Self service options

Zendesk offers self-service features like knowledge bases and FAQs, enabling customers to find answers to common questions without contacting support.

For businesses, this is fantastic because it means less work for their support teams. They can focus on solving trickier issues while customers can quickly get the answers they need on their own. It’s a win-win situation that makes customer service smoother and more efficient for everyone involved.

Why Zendesk isn’t for everyone..

Zendesk is filled with robust features, but it may not be for your growing business. And here is why:

Hidden pricing

Zendesk is notorious for its hidden pricing methods. When you visit the Zendesk pricing page, you’ll see multiple layers of pricing—which is super confusing in itself.

And that’s not it, users have complained multiple times about how each feature comes with a price. The most frustrating part is that all of this is gradually revealed once the user has bought and set up the Zendesk customer support solution.

Complex interface

Zendesk has a complex interface with support team not helping much. This maybe due to the wide range of features, but it is a hurdle many users face. One user said:

It can get complicated. Lots of features, customizations, but not a ton of support on implementing (not without a high $$ at least). Basic/standard is pretty boring, their sales team is not technically saavy and usually just reaches out to get you to upgrade.

This means that a lot of the time will be spent navigating and understanding this customer service platform by your customer support teams.

Lack customer support

Multiple users have complained about how Zendesk has terrible customer support. Especially when compared to any other Zendesk alternative. Customer feedback revolves around comments like unavailability of human support and prolonger resolution times.

What people have to say about Zendesk

Zendesk has improved our CSAT and NPS

A user on G2 talks about how Zendesk has improved their CSAT and NPS scores. They also like the how SLAs can easily be managed and altered at Zendesk, mass communication can be sent to bulk tickets and multiple levels of support can be managed. However, they have mentioned problems with identifying multiple people’s efforts on a ticket.

Great product, not so great support”

Another small business owner talks about Zendesk being a great customer support software. However, they have had problems integrating it with Salesforce. They have also complained about the lack of efficient customer support from Zendesk itself.

Maximizing efficiency and satisfaction”

An IT manager from a small business enjoys the seamless omnichannel integration and robust ticketing system and they feel its advanced analytics tools enhance team performance. They do mention that Zendesk is quite expensive and customization options are limited. Moreover, they often have to go to customer support to learn about new features.

9 best alternatives to Zendesk

Ready to switch from Zendesk to another Zendesk alternative? Here are the 9 best help desk software solutions available.

Keeping

Beginning with the very best—Keeping. Keeping is a help desk solution built on top of Gmail. This means Keeping supercharges your Gmail inbox into a powerful business intelligence tool that runs all your support operations to deliver exceptional customer support.

Here is what makes Keeping a stellar alternative to Zendesk:

  • Less costly: To use Zendesk’s full set of features, a hefty amount has to be paid. For small and medium businesses, it could be a lot. Keeping comes in as the affordable option that has just the right amount of features you need to ace customer service.

  • Easy to set up and use: Who doesn’t know to use Gmail? Since Keeping is just an extension to your Gmail inbox, your customer support teams can easily set up and use our customer support platform.

A Zendesk alternative that’s affordable and has all features you need for your customer support? Sounds like Keeping. Keeping comes with some cool features like these:

Ticket assignment: Assign conversations to make sure they reach the right team member.

Keeping - The best Zendesk alternative for customer service.

Collision detection: No two agents collide and waste efforts on customer inquiries. 

Another screenshot of Keeping, a software to consider as an alternative to Zendesk.

Workflow automations: With a simple if/then logic create automated workflows.

Keeping screenshot.

Automatic confirmation receipts: Every time customer emails flow in a customizable confirmation receipt is sent.

Another example of functionality of a Zendesk alternative.

Tracking and reporting: Monitor KPIs that matter the most to your business.

Dashboard of a customer support email platform.

Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support software that helps you handle customer queries easily. It has all the important features you need for customer support, like being able to talk to customers through email, chat, social media, and phone calls.

Freshdesk dashboard.

What’s cool about Freshdesk is that it uses AI to make things even better. It can automatically sort and organize customer messages and even figure out when to reopen or close a support ticket.

You easily work together with your customer support teams because everyone can see what’s happening with each ticket. If two agents are trying to work on the same issue, it can tell you that too, so you don’t waste time.

In a nutshell, Freshdesk makes customer support smoother and more efficient with its user-friendly ticket system, AI-powered automation capabilities, and helpful features for teamwork and reporting.

ZohoDesk

ZohoDesk is a cost-effective Zendesk alternative, and it offers a bunch of useful features for managing customer relationships. Zoho is known for its CRM tools and other business apps, and ZohoDesk fits right into that ecosystem, making it easy to connect everything.

ZohoDesk.

ZohoDesk is cloud-based, so you can handle customer interactions from different sources like social media, chat, email, and phone calls, all in one place. It has all the things you’d expect from a helpdesk solution, like self service capabilities, instant messaging, a chatbot named Zia, and automatic ticketing system.

What’s neat is that it can work with over 800 other apps, giving you a lot of flexibility without complicated API stuff. It’s got straightforward pricing options, making it a good choice for companies looking to provide excellent self-service options for their customers.

Groove

Groove is a versatile tool designed to help manage shared inboxes, which can include emails, social media messages, and live chats.

GrooveHQ.

Its main features include the ability to assign specific team members to handle particular conversations, mention and notify support teams to keep everyone in the loop, and have private discussions within the team about customer inquiries.

What sets Groove apart is its email collaboration capabilities, offering time-based Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to improve customer service, automated routing and categorization of conversations, and over 50 automation templates to make project management more efficient.

Groove incorporates advanced AI features like generating summaries of conversations, helping with replies, offering explanations for conversations, and even creating instant AI-generated responses.

Hiver

Hiver is a helpful email management tool that turns Gmail into a versatile Helpdesk platform. It allows you to handle customer inquiries from various channels like email, live chat, and voice support right within Gmail’s side panel.

Hiver.

This help desk software comes a robust solution with some key collaboration features, such as inviting colleagues from different departments to collaborate on customer issues. It also provides personal messaging and read-only access, key features used for effective teamwork.

In terms of automation capabilities, Hiver empowers the customer support team to automate repetitive tasks using conditional rules. Hiver offers analytical capabilities like creating custom reports, automating leadership reports, and building dynamic dashboards.

However, it’s worth noting that while Hiver offers a range of powerful features, some advanced features like automation and analytics may not be available in the basic free plan, requiring a higher investment for access.

Front

Front is another Zendesk alternative on our list. It helps you manage customer communication via a single shared inbox, making it easy to provide top-notch customer service on a larger scale. Front boasts a user-friendly interface and offers various features like collaboration tools, workflow automation, integrations, a knowledge base, analytics, and live chat support.

Fronapp for customer support.

For team collaboration, Front provides handy features like collision detection, facilitating teamwork across different functions, in-thread comments for discussion, and auto-sharing of drafts for seamless cooperation.

You can streamline tasks such as tagging and assigning emails, archiving messages, and automating ticket assignment and routing. You can even integrate data from other systems, such as CRM account information or customer order status, into your workflows.

Front also equips you with valuable analytical data to monitor team performance and identify areas for improvement. Front offers self-service options, including a customizable knowledge base where you can create your own repository with your branding, logos, and colors.

Kustomer

Kustomer is a versatile customer service solution that offers a complete view of all customer interactions across various communication channels.

Kustomer, a Zendesk alternative.

One of the standout features of Kustomer is its ability to gather customer data from different areas of your business, providing a comprehensive understanding of each customer’s history and preferences.

This help desk software offers real-time analytics through a user-friendly dashboard, enabling you to monitor both customer experience and agent performance. Additionally, the platform provides a self-service portal, making it easy to create an accessible and SEO-friendly knowledge base on your website.

In essence, Kustomer simplifies and enhances the way you engage with and support your customers, ultimately driving better outcomes for your business.

Intercom

Intercom has everything you need for customer support, just like Zendesk. It can do email tickets, live chat support, automations, and reports. Making it a great alternative to Zendesk.

Using Intercome as an alternative to Zendesk.

When it comes to omnichannel support, Intercom shines with its super strong chatbot automation called Engagement OS. It helps your agents by handling repetitive tasks and guiding customers to the right agents.

Intercom comes with a unique ticketing system. The support team can move seamlessly between customer requests, and easily share updates impacting multiple customers within a single ticket.

But there are a couple of downsides. Intercom’s help center isn’t as customizable as Zendesk’s, and its reporting isn’t as good as Zendesk Explore.

HappyFox

HappyFox is a comprehensive alternative to Zendesk for managing support requests. It allows users to offer customer support through various channels like email, live chat, social media, and phone.

HappyFox

Ticket management is made easier with features like ticket queues, ticket categories and omnichannel ticketing. HappyFox lets organizations build a knowledge base that works seamlessly with its self service portals.

The self-service portal not only provides customers with information related to their inquiries and customer satisfaction surveys but also offers details about the progress of their issues, like ticket status and past interactions. This makes it easier for customers to find the answers they need and stay informed about the resolution of their concerns.

While HappyFox may not offer extensive customization and reporting options, its customer support team is there to help organizations make the most of the software with their expertise and assistance.

sanjana

Sanjana Sankhyan is a freelance writer who specializes in delivering data-driven blog posts for B2B SaaS brands. She helps businesses attract more audience and sales with her writing. If not writing, you’ll find her helping other freelancers improve their work. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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